The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to allow the full portability of premium rate numbers in Australia.
Premium rate services include competition lines, warranty, adult, financial, psychic and meteorology information services. Premium rate numbers are in the 190 range.
A spokesperson for the ACCC said the decision would allow customers to keep their number when changing from one service provider to another.
The ACCC claims the decision will benefit both carriage service providers and consumers.
As previously reported in ARN, unexpectedly high telephone bills arising from Internet dialers and premium rate phone services were to be tackled by new service provider rules developed by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).
The spokesperson said the businesses that use premium rate numbers would be able to choose a provider that offers better pricing for the numbers.
The competition watchdog will now direct the ACA to set out rules in the numbering plan about premium rate number portability.
It is also considering allowing national rate number portability (the 170 number range). National rate services currently do not exist and no carrier currently holds an allocation of 170 numbers, the ACCC has deferred the assessment until demand for the service rises.