Saturday, January 8th, 2011 - Alltel Pty Ltd
1800 numbers have been around in Australia for long enough that most people are familiar with them: they understand that 1800 is a free call and feel comfortable about dialing these numbers.

1300 numbers are not quite as well known. We still see the occasional posting on places like Whirlpool with people worried about how much it costs them to phone a 1300 number—although these postings are becoming less and less frequent. In fact, 1300 numbers have become so popular that the Australian exchange is starting to run out, and has reserved 1301 numbers for future use.

So what are the differences between these two types of numbers? And which one is best suited to your business?

For the caller, the main difference is price. When calling from a landline, a 1800 number is a free call while a 1300 number is charged at the cost of a local call (usually 30 cents). Note that when calling either type of number from a mobile phone, the cost is determined by the caller’s mobile carrier.

As far as the business receiving the call, they pay the full cost of calls made to 1800 numbers, and share the cost of 1300 numbers with the caller. For a 1300 number, the 30 cents paid for by the caller gives the business receiving that call 20 free minutes per local call (landline to landline). At the end of the free 20 minutes, the business pays the same call rates as for a 1800 number.

Both types of numbers provide many benefits:

  • Portable—keep one number for the life of your business, and move it from office to office, and from service provider to service provider.
  • Flexible—with routing options that allow you to specify which phone rings when someone dials the number based on factors including where the caller is based, time of day, and whether your phone is busy or not being answered.
  • Measurable—with built-in reporting options that allow you to gauge and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
  • National—advertise a single number for your business Australia-wide that allows your customers to contact your for free or the cost of a local call. You can also provide extended support hours for your customers, for example by routing calls to your Perth office after 5:00 p.m. EST when your east coast workers have gone home for the day.
  • Professional—look like a large company, even if you’re a sole trader working from your home office or white van.

So, how do you choose which one is best for you?

In the past, it was true that more people were likely to dial a 1800 number than a 1300 number, but that is becoming less of an issue.

Both types of numbers have similar setup fees, monthly charges, and national and mobile rates.

So it really comes down to who is going to be phoning you.

If the majority of your calls are going to be local, landline-to-landline, the 1300 number is the way to go. The free 20 minute component is likely to cover most calls, so that you’ll often pay little more than your monthly service fee.

If the majority of calls are NOT going to be local, landline-to-landline, there is very little difference cost-wise between a 1300 number and 1800 number. In that case, you might decide to go for a 1800 number so that your customers can call you for free.

Another thing to consider is which number type (1300 or 1800) has the best number/word available for your business. Numbers that spell words or have repeating patterns are easier for you and your customers to remember. For example, Alltel uses 1300 ALLTEL (255 835).

To find out more about 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers, including available plans and call rates, please visit Alltel’s web site (

Contact Profile

Alltel Pty Ltd

Alltel is an Australian owned and operated telecommunications provider, specialising in services for the business market. They are specialist providers of products and services including 13/1300/1800 numbers, live answering, virtual office solutions, and VoIP telephony.

Alltel has a strong focus on both excellent customer service and competitive pricing, and can tailor solutions for companies of all sizes, from start-up and sole trader through to enterprise. You can find out more about Alltel by visiting or by phoning 1300 ALLTEL (1300 255 835). 
Gail Hodgson
P: 1300255835


1300 numbers, 1800 numbers, inbound numbers, virtual numbers, business phone



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