The undertaking of producing one all-encompassing numbering system involved consolidating the functions of three existing numbering systems into a single system. The previous three systems comprised of the smartnumber auction and NUMB systems operated by ACMA, as well as the INMS system operated by INMS (delegated services for Freephone, local rate and 6 to 8 digit premium rate numbers).
Function of the new system include the allocation, surrender, transfer and withdraw of the following services types:
- Calling card
- Data network access service
- Digital mobile
- Incoming only international
- Interconnection and routing
- Internal network
- International service
- Local rate
- Local service
- Location independent communication
- Operator service
- Premium Rate
- Premium Rate and Paging
- Restricted Access and Premium
- Satellite telephone
- Testing service
- Virtual private network
Support for the allocation and surrender of freephone, local rate and 6-8 digit premium rate numbers is provided through an XML interface specifically built to the INMS XML interface specification. While the purchase of smartnumber Enhanced Rights of Use (EROU) and the ability to trade EROU is provided via a web application. Integration to INMS via the bi-directional interface (BDI) allows INMS to continue to supply portability and other non-delegated services to subscribers. Maintenance of both the Register of Numbers and Register of smartnumbers is integrated into the system.
Financial payment ability is built into the Numbering system, giving users the ability to pay via credit card. While financial services support the system with BPAY and EFT payment matching. Further financial specifics of the Numbering system include the calculation, invoicing and collection of annual numbering charges.
The full scope of the project covered design, build and testing, and data migration from three systems followed by successful go live with ongoing maintenance, including first-level help desk support.
Australia’s new Numbering system project enabled ZOAK Solutions to improve previous business processes.
The number allocation, surrender, transfer and withdraw business processes were re-designed with the aim of being fully automated, avoiding any interaction with the Regulator (ACMA) or delegate (ZOAK Solutions). This was done in conjunction with the ACMA re-writing the Numbering plan.
smartnumber auctions were replaced with an over the counter solution allowing smartnumbers to be purchased immediately. A credit card payment gateway was integrated into the web application to facilitate this; it allows users to allocate numbers and pay for them in a single session.
The process of purchasing a smartnumber was bundled with setting up an account. By way of a smartnumber wizard, the public can now easily set-up an account and purchase a smartnumber EROU in a simple end to end process; whilst management of smartnumber EROU has become easier, by simply removing ROUpins.
The overall improvement achieved has been that carriage service providers (CSPs) such as Telstra, and smartnumber clients, can manage their numbers or EROUs using their single account within a single numbering system.
From a technical perspective, the Numbering system has been built using Java and Oracle technology in an agile environment.
The system consists of a number of interfaces that stakeholders use to interact with – including a highly usable single page web-based application and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), that large stakeholders can use to access the Numbering system programmatically.
As a federal government project, the Numbering system has had strict non-functional requirements around security, accessibility and performance. These requirements have been comprehensively met through a combination of off-the-shelf and in-house solutions, and have been thoroughly tested by ZOAK Solution’s Quality Assurance (QA) team.
From the security side, as a critical piece of infrastructure in the Australian telecommunications industry, the Numbering System is hosted at two secure data centre sites around Australia, which ensure that it remains available in the event of a disaster. From a performance point of view the public registers (such as the Register of Numbers) are key resources that provide the public with information about phone numbers in Australia. Queries involve searching over two million number ranges that include more than a trillion numbers in total. Response times were improved from often taking 30 seconds in the previous system to often less than one second in the ZOAK System.