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What is a phone word?

A Phone Word is simply the alphanumeric translation of a phone number. For example, when you dial the phone word 1300 FOXTEL, you are actually dialling the 
phone number 1300 369835.

How do I dial a phone word?

To dial 1300 FOXTEL, you dial the numbers ‘1 3 0 0’ followed by the keys with the letters ‘F O X T E L’ on them.

What are the benefits of using phone words?

For advertisers, the main benefits of using phone word are:

  • Increased unaided awareness: People remember words much better than they remember numbers
  • Increased response rates to advertising: When people remember your phone word after seeing an ad, they’re more likely to call

Why haven’t phone words been used in Australia in the past?

Until recently, there were two barriers that made use of phone words impossible for a majority of Australian advertisers:

  • Lack of keypad standardisation across fixed-line and mobile phone handsets
  • The appropriate number ranges had not been released by the Australian Government.


When did advertising phone words become possible in Australia?

By mid 2005, after 7 years of lobbying the appropriate government departments, our members had helped remove the barriers mentioned above and made it possible for Australian marketers and consumers to enjoy the benefits of phone words.

Do Australians know how to dial phone words?

Yes. Research conducted by Roy Morgan in February 2006 indicated that 92% of Australians are already aware of phone words and the concept of alphanumeric dialling.

How do I dial a phone word from a BlackBerry?

To dial a phone word from a BlackBerry, you simply spell out the phone word on the screen using the 'SHIFT' key. When you hit the 'CALL' button, the BlackBerry automatically converts the phone word into the phone number and connects the call.

How many letters can you have in a phone word?

Phone words that begin with a 1300 or 1800 prefix can contain from 6 to 10 letters. Eg 1300 FOXTEL - 1300 PHONEWORDS. Phone words that begin with a 13 prefix can contain from 4 to 8 letters.

Do I have any priority to a phone number that spells my business name?

Because there’s no one-to-one correlation between a phone number and a particular phone word, there is no priority given based on a phone number spelling a business name.

In fact, because there are 3 or 4 letters on every number key (except for the 0 and 1 keys) every phone number will spell from 729 to 4,096 different letter combinations.

As such, the phone number that spells your business name will also spell many other things including company names, brand names, generic words, and word combinations. Eg the number that spells 1300 FIND GOD also spells 1300 DINE IN. And the number that spells 1300 WESTPAC also spells 1300 WESTRAC, 1300 WEST SAIL and about a dozen other names, words, and word combinations.

How much does a phone word cost to license?

Phone words can be leased on a national basis, state-by-state, or even per postcode. Monthly license fees vary depending on the specific phone word you’re after and the area in which you’d like to use it.

How do I get more information on words?

To find out more about phone words, and how they can benefit your company, please contact a member of the Australian Phone Word Association. All Members details can be found in the Members section of this site.