Telephone numbers in France
5 geographic zones
|Typical format||07 81 56 27 85|
|Country calling code||33|
|International call prefix||00|
The plan uses a ten-digit closed numbering scheme, where the first two digits denote the area:
- 01 Île-de-France
- 02 Northwest France
- 03 Northeast France
- 04 Southeast France
- 05 Southwest France
- 06 Mobile phone services
- 07 Mobile phone services
- 08 Special phone numbers: Freephone (numéro vert) and shared-cost services.
- 09 Non-geographic number (used by Voice over IP services)
All geographic numbers are dialed in the ten-digit format, even for local calls. The international access code also changed from 19 to the International Telecommunication Union's recommended 00, bringing France into line with many other countries.
When calling France from abroad, the leading zero should be omitted: for example, to call a number in Southwest France, one would dial +33 5 xx xx xx xx.
French people usually state phone numbers as a sequence of five double-digit numbers, e.g., 0x xx xx xx xx (and not, for example, 0 xxx-xxx-xxx or 0xxx-xx-xxxx or 0xx-xxx-xxxx).
For many years, French telephone numbers consisted of eight digits, including an area code, but that system began to run out of numbers in the 1980s, leading to the adoption of a new numbering plan on 25 October 1985. On that date, France changed to a system of two zones, one for Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France and another for the other departments. Outside Paris, the old area code was incorporated into the subscriber's eight-digit number; for Paris, the code "1" was retained, and a digit "4" was added to the front of seven-digit numbers, meaning that a subscriber's number could begin with "40", for example 4056 1873, with the prefix "16" required for calls from the rest of France. For numbers in the Île-de-France surrounding Paris, the old codes "3" and "6" joined the old seven-digit numbers to become eight-digit numbers and were assigned to the Paris area code "1". To call the rest of France from Paris, however, the trunk prefix "16" had to be dialed before the eight-digit number, followed by the area code for Paris "1" and the eight-digit number. On 18 October 1996, this changed to the present ten-digit system, in which each call is dialed using all ten digits.
Following liberalisation in 1998, subscribers could access different carriers by replacing the "0" (omitted from numbers when called from outside France) with another digit. For example, Cegetel required subscribers to dial "7", e.g.: Paris 71 xx xx xx xx, instead of 01 xx xx xx xx. Similarly, the international access code using Cegetel would be "70" instead of "00".
Overseas departments and territories
The French overseas departments (départements d'outre mer or DOM) have separate country codes from metropolitan France, with Réunion being assigned the code 262 while Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Martinique were assigned the codes 590, 594 and 596 respectively. Until 1996, the use of the international access code 19 and country code was required for calls from metropolitan France. For example, to call Guadeloupe from metropolitan France, a subscriber would dial 19 590 xxx xxx, 590 being the country code. This included the islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin, which later separated from Guadeloupe to become collectivities, although they still use the same country code.
However, under the new present French numbering plan, direct dialling was introduced for calls between the DOMs (including collectivités territoriales) and metropolitan France, requiring only the '0' to be dialed, with the country code being used as a geographical area code. Despite this, the 33 country code was not adopted for calls to the DOMs from the rest of the world, because of technical difficulties with operators in neighbouring countries, for example, calls to Réunion from Mauritius would have to be routed via metropolitan France, adversely affecting voice quality as well as increasing call costs.
In 2001, telephone numbers in the DOMs changed to the same ten-digit format as metropolitan France, with new prefixes beginning with the digit '6' being adopted for mobile phone services:
Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin
- Fixed phone line: 0 590 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: 0 690 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: +590 590 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: +590 690 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: 0 594 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: 0 694 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: +594 594 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: +594 694 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: 0 596 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: 0 696 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: +596 596 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: +596 696 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: 0 262 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: 0 692 xx xx xx or 0 693 xx xx xx
- Fixed phone line: +262 262 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: +262 692 xx xx xx or +262 693 xx xx xx
- From France, including Mayotte: 0 269 xx xx xx
- From Comoros: xx xx xx
- Outside France and Comoros: +269 xx xx xx
On March 30, 2007, Mayotte adopted the +262 code, used by Réunion, and a new numbering range was introduced for mobile phones:
- From France:
- Fixed phone line: 0 269 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: 0 639 xx xx xx
- Outside France:
- Fixed phone line: +262 269 xx xx xx
- Mobile phone line: +262 639 xx xx xx
- From France: 0 508 xx xx xx
- Outside France: +508 xx xx xx
Calls to and from the territoires d'outre mer, however, require full international dialing, hence the international access code and country code must be used:
- Paris from New Caledonia: 00 33 1 xx xx xx xx
- New Caledonia from Paris: 00 687 xx xx xx
Andorra and Monaco
Until 17 December 1994, Andorra formed part of the French numbering plan, with numbers beginning with 628, after which the principality adopted the country code 376. Consequently, all calls from France to Andorra must be dialed in international format 00 376 plus the phone number, while calls from Andorra to France similarly must be dialed as 00 33 plus the phone number. On 21 June 1996, Monaco similarly adopted its own country code 377, replacing access from France (+33 93).
- Le téléphone refait son numéro. Fin 1996, la numérotation passera à dix chiffres, sans le 16 et le 19, Libération, 17 May 1995
- "ANNU.COM - L'annuaire inversé !". www.annu.com. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
- Médiaspouvoirs, Issues 1-5, Bayard-Presse, 1985, page 146
- Nouvelle numérotation, nouvelle communication: le succès sur toute la ligne, Simone Muet, Jacques Hintzy, Documentation française, 1986, page 78
- Nonconventional Energy, Ashok V. Desai, New Age International, 1990
- Téléphone : 10 chiffres pour préparer l'arrivée de la concurrence et des nouveaux services, Les Echos, 18 October 1996
- Cegetel inaugure le premier service grand public concurrent de France Télécom, Les Echos, 2 February 1998
- White Book, Volume 2, Part 1, International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee, International Telecommunication Union, 1969, page 29
- Yellow book: International telephone service : operation, International Telecommunication Union, International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee. Plenary Assembly International Telecommunication Union, 1981, page 87
- Cruising World, August 1991, page 103
- Nouvelle numérotation téléphonique et départements d'outre-mer, Sénat, 2 January 1997
- Hydrographic Review, Volume 73, International Hydrographic Bureau, 1996, page 179