Setting up a telephone in France

Written by on January 5, 2012 in Phones

Telephone in France

Setting up a telephone in France – the ins and outs of getting your phone line set up and choosing your phone service provider:

France Télécom –  a bit about Orange in France

Orange in France is the key brand of France Télécom, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. Since June 2006, Orange has been the single brand for mobile, internet, television and convergent offers in France, while fixed services are offered under the brand France Télécom.

Following a test phase in 2006, Orange in France has launched the pre-deployment of “Lafibre”, presenting its commercial services for certain districts in Paris, suburbs and large towns and cities in France. Fibre optic (FTTH fibre to the home) technology is being offered with speeds of up to 100 Mbps. In February 2010, Orange announced it is planning to invest €2 billion into the fibre optic network in France by 2015.

Telephones in France

In order to set up a France Télécom telephone line you’ll have to visit a branch of Orange and take relevant paperwork with you (a utility or tax bill for your French address and passport will suffice).  To find your nearest Orange shop use the local Pages Jaune directory or search online at and type in France Télécom in the “quoi, Qui search box.  It’s a relatively easy and quick process though of course there is an element of beaurocracy involved so make sure you have the correct documents or you’ll get nowhere.  Prices start from €16.00 per month for a fixed line and there are lots of packages including unlimited fixed rate calls overseas so discuss with the sales person what your requirements are to get the best deal.

Orange in France English speaking helpline

Alternatively you could try setting up the line over the phone and France Télécom do have an English speaking help line –  from France the number is  09 69 36 39 00 and from overseas  it’s 0033 969 36 39 00 – they’re open from 9.00 to 17.00 (closed 12.-14.00).  They are usually very helpful and we have found them happy to report faults or try to resolve them but on occasion they will pass you on to an engineer and its not guaranteed that they will speak English. If you’re happy to call the French speaking helpline the Freephone number is 1014 from France.

If you have a registered business in France there is a division of France Télécom which will help you on Freephone 1016.

You can use an English telephone and answerphone machine in France but you’ll need to change the phone jack plug.

Other phone providers in France

You don’t have to take a France Télécom package for phone calls – there are alternative providers in France as well as English speaking companies and it may be more economical to shop around.

Finding a telephone number in France

The Yellow Pages (Pages Jaunes) directory of business and White Pages (Pages Blanches) directory of private numbers are issued and generally delivered to your home by the Post Office each year.

You can also go on line to access Pages Jaunes which covers all regions rather than the region of delivery   Quoi, Qui = What, Who are you looking for and Ou – where.  Pages Blanches is also online at the same site – it’s shown in the box at the top of the page.

Being unlisted or ex-directory in France

You have two options if you want to be unlisted in the telephone directories.  The service is free and you can do it online.  If you do not want to be on the receiving end of numerous telephone cold calls – tell France telecom at the outset that you wish to be ex-directory. Faiing this you have other opportunities to have your number unlisted:

Option 1 – Liste Rouge removes details of your telephone number from both the directories printed by Orange and the online directory.  The service also covers a commitment not to release your number if requested.   Liste Rouge is on a French website, click “souscrire” to subscribe to the list, input your phone number, email address and a contact number (be careful not to click that you want a new phone number and click ”valider”

Option 2 – Liste Orange (called the anti-prospecting list) deletes details of your telephone number from the directories issues by Orange.  Click here to go to the French website to subscribe (as above)

For information on setting up the Internet in France.

For information on mobile phones in France.

Useful vocabulary

A land line phone Un téléphone fixe
A phone call Un appel
A local, national, international call Un appel  local, national, international
Voice mail Une messagerie vocale
A proof of identity Une pièce d’identité
A proof (of address) Un justificatif
Direct debit Le prélèvement automatique
To be ex-director Être sur la liste rouge



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