You are here

Setting Up a Fixed Telephone Line in France: How-to

Looking for a Mobile Phone or Internet Plan in France?Call our English-speaking advisors, available Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, to find the plan and provider that meets your needs:
 
free callback or send us an email

Find out how to set up a fixed telephone line for your new home in France in our guide.

  • Landlines in France: The basics
  • Many providers offer fixed lines as part of package deals (Internet + fixed telephone line)
  • Only two providers a landline-only service (SFR & Orange)
  • Getting a fixed line is cheaper when through an Internet package

How the Telephone Market Works in France

Fixed phone providers France

The major telecommunications providers offer fixed lines with Internet packages

While Orange (formerly France Télécom) is the historic telecommunications provider, other operators exist (SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Free and others) and can provide landline telephone service, usually as part of a package plan.

In fact, if you are looking to start Internet service in France, you'll find that most Internet offers come with a landline telephone number as well. 

While most Internet providers offer packages that include Internet + landline, only SFR and Orange offer telephone-only plans.

How to Get a French Landline: Steps

You Want Only a Landline

 Step 1: Choose Your Provider and Plan

Only SFR and Orange offer a fixed landline (without Internet). Both providers offer monthly plans with varying amounts of calling time, and prices range from €20 to €40 euros per month.

Fixed Telephone Line Options
Operator Offer Monthly Rate Additional Information
Orange Mon Optimal 30 19.99€
  • Free calls to landlines across continental France and 100 international destinations
  • Free calls to mobile phones in continental France and the Overseas Departments and Territories (e.g. Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc)
  • Any unused minutes are passed to the next month
  • Optional add-ons: Caller ID; Calling Signal; Call Transfer
  • Sans engagement: no contract, no cancellation fees
Mon Optimal 2h 22.99€
Mon Optimal 4h 27.99€
Mon Optimal Illimité (Unlimited Calling Time) 39.99€
SFR SFR Ligne Fixe 2h 19.90€
  • Voice Messaging, Three-Way Calls, Automatic Call-Backs, Calling Signal, Call Transfer all available
  • Free calls to landlines across continental France and 100 international destinations
  • Free calls to mobile phones in continental France and the Overseas Departments and Territories (e.g. Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc) only available for the 5h and unlimited calls options
  • Sans engagement: no contract, no cancellation fees
  • Optional add-on: Caller ID
  • One bill every two months
  • Telephone not included
  • Activation takes approximately 15 days
SFR Ligne Fixe 3h 28.90€
SFR Ligne Fixe 5h 30.90€
SFR Ligne Fixe Illimité (Unlimited Calling Time) 30.90€

You can find a detailed breakdown of rates and tariffs for SFR here, and for Orange here both in French.

Our TakeIf broadband is available in your area, we recommend choosing a package offer, even if you don't use Internet very often. In most cases, a simple "box" (Internet + fixed phone line) plan is cheaper than choosing a fixed line alone. Call our English-speaking customer service at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 7:30 pm) to find an Internet + phone plan that meets your needs.

 Step 2: Install a Fixed Telephone Line

You will need to provide the following in order to open an account for a fixed telephone line:

  • Your full address, including apartment number/directions (e.g. 4th floor, door on the left) and postal code
  • Proof of identification: photocopy of your passport, birth certificate, etc.
  • Proof of address (justificatif de domicile): an electricity bill (from within the past three months), tax bill, or rent receipt (quittance de loyer)

Account Activation Charge

You will have to pay a one-time installation/line activation charge for your fixed phone line, regardless of which provider you choose. Both SFR and Orange charge 55€ for line activation. If you are moving to a new home that has never had a telephone line, you may need to pay an additional 69€ for a technician to come to your property and install a line.

Opening a Phone Line as Part of an Internet Plan

Check to make sure your home is in a zone dégroupée to confirm what Internet options are available for you

 Step 1: Determine whether your phone line has been cut or is still active

Istallation of an active phone line may not be necessary if you are getting an Internet + phone package if the previous occupants moved out within six months or less. Phone lines tend to be disconnected in an unoccupied property after six months. If this is the case for your home, or if you are moving to a new home that has never had a phone line, you will need to have your phone line opened (in French: ouvertures de ligne or construction de ligne).

 Step 2: Choose a provider and plan

Any one of the major providers (Orange, SFR, Free Mobile, Bouygues Telecom) can activate your line, though the price and average delay depends on the supplier:

Line Activation Charge & Delay
Operator Line Activation Charge Average Delay
Orange 55€ + 69€ for the technician's appointment 60 days
SFR 49€ 28 days
Bouygues Telecom 39.99€ 36 days
Free 39.99€ 45 days

You may be able to have your line activated by the parent company if you choose a plan with a low cost brand (such as RED by SFR, Sosh, or B&You). The operator with which you purchase a plan will be the one that opens your phone line (it is not possible to have one operator open the line and to sign up for service with another).

You should check what type of internet plan you are eligible for before signing up (i.e. ADSL or fiber optic). Call our English-speaking customer service at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am-7.30pm) to check what type of Internet is available in your home.

Step 3: Sign up for a package plan

You will need to provide the following information to set up an Internet + fixed phone line package in France:

  • Your full address, including apartment number/directions (e.g. 4th floor, door on the left) and postal code
  • Proof of identification: photocopy of your passport, birth certificate, etc.
  • Proof of address (justificatif de domicile): an electricity bill (from within the past three months), tax bill, or rent receipt (quittance de loyer)
  • Your banking information (RIB): you need to have a French bank account already set up before you sign up for an Internet package plan. Some suppliers may also ask for your bank card (carte bancaire) information, which is used for activation fees/deposit.

Opening a Landline for Your Second (or Holiday) Home

Orange offers a secondary residence (résidence secondaire) telephone plan, which costs 17.96€ per month (not including the monthly plan for calling time) and can be suspended at any time for up to one year (12 months), at a 5.99€ suspension charge (frais de suspension). Reactivation is free. You must already be an Orange customer in order to have this secondary residence telephone line, and you must provide some supporting documentation (pièces justificatives) that proves that it is a secondary home (such as proof of residence abroad, or an insurance contract or a tax document indicating the main address)

Calling in France

To call out of France dial the exit code 00 followed by country code and number. For example, to call England, dial 0044... To call into France from another country dial entry code 33 followed by the French number (omitting the 0).

French Area Codes

The typical format for a French phone number is 0X XX XX XX XX and French people usually state phone numbers as a sequence of five double-digit numbers (e.g. 09 42 51 81 06 = "zero neuf, quarante deux, cinquante-un, quatre vingt-un, zero six"). The first digit (after the 0) for a landline number will tell you from where the number is located. "06" and "07" are cellphone numbers - which is good to know if anyone asks for your zero six!

French phone number map

01: Paris
02: Northwest of France (Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Nantes, Orleans, Rouen)
03: Northeast of France (Boulogne, Calais, Dijon, Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Reims, Troyes)
04: Southeast of France (Cannes, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, St. Etienne, Toulon, Valence)
05: Southwest of France (Bordeaux, Limoges, Lourdes, Toulouse)
06: Cellphone
07: Cellphone
09: VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers
495: Corsica

Find out more important numbers in France in our guide

Glossary of Telephone Phone-Related Terms
French Phrase English Definition French Phrase English Definition
Ligne fixe Fixed telephone line/Landline Sans engagement Phone plan without a contract, meaning you can end it at any time without penalty
Justificatif de domicile Proof of residence Quittance de loyer Rent receipt
Ouverture/Construction de ligne Line activation/installation of a new telephone line Résidence secondaire Secondary residence
Pieces justificatives Accompanying documentation RIB French bank account details
Carte bancaire Bank card Frais de suspension Contract suspension charge