French Telecom companies: A guide for expats moving to France in 2024

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telecom in france

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telecom in france

Looking for a Mobile Phone or Internet Plan in France?

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You're moving to France and want to set up your mobile phone and get connected to Internet. But what are your options, and which supplier should you choose? To ease your decision, we here present the major actors on the Internet and phone markets in France.

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What types of broadband bundle can I find in France ?

The main phone and Internet providers in France are Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, and Free Mobile. They all offer not only internet and mobile phone plans, but also additional services such as television and fixed phone lines (collectively known as a "box" offer).

They all have their own phone and internet infrastructures, and coverage is fairly similar. They also all operate low-cost brands or offshoots, which include Sosh (Orange), and RED by SFR.

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Who are the largest Internet Mobile Phone Providers in France ?

Orange

Orange logo

(Pronounciation: "aw-rahnj") Formerly France Telecom, Orange is the historic provider for phone and Internet in France and is currently still the largest telecommunications operator in the country. The company also has the best 4G/5G network coverage. In addition to approximately 500 boutiques across France, Orange has an English-speaking customer service line, available at +33(0)9 69 36 39 00.

Orange offers internet, fixed and mobile phone plans, as well as its Orange television service. On rare occasions (zones non-dégroupées), Orange still owns the fixed phone line infrastructure, and customers within these zones must rent a line from Orange for their phone/internet. However, only 5% of landlines are in zones non-degroupées today. ADSL broadband plans are usually more expensive in these areas. Fibre optic subscrptions are not affected by this.

Orange also operates a low-cost offshoot, called Sosh. Sosh offers online-based customer service, contract-free mobile phone plans (sans engagement), as well as combined offers (mobile phone + Internet, mobile phone + Internet + television).

SFR

SFR logo

(pronunciation: "ess-eff-air") SFR (SociĂ©tĂ© française du radiotĂ©lĂ©phone) was created in 1987, and counts more than 20 million mobile phone customers, and around 6 million broadband customers. 

SFR offers internet, fixed and mobile phone line plans, as well as television and video games. The company was the first to offer 5G coverage in France. SFR operates a low-cost offshoot called RED by SFR, which also offers internet and mobile phone plans, fixed phone lines, all contract-free (sans engagement). More about how to contact SFR in this article.

Free Mobile

Free Mobile logo

(Pronunciation: "free") Free is a major mobile provider in France, established in 2009 by the telecommunications company Iliad. It is the third-largest telecommunications provider in France, after Orange and SFR, counting some 14 million mobile phone customers and 7 million broadband customers. 

Free offers contract-free mobile phone plans, Internet plans, and multiple combined offers (Internet + fixed line + mobile phone, Internet + fixed line + television, Internet + fixed line + multimedia). Free is primarily online-based but does now operate a few physical boutiques throughout France.

Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom logo

(Pronunciation: "Bweeg Tel-eh-com") Bouygues Telecom is a subsidiary of the French industrial group Bouygues, created in 1994. It has about 15 million mobile phone customers and 4.9 million broadband customers. Bouygues Telecom offers mobile phone plans (including 5G coverage), Internet, fixed phone lines, and television plans.

Bouygues Telecom, like all the other main telecommunications providers in France, operates a low-cost brand, called B&You. B&You offers contract-free mobile phone plans (sans engagement), online-based customer service, and combined offers with other Bouygues plans for Internet, a fixed phone line and/or television.

Staying in France for less than 3 months?For a short stay in France, no need to sign up for postpaid mobile phone plans. It is worth buying a pay-as-you-go deal instead. Having a French SIM Card will enable you to get a French phone number and make phone calls from France to a foreign country at an affordable price.


Mobile offers available on 20/06/2024
Offer Included services Price
sfr
Forfait SFR 20 Go 5G
Valid on 17/06/2024
  •  20 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 20 Go in EU/DOM
  • No contract
€15.99/month
đź“ž 09 77 55 72 27Subscribe online
orange
Forfait Orange 100Go 5G
Discount until 21/08/2024
  •  100 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 100 Go in EU/DOM
  • English-speaking customer support
  • No contract
€16.99/mois for 6 months
Then â‚¬31.99/month
Subscribe online

Rappel gratuit Orange
orange
Forfait Orange 2h 20Go
Discount until 21/08/2024
  •  20 Go data 4G in France
  • 2h calls calls/SMS/MMS
  • 20 Go in EU/DOM
  • English-speaking customer support
  • No contract
€16.99/mois for 6 months
Then â‚¬19.99/month
Subscribe online

Rappel gratuit Orange
sfr
Forfait SFR 200 Go 5G
Valid on 17/06/2024
  •  200 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 100 Go in EU/DOM
  • No contract
€19.99/month
đź“ž 09 77 55 72 27Subscribe online
free
Forfait Free 300 Go 5G
Valid on 17/06/2024
  •  300 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 35 Go in EU/DOM
  • No contract
€19.99/month
Subscribe online
bouygues
Série spéciale 130Go 5G
Valid on 17/06/2024
  •  130 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 50 Go in EU/DOM
  • No contract
€19.99/month
đź“ž 09 77 55 72 27Subscribe online
orange
Forfait Orange 170Go 5G
Discount until 21/08/2024
  •  170 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 100 Go in EU/DOM
  • English-speaking customer support
  • No contract
€22.99/mois for 6 months
Then â‚¬34.99/month
Subscribe online

Rappel gratuit Orange
orange
Série Limitée Orange 120Go 5G
Valid on 06/06/2024
  •  120 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 50 Go in EU/DOM
  • English-speaking customer support
  • No contract
€24.99/month
Subscribe online

Rappel gratuit Orange
sfr
Forfait SFR 60Go 5G + mobile
Valid on 17/06/2024
  •  60 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 60 Go in EU/DOM
  • 24-month contract
€27.99/month
đź“ž 09 77 55 72 27Subscribe online
orange
Série Spéciale 50Go 5G + mobile
Valid on 06/06/2024
  •  50 Go data 5G in France
  • Unlimited  calls/SMS/MMS
  • 50 Go in EU/DOM
  • English-speaking customer support
  • 24-month contract
€28.99/month
Subscribe online

Rappel gratuit Orange

Who are the cheapest Internet & Mobile Phone Providers in France ?

Sosh

Sosh logo

(Pronunciation: "sosh") Sosh is the low-cost brand for Orange, created in 2011. Sosh offers contract-free mobile phone plans, contract mobile phone plans, package offers (mobile phone + Internet, mobile phone + Internet + television), and customer rewards for referrals.

Sosh also sells mobile phones.

NordNet

NordNet logo

(Pronunciation: "norh-net") NordNet is one of the major satellite internet providers operating in France. Founded in 1995, the company is now a subsidiary of major telecommunications provider Orange. NordNet offers satellite internet plans, fibre and ADSL internet plans.

Eligibility for these plans depends on the location, and many plans include a fixed phone line. NordNet also offers internet security plans.

RED by SFR

RED by SFR logo

(Pronunciation: "hredd by ess-eff-air") RED by SFR is SFR's low-cost offshoot, created in 2011. RED by SFR offers contract-free (sans engagement) internet and postpaid mobile phone plans, as well as the option for packages including fixed phone lines and/or television.

RED by SFR also offers advantages for customer referrals (one month free - valued at €19.99/month) and has a partnership with Citadium (10% off on purchases when you present your RED by SFR bill or the RED&Moi application). RED by SFR also sells mobile phones.

Auchan Telecom

Coriolis logo

(Pronunciation: "aw-sh-an te-le-com") Auchan Telecom is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) owned by  Bouygues Telecom. The brand sells mobile phone plans (with and without contracts) and targets a family audience with affordable prices. All mobile plans are available in Auchan supermarkets accross France. Auchan Telecom no longer sells internet plans.

Cdiscount

Coriolis logo

(Pronunciation: "ce-discount") Cdiscount is the latest  Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on the market. The company offers low-price mobile plans from 2€ and relies on the Bouygues Telecom network. Subscriptions are available online only.

Coriolis

Coriolis logo

(Pronunciation: "corh-rhi-oh-lees") Coriolis is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) founded in 1999. The company operates on SFR's network and belongs to Altice France. Coriolis offers mobile phone plans (with and without contracts, including plans that include phones) as well as Internet plans (ADSL and fibre optic FTTH). Coriolis also has a network of 160 stores across France.

The Coriolis customer service is online-based, and customer advantages for recommending the company. Coriolis also offers special deals targeted to seniors and the hard of hearing.

Lebara Mobile

Lebara Mobile logo

(Pronunciation: "lay-bah-rah maw-beel") Lebara Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that relies on the Bouygues Telecom network to function. It was founded in order to help immigrants stay in touch with their family all over the world, making it what is called an "ethnic operator". In addition to offering 5 types of mobile phone plans and a prepaid SIM card. Customer service is available online, by phone or by mail.

Prixtel

Prixtel logo

(Pronunciation: "prheextel") Prixtel is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) created in 2004 that relies on SFR for its network coverage. The company offers mobile phone plans (sans engagement) and sells telephones and tablets online.

The pricing strategy is different from traditional pratice with a consumption-based pricing. In other words, Prixtel charges customers according to their consumption levels. Prixtel is also an eco-friendly company. For instance, for every phone purchased, a tree is planted and their mobile plans are CO2 neutral.

La Poste Mobile

Logo La Poste mobile

(Pronunciation: "lah puh-st maw-beel") La Poste Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that relies on SFR for its network coverage. Formerly known as Debitel (also Simpleo, & Simplicime), the company was created in 1991 but is currently shared between SFR and La Poste. The company offers mobile phone plans (pre and postpaid, contract-free). Customer service is available online, by phone, by mail or in any one of the post offices throughout France.

 

NRJ mobile

NRG Mobile logo

(Pronunciation: "energy mo-beel") NRJ Mobile, created in 2005, is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that relies on Bouygues Telecom's network. NRJ Mobile offers prepaid and postpaid mobile phone plans in 4G, including contract-free plans (sans engagement), and discounts on the purchase of phones (with contract plans). It also sells an internet plan, called "Box NRJ Mobile", which relies on the 4G network of Bouygues Telecom and includes 250 Go of internet data for 29.99€.

Syma Mobile

NRG Mobile logo

(Pronunciation: "si-ma") Syma Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), created in 2005. The company belongs to Symacom and has access to the SFR's network. Syma offers 4 mobile plans and prepaid French SIM cards for a wide and international audience.

Glossary of Mobile Phone-Related Terms
French PhraseEnglish DefinitionFrench PhraseEnglish Definition
ForfaitMobile phone planPrépayéPrepaid
EngagementPlan with a contractSans engagementPlan with no contract
Forfait bloquéBlocked planRechargeRecharge credit
Appels illimitésUnlimited calling time24/2424/7
Tous opérateursAll operatorsFactureBill
France métropolitaineContinental FranceDurée de validitéValidity period
SouscrireSubscribeRĂ©silierCancel

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