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Orange (formerly France Telecom), Mobile Phone and Internet Provider in France
Orange (formerly France Télécom S.A) is the historic telecommunications operator in France, and remains the largest actor in the French telecommunications market to this day. Find everything you need to know about Orange here, including available offers and services, how to sign up, customer service, how to file a complaint, and more.
Orange (formerly France Télécom) is the largest telecommunications provider in France, and offers a wide variety of internet and mobile phone offers.
France Telecom was created in 1988, out of the division of the French administration of postal services and telecommunications. Originally state-owned, it was privatised in 1998 (though the French government maintains a 27% stake in the company). The company acquired the UK mobile phone company Orange in 2000, and changed its name to Orange in 2013.
Orange (formerly France Telecom) is present in over 29 countries throughout the world.
Orange is present in mobile phone markets throughout the world (with a focus on Europe and Africa). In France Orange offers Internet plans (Livebox Zen, Livebox Play, Livebox Jet), mobile phone plans (M6 Mobile, Origami Zen, Origami Play, Origami Jet), prepaid mobile phone credit, as well as multiple package offers (e.g. Internet + fixed phone line + television).
As the historic telecommunications provider, Orange still has a monopoly over telephone and Internet lines in certain areas (zones non-dégroupées).
As a response to the launching of Free mobile to the French mobile phone market, Orange launched a low-cost brand called Sosh in 2011, through which it sells commitment-free (sans engagement) mobile phone plans.
Orange (France Telecom) by numbers (2015):
- 260 million customers (globally)
- 157 000 employees
- Present in the mobile phone markets in 28 countries
- Over 8 million mobile phone customers with 4G coverage in France
Orange Internet and Mobile Phone Offers
Orange offers a variety of options for mobile phone and Internet plans, both with and without a contract.
Orange Mobile Phone Plans With a Contract
Orange offers a wide variety of mobile phone plans, with options ranging from very basic to full-service. Orange cell phone plans include:
- Calling time ranging from 2 hours per month to unlimited calling time
- Unlimited texts to French mobile phone numbers, some plans offer SMS to international numbers as well
- Data allowances ranging from 50 Mb to 20 Gb per month
- Access to Orange free Wifi hotspots
- 4G coverage
- Some plans include access to Orange TV and to 10 Go storage on the Orange cloud
- Some plans include free calls to more than 100 international destinations (calling time ranging from 3 hours per year to unlimited)
- Some plans include calling time, SMS/MMS, and data allowances from abroad (Europe)
- Prices ranging from 6.99€ to 89.99€ per month
As prices tend to change quite regularly (limited time offers, etc), check out Orange's website for the latest offers. Orange has four principal options for mobile phone plans with a contract, all of which come with a 12 month commitment:
- M6 Mobile: limited calling time & data
- Origami Zen: unlimited calling time, limited data
- Origami Play: unlimited calling time, more generous data allowances (4 Go - 8 Go)
- Origami Jet: unlimited calling time, free calls to 100 international destinations & free calls to mobile phone numbers in USA/Canada
Sosh: Orange's contract-free mobile phone offers
Orange offers low-cost, contract-free (sans engagement) mobile phone plans via its low-cost brand, Sosh. Note that customer service with Sosh is online-only.
- Sosh plans feature
- Unlimited SMS to numbers within France & the French Overseas Departments and Territories
- Access to Orange free Wifi hotspots
- Extensive 4G coverage
- Data ranging from 50 Mb to 10 Gb, including the possibility to use data abroad
- International calling options (e.g. unlimited calling to up to 52 international destinations, and/or unlimited calling to mobile phone numbers from Europe, USA, and Canada)
- Prices ranging from 4.99€ to 24.99€ per month
While Sosh plans do not include a physical phone, customers can include a phone option for a monthly surcharge. Note that you may need to pay a cancellation fee to cover the cost of the phone if you add a phone to your plan and end the plan before paying for the phone.
Orange Internet Offers
Orange has one of the best-developed fiber optic networks in France.
Thanks to its position of historic provider, Orange offers the best-developed ADSL networks, VDSL2 and FTTH (fiber to the home) networks. The company offers three package options of Internet + TV + fixed telephone line that ranges from fairly basic (Livebox Zen), standard (Livebox Play) to premium (Livebox Jet). As of May 19, 2016, Livebox Jet and Livebox Play customers benefit from the new Livebox modem 4 and the new TV decoder 4, which are compatible with Ultra HD, Wi-Fi and Livebox storage services (1TB). All plans come with a 24 hour guaranteed service that Orange will find a solution to your Internet-related problem in 24 hours and are available for ADSL/VDSL broadband connections as well as fiber optic (speeds up to 1 Gb/s).
Livebox Zen includes Internet + fixed telephone line + television and includes:
- Unlimited free calls to fixed lines in France and the French Overseas Departments & Territories, and to 100 international destinations, as well as free calls to mobile phones in the US and Canada
- 160 television channels
- Access to 10 Gb storage on the Orange cloud
Like Livebox Zen, Livebox Play comes as a package Internet + television + fixed telephone line and includes:
- 160 television channels (40 HD)
- Unlimited free calls to fixed and mobile phone lines in France and the French Overseas Departments & Territories, as well as to the US and Canada. It also includes free calls to land lines in 100 international destinations
- Access to 10 Gb storage on the Orange cloud
Also a package Internet + television + fixed telephone line offer, Livebox Jet includes:
- 160 television channels (40 HD)
- Access to 100 Gb storage on the Orange cloud
- Unlimited free calls to fixed and mobile phone numbers in France, the French Overseas Departments & Territories, 16 European countries, 11 Asian countries, as well as to USA & Canada, and to fixed lines in 100 international destinations
- Additional security/firewall protection
- Free modem installation
Customer reviews for Orange, as is the case for all telecommunications operators in France, are mixed. Here is a quick summary of what customers have been reporting online about Orange:
- Effient customer service: customers reported receiving equipment (SIM cards, modems) quickly
- Good cellphone coverage: Orange currently has the best-developped 4G network
- Problems with after-sales service: some customers reported difficulties reaching customer service when they had problems with their Internet modem
Orange English-Speaking Customer Service
Orange is currently the only telecommunications provider in France to offer an English-speaking customer helpline, available at 09 69 36 39 00, or at +33969363900 when dialed from abroad. You may also be able to find someone who speaks English in one of their boutiques, but there is no guarantee.
Contact Orange Customer Service
The following numbers, unless noted otherwise, are available Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can find a full explanation of how to get in touch with Orange in France in our guide to contacting Orange.
|Customer Service||Phone Number|
|New Customers||1014 (free number)|
|Technical question (mobile phones)||1013 (free number)|
|Customer service (when calling from abroad)||+33 9 69 39 39 00|
Some numbers may be charged when dialed from a mobile phone.
Orange Mailing Address
You can file a complaint to Orange online (in your personal space on Orange's website) or by post:
Service National Consommateurs Orange
33734 BORDEAUX Cedex 9
Make sure to specify whether the complaint concerns your mobile phone, Internet, or fixed phone line.
Find an Orange Boutique
There are hundreds of Orange boutiques throughout France, and you should be able to find a physical shop fairly easily in most French cities and towns. Check here to find the Orange shop in your area.
Orange Network Coverage
According the most recent surveys done by the French telecommunications regulator ARCEP, Orange's network coverage is slightly above that of other operators for 2G and 3G coverage (Orange covers 99.9% of the population for 2G and 99% of the population for 3G). Orange's 4G network is the most developed in France, covering 76% of the population in 2015.
Orange's service quality is slightly superior to that of the other major mobile phone operators. Find out more about the ARCEP survey.
Subscribing to an Internet or Mobile Phone Plan With Orange
Signing up for a Mobile Phone Plan With Orange
For English-speaking customer service, call Selectra at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 7:30 pm) to help you sign up for an Internet or mobile phone plan.
You can sign up for a phone plan online, over the phone (1014), or in an Orange boutique.
- You will need to provide the following to sign up for a mobile phone plan with Orange
- Your contact information: name, valid email address
- Your address: street address, apartment number, zip code
- Your banking information (RIB): you need to have a French bank account already set up before you sign up for a postpaid mobile phone plan. Orange may also ask for your bank card (carte bancaire) information, which is used for activation fees/deposit.
Signing up for an Orange Internet Plan
You can sign up for an Internet plan with Orange online, by calling 3106, or in an Orange Boutique. To sign up for an Internet plan with Orange, you will need to:
- Test your phone line to determine your broadband/fiber optic eligibility
- Provide full contact details: name, phone number, email address
- Provide your full address: street address, apartment number, zip code - including directions to
- Provide a proof of property (justificatif de domicile), such as an electricity or gas bill, or water bill
- Provide your banking information (RIB): you must have a French bank account in order to sign up for an Internet plan. Free may also ask for your bank card (carte bancaire) information, for any activation fees/deposit.
How to Cancel an Orange Subscription
To cancel an Internet, mobile phone plan, or prepaid phone card, you can either call Orange customer service (1013 for mobile phones, 3900 for Livebox), or send a cancellation letter (lettre de résiliation). You can also cancel your plan in your online personal space on Orange's website.
Orange Service Résiliation
33734 Bordeaux Cedex 9
Note that the cancellation letter must be sent by recommended post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception). The lettre de résiliation (cancellation letter) that you send to Orange must contain:
- Your full name (first name, family name)
- Your account number (identifiant abonné)
- Your account ID (numéro de Ligne de l’abonné)
Orange will cancel your plan within 10 days of having received the letter, or in some cases, on the last day of the month. You will know when Orange receives your cancellation letter because you will have sent it through recommended post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception). Once they have received your cancellation request, Orange will notify you if any equipment (e.g. Internet modem) needs to be returned and will direct you accordingly.
You can cancel mobile phone plans online in your personal space. Make sure that your email address is saved in your personal space before cancelling so that you can access your account after it has been cancelled (in case you need to access old bills, to unlock your phone, etcetera).
Orange Cancellation Letter Template
For full details regarding how to cancel your Orange mobile phone or Internet plan, we recommend checking out the following articles:
- How to cancel an Internet plan in France
- How to cancel a mobile phone plan in France
- La Lettre de Resiliation
You can also use this free Orange cancellation letter template, and adjust it as needed. This example is for the cancellation of an Internet plan with Orange.
City, Postal Code
Service Clients Internet Orange
Your City, The Date
Obj: Résiliation de mon abonnement Orange
Je vous informe, par la présente lettre recommandée, de ma volonté de résilier mon abonnement internet Orange désigné sous le numéro de contrat [Your account number].
En effet, devant prochainement déménager à l’étranger, je n’aurai plus la possibilité de bénéficier de vos services à l’adresse de ma nouvelle habitation. Vous retrouverez ci-joint les justificatifs de cette situation.
J’ai conscience que je vais devoir vous rendre le matériel Livebox. Ma période d’engagement s’achève le [Date your plan ends]. Néanmoins, mon contrat devra prendre fin le [Date you wish to cancel your plan].
Je vous demande de m’envoyer une facture de clôture de compte ainsi qu’une confirmation écrite m’indiquant la date effective de résiliation à l’adresse suivante [Your new address].
Je vous remercie par avance de faire le nécessaire pour accéder à ma demande de résiliation et vous adresse mes sincères salutations.
Keeping Your Phone Number
To keep your phone number when changing providers you need to find out your RIO (Relevé d'Identité Opérateur - a unique identifying number that is assigned to your phone number). This is a 12-digit number that you can find by dialing 3179 (to automatically receive your RIO in a text), or in your personal space online. You then will need to communicate this number to your new provider - they will take care of the rest (transferring your number, cancelling service your old provider)!
A brief history of Orange/France Telecom
1988: The birth of France Telecom
As was the case for electricity and gas in France, the telecommunications industry was nationalised post-WWII, and followed a centralised structure for several decades. France Telecom was created in line with a European directive to open telecommunications (and other formerly public services) to competition.
After its creation in 1988, France Telecom became independent public operator (exploitant autonome de droit public) in 1990. The company was privatised and entered the stock market in 1997, and enjoyed considerable successes on the bullish stock markets of 1997 and 1998.
In 1990, Pactel Corporation, British Aerospace, Millicom, and Matra created a consortium called Microtel Communications Ltd to compete against Vodafone in the UK. This consortium changed its name to Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd and entered the UK market in 1994. Orange went public and entered the stock market in 1996.
Orange was acquired by the German conglomerate Mannesmann AG in 1999, which then caused Vodafone to make a hostile takeover bid for the German company. Vodafone acquired Mannesman AG in 2000, but was required to divest Orange, as EU regulations did not allow the company to hold two mobile phone licenses.
France Telecom purchased Orange plc from Vodafone later that year, which, along with several other purchases, made helped turn the company into the fourth largest operator worldwide. The France Telecom Mobile brands (Itinéris, OLA, Mobicarte) took on the Orange brand in 2001.
By 2002 France Telecom was facing crippling debts with share prices rapidly. In addition to the privatisation of the company in 2004 (the French state still owns about a quarter of the company), one outcome of its following recovery plan was to converge many of its activities under a single brand, Orange. This policy began in 2006, with all of France Telecom’s activities progressively taking on the "Orange" brand name, until the entire company officially became known as Orange in 2013. A slight exception to this, however, was fixed telephone lines, which remained under the "France Telecom" name until 2012.