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You can soon keep your landline number wherever you move to in France

From January 1, people who move across geographical telephone landline zones in mainland France will be able to request to keep their number

The new system will allow people to keep their number even if they move across zone lines Pic: Nerza / Shutterstock

People in France who move home will soon be able to keep their landline number even if they move to another part of the country, which has a different prefix code.

Telecoms regulator Arcep (l'Autorité de régulation des télécoms) has said that from January 1, 2023, the geographic constraints of numbers beginning 01, 02, 03, 04 and 05 will be relaxed. 

Previously, people who moved home were able to keep their landline phone number but only if they moved within the same numberic zone.

France is divided into five main geographic phone number zones


How will it work? 

For example, from January 1, a resident of Toulouse whose phone number begins with a 05, who moves to Rennes, will be able to keep their number, even though the normal Rennes prefix code is 02.

A resident in Rennes who sets up a new connection can also request that their number not start with 02, if they wish, Arcep said.

The rules will apply to the numbers above only and only within metropolitan France (including Corsica).

Why the change?

The shift has been made possible due to changing technology. 

Arcep explained that the generalisation of communications via the Internet (or voice over IP) for fixed-line calls “has removed geographical constraints that existed before”.

It said that the change responds to a practical need for individuals and an economic need for companies. 

For example, under the current system, if a company moves premises, sometimes even only by a few kilometres, it could lose its phone number, which could prove a risk. This will no longer be the case.

Anyone who wishes to keep their number can request the change via Arcep on a special page here.

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