All European Countries got a 2-digit or a 3-digit country code
As France was economically the most powerful
The French Numbering plan
came into service october 25 1996.
small anecdote: the editor of whitepages.fr remembers the date very well ...
at the time working as a sales agent for the American Call Back company MTC
... on october 25 1995 the phone switch occured at 11pm french time ... he had to answer test calls all night
Heide Osterlye Collins from the phonecompany in Petaluma, California
was verifiying if Call Back switches had been re programmed correctly in the US)
It is a 10-digit numbering scheme
where all phonenumbers, fixed and mobile
have the same lenght.
all French phonenumbers have
9-digits after the country code +33 x xx xx xx xx
or 10-digits if dialed from inside France
(including a 0 before the 9-digit number) 0x xx xx xx xx
Phonenumbers indicate the geographic location
01 for Paris and Paris Area (Ile de France)
02 for Northwest France including Normandy and Brittany
03 for Northeast France including Alsace and Lorraine
04 for Southeast France including the Côte d´Azur
05 for Southwest France including Aquitaine
Mobile phones start with 06
since mai 2010 some new Mobile phones will start with 07
Free Phones (Numeros Verts)
and Extra Charged Phones (Numeros surtaxés) start with 08
0800 xx xx xx numers are free of charges
numbers from 0810 to 0899 apply extra charges
Voice over IP Phone (Lifebox) start with 09
These phonenumbers appear when France Telecom subscribers use a "Lifebox" to place a call.
The 09 numbers are confusing as they do no longer indicate the geographic location in France.
The old numbering plan
in the old numbering plan valid until 1996
France was divided into 2 zones
Paris Area (ile de France)
and the rest of France
to dial from one zone to the other one had to dial 16
followed by a 8-digit number
to call to another country one had to dial 19 (instead of 00)
until december 17 1994 Andorra
and until june 21 1996 Monaco
was part of the French phonesystem
and both countries also had the country code +33
due to the reunification of Germany,
the country code of the DDR, East Germany +37
had become available.
It was used by the International Telecom Union to create
10 new country codes
which are mostly located in eastern Europe.
Andorra received the country code +376,
Monaco which applied 2 years later the country code +377,
San Marino received the country code +378,
and the Vatican that was the next to apply +379
small anecdote: Prince Rainer of Monaco was very keen to get Monaco out of the French phone system
as he wanted to do everything possible to guarantee Monaco´s independance from France after his times.
The editor of whitepages.fr happened to be in Monaco in june 1996
and the concierge of the Hotel Hermitage explained all these aspects of the phone changes
He had just bought his first GSM Phone a Sony CM-DX 1000
and it was a special feeling to travel with a phone in the hands .