French Phone system - Systeme de Numerotation en France
Phonebook of France.com
Phonebook of the World.com
+33
White Pages.fr
 

Country Code for France

International Direct Dialing was set up in two steps.
Before 1960 one could not call France without going through
a Telephone Opérator.

1960 a first Pan European and Mediterranian
Direct Dialing system was established.
The system was a precursor for today's World phone system.

Two digit country codes were attributed to 40 countries.
Codes started with +20 for Poland and ended with +69 for Russia

Jacques Marette

Jacques Marette (1922 - 1984),
later the French Minister des Postes et Telecommunication
understood the strategic importance
to get a very easy to remember
and very beautiful sounding country code.
He managed to obtain the double 3, +33 county code for France.
(If anybody should know more details
of how Marette was able to get the +33 code
please contact the Phonebook of the World, as the editor
of this article would be interested, mail "c at vb.com".)

1964 the phone system was extended to the world.
9 World Telecom Zones were created:
+1 for North America
+2 for Africa
+3 and +4 for Europe
+5 for South America
+6 for South Asia
+7 for Russia
+8 for North Asia
+9 for the Middle East.

 
Country codes were attributed in a Geneva
Conference organized
by the International Telecommunications Union - ITU.


Country Codes Europe

6 of the European Countries
that already had a double digit country code starting with 3 or 4
were able to keep it.
+30 for Greece
+33 for France
+39 for Italy
+44 for the United Kingdom
+46 for Sweden
+49 for West Germany

Thus France was able to kept it's prestigeous +33
and the UK it's +44 country code.

In most cases Latin countries have a country code +3x.
Germanic countries have a country code +4x
Larger countries have a 2-digit code,
smaller countries a 3-digit code.

Only two more countries have a symetric double
digit code, Brazil +55 and Thailand +66

small anecdote:
In the case of Brazil,
it is possible that Jacques Marette,
in the meantime French PTT Minister helped
to get it's prestigeous Brazilian +55 phone code.

He wanted to make a personal favor
to Aimée de Heeren, a beautiful Brazilian woman
that had contacted him with this request.

Aimée de Heeren and her friend Coco Chanel
had the crazy idea that +55 would be a lucky number ...
As a result Aimée de Heeren,
a legedary person in the history of Brazil
did everything she could to influce the attribution
of the phone code. More in the history section
of the Brazilian Whitepages, Whitepages.com.br


The city of Paris honored Marette by naming a square in the 15th arrondissement,
place Jacques Marette
.


You find all the country codes of the world on the homepage
of the Phonebook of the World  (just below the World Map).








French Numbering Plan
came into service 1996 October 18.

small anecdote:
the editor of Whitepages.fr
remembers the moment very well ...
at the time he was working as a sales agent
for the American Call Back company MTC.
The Callback office was located at the Cybercafe de Paris,
the first Internet Cafe in Paris,
today the expo Center Cremerie de Paris.


... 1996 October 18 the phone switch occured at 11pm french time ... he had to answer test calls all night
Heide Osterlye Collins
from the MTC 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.





 
  Old French 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 1994 December 17 Andorra
and until 1996 june 21 Monaco
were 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 .
.


 

 
 
     
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