French Communication

The French Communication sector has progressed considerably, to become one of the countries at the vanguard of telephony.


Very often, you can still find public telephones that are operable with cards (however, with the arrival of mobile phones they are becoming increasingly scarce). You can buy cards in the tobacconist or at the post office, which give you 50 or 120 minutes according to their price.

Since 1996, a new call system is used in France. You have to dial the prefix 00 to call abroad. All the telephone numbers have ten numbers: the eight local numbers, preceded by 01 (Ile de France), 02 (Nord-Ouest), 03 (Nord-Est), 04 (Sud-Est), 05 (Sud-Ouest). This ten numbers numbering also applies for fax and mobile phones (06 for the mobile).

Radio and television

An integral component of French Communication, television plays an important role for the people of France. France offers an array of channels with 6 major broadcasters. “TF1” has been privatised since 1987 and its income derives primarily from commercial revenue. “France 2” and “France 3” stayed in the public service. “Canal +”, is a subscription based channel, with most of the programs scrambled throughout the day, with some moments available for non-subscribers (4h per day), “Arte” (from 19h) is a cultural Franco-Germanic channel. “La cinquième” (“France 5” shares the same channel as “Arte”, broadcasting programs up until 19h. “M6” offers mostly music programs, television movies, and news programs. However, with the advent of satellite television, the number of channels has multiplied.

Most hotels subscribe to Satellite TV and Canal +, which allow guests to watch music videos, sports, adult and family entertainment. And of course, the movies for adults are broadcast late in the night.

Concerning the radio, the deregulation of the airwaves(1981) lead to the proliferation of FM radio stations. Currently, the three biggest radio stations are “France inter” (public service), “RTL” and “NRJ”.

Mobile phone

In this modern world, french communication would be very difficult without mobile telephony. Most of the mobile phones from European and/or Mediterranean countries can be used in France as in their own country. You can also rent a mobile for the duration of your stay. However, be careful because if you receive or call someone abroad from a mobile it is very expensive.

The three French operators are “SFR”, “Orange” and “Bouygues Télécom”.

Internet access

After beginning quite slowly , the number of registered French websites has spiked dramatically. Today Internet access is widespread throughout France. Apart from homes and workplaces, hotels and cyber cafés are the most accessible points from which to connect to the internet. Again, Be careful, as the American and English connection system is incompatible with the French electrical current.

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