Fixed telephone: no need to change numbers when moving from 2023

As of January 1, 2023, landline number portability in France will change, for the better. Indeed, on this date, users will no longer be subject to the geographical constraints previously in force. In fact, they will be able to keep their landline number, especially in the event of moving to another geographical area of ​​the country.

Credit: 123RF

As you may know, the first digits of your landline number are determined according to your geographical area. Each number beginning with 01, 02, 03, 04 or 05 is associated with one of the five major areas segmenting the metropolitan territory. Each of its zones are themselves subdivided into 412 smaller zones, called the basic numbering zone or ZNE.

Each user of a fixed line must necessarily have a telephone number corresponding to his ZNE (01 for Ile-de-France, 04 for the south-eastern part of the country, 05 for the south-west, etc.). And if keeping a fixed number in the event of a move has been permitted by law since 2003, however, it was impossible to keep the same landline number if you changed ZNE.

france map
Credits: ARCEP

No more geographic constraints for landline numbers

However, from January 1, 2023, these geographical constraints for numbers 01 to 05 will become more flexible, as announced by ARCEP on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. From now on, it will be possible for subscribers of Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free of keep their fixed telephone number, in particular in the event of moving to another geographical area of ​​metropolitan France.

To illustrate this, the institution gives a few examples: “A resident of Lyon, whose landline number begins with 04 and who moves to Rennes will be able to keep his landline number. A new fixed subscriber living in Rennes can also ask his operator, if he wishes, that his number does not start with 02″.

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A necessary change for businesses

As ARCEP points out, this change was made possible thanks to the generalization of voice over IP or VoiP on landline calls. According to the Communications Regulatory Authority, this relaxation was especially necessary at a time when half of the moves in France take place from one ZNE to another. Furthermore, ARCEP considers that these constraints heavily penalized companies by threatening their economic activities.

And for good reason, “a move of a few kilometers to a neighboring town located in a different ZNE was enough for a company to be confronted with the loss of its fixed telephone number”. Indeed, if an SME has been identified by the same landline number for years, changing it suddenly is enough to cause some problemssuch as the potential loss of a number of customers.

Be careful however, ARCEP emphasizes that these constraints will remain relevant in the DOM-TOMs. “On the other hand, it is still not possible to keep your landline number by moving to another overseas territory or to mainland France.“, explains the institution. As a reminder, ARCEP announced in September 2022 that telephone numbers in 06 and 07 will remain reserved for individuals from 2023.

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