In 2016, the French regulatory authority (ARCEP) initiated an extensive process aimed at updating the framework governing the assignment and use of numbering resources in France. The current numbering plan was established by Decision No 2018-0881, and amended in 2019 and 2021. However, to further meet the constantly evolving needs of operators and final users and to further enhance the management of scarce resources, ARCEP decided that new amendments were once more necessary. As a result, a public consultation ran from December 2021 to February 2022.
The new Decision Establishing the French Numbering Plan (Decision) published in September 2022, introduced several modifications to the national numbering plan, the main ones highlighted below.
Number Allocation and Number Management
Starting on 1 July 2023, ARCEP will assign new numbering resources with a minimum granularity of 1000 numbers (block of 1 000 numbers granted to an operator) instead of the existing 10 000 numbers. ARCEP invites operators who have been assigned blocks of 10 000 numbers to request the return of the sub-blocks of 1 000 numbers that they do not intend to use, provided that these numbers have not already been suballocated to another operator or assigned to an end user.
The Decision reiterates that suballocation of numbers is only allowed under limited circumstances and subject to ARCEP’s express approval.
Categories of Mobile Numbers
Numbers starting with 09 are reserved for communications between mobile subscribers and a “technical platform”. These numbers could, for instance, be used to establish text-based conversations between a retail company and its customers, or for the very brief use of telephone numbers for one-time contacts via a platform (parcel delivery person, ride-sharing drivers, etc.).In addition, the use of mobile numbers starting with 06 or 07 is exclusively reserved for interpersonal communication services.
Protection Against Fraud and Abuse
Except in limited circumstances, ARCEP prohibits automated systems from using most geographic and multi-purpose numbers, including mobile numbers, as their caller ID numbers. However, the authorities reserved a series of geographical and multipurpose numbers that may still be utilized by such automated systems.
If you are interested in learning more about the Decision Amending the French National Numbering Plan, contact Chrystel Erotokritou, Compliance Manager, Access Partnership.