> The telephone in France

The telephone in France - Culture

The telephone is everyone's favourite communication tool


No one - Paul included - can do without it anymore!

In the 20th century, we found the telephone to be a very useful tool in everyday life, but now in the 21st century we can't live without it!

It was for the Universal Exhibition of 1878 that Paris installed a major telephone network.

The PTT (first the Post Office and Telegraph, and then Telephone communications in the 19th and 20th centuries) became two public service companies: France Télécom in 1998 and La Poste in 1991.

Since 1990, telephone numbers have comprised 10 digits. The first two digits split France up into 5 zones.

The numbers 06 and 07 then appeared for mobile phones, 08 for services at special rates and 09 for telephone services via the Internet.

In France, numbers are said aloud in pairs. For example 01 64 28 57 02 = zero one, sixty-four, twenty-eight, fifty-seven, zero two.
In France, the 4 mobile network operators are Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Free Mobile, but there are many more operators for the virtual network.
The demoiselle du téléphone was an emblematic figure of the non-automated telephone service. Up to the late 1970s, a particular category of staff worked in call centres - exclusively female, single and with irreproachable education and morals: the "demoiselles du téléphone". They had to connect subscribers and left their job once they got married.
Allô Papa !
This memo is part of the workshop
Allô Papa !

Did you know?

The Cité des télécoms, founded in 1991, is the largest estate in Europe devoted to telecommunications. It is located in Brittany and is part of the Orange-France Télécom foundation. Every year it welcomes 80,000 visitors.

And elsewhere?

International dialling codes are grouped into zones. Zones 3 and 4 correspond to Europe. This means that the code for France is 33, Belgium 32, Luxembourg 352 and Switzerland 41.

Someone once said

"The peculiarity of the telephone is to ring out of the blue"

Robert Soulières, writer

Test your level

It's easy to browse the educational contents on this website. Taking the test will help you to find French workshops, games and challenges at your level at a glance.