How To Get A Smartphone & SIM Card In France?

There are several ways to keep connected in France as an expatriate, so you won’t have to worry about losing touch. Excellent coverage of 4G network and an increasing number of service providers are hallmarks of France’s telecommunications landscape. Expats and tourists alike will appreciate the variety of SIM cards and smartphone plans available in many of these locales.

Increased market rivalry in France’s smartphone market has prompted service providers to develop various low-cost options. But getting the correct SIM card in France might be a challenge because of all the possibilities. Included in this tutorial are details about getting a mobile phone in France: Red by SFR Is the best choice for sim

The Smartphone Network in France!

In common with major Western Europe, France’s mobile network is high quality, making it convenient for both visitors and locals to stay in touch. In France, the GSM coverage is used instead of the CDMA one. Newcomers shouldn’t have any problems connecting to the local network in general. In France, even if you’re coming from a nation, which provides CDMA network; your smartphone is likely to operate.

Despite France’s vastness, a huge majority has access to 4G or 4G+. Connectivity, however, can vary substantially, which completely depends on your French cell phone operator; therefore, you must ensure to check network coverage in your area before you join it. Local 5G networks will be available in major cities like Paris and Marseille. This is especially right in extremely remote regions; however, 3G will still be available in these places.

Access to the internet via wireless LANs in France

In France, public Wi-Fi is rare, yet you can find hotspots in several of the country’s bigger cities. Free Wi-Fi can be found in various public places, including museums, libraries, and even some modes of public transportation. We’ve put together a guide on setting up a Wi-Fi network at home in France if you’re interested.

Is It Possible To Make Phone Calls From A French Cell Phone?

In most cases, foreign visitors and expatriates coming to France will readily connect their mobile phones to the French GSM network. Those coming from Japan, sections of the United States, and Canada, which use the CDMA network, are exceptions. Though many current smartphones still automatically connect when they arrive, However, it’s always a good idea to verify with your service provider ahead of time to avoid any surprises.

It’s possible to acquire an inexpensive, pre-paid mobile phone on arrival if your phone doesn’t connect to the French network. These will cost roughly €30, and they’ll only be able to make and receive calls and texts. These, on the other hand, can be an excellent means of staying in touch. Before leaving for France, you might also get a global phone in your home country.

If you’re moving to France or expect to stay for a lengthy amount of time, you’ll almost certainly want to get a French SIM card or a new phone. While acquiring a SIM card in France can save you money, you may need to unlock your phone at a local phone shop. 

Rather than taking up these unknown number calls, one can use a reverse phone lookup service. This tool will give you pertinent information about the phone number, allowing you to determine whether or not to pick up the call.

Fortunately, there are many French mobile phone companies to choose from, each of which offers a variety of packages based on usage and budget. Customers can save money by combining their cell service with home phone, internet, or cable TV from carriers such as SFR and Orange.


In France’s competitive mobile sector, an increasing number of cell phone carriers are competing for customers’ business. With so many possibilities accessible, newbie’s may be confident that they will be able to locate a bargain within their financial means. 

As a result, it is recommended that you look around before making a final decision. To save money, it’s a good idea to investigate whether you can combine your home internet and television services into one package.

Orange has 30% of the French mobile phone market, making it the most dominant. Bouygues Télécom and Free Mobile are the country’s second and third largest mobile phone service providers. These four networks have the most reach. It’s possible to bundle Internet and TV services.

When And How To Purchase A French Mobile Contract?

The process of signing up for a French mobile phone contract is simple. You have the option of signing up online or at a local telecommunications store. The prominent French telecommunications companies all have retail locations in major cities. However, keep in mind that shop employees may not be fluent in English, so be prepared to brush up on your vocabulary.

To join, you’ll probably have to give the following information:

  • A copy of your French identification card
  • A bank account in France is required to make the payment
  • Before signing your mobile contract, you must have a French bank account established

How to Acquire SIM Cards?

Pre-paid SIM cards are more flexible but costlier in France. So, if you’re not going to use your smartphone a lot or are only going to stay there for a limited time-period, they’re a great option. Pre-paid SIM cards are available from all French mobile service providers, so shop around.

SIM cards are available in many retailers, including telecom shops, supermarkets, electronics stores, and even vending machines. You may also order French SIM cards online and have them delivered. If you buy something in person, you will need to present identification. This is required by law.

Pre-paid SIM cards usually come pre-loaded with credit (call credit). These can be bought for €5, €10, €20, or even more. Compare pre-paid SIM cards to determine whether one has free data. This can be done in a shop or online.

You can also buy cheap international SIM cards in France for use in other countries. They’re an excellent choice if you’ll be in touch with family and friends frequently.

How to get a French Mobile Number? 

France has three types of phone numbers: geographic, mobile, and other services. No exceptions; all numbers start with 0. The first two digits of a phone number categorize it:

  • 01, 02, 03, 04, and 5 are French regions. Parisian phone numbers, for example, start with 01 and go up to eight digits.
  • 06/07 – mobile phone numbers. A mobile phone number, for example, could start with 06 and run up to 8 digits.
  • Other services, such as text messaging, use non-geographic 08/09 numbers.
  • An international dialling code is required when calling a French number from abroad. It’s 0033 (or 33). Instead, a 0 is prefixed to the phone number. For example, 0033 6 12 34 56 78.

Switching mobile phone operators in France may allow you to keep your current number. Your new service provider may allow a simple phone number change.


French legislation familiarity is vital when using a cell phone when travelling in France. People in France incur penalties and points on their licenses if they use handheld phones while driving unless they have stopped and entered a designated parking area. In schools, children between the ages of 3 and 15 are not allowed to use their cell phones at any time.

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