How to Open a French Phone Line with Orange

Just got to France and want to get started with an Orange phone line? Look no further, this guide is here to break down the steps to getting set up with a brand new telephone line with French provider Orange.

  • The takeaway
  • In most cases, your house is already connected to a fixed phone line.
  • However, if your house is brand new, or if the former occupant didn't' have a line / deactivated it over 6 months ago then chances are you'll need to open a new French line.
  • The way to proceed to do so depends on your situation - how new the house is and how long the house you've moved in was left inhabited.
  • With Orange, activating your line will probably be quicker than with other providers, but will also likely be more expensive.

New Orange phone line: steps to get started

After moving into your new French home, along with electricity and internet connection, you'll probably want to set up a phone line. To get this last point sorted out, you first have to find out if your house or apartment is connecting to an existing telephone line:

 Your home is already connected to a telephone line if:

  1. The former home occupant was subscribed to a telephone line and/or Internet plan
  2. There is at least one telephone socket in your home

Today in France, most homes today are connected to a fixed-line.

 Your home is not connected if:

  1. The house has never had a telephone line - often true for newly-constructed houses
  2. There is no phone number associated with the former occupant
  3. The former occupant's line was not re-activated

If you find yourself in one of these last 3 situations, read on to get the details about how to set up your very own French phone line.

How to reactivate a line left inactive for under 6 months

If the former occupant left the place under 6 months ago, you can try retrieving the property's line identification number (known as NDI in French), which helps identify the line and the attached address. Either contact the former occupant or contact Orange directly to obtain it. 

Once you have the NDI, you simply have to test the line by plugging your fixed phone set into the home's phone jack. If you hear a dial tone, this is good news! This means a telephone line is present and there is no need to build a new line. Plus, you are exempt from the €17.99/month Orange Fixed Line subscription fee and can get the line reactivated for free.

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Upon hearing the dial tone, proceed to dial a landline number in service. You will then be redirected to a free voice server that will announce your line number, which you should take note of as it is readout. Then, simply contact the Orange customer service at 1014 and give them your NDI to get signed up for a phone plan.

With this NDI identification number, you can also subscribe to an Internet offer.

How to reactivate a line left inactive for over 6 months

Let's say that you do not hear any dial tone - this means your new home phone line has been terminated for more than 6 months. It this case, the process is different as you will need to have to pay for the opening of a new phone line.

Formerly performed by France Telecom (ex-Orange), a line reactivation can now be done in other operators. If you wish to sign up to Orange once the line is reactivated/built, contact Orange customer service and they will take care of the opening process for you. 

How long will it take for my line to be activated?

It depends. According to the French organisation ARCEP, delivery deadlines for 50% of requests are between 9 and 14 days for the 4 main providers - but if you do choose Orange, you are likely to get the fastest connection setup out of all providers.

Time it takes to set up a phone line, per French provider
Provider Orange SFR Bouygues Telecom Free
How long it takes to set up the phone line (on average) 9 days 9 days 11 days 14 days

How much will it cost to open a telephone line?

Again, it depends - Orange charges €55 for service opening fees, and an additional €69 if a technician's intervention is necessary (in the case of a new house for instance).

Although Orange generally has the fastest activation services, it also charges higher prices than its 3 main competitors:

The cost of opening a French line
Provider Cost of opening the line
Orange €55 + €69 for the technician's intervention
SFR €49
Bouygues Telecom €39,99/month
Free €39,99/month

What to do to open a French phone line: a recap

Here's a summary of how to proceed to get started according to your situation:

How to open an Orange line
Your home situation How to proceed
The home you've moved into has been inhabited within the last 6 months. Get your NDI and contact Orange to get started.
Your home hasn't been inhabited for over 6 months. Ask for your line to get reactivated.
Your home is completely new. Ask for a line to be created

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