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Communications for Expats in France

Submitted: October 2013

Moving to a new country can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. One of the first things on your agenda should be setting up mobile/internet service. The proliferation of service providers in the French market means that mobile service is generally affordable and reliable. You should determine what are your mobile/ Internet needs ahead of time in order to choose the plan that best suits your needs.

Most French mobile companies use the GSM system to provide users with cellular compatibility. This is useful in the event that you do not want to purchase a new mobile phone. You will simply need to purchase a new SIM card (prepaid or postpaid). If you intend to do this then it is worth finding out whether your handset is able to accept SIMs other than your home network.

Some of France’s more popular mobile service providers include Orange (https://www.orange.fr/,) SFR (https://www.sfr.fr/) and Bouygues Télécom https://www.bouyguestelecom.fr.  Orange is particularly popular for their “Orange Cineday” where customers get two cinema tickets for the price of one. These service providers all have licenses to provide fourth generation wireless service, more popularly known as 4G. Customers can therefore enjoy multimedia services directly on their mobile phones.

Before choosing a landline or mobile phone contract, there are certain considerations to be made:

  • How long is the mobile service contract? Is there an associated cost with terminating the contract prematurely?
  • Does the contract cover all your needs or will you have to pay extra for additional services such as international calls?
  • Is there a money-saving bundle service option that includes mobile, landline and Internet service?
  • Are there special discounts for calling people with the same service provider or at a particular time?

There are many price comparison websites that can help you find the right service provider for your needs. These websites include:

If you are heading to Paris, you will be pleased to know that the city of Paris offers complimentary wifi in public spaces such as parks, local libraries. Other cities like Lyon and Bordeaux offer the same free municipal wifi.

France boasts of many different Internet service providers across the country.

The website https://www.ariase.com has useful information on Internet service providers’ price and service comparisons. Many of the mobile service providers mentioned above also offer packages that include mobile service, Internet access and a landline for a fixed rate. Internet service quality can vary greatly according to one’s address in France. Websites such as https://www.degrouptest.com and https://www.bonabo.fr makes it easy to choose the best Internet package for your area. You simply enter your postal code and/or landline telephone number and they provide you with information to help you find the best offer in your area.

It is important when choosing an Internet provider to be wary of all the additional charges that you may incur when setting up the service. Some of these charges can include the cost of renting the router and the price of having it installed. If you have already taken care of your accommodation, it is worth finding out what service the previous tenants used. You may be able to simply carry on with the same service providers.

If you would like to send and receive post locally or internationally France’s postal service “La Poste”, is reliable, affordable and efficient.    More information can be found at their website https://www.laposte.com

 

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