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France - Premium SMS, Short Code Regulations


The regulations in France caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that include Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate Services and Short Codes.




Association SMS + is an association formed by the three mobile operators Bouygues Telecom , Orange France and SFR . It aims to:

  • manage the available numbers in a coordinated manner with all mobile operators members of the Association SMS +
  • process requests for reservation of short numbers from the publishers of services
  • check the proper use of the Charter Communication services SMS +
  • promote the offerings of SMS +



SMS+ is a set of rules regulating the Premium SMS services in France. SMS payments are strictly regulated by a Code of Conduct delivered by the French operators and the AFMM (French Association for Mobile Multimedia,

The full code of conduct is available here.

The official logos and display rules are available here.


This summary is an indicative basis of Code of Ethics and is not contractual. The Services Provider undertakes to respect (i) Codes of Ethics edited by the AFMM (Association Française du Multimedia Mobile) and Operators which are available on their respective websites.

For information regarding shared codes in France please see France - Shared Short Code Requirements and Restrictions for more details.


Carrier / Network Operators

Bouygues.jpg    Bouygues

Bouygues S.A. is a French industrial group head-quartered in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris, France. Bouygues is listed on Euro-next Paris exchange and is a blue chip in the CAC 40 stock market index. The company was founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues (educated at the École Centrale Paris, 1946) and since 1989 has been led by his son Martin Bouygues. In 2010 it had over 133,000 employees in 80 countries, generating €31.2 billion in revenue.



Orange_logo.jpg      Orange

Orange is the brand used by France Télécom for its mobile network operator and Internet service provider subsidiaries. It is the eighth largest telecom operator in the world, with over 189 million customers as of 2009. The brand was created in 1994 for Hutchison Telecom's UK mobile phone network, which was acquired by France Télécom in August 2000. In 2006, the company's ISP operations, previously Wanadoo, were also re-branded Orange. Orange is now the unique commercial façade of almost all France Telecom services. Orange France was incorporated in 2005 and has its headquarters in Arcueil, France.



sfr_new_logo.png      SFR

SFR has over 20 million customers, and provides over 4.6 million households with high-speed internet access. It also offers services on the island of Réunion through SRR although the company is branded as SFR Réunion. SFR is currently 100% owned by the French group Vivendi. The SFR mobile phone network infrastructure was built by the mobile phone giant Vodafone, who previously had a 44% share in SFR until April 2011 when it sold the entire share back to Vivendi.

In 2006, along with Bouygues Télécom and Orange SA, SFR was ordered to pay €535 million in fines for the formation of an illegal cartel. SFR, which owns 40.5 percent of Neuf Cegetel, offered to buy the rest of the first fixed alternate operator in 2007 for €4.5 billion. The goal was to challenge France Telecom in the market for combined fixed-line, internet, and cellphone services, and to create "the biggest, strongest non-incumbent in Europe", according to the group's statement.



 Market Statistics


Business Monitor International (BMI) reports: "The mobile sector is the most active this quarter with the allocation of the two remaining 3G licences to France Telecom's Orange and SFR. It has also seen the entrance of two new operators into the country's small but fast growing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) sector. March 2010 saw the launch of KPN's Ortel Mobile over Bouygues Telecom's network. And in May 2010, UK-based international mobile operator Lebara Mobile launched its operations in France also over Bouygues Telecom's network. According to Arcep, MVNO subscriptions in France increased 25.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 3.64 million at the end of March 2010". 



Area: 551,670 sq. km. (220,668 sq. mi.); largest west European country, about four-fifths the size of Texas.
Cities: Capital--Paris. Major cities--Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nice, Rennes, Lille, Bordeaux.
Terrain: Varied.
Climate: Temperate.


Nationality: Adjective--French.
Population (January 1, 2010 est.): 64.7 million (including overseas territories); 62.8 million (metropolitan).
Annual population growth rate (2009 est.): 0.5%. 
Language: French.


Type: Republic.
Constitution: September 28, 1958.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state); prime minister (head of government). Legislative--bicameral Parliament (577-member National Assembly, 319-member Senate). Judicial--Court of Cassation (civil and criminal law), Council of State (administrative court), Constitutional Council (constitutional law). 
Subdivisions: 22 administrative regions containing 96 departments (metropolitan France). Thirteen territories outside metropolitan France: four overseas departments which are also regions (French abbreviation is DOM-ROM)--Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Reunion; six overseas collectivities ("Collectivités d'Outre-mer" or COM)--French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy Island, and Mayotte, which in March 2009 voted to become a full overseas department, and is likely to be recognized as such in 2011; one overseas country of France ("Pays d'Outre-mer" or POM)--New Caledonia; and the French Southern and Antarctic Territories and the atoll of Clipperton.
Political parties: Union for a Popular Movement (UMP--a synthesis of center-right Gaullist/nationalist and free-market parties); Socialist Party; New Center (former UDF centrists now affiliated with the UMP); Democratic Movement (former UDF centrists loyal to MoDem President Francois Bayrou); Communist Party; extreme right National Front; Greens; various minor parties.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.

GDP (2009): $2.66 trillion. 
Avg. annual growth rate (2009): -2.5%, compared with 0.1% in 2008.
Per capita GDP at PPP (2009): $33,678.
Agriculture: Products--grains (wheat, barley, corn); wines and spirits; dairy products; sugar beets; oilseeds; meat and poultry; fruits and vegetables.
Industry: Types--aircraft, electronics, transportation, textiles, clothing, food processing, chemicals, machinery, steel.
Services: Types--Services to companies and individuals, financial and real estate activities, tourism and transportation
Trade: Exports (2009)--$482.3 billion (f.o.b.): automobiles, aircraft and aircraft components, pharmaceuticals, automobile equipment, iron and steel products, refined petroleum products, cosmetics, organic chemicals, electronic components, wine and champagne. Imports (2009)--$543.5 billion (f.o.b.): oil and natural gas, automobiles, aircraft and aircraft components, refined petroleum products, automobile equipment, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel products, and computers/computer-related products. Major trading partners--EU and U.S. 
Exchange rate: U.S. $1=0.72 euro in 2009.



Market Growth

General region↓ Total number of Internet users (thousands)↓ Internet Users per 100 inhab.↓ Total population (thousands)↓ GDP per capita↓ GDP total (thousands)↓ Mobile subscibers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓  
Europe  44625.3  71.3  62,616  28 890.84 1817158140  95.1  59543  
 [source]  [source]  [source]  [source]  [source]  [source]  [source]  [source]  



The Euro (sign: €; code: EUR) is the currency of France. It is normally abbreviated with the euro sign €, or alternatively EUR€. EUR must be used when conveying the price to users. It is divided into 100 cents. 

€EUR1 in £GBP

€EUR1 in $USD


Further Information

For a detailed summary of the communications market in France please see for more information.


Approval Process

As part of the application process for a French short code you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). The typical time for service approval form feedback is on average 2 - 3 weeks and the average time it takes to go live once your CCF has been approved is roughly 4 - 6 weeks.


Promotional Guidelines


- All mentions of Short Code must be accompanied by the pricing details VAT included . Pricing details should always be placed with the Short Code.

- Pricing details may not be referred to by an asterisk or any other cross-reference. 

- The size of pricing details should be similar or at least a third of the font size used for the Short Code, e.g. FR1.png

- The price be written in one of the following ways: “€X + prix SMS” or “€X + coût SMS”

- A more explicit formulation describing the nature of the service more precisely can be used as well (e.g. « €X par téléchargement », « €X par vote », « €X par code », etc.). 

- Contrast>= 80%

- Allowed Fonts: Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica

 - The word«gratuit » (free) is forbidden, youcanuse « offert» (offered)


Advertising on television or cinemas:

- The pricing details may be included in a fixed band, to the exclusion of any other information. This band must cover at least 7% of the height of the screen and the entire width of the screen. It is located in the lower part of the screen and must appear throughout the entire duration of the advertisement. Pricing details should be centered within this band; their size should be 40% of the height of the strip.

Advertising on the radio:

- In the case of promotional or advertising messages on radio, the pricing details should be audible. They must be mentioned consecutively with the last mention of the Short Code. 

Services with download as primary purpose (Wallpapers, Photos, Music, Ringtones, executable content, videos, etc.):

- In all communication regarding the Services having as primary purpose an act downloading, the Editor must explicitly indicate to the User that the Service consists of downloading one or more content. Moreover orders for the content cannot be sent except by sending via SMS-MO a keyword specified by you. 

- If you are offering a service that is not compatible with all brands/models of handsets, you must inform Users of the existence of the supported devices list, or the list of handsets with which the Service is not compatible, as well as the ways to access this list.

- If the service is delivered in the form of a link, you shall: 

  - Provide access, without surcharges, to the precise and exhaustive list of compatible handset models, 

  - Inform the User of the need to ensure in advance from the operator that his device has a WAP or HTTP configuration compatible with the Service.


You must have a help desk or support service for Users, which can respond to inquiries, complaints and claims regarding the Service. You shall provide the best welcome to Users and handle all requests in French language. 

This support service should be accessible, with non-premium rates, via: 

- A French telephone phone number, available during working days and hours (outside these timings, a recorded message must indicate the working hours) and at least either a postal address in France or an email address.





Please Note: the services with access code are being strictly controlled  and monitored by the AFMM and the operators because of recent fraud cases. Please make sure that your service respects the rules listed below.

- A SMS+ service with access code allows a User to access, on a digital medium, a content or a Service offered by a Editor, without this content or service being delivered directly to the mobile phone of the User by SMS-MT (text or clickable link). 

- Only one SMS+ session can be used for a service with access code.

- Where the access code is supplied by you in the SMS-MT, it cannot take the form of a hyperlink giving access to an Internet page.

- A single access code should be necessary for the acquisition of digital content or service by the User, e.g. you can not have them make multiple purchases to boost the value of the transaction. 

- The pricing details must be present in each communication on the Service and in each SMS-MT. 

- Conforming to all premium SMS+ services, an SMS+ service with an access code shall in no case allow access to a content or service belonging to the adult category. 

- In case the access code is supplied in the SMS-MT, you shall limit the validity of an access code to 48 hours after its delivery to the User by SMS MT. The access code must be valid for at least one hour after delivery.

- The asterisk must always be present after the shortcode, one of the 3 official SMS+ logos must be present at the bottom of the page:


You can choose either the logo mentioning the STOP message or the CONTACT message (giving the publisher’s information).


In television ads or small print ads you can use the simplified version below for more readability.


Message Flow Requirements 

- Start the SMS-MT with the commercial name of your service [Ex: My Service: your code to access My Service is XYKZ (prix: 3€)]

- Mention the price in every SMS-MT [Ex: My Service: your code to access My Service is XYKZ (prix: 3€)]


Service Types

These services types are forbidden:

- Service of competitions with prize winning and lotteries (Instant Win, Voting, Lotteries).

- Services using a bonus system (e.g. lot, purchase voucher, access to another service, promise of a better hope of gain under the competitions with prize notification and lotteries, etc.) 

- Services appealing to public generosity (gifts, donations…)

- Services allowing to access a financial compensation  

- Physical goods 

- Adult 18+ services

      12 - 16    16 - 18    18+
(Prohibited by carrier rules)  
Prohibited by law or
carrier laws 
Nudity / Sex 
- Representation or description of scenes with 
sexual connotation
- Integral nudity
- Suggestive Postures
- Nudity associated with suggestive situations
- Insistent representation of nudity 
(video, quantity of representation) 
- Representation and description of 
scenes intended to cause sexual arousal
- Sexual contacts and simulated or 
suggestive sex acts
- Proactive attitude
- Representation intended to 
reduce one to being a sex object 

- Representation or description of 
pornographic scenes
- Close up of genitals
- Sexual contact and masturbation
- Actual sex acts (not simulated) or 
which show genitals
- Sexual Violence
- Degrading posistions and 
degrading acts, attacks 
to the human dignity
- Zoophilia
- Scatology 
Physical or Psychological
- Representation or description of physically
or psychologically violent scene's 
- Free violence against  imaginary characters
- Positive or insistent representation 
of the use of realistic weapons
- Distressing scene's 
- Representation or description of 
scene's of big violence
- Violence towards human beings 
or towards animals
- Bloody or suicide scenes
- Horror scene's 
- Representation or description of 
scene's of extreme violence
- Violence towards vulnerable human 
- Bloody and/or wounds in big 
quantities or in details
- Mutilations
- Slapping 
- Scenes of humiliation
- Sadism
- Torture
- Apology of the suicide 
Language - Rough language Raw, smutty, obscene language    
Potential danger -
and reproved behaviour 
- Gratuitous deliberate destruction of objects
- Usage of dangerous products and objects 
- Gambling operated by authorised
- Positive representation of tobacco
and alcohol consumption
- Presentation of criminals or 
criminal acts under a positive light
- Consumption of narcotics 
- Activities susceptible  to be
intimidated and which would cause 
serious wounds or death
- Valuation of activities susceptible 
to be easily imitated and being able to 
cause serious wounds or death
- Promotion of narcotics 
- Sexual, racial, ethnic, 
national, or religious 



Special services: 

- Services delivering an access code are allowed if they respect 3 conditions:

1) 1 code only must be necessary to access the content (no multicode)

2) The code validity must be48h max (1h min)

3) Not allowed for subscritpion

- Classified advertisement services are allowed if you check the veracity of advertisements.


Billing Types

We operate both One-In-One-Out (IO) and Mobile Terminating (MT) on our dedicated lines in France. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types. 

Multiple SMS exchanges (e.g. 2 x €4,50) to finalize one single transaction are not allowed on IO short codes.


Shortcode and Keywords

Our dedicated codes in France are 5 digit short codes, with the same number available across all carriers.

The short code’s 1st digit indicates the tariff, where:

€0.00 = 3XXXX

€0.05 = 4XXXX

€0.10, €0.20 = 5XXXX

€0.35 = 6XXXX

€0.50 = 7XXXX

€1.00, €1.50, €2.00, €3.00, €4.50 = 8XXXX


Golden numbers are available in France, as follows:

 Short Code Category                             

                       Numbering Scheme           


Short Codes of the scheme NXXXX (e.g. 81111), NX000 

(e.g. 81000) or N followed by a growing sequence (e.g. 41234 


Short Codes on the scheme of NXY00 (e.g. 81200), NXYYY (e.g. 

81222), or N followed by a growing sequence (e.g. 41234) 


Short Codes of the scheme NXXYY (81122), NXYXY (81212), 

NZXNZ (e.g. 81281) or NZXZ[X+1] (e.g. 81213) 


A short code selected by a customer, which does not fall in the gold, silver 

or bronze category. 


Any other short code.

- Adult short codes are not available in France.

- Providers can only operate one type of application per short code


Frequency and Amounts

For MT billed short codes where subscriptions are allowed:

  • € 12 alert monthly (cross carrier)

- Opt-out message for a recurrent service (€ x per week) for SFR and Bouygues
- Opt-in message for Orange if under 31 days (MO RENOUV)

  • 31 days alerts (not on Bouygues)

- Opt-out message > "you are a subscriber of XXXX since XX/YY, if you want to unsubscribe text STOP to X8XXX, Free SMS” 

  • txtNation recommendation: stay under €12 per 31 days

- € 1,5 every 4 days
- € 3 every 8 days



The current French rate of tax is available via Wikipedia. The out-payments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown. 


Dedicated Codes 

Dedicated codes are available with a 6 - 9 week lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on their backlog, the time of year, price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in France via the txtNation Gateway.


France has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations.

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services

 Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in France include:

  • HLR Lookup
  • Bulk SMS 

Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in France of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in France. Please contact your account manager for more information.

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