So You’re Thinking of Running SMS Traffic in France?

The French mobile operators reserve mobile numbers for Person-to-Person (p2p) messaging only, meaning that businesses cannot use a virtual mobile number (or long code) for Application-to-Person (a2p) messaging. So the introduction of usage-specific short code ranges is exciting news, as businesses can finally harness SMS to send and receive messages with their customers and employees.

Messaging traffic is split into two categories in France: Marketing and Transactional

Marketing or promotional SMS traffic is conducted by using the 36xxx range of short codes or an alphanumeric string in the Sender ID field. Some further rules apply to marketing traffic to France end-users as follows:

  • A STOP command must be included in all MTs providing a reply path for end-users to indicate they want to opt out of receiving any more SMS from this campaign by simply replying ‘STOP’, a concept that will be familiar to anyone running SMS in the USA
  • Numeric Sender IDs will be replaced by your provider with a pre-registered 36xxx short code
  • Alphanumeric Sender IDs are permitted and are not replaced by a short code. However, note that if an alphanumeric Sender ID is used, the STOP command needs to include a short code to reply to, for ex: ‘Send STOP to 36111′
  • The France networks block SMS traffic on Sundays, any nights after 10pm and public holidays. If messages are sent during these restricted time periods, they will be queued until the window of time opens again

So just make sure you’re sending your promotional traffic during the correct hours (or don’t worry about it as we’ll queue it until it’s allowed), set the Sender ID as your chosen alphanumeric word or the approved 36xxx short code (we’ll be sure to tell you which one), and let end-users know they can send in STOP to ‘arrêter’ any more SMS!

Sample of a compliant Marketing SMS sent at 11am on a Saturday from 36111: “Bonjour! 50% de réduction sur les chaussures aujourd’hui! Répondre STOP pour arrêter”

Transactional SMS traffic implies an opt-in for requested content by an end-user such as banking alerts, appointment reminders, notifications, etc. and is permitted in France by using the 38xxx range of short codes or an alphanumeric string in the Sender ID field:

  • No STOP command is required
  • Numeric Sender IDs will be replaced with a pre-registered 38xxx short code
  • Alphanumeric Sender IDs are permitted and are not replaced by a short code
  • No time restrictions for sending traffic

When your end-users have signed up to receive your message content, all you need to do is set the Sender ID to your chosen alphanumeric string or a 38xxx short code that we give you and boom, you are good to go!

Sample of a compliant Transactional SMS sent anytime: “Bonsoir! Le solde de votre compte bancaire est de plus de €1.000.000”

Note that when sending traffic via short code Sender IDs to end-users here, throughput limits are enforced by each of the France networks ranging from 1 message per second (m/s) to 50 m/s. Higher throughput comes at a more expensive price which is a network pass-through cost.

Please post any questions or comments you might have about SMS in France or let us know if you’d like to start your SMS campaign today!