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Limitations on sending SMS to French mobile numbers

As an industry practice, Mobile Phone Numbers cannot be used for A2P services in France. All French Mobile operators have contractually prohibited the delivery of A2P services to their customers using Mobile Phone Numbers. For messaging services, French Mobile Phone Numbers are only allowed to be used strictly for person-to-person (P2P) communications. This rule is being reinforced by regulators in France as of July, 2022. Currently a new numbering system is under consideration in France; however, details regarding this system have not been released, and we are uncertain when it will be introduced and available for commercial use. 

Due to this restriction on sending A2P traffic, French Mobile numbers can only be used for Person to Person messaging. This is a country-wide regulatory requirement and recipient carriers will block Application to Person messaging originating from mobile numbers. All Transactional and Marketing use cases such as mobile marketing campaigns, pin code verification, are considered A2P traffic and must be sent using Alphanumeric Sender ID or Short Code. For more details on these number types see the following:

Alpha Numeric Sender ID

Alphanumeric Sender IDs (ASIDs) allow you to send Twilio programmable SMS messages from a personalized string (i.e., brand name or company name). Alphanumeric Sender IDs are ideal for transactional messaging purposes (i.e., One Time Passwords, account notifications, etc.) because they’re only available for one-way outbound messages; recipients can’t reply directly to messages. However, contact information can be included in the message body for recipients to respond to. 

Messages sent using Alphanumeric Sender IDs improve brand recognition and are more likely to be opened because recipients see your brand’s name with each SMS. You can obtain an Alphanumeric Sender ID in France for no cost (messaging rates still apply)

Short Codes

Short Codes are ideal for high-volume and two-way messaging use cases, but have a long approval process and high cost. The following fees apply to Short Codes:

  • A one-time setup fee.
  • Recurring service charges may apply and be billed depending on the throughput number.

For pricing details refer to Twilio’s support article, Short Code Costs, and refer to the Short Code Recurring Charges section for France. Per-message usage charges apply, refer to Twilio’s SMS for Text Messaging for France.

Additional note: French mobile networks block Marketing SMS traffic on Sundays, any nights after 10pm and public holidays. If messages are sent during these restricted times, they will be queued and sent out the following day. We also recommend that users have opted into your service before sending them Marketing messages.

For more information on SMS restrictions and best practices, please refer to Twilio’s support article, France: SMS Guidelines

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