France : Features & Restrictions

France is an extremely large and complex mobile messaging market. There are numerous restrictions and regulations and Nexmo is pleased to have a high-quality direct route into France in order to facilitate your SMS delivery there! 

This direct connection supports handset delivery receipts and delivery to ported numbers.

The restrictions are: 

  • French networks don't allow P2P Carrier to Carrier traffic (i.e. numeric sender IDs, to avoid spoofing of identities). Any numeric-only sender IDs will be automatically replaced by a shortcode except for the following networks:
    • For LycaMobile, all Sender IDs will be replaced with a local French Number.
    • For Virgin (OMEA) Mobile, dynamic Numeric and AlphaNumeric Sender IDs are allowed.
    • For all marketing traffic you must add 'STOP au 36179' at the end of the SMS or messages will be rejected.
  • The carriers SFR, Bouygues and Orange will only accept messages for delivery between 8am and 8pm local time Monday to Saturday.
  • SMS sent to network NRJ 20826 will have the Sender ID changed to a Short Code.
  • Messages to network Transatel 20822 will have the SMS body appended with ':STOP au 38058'
  • Special characters in sender IDs are not allowed and will either be replaced by character escape or the message will be rejected.
  • Some GSM characters will be downgraded to avoid breaking the handset display (.
  • Unicode is supported, however it cannot be guaranteed all times.
  • For all networks any senders containing the network names (i.e. 'sfr') will be filtered and nor delivered.

Please note that the above restrictions do NOT apply if you are sending using a Nexmo French long virtual number as senderID (2-way SMS).

Limitations to 2-Way SMS (via Long Virtual Numbers) in France

  • French Long Codes may only be used for Person to Person content messaging. This is a regulatory requirement. Marketing and one-way A2P is strictly not allowed and our Carrier will block high volumes (over approx 500 SMS per LVN per day) of message attempts originating from the same Virtual Number. 2-way A2P traffic must be sent via a dedicated short code (contact your account manager for more info about ordering a French short code).

    For this reason, and to make sure your traffic does not get blocked, we recommend to customers who are sending both “notification-only messages” (that do not require a response) and “notifications-requesting-response messages” to differentiate the sender as follows:
    • Use sender = {your brand} : for “notification only” messages, i.e. that do not require a response.
    • Use sender = {your long virtual number} : for messages that you want your users to be able to reply to, other than for unsubscription purposes, i.e. STOP.
  • Outbound messages from French Long Virtual Numbers are throttled at 1 SMS every 2 seconds.

Due to technology issues at the Carrier's end, some accented characters will be changed to remove the accents on all handset terminated (outbound) SMS. See full information about downgraded characters below:

Original Value New character mapped
ì i
ò o
ù u
¿ ?
The above characters have to be sent in Unicode encoding in order to maintain their initial format.
Reliable handset delivery receipts - Yes
Dynamic SenderID - Dynamic Alpha or Shortcode
Unicode - Yes
Concatenated Messages - Yes
Virtual Numbers
Local Reach - Yes
International Reach - Probably
SMS only - No
Voice only - Yes
SMS & Voice - Yes
Available via - API
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