Common French telecom expressions


When working out a calling plan or ordering a phone line, you will probably encounter some complicated vocabulary. This glossary will help you out with special telecom terms.

Abonnement = subscription to the contract

Annuaire = directory

Appel = call

Coût de la cart SIM seule = cost of the purchase of SIM card itself, which sometimes also includes a few minutes of Communication (crédit d'appels inclus)

Conso = consumption of the purchased credits

Coût de recharge = cost of recharge

Coût de SMS/texto = cost of sending a short message (SMS)

Coût mensuel = monthly fees (for contracts)

Double appel = possibility to hold to calls at the same time and switch between them

Durée de l'abonnement = period time of the contract

Durée de validité en émission = time of the validity to make calls from the time the recharge purchase was made

Durée de validité en réception = time of the validity to receive calls from the time the recharge purchase was made

Durée minimum d'engagement = minimum period of time of the contract

Facturation = billing

Facturation à la seconde dès la première seconde = communication costs are based on a per second basis from the beginning of the call (this is a good option if you often make calls shorter then one minute)

Facture détaillée = bill with a complete list of calls made over the billed period

Forfait = the regular monthly payment which gives corresponding number of credits for calls

Formule de l'abonnement = main plan characteristics/features

Garantie en cas de vol = anti-theft insurance

Messagerie vocal = answering system

Nombre de SMS/texto = number of short messages (SMS) that can be sent within the recharge purchase period

Numéros verts = (green numbers), toll-free numbers when calling from fixed lines, starting with 0800

Numéros azurs = (blue number), numbers charged as a local call regardless from which place in France you call, starting with 0801

Numéro indigo = (indigo number), special number for various commercial services; the calls are more expensive than a local call

Opérateur présélectionné= default service provider (without dialling any specific prefix)

Pages Blanches, Jaunes, Pro etc. = various French phone directories, available also on-line

Prélevement automatique = order to your bank to make your monthly payment automatically

Présentation du numéro = display of the phone number of the coming call

Prix de revient à la minute = cost of communication per minute

Prix de revient de SMS/texto = cost per short message (SMS)

Prix de revient/mn dans le forfait = cost of communication per minute within the plan (for contracts)

Prix de revient/mn hors forfait = cost of communication per minute for communication in excess of the plan (for contracts)

Report de minutes inutilisés, de communication non consommée = reporting of unused minutes in the plan to the following period

Résilier l'abonnement = contract termination

Services inclus = included services

Signal d'appel = signal indicating the presence of a second incoming call whilst already talking

Tarif normal, plein tarif = normal rate

Tarif réduit, creux, super creux = discounted rate during some periods of the working days and during the weekends (hours depends on each operator)

Tarification à la seconde au-delà de la première minute indivisible = connection cost is equal to one minute of the call and after the first minute you pay per second

Temps de communication inclus = included time of the communication within the recharge purchase

Temps de communication mensuel = the minutes/month of communication included within the plan (for contracts)

Further reading

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