France’s telecom authority, Arcep, announced on Monday that it would begin requiring phone calls from ‘technical platforms’, such as call centres, to call from numbers starting with 09.
The prefix is intended to help consumers avoid “fraud and abuse” by allowing them to tell the difference between personal mobile numbers, typically those beginning with 06 and 07, from calls or messages coming from companies.
This means that automated systems will no longer be able to use mobile numbers beginning with 06 or 07 for cold calling.
Additionally, automated calling will no longer come from regional numbers – those that begin with 01, 02, 03, 04, and 05.
Another reason for the change is to create a specific, clear “09 category for e-commerce communications (such as deliveries or drop-offs) and SMS reminders and confirmations for events, like online medical consultations.
Ultimately, the change will allow customers to recognise at first glance the origin of the call and, unless waiting for a delivery or confirmation message, choose not to answer.
The announcement comes as part of a larger modernisation campaign for national phone numbering, which began in 2018.