Orange LigneFixe "geographic" number issue

Hi - Orange seem to have summarily disconnected our Ligne Fixe number with the area code, and informed us that we are ok, as we have a different VOIP phone number usable via our Livebox.

The context is that we have in the last month or so obtained a VDSL2 connection to the fibre cabinet that finally reached our remote Haut Jura village. (That bit is good news, and we now have HD TV via the Internet, much better too).

To use VDLS2 we had to upgrade to a Livebox 4. I asked specifically if we would retain the 084 local number for those calling us, and for calling out, and was assured that we would.

The fixed line (rj11 to the xDSL plug provided with the Livebox) worked fine for the first few weeks.

It has just stopped working. The 084 number is still showing as a contract on our Orange webspace, and we have been assured by one of many Orange staff we spoke to today, that it is still exists as a contract, and is not affected by the move to VDSL2.
However a couple of the contradictory Orange techies have said either the number has been annulled (therefore not a technical fault - but a commercial issue, so back to another adviser), or that we should be happy because we have a VOIP number starting 09 and why are we so concerned!
It is a particular concern currently while we are trying to keep in touch with family and friends in different countries, and if it has been cancelled, it will take us a long time to track everyone who has used it over the last 18 years and let them know, so we are deeply frustrated!
Any suggestions?

I confess I’m confused - 08 4x xx xx xx isn’t a geographic number in the French numbering plan.

Apologies, typo, I should have put 0384!

That makes more sense :slight_smile:

Don’t know to be honest - as far as I knew if you switch to the Orange phone-via-internet service (i.e plug phone into Livebox) you should keep the same number. 09 is for 3rd party VOIP subscribers

It sounds like there is confusion about this even witin Orange

If you plug a phone in directly (either with the Livebox unplugged of via an adapter) and dial your old number (eg with your mobile) what happens? - if nothing what happens if you plug a phone into the RJ11 on the Livebox and dial the number.

Thanks Paul… we are in an extensive blackspot for mobiles, so have asked for others to call us on the 0834 number to test.
The VOIP phone appears to be working ok.

Just for clarification. Others now ring us on the 0834 number, and it rings but we hear and receive nothing.
The only inward phone calls that work now are the VOIP ones using the 09 number.
We have had the range of line tests by the Orange staff today, and they may be right that the number has been annulled, but no-one there seems to know!
I have tried firing off a complaint to Madame Fabienne Dulac (the CEO) and will update if there is an outcome.

Back in time we had the Livebox and a separate landline subscription. A number 09xx for the Livebox phone line and a 04x number for the landline. Later Orange was able to bridge this technically (I suppose), so the 04x number could be associated with the Livebox, and the 09x number “disappeared”. So the phone was connected to the Livebox and we could cancel the 18 euro/month landline subscription (saving!).
I think this is what should happen to you too.

By the way, if you have bad mobile network and if you have Orange or Sosh mobile subscriptions, I recommend to get the so-called Femtocell box from Orange. You connect it to the Livebox and it creates a mobile network inside your house (and a little bit in the garden too). There’s only a one-time setup fee of 20€ (I think), no extra monthly charges.

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With the phone connected to the line, or with the phone connected to the Livebox?

Oh err…we are 0384 too, and as yet still quite far down the queue for fibre. However since the 0384 number is the one used for business we really don’t want to loose it!

I will be following your progress closely and hope you are successful.

I must admit I’ve tried a few Google searches and (so far) I can’t find out definitively what happens when an existing subscriber tries to swap a ligne fixe contract and move to phone service via the Livebox - though I have found a couple of people complaining that they lost their geographic number when they did that.

To be honest I cannot see why Orange would want to give out 09 numbers to what is, to all intents and purposes, a geographic line given that 09 numbers might be viewed with some suspicion and there are VOIP operators in France who will give you a geographic number quite happily (or, indeed, hundreds if you want).

It is of some interest because I am still paying for a fixe plus internet on top and I’d quite like to stop - it was only ever intended to stay that way for a brief period while I re-wired the house extensions. Well, I initially had some overcomplicated thoughts about terminating both a French and UK VOIP number in the one system, as well as the French Geographic number but that idea died when I realised that a) I’m not going to rent the house and b) I’d come up with a 2-mile long suspension bridge to cross a stream when the right answer was a 6’ plank.

I have a feeling that Orange aren’t going to let me do what I want though (move the 02 number to the Livebox and change nothing else), at least not without updating the Livebox and changing tariff and a whole lot of other mucking around which won’t improve the service (which I’m quite happy with).

France does allow number portability so one method might be to port your existing fixe number to a separate VOIP provider, then either use a VOIP phone (expensive and ugly), an “ATA” (a bit of expense) or just port the number back to Orange after a month or two.

If I remember correctly, in the “old days” when I migrated from ISDN I had to have a landline and an internet contract because they were running the ADSL service over the same copper. It was a rip off. Then all the unbundling stuff came about and a landline service was no longer compulsory. Maybe now the inverse is true. If you’ve fibre to the house for data and VOIP then you may need a separate contract for the POTS line. It makes sense.

This page:


has a lot of interesting information about retaining landline numbers.

Un déménagement ou changement d’offre tout en restant chez le même opérateur n’est pas – à strictement parler – une portabilité dans la mesure où la portabilité est l’obligation d’offrir la conservation du numéro en cas de changement d’opérateur.

Tout changement d’offre au sein d’un même opérateur peut donc s’accompagner d’un changement de numéro, l’opérateur n’ayant alors pas l’obligation de maintenir le numéro. Cependant, les opérateurs ont une incitation commerciale à proposer à leurs abonnés les mêmes conditions que pourrait proposer un opérateur concurrent.

Thanks Alex - I’d seen that link but assumed it did not have anything to say about changing tariff with the same operator.

It’s a bit bizarre, isn’t it, you can port your number to a new operator but not insist that the same operator keeps the number if you change tariff - admittedly it’s similar with UK mobile numbers/operators in some cases (you typically can’t port a number to a new SIM bought from the same operator).

As I said the simplest thing is probably to find a VOIP operator that will accept ported-in numbers. Some have minimal set up fees (or free) and typically charge 1€/month for just having a number so hopefully that will not entail a large handout.

Then, once your service is set up with Orange port the number back to them.

What a ruddy hassle.

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I am concerned because of the following post and subsequent related posts about Orange ending its support for the old phone lines, and moving all new contracts to VOIp as a policy.
https://livebox-news.com/2016/06/27/1985/orange-va-tester-fin-du-rtc-bretagne

I got the strong sense from my exchanges yesterday with over 14 different Orange support staff, that they are not admitting to it, but this is the policy.

We now have a fibre box in the Village, about 30 metres from our door. We have a twinned phone line connection to that box for VDSL2. I am not clear whether the older overhead line connection to the PSTN (public switched telephone network) phone system is still in parallel use to the Fibre box, and if so that they cannot be bothered to fix it for us. I think many of our neighbours are still on the PSTN so I think that there must be ongoing support for them, but not it appears for us!

We are still testing as many variants as we can ourselves. We can get calls via the new 09 phone number connected to the green port on the Livebox 4. We cannot get calls to the old 0834 number to that connection. People who call the 0834 number hear it ringing but it is not picked up, so it appears that we are out and not picking up. If I connect the phone to the 0834 connection via the RJ11 plug on the xDSL filter to the primary wall phone socket, then I hear the phone ring, but when I pick up there is no connection made, the other end are not aware I have picked up, and there is the same background noise without dialling tone that I hear when I try to ring out. So I am fairly clear that there is a fault on the PSTN connection that Orange troubleshooting are not detecting, and for which they cannot be bothered to take further action.

I will probably involve the Mayor and see what he can achieve as one of the next steps, if by Friday I have not got any joy from Orange.

We do not actually have fibre to the house, although I take your point about the apparent logic of unbundling. We have paired phone lines giving us VDSL2 to the fibre box in the village. As far as Orange tech is concerned VDSL2 and ADSL are similar, and not Fibre per se. If we had Fibre we could get 4K TV, as it is we can get HD, ie Fibre gives around 200Mbit/s down; we get aout 90 Mbit/s down and 18 Mbit/s upstream (which is such an improvement anyway over the clunky internet we had before via PTSN).
I have been told that the Internet contract does not change our Ligne Fixe contract for our Geog number 0834. That contract is still showing on our Espace.

Sounds like Orange are completely mismanaging this, though I can see that if you have two numbers they would argue that you are ceasing the ligne fix along with its number) and continuing the 09 number through the Livebox - it’s logical but it does not really map to how most people view the telephone service and use of numbers.

However, if you are still paying for the ligne fixe simply report it as a fault, or ask for a port code and transfer it temporarily to a VOIP operator.

In my case I don’t think I have an 09 number having never taken telephony via the Livebox - perhaps there is a sneaky one I don’t know about waiting to trap me.

We managed to keep our old landline number 0555xxxx and dumped the 09whatever number fairly easily, but it was quite a while ago

You should definitely be able to end your Ligne Fixe contract and associate the 0384 number with the Livebox, and connect the phone to the green port. That’s how we did years ago. And moved to Sosh because it’s cheaper for the same service.
Orange is being incompetent over there.

Yes John you have the “last mile” type of service.

It’s a long, long time since I was interested in comms and way before ADSL but for what it’s worth this how I think it works. Happy for anybody that understands it better to correct me.

In the days when connections to the house were only via copper your cable was virtually split in two. There was an ADSL signal and a POTS (plain old telephone service) signal coming down the line, though they were probably multiplexed somehow, frequencies or whatever. That’s why there used to be a little filter one plugged in before the internet box to which one attached the old bog standard phone. That phone only saw the old analog line. Any phone attached to the Internet box was really VOIP and got sorted out in the ADSL servers before joining your POTS phone in the traditional analog exchanges (which since the eighties were, of course, all digital :roll_eyes:).

Now with your last mile set up the copper between your internet box and the fibre cabinet is pure digital so your old POTS number can’t piggyback on it. So your only access to the voice network is via the internet servers back in the exchange. What’s needed then is for your 09 number to mapped onto you old number. Which I’d say is technically pretty easy, if it’s been deigned to do that. Which one would have thought it would be as people wouldn’t want to loose their old, well established home numbers. On the other hand, when did Orange ever care about what customers want :thinking:

This could all be compete bunkum and I won’t be offended if anybody says so, once they explain how it actually works :slightly_smiling_face:

0-24kHz was reserved for the POTS bit, ADSL was 24kHz and above; the filter just blocked the higher frequencies - the ADSL modem being connected directly to the line.