Change to mobile telephony coverage and billing in France

Following recent discussions with the French and Swiss authorities, it has become clear that it is not permitted for a mobile telephony provider from one host state to transmit signals from the territory of the other. As a result, the Swisscom transmitters in France will be turned off on 29 August. From that date, coverage in France will be provided by Orange France. Users with a private subscription will be pleased to note that they will again have the ability to identify calls as private as from 18 July.


In order to ensure that you can still be contacted by your colleagues, please make sure that you have enabled roaming for voice calls. Instructions for common phone models are available at If you make use of data services, you will also need to enable data roaming to, for example, access your email whilst in France, but note that use of data services will be charged.

Special arrangements have been put in place by Swisscom to ensure that key features of our mobile telephony service (e.g. the 16xxxx or 7xxxx short-form dialling) will work from both networks.

A notable benefit of the new arrangement is that even the “Basic” CERN mobile phone subscriptions will be able to make and receive calls in Switzerland, Ain, Savoie and Haute-Savoie. However, the obvious drawback is that calls and mobile data usage in France, even in the Pays de Gex, will now be charged. CERN management has agreed that calls to or from CERN numbers (and also fixed line phone numbers in the local area) will be included in the monthly subscription. Calls elsewhere, however, may be more expensive from August 29 and data traffic will be billed in full.

For further details of what this change will mean for you, please see the list of “Frequently asked questions”. Users with private subscriptions are particularly encouraged to consider carefully whether or not they wish to maintain their private subscription: CERN will not consider any request for reimbursement of charges for voice calls or data usage.

by IT Department