French (or foreign) hams have the possibility to ask for some « special » french callsigns when they operate a Special Event Station, a DXpedition or a contest station. Special calls are issued for 15 days max (you can’t have a year-long « contest call ») and cost 24€.
The problem is that although there are 22 entities under « F* » prefixes, there are only 3 prefixes for special calls: TM, TO and TX.
In short:TO and TX prefixes can be from various entities, and there’s no way to tell where the one you hear on the air is from.
- As mentionned, these callsigns lapse after a limited time. So you may have contacted TO3K from FG in 2007, and have TO3K from FR in 2008. If you setup entity definitions in your logbook software, forget them after 15 days. Don’t rely on QRZ.COM or other QSL info unless you make sure that the info is about that precise operation (ie time frame) you worked.
- TM will ALWAYS be from FRANCE (mainland).
- TO can be FG, FM, FR (including FR/G, FR/T, FR/J) or FY. Nothing else.
- TX can be from all OTHER places (FO, FK, FH..)
- The number after the two first letters does NOT mean anything.
Good luck !
Nota about FJ and FS: FJ and FS were belonging to FG and, as such, were given the TO prefix. Now that they are independant, they should receive TX prefixes. But the french administration being one of the heavier of the world, they still don’t know that, of course. That’s why you had TO5FJ or TO5RZ.