Just returned from a cruise on P&O Arcadia. P&O provide a mobile roaming service on board ship that is operated through MCP (Maritime Communications Partners) who have recently been re-branded as Telenor Maritime.
I was expecting to be able to use this service as I had international roaming enabled on my phone. However, despite my handset being able to see and record a strong signal from the MCP system, when I tried to select the MCP network I received a message stating that my SIM card was not supported.
I know that Virgin relies on EE to provide their network service and I think I've read somewhere that EE do not have an agreement with MCP to allow their users to access the system on board ships.
Anyone have similar experiences and does anyone know what Virgin and/or EE are planning to do about it?
If the situation doesn't change soon I will be cancelling my Virgin Mobile contract and migrating to a provider that does support this service
Just called tech support to query situation regarding connection to ship's mobile system when away from land based providers. First reaction was that my roaming was not working but I informed him that it was switched on and that I could get service in Norway no problem and even picked up a French nprovider when sailing back down the North Sea.
When asked he confirmed that EE was the provider for Virgin Mobile. I suggested that posts on other forums indicated that EE did not have a roaming agreement with MCP/Telenor Maritime. His reaction was that if that was the case then Virgin could do nothing about it. He felt that there would be few people in my position so there was no incentive to spend any effort trying to persuade EE to rectify the situation.
I suggested that I would therefore be looking to migrate away to another provider. His reaction - good luck but make sure they can give the service required as EE also supply network coverage to other mobile providers.
So all-in all a great customer experience. I'm afraid it will be "Sayonara" Virgin and Hello O2 or Vadaphone