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Consistently Poor Signal

Dear Virgin Mobile,

For weeks now, probably months, I've had a very poor signal wherever I am, in some places no signal at all. I have an iPhone XR which has been tested by Apple senior technicians and the phone is functioning perfectly. I have the latest version of IOS on the phone (13.1) and all my software is up to date. You have supplied me with a new SIM but that has made no difference either. Please would you check your signal, software etc to see if there is a problem with that or between that and my phone. My home postcode is HA5 2PW, but as I stated earlier this problem is with me wherever I go and is becoming seriously annoying. I know the Vodafone signal is very strong in my area and my girlfriend's service with another carrier, whilst not as strong as Vodafone, is also better than mine. Right now where I am I have one bar and that keeps disappearing so I have no signal at all.

Regards.

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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Unlike Virgin TV & broadband, Virgin Mobile isn't a network operator in the same sense as Vodafone/EE/O2/3, but they are a virtual operator who resell EE airtime (with some limitations) under their own brand.

Which carrier is your girlfriend with, for starters? An online check of EE coverage in that postcode shows good signal overall, but that includes 4G800 which is excellent at improving indoor and rural coverage but Virgin Mobile don't have access to (one of the subtle differences). You can also check for EE network faults at https://myaccount.ee.co.uk/networkchecker/checkservice

Your best bet is to ask around friends and relations to see which networks they use. In the meantime, https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage is a good way of comparing all 4 of the big networks. The big-4 operators have various indoor coverage solutions, notably WiFi calling - which means that no signal is no problem.

Having said all this, you say your coverage problems occur in many areas - this would indicate to me, that your device is the issue rather than the network. Have you tried swapping SIMs between devices, to see if your problems follow the device or "network"?

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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Hi,

Yes I've had a new SIM put in and that made no difference. As I said in my post, the phone has been checked by senior Apple technicians, they've run diagnostics etc and they can't find a fault on the phone. I can and will get in touch with them again to recheck, but I've tried everything from switching plane mode on and off through to a reset and nothing has solved the problem.

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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

By all means get the phone checked by a principal/senior engineer if you like but...

Firstly which network is your GF on? Do you have any other friends or relations on EE-direct, or another of their MVNOs (Asda Mobile, 1p-Mobile, BT Mobile)? If you do, try their SIM in your phone.

When you're out and about, or somewhere else that your phone isn't working - repeat the exercise.

It's not clear from your post what provider's SIM has been tried - and therefore what it's proven. From the gist of your posts, your phone *appears* to have a problem, but you say Apple staff have sworn blind it doesn't. The two can't both be correct.

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Message 5 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

They've already had their phone checked out.  Did you not bother to read the original post?

Why is it the phone that's wrong?  How about it's Virgin's appalling coverage?

I moved to 02 earlier this year, from Virgin, I get full 4G signal just about everywhere on 02 and never less than one bar below full signal.  With Virgin I was struggling to get one bar signal.  Plus I had Virgin's charming habit of phoning home on the internet every hour even when I was asleep even though the phone was connected to Wifi.

And yes I know Virgin is not 02, but presumably you'd have been telling me that my phone was at fault too?

 

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Message 6 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Ok let's go back a bit to help the OP here...

They've said they have signal problems virtually everywhere they go, and sometimes no signal at all. We don't know where they're travelling so it's hard to judge... but for all of VM's shortcomings, having minimal coverage to this degree really isn't one of them - otherwise there'd be a shedload of complaints from a lot more users (both of EE-direct and several MVNO). This implies to me, a phone problem. I'll be honest, I'd take the Apple staffer's verdict with a pinch of salt at the moment.

They say their GF has signal but we don't know which network, they say another provider also has signal when they don't. This implies to me, a network problem and could point at ropey indoor coverage - but this is without knowing the providers/operators involved.

Testing phones from different networks side-by-side and/or swapping SIMs around (preferably in different locations) is a good way of narrowing down the problem. It would also be interesting to see whether putting the phone into 2G/3G-only mode makes any difference, I certainly wouldn't rule out a problem with Virgin's 4G-provisioning, there's been well documented issues with the new purple SIMs that could also be having a bearing here.

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Message 7 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Hi,

Having had the time to do more checks, including on my phone and with friends and others, I'm now certain there is nothing wrong with my phone. it's pretty much as whyowhyowhy says, poor network coverage by Virgin. A friend of mine, also on Virgin, has exactly the same problem. Other friends and people on different networks I've asked when I've been somewhere and experiencing this problem have been able to get a better signal and make calls etc. I'm going to contact Virgin Mobile again, let them know what's been going on so far and request they run tests and see what they say.

Regards,

Mark.

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Message 8 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

It's not virgin's bad signal, rather the EE signal that they piggyback on as an MVNO. The only difference for signal strength/quality is the missing 800mhz frequency that EE's own customers have. That is used for 4g calling anyway, which along with WiFi calling virgin don't have. 

Virgin won't be able to wave a magic wand, all they can do is check with EE. As you said it happens wherever you go, that would be more difficult anyway. 

Looking at the signal maps you should be getting a decent signal where you are. As I don't have an iPhone, I don't know if there are signal strength apps you can install to compare 2g/3g/4g.

It could be the case that one or more of those gives a better signal at home for calls. If you have WiFi you don't really need 4g at home, as calls are made on 3g or 2g. I move to 2g when at home, as my 3g signal for calls is bad. 

Not sure from your posts if you said you'd tried your sim in another phone. You mentioned others with vm have issues, is that tested on 4g,3g,2g? 

Entirely possible that you have a faulty sim. I know its a replacement, but I'm pretty sure that's happened before on this forum. 

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Message 9 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Yes, I've tried my SIM in another phone, it works fine, so pretty sure it's not the phone or the SIM.

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Message 10 of 13
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Re: Consistently Poor Signal

Firstly it's possibly helpful to reinforce what Paul has mentioned, which might help the OP a little.

With TV, broadband & landline, Virgin operate their own network. With mobile, they don't - it's EE's radio network that EE operate (well, MBNL if we're being exact) and Virgin just have a wholesale agreement to rebadge as their own - albeit with the subtle differences. So with coverage issues, Virgin are basically in the hands of EE.

EE 4G-calling customers do have the additional 800Mhz coverage, but on the assumption that the OP has proven their phone/SIM as ok...

I get that other Virgin Mobile users have problems in the same areas, but do other EE users? They've mentioned about other networks, but it's not clear whether that includes EE direct. That would essentially prove whether they are better off on another network entirely or not.

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