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No service in Portugal

Joining in


I landed in Lisbon yesterday. I have a Google pixel 4a with a Virgin mobile SIM (SIM only contract). Roaming turned on on Google pixel, also roaming turned on on Virgin mobile app, and international call barring turned off.

Rebooting my phone has not helped.

I have not been able to get any service.

When I turn off "automatically select network" in my network settings, it shows all networks here as 'forbidden'.

Very frustrating as I am reliant on using my phone here (currently only able to use wi-fi).

I have tried calling the Virgin help number (ending 789) from my partner's phone but it would not connect.

Can anyone help?

I am not able to remove my SIM and put it back in as I have not brought my Google kit with me to be able to remove it (I didn't think I would need it!!!)

Any help would be much appreciated.






Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi Lehayleyyy,

A warm welcome and thanks for posting on our community forums. Sorry to hear that you have no connection in Lisbon.

Can we ask if you called our team before you went abroad to make sure roaming was set up on your account? 

Can we also ask if you have tried a manual network search on your mobile phone to connect to a network? 

You can check the link here

Please try the above and come back to us if further help is required.

Kind regards Jodi. 


Hi Jodi

Thanks for your reply.

I have done the manual network search, but all the networks have 'forbidden' next to them.

I didn't call the team before going abroad. I have tried to call from my partner's phone here, but the number is not connecting. Do you have a number I can call?

Thanks, Hayley




Joining in

Virgin Mobile are the worst with this.

I've just arrived in Netherlands with the same issue. They constantly turn off my roaming despite me leaving it on. Then I have to turn it off and on again and wait at least 24 hours hoping it will resolve.

Every time I arrive in a new country in the EU or even returning to the UK I lose reception for at least a day and have to purchase local sim cards.

There's no overseas help and it's pathetic. If I weren't on contract I would leave immediately. Worst network I've been with anywhere.

Hi Lehayleyyy,

Thanks for coming back to us. It may be that roaming has not been set up on your account, this is why it is always a good thing to check before you leave on your holidays. 

Don't worry though, we can certainly check from here for you. I will pop you over a private message to take some details


I am also having the same issue. 

beofre coming to Portugal I checked that roaming was on and call barring off on both the virgin media account app and also my apple  setting. 
however I do not have any signal and can not force my phone to connect to any local networks. 

please can you contact me to solve. 

Hi @Nasar16h,

Thanks for your post, and a warm welcome to our Community Forums.

Before I begin, I completely understand your need for this to be resolved. However, please refrain from PMing our Forum Team without their offer to do so, as this is against our rules and is seen as unsolicited.

Depending on your handset, can you please try doing the following:

- Apps (Home Screen) > Virgin SIM Toolkit > Roaming > Mode > Manual > International

- Settings > Phone > SIM Applications > Roaming > Mode > Manual > International
If you’re using a newer iOS, then you it will be under Mobile Data instead of Phone

When you return home, please go back into relevant setting and change Manual to Automatic - otherwise, you may not be able to access the network.

Once you've done this, please reboot your device and let me know how you get on.


Reece - Forum Team

New around here? To find out more about the Community check out our FAQ

Hi thanks for the information. I have changed since application to manual international and rebooted and I now have 4g signal.


thank you for helping me sort this out !! 

Hi @Nasar16h,

I'm glad to hear things are back up and running for you! Remember to switch it back to Automatic when you return to the UK.

If you need anything else, feel free to create a post and one of our team will be happy to assist.


Reece - Forum Team

New around here? To find out more about the Community check out our FAQ