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Message 1 of 13
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SIM has changed to Proximus

I have three phones with VM all on contract. Two work one does not.

All were originally with Orange, then EE. When EE demolished the local mast eliminating my 3G signal they gave me a SignalBox which fixed the problem of no calls at home 🙂 Years go by, switched to VirginMedia 'cos of better integration with broadband and V6 TV 🙂 As VM used the EE signal the Signal Box went on working fine. It is still working with two of the three phones. Q4 2019 one of the phones, a SONY L1 was out of contract, replaced it with an L3. Then the fun began. Set up the new phone OK using internet for most stuff. OK. However when the SIM was installed it was not possible to connect by the SignalBox. VM Tech support decided to send a replacement new phone. Yet again the new SIM would not connect. Went to the (now closed) local store. This time the phone did connect normally. Got home .... no signal again. Grrrr. Much mucking about and rebate / apology from VM. Partner goes back to the L1 which is still working ok.

After much mucking about I have discovered that when the working two phones (Sony L1, Sony XZ2 ) make/receive calls the "SMS Authority" is EE ( no surprise there ) but with the new L3 this has changed to Proximus Belgcom. Proximus is rejected by the SignalBox and so the phone does not work at home for calls or SMS. CS& TS seem to be totally ignorant about the advent of Proximus and the consequences. They just don't understand the problem.

CS has now sent me yet another SIM which will of course based on Proximus. Experimenting with SIMS makes no difference at all, the L3 will not make calls even with a SIM which works in the L1.Thus it seems that the new Proximus provisions the phone in such a way that even using a EE friendly VM SIM fails.

What I need is someway to provision the phone to work with EE and SignalBox. So far as the phone offers Proximus for its credentials the phone is a dead parrot.

This sorry tale has gone on for 5 months , sob.

 

 

 

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Message 2 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

All the new SIM cards are programed by Proximus. to allow Virgin to run their own core network completely without recourse to EE

The old cards were simply rebadged EE. 

Phones originally locked to EE by Virgin will no longer work without unlocking. The same goes for EE signal boxes, they no longer see the network as EE.

Not a lot you can do in your case, other than move to another EE based network 

All the old EE SIMs are being phased out as we type and will be switched off in the future before the move to O2

 

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Message 3 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

"The old cards were simply rebadged EE.

Phones originally locked to EE by Virgin will no longer work without unlocking. The same goes for EE signal boxes, they no longer see the network as EE."

1. At this time VM is relying on ( and paying for ) EE for a signal something which Proximus us unable to provide.

2. The SignalBox is working perfectly well with my other two phones which were setup before the witching hour of December 2018. It is also working with any phone on EE contract (not payg). There is no reason for it not to continue to do so with EE phones in the future - I don't use the patheticc VM router. If EE cease the service ( due to using wifi calling instead) it will not be because of anything VM does or does not do.

3. If you read my post properly you will understand that two phones I have originally locked to EE are still working fine via the SignalBox ( and VM 4G away from base ) without changing the SIM or unlocking them.

4. Virgin could easily fix the problem by allowing wifi calling on all contract phones now instead of a few Samsungs. O2 already do this so I assume VM will do so also at some time next year. The Sony XZ2 for instance VM California supports wifi calling na in the UK.

5. Virgin should have been a lot more upfront with what was going on. As it was even VM TS had no idea with the result that they replaced a perfectly good brand new phone for no reason.

6. Presumably the merger of O2 and VM will remove the need for Proximus. In order to avoid a full on train crash VM will have to be a lot more carefull than they have been in moving away from EE. Just switching things off is an absurd idea.

I have never encountered anybody in VM CS & TS who understood what a SignalBox or femtocell is. They understand it to be as signal booster which is something else altogether. At the time I ug the 2nd phone I stressed to sales that it must support the SignalBox. They said that it did but were 100% incorrect.

Now I would like to UG my SONY to a 1-ii but cannot see any way to do so as I will not be able to get a signal with it.I have not been able to get an an answer to the question "will it support wifi dialling" as they don't understand the question!

If VM had not closed most of their call centres and all of the stores they might not be quite so busy.

 

 

 

 

 

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Message 4 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

Bad news on Virgin Shops. None are reopening as they have decided to leave the High Street.

The word I have is that Virgin will still transition to Vodafone for signal to start with, before a final move to O2 when the core networks can be integrated and that will not be in time for the EE switch off when their contract between them and Virgin expires. 

I have been told by Virgin that there is a big push on getting rid of the old SIM cards at the moment, and their turn off date is hopefully in the next 6 months, depending on how things go 

So plenty to look forward to.

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Message 5 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus


@Harper2 wrote:

1. At this time VM is relying on ( and paying for ) EE for a signal something which Proximus us unable to provide.

The radio signal and the provisioning systems are two separate things. Previously the VM SIM cards were in part provisioned by EE's systems in addition to using their radio signal. The new VM SIM cards only use the EE mobile radio signal for now - all other elements of the service are now run by Virgin Media's own technology. So even though the mobile radio signal is the same at the moment, that's all that is.

2. The SignalBox is working perfectly well with my other two phones which were setup before the witching hour of December 2018. It is also working with any phone on EE contract (not payg). There is no reason for it not to continue to do so with EE phones in the future - I don't use the patheticc VM router. If EE cease the service ( due to using wifi calling instead) it will not be because of anything VM does or does not do.

EE and Virgin Media are not the same thing. It has been a quirk of technology that the EE Signalboxes work with Virgin Media SIMs in the first place due to the way those older SIMs connected to EE's systems, and its never been a part of the Virgin Media service for them to officially do so.

3. If you read my post properly you will understand that two phones I have originally locked to EE are still working fine via the SignalBox ( and VM 4G away from base ) without changing the SIM or unlocking them.

So I would expect that they still have the EE provisioned Virgin Media SIMs in them then. When they are replaced by the VM controlled SIMs, then they'll also stop working with the SignalBox and you'll also need to get them unlocked.

4. Virgin could easily fix the problem by allowing wifi calling on all contract phones now instead of a few Samsungs. O2 already do this so I assume VM will do so also at some time next year. The Sony XZ2 for instance VM California supports wifi calling na in the UK.

O2 don't have WiFi Calling on all contract phones - what they will have is WiFi calling on more contract phones than Virgin Media, because they starting offering it earlier, so the configuration exists within more devices than do for Virgin Media. As new devices are launched by different device manufacturers that Virgin Media have a relationship with, then more devices will work with the Virgin Media WiFi Calling service.

Exactly the same sequence happened for all other networks when they first started offering WiFi Calling in the UK - devices sold before the launch of WiFi Calling only worked where an update was provided and there are still many situations where devices won't work with another network's version of WiFi Calling outside of the Virgin Media one.

5. Virgin should have been a lot more upfront with what was going on. As it was even VM TS had no idea with the result that they replaced a perfectly good brand new phone for no reason.

You're asking Virgin Media to know about a Signalbox they haven't ever supplied or offered support for at any point. The product is an EE one. Virgin Media is not EE.

6. Presumably the merger of O2 and VM will remove the need for Proximus. In order to avoid a full on train crash VM will have to be a lot more carefull than they have been in moving away from EE. Just switching things off is an absurd idea.

By the time that Virgin Media move to either Vodafone or O2 for the radio network, all SIM cards will have been swapped, so all devices will work with the current SIM cards and the services provided by the them. As I said above, with the new SIM cards, the provisioning and services offered and the radio signals are separate.

I have never encountered anybody in VM CS & TS who understood what a SignalBox or femtocell is. They understand it to be as signal booster which is something else altogether. At the time I ug the 2nd phone I stressed to sales that it must support the SignalBox. They said that it did but were 100% incorrect.

That was wrong of them to offer a guarantee of something that's outside of any of the Virgin Media services. No excuse there.

Now I would like to UG my SONY to a 1-ii but cannot see any way to do so as I will not be able to get a signal with it.I have not been able to get an an answer to the question "will it support wifi dialling" as they don't understand the question!

Sony devices don't yet support the Virgin Media WiFi calling service irrespective of the mobile radio network they connect to. Virgin Media and Sony would have to work together to add support for it within the firmware of new Sony devices, and existing ones where Sony include it within a firmware upgrade.

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Message 6 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

'Sony devices don't yet support the Virgin Media WiFi calling service irrespective of the mobile radio network they connect to. Virgin Media and Sony would have to work together to add support for it within the firmware of new Sony devices, and existing ones where Sony include it within a firmware upgrade.'

There is no such thing as EE VM O2 or any other wifi calling service . It is simply a protocol which is just there on most high end phones irrespective of mfg . The ISP can choose to enable it or not but it is there anyway. Once the phone has been registered to use WFC then it will make calls using wifi calling anywhere that it can get a wifi connection where 3G/4G is unavailable.The user does not have to do anything the phone takes the option automatically. It costs the ISP nothing as the call time is taken from the user's minutes. It is not like enabling/disabling wifi over 4G.

Thus from my point of view WFC is a winner - it gets around the no signal (at all) problem at home (since EE disabled the mast) and it also works anywhere where there is wifi enabled but no phone signal.

At this time VM offer WFC on a some Samsung and Apple phones. They offer it on the SONY XZ2 but only in California. I assume they will offer it on the SONY 1-ii. I have been offered an early adopter on this phone + yet more earphones but my level of trust in VM is such that I'll wait n see. As my current phone (XR2) is quite beefy and runs Android10 there is no rush. By the time VM/O2 get their act together Sony will have moved on to the next big thing anyway poss. saving me a grand.

VM cannot disable current SIMS using EE before they have distributed replacements. That would be defaulting on contract . It would fit nicely with IVM's ideas on customer service though.

In any case the ubiquitous spread of public wifi and apps such as WhatsApp are undermining the current smartphone business model. On top of that it is fairly obvious that the mindset of the ISPs vis a vis 5G and the disruptive way in which it will actually evolve are an ocean apart.

I cannot see why the ISPs do not all simply enable WFC and have done with it. I suppose it is part and parcel of the hate/hate relationship which has developed re smart phones and broadband. First the store techies who knew their stuff were replaced by dummies. Then sales fell off (what a surprise) so the stores were closed. Far too many helpful and clued up people at the call centres where long waits were v unusual. Now even that capacity has been halved resulting in very long waits to speak to people unable to move outside of the script.

Like an increasing number of businesses (expensive) contact with real live users is being cut to the bone. I once tried the web chat app - the VM side simple worked through a script and overall < 10 mins by voice became 90 mins with the webchat. Joke.

O2 have said recently that they intend to retain and expand their stores! Oooer.

Be careful to hold tight to nurse for fear of finding something worse.

 

 

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Message 7 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus


@Harper2 wrote:

There is no such thing as EE VM O2 or any other wifi calling service . It is simply a protocol which is just there on most high end phones irrespective of mfg . The ISP can choose to enable it or not but it is there anyway. Once the phone has been registered to use WFC then it will make calls using wifi calling anywhere that it can get a wifi connection where 3G/4G is unavailable.The user does not have to do anything the phone takes the option automatically. It costs the ISP nothing as the call time is taken from the user's minutes. It is not like enabling/disabling wifi over 4G.


The concept of WiFi Calling is generic, but implementation is specific to each provider as the device needs to include any appropriate configuration to talk to the providers systems. Same as SMS messaging needs a message centre which is different per network, and the same with APN setting for Mobile data.

Where a device works with multiple versions of WiFi Calling from different networks, it's because that device has all those providers versions built into the firmware or from other update method.


@Harper2 wrote:

At this time VM offer WFC on a some Samsung and Apple phones. They offer it on the SONY XZ2 but only in California.


Virgin Mobile in other countries has nothing to do with Virgin Mobile in the UK


@Harper2 wrote:

VM cannot disable current SIMS using EE before they have distributed replacements. That would be defaulting on contract . It would fit nicely with IVM's ideas on customer service though.


They're not doing that. All customers will have been sent a VM Controlled SIM before their EE SIM is deactivated.

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Message 8 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

As a side note on Virgin Mobile in California.  Virgin Mobile USA went down the route as being a Apple Only Carrier last year - which subsequently sent them downhill into death, all their customers were moved over to BoostMobile.

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Message 9 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

well I guess you had better read this

https://www.o2.co.uk/connectivity/wifi-and-4g-calling

as it will eventually come to VM.

The whole point of Web calling is that once setup it will work anywhere where there is a wifi connection but only a 3G/4G black hole for voice. A given phone does not need to install software for every other ISPs WebCalling implementation than it does for 4G or VoLTE ( another VM absentee). That is what standards are for.

btw There is not much point sending out new SIMS if there is not any signal to pick up!

Any smartphone made in the last 2 years has hardware which can support web dialling. Whether it does or not depends on what the ISP chooses to enable from the OEM version of Android. It is not very difficult to do but users cannot roll their own 'cos of the various gateways involved. As the user will use up sub call minutes when using web calling it is a bit of a mystery why ISPs are so reluctant to enable it especially a it could do away with the black hole problem and need for more/taller towers.

In any case it is obviously the end of the line for VM Mobile but whose badging will the be used from 2021 VM or O2 ? O2 already have the SONY I-ii and I have been invited to pre-order by VM. Now if I took the VM offer (a) would web calling be enable (as with some Samsung) phones or not? Moreover would it still work when the default network becams O2 ( presumably no longer using Proximus).

I cannot really see a rush of people using O2 and Sky to VM & V6 TV especially as V6 morphs into yet another version of NetFlix.

I don't use Apple or Samsung/VOX because I prefer to control my own life not have that done for me. Apple and Samsung remind me of the movie "I, Robot". With a little determination and as near vanilla OS as poss that can be done with Android and especially SONY who are also very good with OTA updates and fixes - unlike Samsung, Apple of course don't do updates only downgrades.

 

 

 

 

 

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Message 10 of 13
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Re: SIM has changed to Proximus

Don't bet on Virgin running on O2 in 2021. It will be at least a year before the initial behind the scenes are complete. The is also the possibility of the Competition Commission delaying things

Then there is the not so small problem of integrating the two networks seeing Virgin run there own core network. May even require new SIM cards.

Finally there is the deal with Vodafone to supply signal towards the end of next year and 5G before that. So far that still stands.

I wouldn't be betting on anything just yet until we have more clarity

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