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Could not activate mobile data in Europe / France

JPD
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Hello

Question: Could not activate mobile data network while in France.

 I come back from France to visit my brother who is unwell, and I could not activate my mobile data network, a serious issue that caused me a lot of stress as I needed to complete the Covid travel formalities on my return journey.  

 Although voice calls and WIFI worked, I had no mobile internet. This became a very stressful issue, I could not load my passenger location form nor my antigen test results on the Eurotunnel platform as required.  They stopped and kindly assisted but I was conscious that I was also wasting their time, if my mobile data had worked I could have progressed without stopping.

I checked the settings on my iPhone 12 (Mobile data and roaming were on etc…) several times and switched on and off my phone.  I called O2 who said there may be an issue between them and Orange.   They advised me to go to the “Network Selection” tab and to select manual and try to change network, I tried Bouygues and Free but without success.  I have learned subsequently that Vodafone and EE are introducing charges for roaming in Europe after Brexit.  O2 said they don’t but have data limits. Because roaming in Europe is loss-making I wonder if they have not cut out altogether some customers? But then I speculate.

I am at a loss to understand why I could not activate my mobile data. If this is an issue of the connection between O2 and Orange I need to know as I will be going back to see my family and I do not wish to be faced with the same problem.  Your advice is much appreciated.

JPD

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MI5
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@JPD 

You need to call O2 and ask them to add iData bolt on to your account.

Your data will then work abroad.

Without iData, you need to change your apn to "mobile.o2.co.uk"

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
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JPD
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Hi Miss - thank you.  I have plenty of data available - not sure what iData means but also my APN is as you describe... I had no issue last year (older model of iPhone admittedly) - when I called O2 support no one mentioned adding iData... are you sure it is the issue?

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gmarkj
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If you have an iPhone, and your data works in the UK but not abroad then it will either be the settings at o2's end or a roaming bar @JPD.

If your calls/texts worked when abroad then it will be the settings, if nothing worked then the roaming bar.

Please note, this is not customer services and we cannot access your account. Do not publish personal details (email, phone number, bank account).


Link to our guide on how to contact them can be found here

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MI5
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@JPD wrote:

Hi Miss - thank you.  I have plenty of data available - not sure what iData means but also my APN is as you describe... I had no issue last year (older model of iPhone admittedly) - when I called O2 support no one mentioned adding iData... are you sure it is the issue?


@JPD 

Are you saying your apn is set to "mobile.o2.co.uk" ?

If so, you need to change it to "idata.o2.co.uk"

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
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JPD
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Hello and thank you - I am not convinced that this will cure the issue.

I am a long-standing client of O2 with monthly payments and I have used O2 lots of time while in France in previous years. Earlier this year I replaced my old loyal iPhone 6 by an iPhone 12 – it is the only change on my side.   

  • The settings on my iPhone are
  • Mobile Data – on
  • Data Roaming on
  • Mobile data network: idata.02.co.uk
  • I have plenty of data available as I hardly use any in the UK.

Call in France was working but the issue was that whenever I tried to use the internet as I do here in the UK – I had a message telling me that in large characters “Could not activate Mobile data network and in small characters… Turn on mobile data or use wi-fi to access data”

When arriving in France – I received as before Welcome to France – “Now all text and call you use in Europe will come out of your normal UK Allowance”. So I don’t not think that I need Data to be bolt on .. I looked up on MyO2 and it said I did not need it.

I have tried to call O2 several times, it is very time consuming and frustrating and their website makes me go around and around.

My concern is that next time I will be over there again – the same will happen.  Any advice you can give me is most appreciated.  It will save stress and eventually time also for the like of Eurotunnel staff who have to complete formalities for me as I could not do while travelling in the country.

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MI5
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@JPD 

You need to change your apn to "mobile.o2.co.uk" or call O2 to enable iData on your account and leave the apn as idata.

Your choice.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
OnePlus 6 (O2 & Sfr), Z3 Tablet (Three UK), iPhone 8+ (EE)
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JPD
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HI M15 - thank you - sorry I may have misunderstood your previous guidance.  I will try this and contact you again if there is an issue (with Wi-Fi in that case).  kind regards.  JP

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