Phone Co Op SIM Reporting Constant Roaming (MVNO Issue)

I am not a techie. I got the Fairphone as it was an ethical handset. Unfortunately the Phone Coop’s provider (T Mobile) is not recognised by my handset. Fairphone have been great in offering support but it may as well be in Swahili as I just don’t get it.
The phone is (a) in constant roam mode and (b) won’t upload the latest OS (Cherry).
Is there a kind techie person somewhere in City of London (near St Pauls) who could offer help? I will provide coffee/sandwiches!

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Sorry to say that I’m not at all close to London, but

a) Roaming: my guess is that it’s a ‘phoney’ warning. I guess that Phone Co-Op is a so-called ‘Mobile Virtual Network Operator’ using T-Mobiles network which confuses the phone. When the FP first arrived, a lot of users on different operators suffered from this. Since then, the OS has been updated so that more networks are properly recognised, but maybe there are a few odd operators left.
You can probably just disregard it. If you want to be on the safe side, not risking roaming charges, you could select your operator manually (System settings > Wireless & Networks - More > Mobile networks > Network operators > Select manually). It may be that updating to Cherry will solve it.

b) updating problem: Remember that you can only update when on wifi - not on a mobile data connection. And you may need to tap the button frantically a number of times before anything happens.

Hopefully you’ll solve it!

Hi @Helen_Highwater,

sadly i am nowhere near London but i found this article by Co-Op:,-we’ve-held-it-in-our-hands!/ praising the Fairphone. Please see the dicussion below the blog post which includes a FP owner who seems to have similar problems. Co-Op replies that they have several Fairphones in use by customers and staff. They provide some solutions there, please se the link above.

Given that enthusiams for Fairphone, i think you should contact the Co-Op support, they might be able to help you out. Maybe they even have stores were you can go to (i am not in the UK and do not know about Co-Op)?

I hope you will be able to get your Fairphone running proberly!
Good Luck!

Edit: they provide a service to send you internet settings for the Fairphone to you mobile number:

Thanks - you are right I am worried about attracting roaming charges. But have had some help from Phone Coop but still is looking waaay to technical for me. I may be brave and have a go - what’s the worst that could happen??

The worst I can think of is that the OS gets corrupted so that you’ll have to do a factory reset but that is most unlikely. My advice is: take the plunge and follow Coops advice. Ben’s post indicates that they are familiar with the FP, so their suggested tweaks are probably tested.
It might of course always be prudent to back up contacts and other stuff of importance. Should a reset be necessary, all data will disappear. Likewise, a backup is wise before updating the OS.


Can you tell us what version of Fairphone OS you currently have on your phone - you can find this out by going to your apps and launching Fairphone Updater and it will tell you which version you are on

As has been pointed out already, the Phone Co-op is an ‘MVNO’ this means they are a virtual operator and as you mention using the T-Mobile (i.e. EE) network. In early version of the Fairphone, there was a problem where phones were picking up MVNOs as a Roaming network - but be assured you will not be charged for roaming

In terms of updating, it is a fairly straight forward process so have a go and if you have problems as you go, post back up here and the community can help you through.

Thanks lovely people. I was brave. It worked. Good old Fairphone!!! I am now back in business and feel uber proud that I managed to do something techie with the phone without breaking it!!!


Glad to hear you got it sorted! Now you can feel confident that you can manage your phone, come hell and high water… :wink:

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Glad to hear you were able to do this with ease. Excellent news.

As this is resolved I’m going to close the topic off to new replies, and I’ll edit the title so that anybody else with a similar issue will know what to do to resolve.