You are likely here because you have some questions about the “Network Selection” part of the ParentShield Checkout. We are here to help!
With ParentShield at checkout you have the ability to specify which of the four UK networks ( Currently – Three, O2, EE and Vodafone ) the SIM can ALWAYS connect to. This gives you the ability to use the SIM solely on the chosen network(s) with the coverage you know and understand where you live, if that’s what you would like to do. It doesn’t mean the SIM will only select the chosen network.
If your coverage is particularly poor, you can turn on “Super Network” roaming and the SIM will then automatically select the strongest signal from any of the three networks at any time. This is ‘unsteered’ roaming which is the best possible solution.
The costs to provide the service on some networks is slightly higher than others, which is why there is a small monthly addition for some of the networks if you choose to permanently pin the phone to that network.
In all cases the SIM will attempt to maintain a network connection even if it means moving to a different network. For a technical description of what we do and how this translates to the five options we offer, and the reason for different costs check out the Steered vs Unsteered roaming blog post.
Your phone will still need to be unlocked
If your child’s phone is locked to any network it will still need unlocking – even if you choose the network that it’s locked to.
We have a guide to Unlocking mobile phones in the Ultimate Unlocking Guide.
Phone locking applies to the core network ( Which is ParentShield ) and not the network that it connects to. For instance your phone can be locked to Vodafone, yet still roam and connect to Movistar Network in Spain, but you can’t put a Movistar SIM in the phone and connect to Movistar. I know. Confusing. Basically. If the phone is locked, it won’t work until it is.
Don’t worry about getting it wrong!
We have the technology to remotely re-provision the SIM over the air should you need a different network. The activation process involves the phone scanning all the networks in turn and that information will tell us if we need to make adjustments. In most cases we’ll do this automatically, and if we need to make an adjustment, there will never be an extra cost.
The 10-minute activation process is important.
When the SIM begins its activation sequence, we have the SIM try and signal all the available networks and see how well it can connect. This means the normal, and expected behaviour when you first power the phone back on after inserting the SIM, will be to see it connect, and disconnect several times. Probably even seeing it drop back to “Emergency Calls Only” once, twice or three times.
This isn’t anything to be worried about or a sign that anything is wrong. It’s expected. We are busy gathering information about the phone’s capabilities and your local networks to allow our systems to properly configure the SIM.
If our systems detect that your chosen network is unavailable, or weaker than another we will automatically add a network that it can connect to, and this never incurs any extra charges of course.
Call us if you are unsure
If you are unsure – feel free to use the Web Chat, or call 03301221180 for a chat. Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org will also do the trick and we’ll always be back to you very quickly.