Italy Cell Phone question

Old Sep 24th, 2015, 01:07 AM
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Italy Cell Phone question

I have an unlocked iPhone and will be in Italy for 17 days.

Does a SIM card purchased here work in all cities without roaming? Also what are the costs for one? I saw one at the airport for 300 euro for 3 weeks!!!
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 02:00 AM
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here?
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 06:51 AM
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Purchased in Italy*.

I did manage to find a TIM place that had plans of 35 euro a month for 400 minutes and 2 gb data, not sure if that is good.
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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This might help http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-....In.Italy.html
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 11:06 AM
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That traveler article mentioned by Bilboburgler has many inaccuracies, besides being out of date in many respects. One main inaccuracy is that it's no longer possible to buy an Italian SIM card online. The only company providing that service, which was really the rental of a SIM card, no longer does. I always thought it was illegal, because of Italy's very strict SIM card registration rules, so maybe the Italian law caught up with them.

There are four major cell phone providers in Italy: TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3. TIM and Vodafone have the best coverage nationwide, but probably any four would be fine if you'll be mostly in cities.

In the last several years, there's been a major move away from pay-as-you-go, and towards monthly plans. If you want to use data services, you really need to get a plan, because otherwise the costs will be much higher. The plans are constantly changing, so if you're reading this a year from now, don't rely on anything I'm about to say.

TIM at the moment has two monthly plans for phones, and one for tablets, designed specifically for tourists. They're both available only with the purchase of a new SIM card, and are good for only one month, after which you'd have to get one of the regular plans. The advantage of these monthly plans is that you don't have to cancel them when you go home; they lapse automatically. The prices are very competitive with the plans available to Italians; in some respects they're better.

TIM Welcome has been on the market for about two years. It costs €20, which doesn't include the cost of the SIM card (€10). It includes 2 gb of 4G data and 200 minutes of talk time, which can be used also for international calls to many countries. It doesn't include SMS messages, which cost about 20 cents apiece. The SIM card comes with €5 of initial credit, which you can use for sending SMS. Or you could use What's App or other internet messaging service. You have to buy the SIM card at an authorized TIM dealer (at many electronics or small appliance shops as well as in a TIM store).

https://www.tim.it/offerte/mobile/es...tim-welcome-uk

TIM for Vistors is offered in association with the Milan Expo, so it may no longer be offered after the Expo closes at the end of October 2015. It's very similar to TIM Welcome. The major difference is that it offers more data (4gb) and fewer minutes (100). This plan has to be bought online, but you pick up the SIM card at a TIM store after you arrive. It costs €30, including the cost of the SIM card, so the price is the same as TIM Welcome.

https://www.tim.it/offerte/mobile/es...im-visitors-uk

For tablets (although I think you can use it in a phone if you don't want to make calls) there is TIM Welcome Internet:

https://www.tim.it/offerte/mobile/es...me-internet-uk

I'm a TIM customer, so I'm not as familiar with Vodafone plans, and I find their website very annoying. (They seem to want to hide all the cheaper options.) They have a similar plan to TIM Welcome, called Vodafone Holiday. The cost is the same as TIM Welcome, but it has a few differences. It has 300 minutes, which can be used to call within Italy and to a country of your choice (among those available); TIM lets you call any of the listed companies. Vodafone Holiday gives you 300 SMS as well. The data offer is 2gb of 4G, the same as TIM.

http://www.vodafone.it/portal/Privat...oliday-English

Wind has a cheaper plan, called Tourist Pass, which costs €20 including the SIM card. It has only 100 minutes, which can be used for calls in Europe, US, and Canada (fewer countries than the TIM plan). It has the advantage that, although it lapses after one month, it can be renewed for a second month, at a cost of €10. Wind tends to have spotty coverage in the countryside.

http://www.wind.it/eng/privati/tarif..._tourist_pass/

I don't see any equivalent plan on 3.
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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TIM lets you call any of the listed companies.

This should have been countries, not companies.
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Wow! bvlenci, thank you for that valuable information. Vodaphone looks like the way to go and you can get calls back to your home country included.

As you mentioned, most info out there is old and out of date, not to mention hard to sort through. Now we just have to find a Vodaphone store!
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