Mobile phone options

Old Apr 26th, 2012, 03:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 56
Mobile phone options

Our Canadian mobile phone provider is charging astronomical rates for voice and data in Italy ($100/25 MB and $20/15 min). We have to stay in contact with work/family while away.

What have you done to economically be able able to communicate via mobile? Has anyone purchased a local phone at the airport? What were the rates like? or do you just look for free wifi hot spots?

Looking for suggestions!
sharonliz is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 185
Go to the first TIM store you see (TIM is the Italian mobile phone company) and buy a phone with an Italian SIM card. I did this several years ago and it is ideal for communicating within Italy. Then I use my iPhone for texting and occasional calls back home. I did use the Italian phone a couple of times to call back to the US, and did not think the fees were exorbitant. I also got some calls on it (I had given my children the number and again, don't recall being overly gouged for those calls.) Good luck!
pctraveler is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2012, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,376
If you have a smartphone like iPhone, first switch off data roaming and use it purely for wifi and receiving texts (free). If you have another unlocked phone, get a local PAYG sim in Italy (TIM, Wind, Vodafone plus some others) and use it to call and text home. Some like Wind has good fixed data rate, and can be used for going online in a smartphone or for tethering - using your cellphone as modem attached to your laptop by a data cable. You first need to download connectivity software onto your laptop - check the homepage of your phone make.
Alec is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2012, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,311
I bought an Italian cell phone from a TIM store a few years ago in Chiusi for about 35 euro. Bought an Italian SIM and let everyone know what my Italian tel. no. was. Easy, cheap.
StCirq is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2012, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
iPhone 3 and 3GS can be unlocked for about 25 bucks. You can then use any SIM.

Online retailers like and sell unlocked
quad band GSM phones for $50 and less. Or have a look on
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
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