SIM card

Sep 15th, 2017, 06:22 AM
  #1  
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SIM card

I will be studying abroad for a couple of months, mainly in Rome but I will be traveling all over. My US cell phone has a free international plan where I get unlimited texts and calls, but very poor limited data. However, with my classes, I will need an international number to call my professors or RA in cases of emergency. I'll also need data for directions and such as I will have class all around the city. I have called and unlocked my cell phone, but I'm not sure the best SIM card company. I only need data, and an occasional one minute call only a few times. Anything helps! Thanks!
IMH99 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 06:35 AM
  #2  
 
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TIM is one of the main ones in Italy along with Wind and Vodaphone.
kybourbon is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 07:06 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 25
Just used the TIM plan for visitors. 30 day plan with 10 GB of data plus calling and SMS and a 5E credit for $20E. Sounds like you may need a longer deal. The TIM reception was good in Rome and the Amalfi Coast regions.
mjperry is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 07:08 AM
  #4  
 
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Get a TIM card.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 15th, 2017, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
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If "all over" means several European countries, look into THreeUK.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go

http://www.three.co.uk/feel-at-home/

If you are staying put in Italy, use an Italian SIM.
rs899 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:33 AM
  #6  
 
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If you'll be in Italy for more than one month, your best option is TIM International Super. For only €9.99 every four weeks, you get 10 gb of data, and 1000 minutes of calls (not counting calls to TIM numbers, which are unlimited and free). 300 of those minutes can be used in other European countries.

Calls from Italy to other countries cost from 1 cent a minute up; the cost to the USA is €0.15 per minute.

If you're resident in the USA, you can get a free Google US phone number, which can be used by friends and colleagues to reach you anywhere in the world that you have internet access. If not, you can get a Skype number for a very reasonable price. Skype also has very inexpensive rates for calls to other countries. It's a few cents a minute for calls to the US. They also have inexpensive subscription plans for calls to a specific country. If you buy a Skype number and a subscription together, there's a big discount.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:40 AM
  #7  
 
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I don't know why anyone would recommend a UK SIM card for someone going to Italy, without knowing what's available in Italy.

In addition, roaming fees have been eliminated in the EU. When someone buys a bundle, such as TIM International, the rules require that the cost for calls outside the home country conform to a certain formula, which I don't remember, but that's the reason for the 300 free minutes in other EU countries.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:41 AM
  #8  
 
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Here's a link in English for TIM International. I forgot to include it in my earlier post.

https://img.tim.it/sdr/documenti/por..._en_maggio.pdf
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 11:51 AM
  #9  
 
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One more thing, this offer is only for new customers, and you have to be a foreign citizen, as proved by a foreign passport. You can live in Italy though. I have dual (actually triple) citizenship, but live in Italy. I have a TIM International plan, but it costs more than this one, and I can't change it because I'm not a new customer.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 12:11 PM
  #10  
 
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"I don't know why anyone would recommend a UK SIM card for someone going to Italy, without knowing what's available in Italy."

Because the OP is interested in data, not minutes. If the OP is going to be spending a lot of time in Europe, vs Italy, ThreeUK might be better overall.
rs899 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 02:34 PM
  #11  
 
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As I said, roaming costs have been eliminated in the EU. Of the 10 gb included in the TIM International Super offer, 4 gb can be used in the EU outside of Italy. That should be plenty for a month, especially if it will mainly be used for directions. There's another data-only plan (30gb) described at the link I gave, but the original question was about data, voice, and text.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 02:50 PM
  #12  
 
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IMH99: I will be studying abroad for a couple of months, mainly in Rome but I will be traveling all over. My US cell phone has a free international plan where I get unlimited texts and calls, but very poor limited data.

Can you explain what you mean by "poor, limited data?" If you mean T-Mobile, data is indeed throttled (slowed) to 2G speeds, but in my experience with T-Mobile in Europe, data is rarely slowed noticeably unless you stream video or consume a lot of data in a short time. If you have the right phone, it won't feel sluggish most of the time.

Your phone itself could be slowing your data way down, if it doesn't have all the European frequencies needed to connect to 4G or at least 3G data networks. My old T-Mobile phone was such a phone - it was 3G in the US but only a very slow 2G in Europe - usable but quite slow. A year later, I upgraded to a phone that worked at 4G speeds in Europe and T-Mobile worked much, much better.

So even if you buy a SIM card over there (not necessarily a bad idea), make sure your phone itself has the right frequencies to go faster than 2G! Check the site frequencycheck.com with the phone's make/model number.

FYI, if you really need an Italian phone number, another way to get one without buying an Italian SIM card is to get a Skype phone number ($18 USD for three months) - you can get a phone number in just about any country, I believe. You'd have free unlimited incoming calls on that phone number but would have to pay per minute to call out on Skype to other phones (maybe cheaper than T-Mobile's 20 cents/minute calling).
Andrew is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:19 AM
  #13  
 
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A US number from Skype is certainly available in Italy. I live in Italy and I have one. It's very useful for friends and relatives, especially elderly relatives who don't do tech. They can call my US number, which reaches me anywhere. I have it set up to ring on my computer/tablet/phone Skype app. If I don't answer in four rings, it goes to my Italian cell phone number. The call is free if I answer with Skype, but it costs something (reasonable) if it gets transferred to my cell phone number.

I actually mentioned this possibility in my first post, but if IMH lives in the US, I think it would be better to get a Google number. That's entirely free. I can't get one, because it's not available to Italian residents.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:22 AM
  #14  
 
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I just realized Andrew was talking about an Italian phone number from Skype. That's not available in Italy, and Google doesn't have it either. The only way I know to get an Italian number is to buy an Italian SIM card.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:59 AM
  #15  
 
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Thanks for the clarification, bvlenci. Too bad Skype doesn't offer Italian phone numbers. They do offer French phone numbers; not sure if that would help the OP or not - is it a more expensive call for Italians to call/text someone in France? I expect it's cheaper than calling/texting a US phone number.

Getting an Italian SIM then probably does make the most sense, even if a little more expensive.

Getting a Google Voice number for receiving US calls does make sense for Americans (to receive incoming calls from the US with Google Hangouts), but one must do it before leaving the US (or at least while still having access to a US phone to verify the existing number).
Andrew is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 12:59 PM
  #16  
 
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Bvlenci-

Can you point me to this in the TIM website?

"Of the 10 gb included in the TIM International Super offer, 4 gb can be used in the EU outside of Italy."

My Italian isnt up to snuff...and there is no English tab.
rs899 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 01:57 PM
  #17  
 
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I only saw this on the Italian web site.

https://www.tim.it/offerte/mobile/es...super#section5

The thing about the 4 gb that can be used in other EU countries is in the section headed "Giga", in the firs bullet point of the section:

"e massimo 4 Giga nei Paesi UE"

As I said before, this is now EU law, so as a general principle buying a SIM card in any EU country allows you to use it for calls and data in all other EU countries at the same cost as you would pay in the home country of the SIM card, with certain limits.
bvlenci is offline  

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