There are four network providers currently operating in Italy, eventually coming down to three:
- Wind merging with Tre
- 3 (= 'Tre') merging with Wind
The parent companies Vimpelcom and CK Hutchison of Wind and 3 agreed to a merger in summer 2015. This deal was approved by regulatory bodies in 2016. Both operators have to give spectrum to a new market entrant by the French Iliad Group that shook the French market some years ago with its brand Free mobile. Wind and Tre will become one network from 2017 and the new mobile operator will officially begin offering services on 1st January 2017.
In recent years MVNOs have started up competing with the network providers on their networks. Major MVNOs like CoopVoce, PosteMobile, FastWeb, Lycamobile, Ringo Mobile, Tiscali, 1Mobile and Digi Mobil are listed.
Mini-, micro-, nano-SIMs are available with all networks. Be aware that a monthly billing cycle in Italy is 28 days/4 weeks with network operators while MVNOs use usual 30 days monthly billing cicle. If you don't have enough credit on your SIM card, the offer will be renewed but you won't be able to use your allowances unless you top up.
The city-state of the Vatican doesn't have own operators and is fully covered by Italian operators instead. The tiny country of San Marino used to sell own SIM cards by San Marino Telecom under the Prima brand, but has stopped this now. It's also fully covered by Italian antennas instead.
2G up to EDGE is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G UMTS on 900 and 2100 MHz. LTE/4G is on 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz, has started on all providers and is available to all prepaid customers, but not for their MVNOs so far (except for PosteMobile).
A network test in 2016 gave a clear ranking what coverage and speed is concerned: Vodafone is in the lead, followed by TIM, Tre is in 3rd position and Wind is last, but this ranking varies significantly between different areas. The article here is listed like most countries according to market share with TIM leading, followed by Vodafone, Wind and 3, ending with MVNOs.
Legal requirements Edit
To purchase a prepaid (= ricaricabile) SIM card a photo ID (e.g. a passport) is mandatory in Italy. You can get them in the shops of the providers where they will be registered as well
You might be asked for a "codice fiscale" (tax code), a sequence of letters and digits for Italian citiziens and expats for tax and identification matters (more info in Italian.). As a non-Italian traveller of course you don't have yours, but given that it's made by an algorithm considering your name, gender, birth date and birth place, it may be easliy created by specific software or online: How to create a codice fiscale. Some shop sellers may propose you to calculate yours to fill in the purchase contract: for an administrative point of view it might not be the best practice but, due to bureaucratic minutiae, in the end it's the faster way to get a SIM card.
Top-ups can be bought at many more places like tobacconists (blue-'n-white / black-'n-white "T" signs), supermarkets, newsagents and even some bars or coffeeshops.
The offers of all operators are listed in Base Plans and Combo Plans. Base Plans are these without a monthly debit and without included allowances. Combo Plans often offer a better rate, but include a monthly fee and a certain amout of minutes, SMS and data.
Italian SIM cards are generally very generous about their expiry. But during a pause most operators have tried to change your tariff in the past from a free base plan to a different plan with a monthly debit. As you mostly don't have connection in that period to receive system SMS, it's essential to check tariff plans from time to time online on your account, as long as you have standing balance on the SIM card.
All major operators also give out apps to check balance, change plans or activate options. However, Italian providers geo-restrict their apps in the Play or App Store. If you want to use them, check our manual how to install geo-restricted apps.
TIM owned by Telecom Italia is still the biggest operator in the country. All of the country is covered by 2G, 96% of the population is covered by 3G and 4G/LTE is available in 6,300 municipalities covering 94% of the population: TIM 4G coverage.
A TIM SIM card costs 10 € with 5 € credit in their stores (store locator) . Sometimes they charge an activation fee for new customers of 3 € for booking a package.
Topping up online on their website seems not to be working with many non-Italian credit cards (Visa or MasterCard), as users have reported. You might try AmEx or PayPal there instead. This makes it harder to keep a SIM card alive from abroad. In Italy you can still top-up by going to certain tobacconists, supermarkets, newsagents or bars, where the clerk behind the counter either does the recharge on his terminal for cash, or sells you a card with a 16-digit code you can SMS to 40916 in order to realize the top-up.
Their prepaid base plans (TIM calls them "Piani Base") are the new One Prime Go and TIM Base New.
- One Prime Go costs 0.49 € per week with the first 4 weeks after activation available for free. It also includes data-free access to the Serie A TIM app, free calls and SMS to a preferred number and 2 for 1 cinema tickets at 900 theatres all over Italy from Monday to Friday.
- TIM Base New is their only tariff without a base rate and slightly higher domestic call and text rates.
So if you are not interested into their special promotional add-ons, it's better to stay with TIM Base New, as no weekly or mothly base rate is debited. Change in store already (for 7 €), on your online profile or by calling 40916 or 119.
If no package for data has been activated, TIM charges the default tariff for data: 4 € per day for 500 MB at high speed (4G) then throttled to 32 Kbps.
SIM cards are sold for 10 € with 5 € credit on, but many shops charge you more, telling that you must get an offer (usually voice and data bundles with automatic renewal every 28 days). No other data packages are offered with these tariffs. You have to switch to a combo, data or tourist plan instead. So the base plan is only an option for data users, when you park your plan while don't use it.
Combo plans Edit
They have introduced prepaid SIMs with combined packages, all valid for 28 days. All plans have automatic renewal after 28 days from activation. If there's no credit left, the plan will be renewed but you have to top up, otherwise you won't be able to use the allowances. The plans currently available are listed below and they are 4G/LTE enabled.
- TIM Special Voce: 500 domestic minutes - 10 €
- TIM Special Voce+Dati: 500 domestic minutes, 2 GB data, (double allowances for auto-pay) TIMmusic is free for 6 months (a Spotify-like service) - 15 €
- TIM Special Start: 1000 domestic minutes, 2 GB data (double allowances for auto-pay), TIMmusic is free for 6 months (a Spotify-like service) - 20 €
- TIM Special Large: 3000 domestic minutes, 3 GB data (double allowances for auto-pay), TIMmusic is free for 6 months (a Spotify-like service) - 30 €
- TIM Special Unlimited: unlimited domestic voice and SMS, 1500 mins call time to Europe and the US from Italy, Europe and US, 1500 mins incoming calls when roaming in Europe/US, 6 GB data also valid in roaming in the EU and US - 40 €
All internet options with TIM can only be activated and deactivated online or by calling 40916 or 119. For more data, you can add another 1 GB for 5 € or 2 GB for 10 €, with auto-renewal every 28 days. Online, this is done on the TIM website; you can click "Offerte", "Mobile", "Voce e Internet", "TIM Special", then look under "Opzioni TIM Special". When checking out, you may run into similar issues as mentioned above using non-Italian credit cards, however, there are options as well for PayPal and using the credit balance on your SIM.
Data-only SIM Edit
Activation of a new data SIM is 3 €, to activate the options below on a existing data SIM, they charge 5 €. You can activate it online, but it's better to do it in a TIM store.
|Data package||Price||Data Volume||Speed||Validity|
|Internet Start||10 €||2 GB (4 GB auto-pay)||100 Mbps||28 days|
|Internet Large||20 €||5 GB (10 GB auto-pay)||100 Mbps||28 days|
|Internet XL||30 €||
10 GB (20 GB auto-pay)
|100 Mbps||28 days|
|TIM International (only available for foreigners visiting Italy):|
|International 2GB||3 €||2 GB||100 Mbps||28 days|
|International 10GB||15 €||10 GB||42.2 Mbps||30 days|
The TIM International tariffs are only available to foreigners with valid ID, but data consumption is in Italy only. A 3 € activation fee is charged for International, plus 10 € for the SIM card. For auto-pay, you need to combine the SIM to your credit card and terminate it after use.
Tourist SIM Edit
For tourists TIM released a SIM card that they call TIM for Visitors:
- TIM for Visitors: for 20 € (+ 10 € for the SIM card incl. 5 € credit), 100 minutes for calls and 4 GB of data in 30 days
Calls are domestic and international to 57 countries (for list scroll to Paesi Abilitati), data is on 3G/4G and will be throttled to 32 Kbps after exceeding quota. No upsize or extensions possible.
Some shops may not like to sell you this offer, as they don't get any benefits from it. Be firm and polite. You may show them a print-out of the offer or let them call Head Office. Numerous users reported problems in getting this official offer by going to more than one TIM store, but it's possible.
EU Roaming offers Edit
TIM in Viaggio Pass: 500 minutes voice (that's 250 mins incoming and 250 mins outgoing), 500 SMS and 2 GB data valid for 10 days in all countries of Europe and USA on all TIM voice & data SIMs for 20 €. This option can be activated by texting "TVPASS ON" to 40916. To check allowances, text 'SALDO TVPASS'.
TIM in Viaggio full: 500 MB per day (based of Italian time) for 3 € in all EU countries and Switzerland. No activation fee, but for activation you have to text 'VIAGGIOFULL ON' to 40916.
- some VoIP clients like Skype and Viber have been blocked on some older tariffs in the past
- tethering is enabled and allowed for free
- APN: ibox.tim.it /or/ wap.tim.it
- Website (mostly in Italian): http://www.tim.it
Vodafone is Italy's 2nd network and according to tests in 2016 it has surpassed TIM in speed and coverage. 4G/LTE covers 96% of the population at the end of 2015 and is included in most of their prepaid plans: Vodafone 4G map.
Their SIM costs 10 €, but almost all shops force you to get a bundle plan, so you have to pay extra money to get the SIM card. SIM cards are sold in their stores (Store Locator), or online to be sent to an Italian postal address. You can top-up online with internatl. credit cards or PayPal or using vouchers, sold locally for 5-100 €. To check credit, dial 414 (default voice rates apply, not included in bundles). Vodafone is the only network that charges calls to check the balance.
Base plans Edit
Vodafone offers two base plans without a monthly debit that are rather expensive:
- Tutto Facile Basic has a daily rate of 4 € for up to 500 MB.
- Vodafone 19 has a daily rate 1 GB at 6 €.
On both plans every 100 MB on top is at 2 €. 4G/LTE is not included and costs 1.90 € extra. That's why their other plans may be a better deal.
There are three combo plans, all valid for 28 days with 4G/LTE included:
- Vodafone Super: 400 domestic minutes, 100 dom. SMS, 3 GB data for 18 €
- Vodafone Digital: 400 domestic minutes, 100 dom. SMS, 2 GB data for 15 €
- Vodafone Start: 400 domestic minutes, 100 dom. SMS, 100 MB data for 10 €
When a new SIM card is bought, Vodafone enables some extra services, even if you don't want to, such as Vodafone Rete Sicura ("safe" internet browsing - seems not affecting browsing, so it's a waste of money), Vodafone Exclusive (this extra enables tethering and 4G/LTE, otherwise it would be 6 € per day of usage), Chiamami/Recall (this service sends a text if someone tried to call you while your phone was switched off/out of reach for 0.12 € per SMS).
Activation can be made online or by calling 42070. Base rate and data package will auto-renew after 28 days. When data is used up, you will be on the default rate of 2 € per day for 200 MB or you can buy another data package from the mobile app:
- 1 GB: 5 €
- 3 GB: 14 €
- 5 GB: 19 €
- 10 GB: 29 €
All add-ons will also renew after 28 days, when not stopped before.
RED plans Edit
Vodafone's RED plans in Italy are available in a pre- and a postpaid version. The prepaid version (ricaricabile) must be linked to a credit card, but can be terminated anytime. They offer two packages valid for 28 days:
- RED Start: 39 € - 4 GB data, unlimited calls and SMS
- RED Maxi: 49 € - 8 GB data, unlimited calls and SMS
In both plans 100 MB per day can be used without any surcharges on roaming in the EU/EEA, Turkey, Switzerland and even the US. Every 100 MB more is charged at 2 € up to a max of 4.5 GB per day.
They offer these classical prepaid data packages for modems and tablets in 4G/LTE:
|Giga Start||10 €||2.5 GB||28 days|
|Giga Extra||20 €||5 GB||28 days|
|Giga Maxi||30 €||10 GB||28 days|
|Internet 1 anno||149 €||7 GB per month||1 year|
As alternative Vodafone offers their Giga Extra and Maxi plans with double data 20 € for 10 GB and 30 € for 20 GB. But take care that this offers involves a contract with a monthly fee which is directly charged to your credit card, and is not on prepaid! But this contract can be suspended anytime online and doesn't involve a long-term engagement.
Speed is up to 100 MB/s in 4G. Tethering costs 6 € per day extra. Take care to buy either a prepaid (= ricaricabile) or a contract (= abbonamento) SIM!
EU roaming offers Edit
As an add-on Vodafone offers two of the cheapest roaming options in Europe:
- Internet Passport: For 6 € per calendar day (based on Italian time), you get up to 1 GB data in all of the EU/EEA plus Switzerland and Turkey and the US and Canada on data SIM cards. You only pay on these days, you access the internet. You need to activate the option online in your personal account. Using more than 1 GB per day, speed will be throttled to 32 Kbps. Make sure you set APN to web.omnitel.it while roaming. If you set it to e.g. iphone.vodafone.it or mobile.vodafone.it they will charge you the standard rates instead! To check balance and data allowances open up in a browser.
- Smart Passport: For their voice SIM cards Vodafone sells a similar add-on for roaming in the EU/EEA called Smart Passport. Here 200 MB, 60 mins voice roaming (30 incoming and 30 outgoing) and 50 internatl. SMS per calendar day (based on Italian time) are included for 3 €. Additional data will be charged at 2 € for every 100 MB up to 1 GB. Like the internet passport, they charge you only on days of usage. Beyond 200 MB per day, speed will be throttled to 32 kbps. VoIP is allowed, but no tethering. To activate, go to your personal account. Use this APN while roaming: web.vodafone.it
Tourist SIM Edit
Like the other providers in Italy, Vodafone released at SIM card aimed at visitors. It is called Vodafone Holiday and sold for 30 € (or 19 € if you already have a Vodafone Italia SIM card activated). Included are 300 minutes voice domestic and to 43 countries (for list click Scopri i Paesi inclusi nell'offerta), 300 SMS domestic and to these countries and 2 GB of data, all valid for 28 days.
Data is on 4G/LTE too and will be cut off when quota is exceeded. Skype and Viber VoIP calls are included. The package renews automatically after 28 days, if you have loaded another 29 € before.
- online to be sent to an Italian postal address
- VoIP allowed
- Tethering is not allowed (and for 6 € extra on data SIMs)
- if you end your data allowance your connection will be blocked until next renewal or you will pay exceeding usage, following the plan rules
- APN: mobile.vodafone.it /or/ web.vodafone.it - special APNs for the roaming bundles (see above)
- Website in Italian: http://www.vodafone.it
Wind Tre Edit
On the January 2nd, 2017 Wind Tre was born. This new company will be market leader with 27 million mobile customers. Both networks and sales channels are merged within the next couple of years. For the meantime the two offers and the networks of Wind and Tre stay separate. That's why they are still shown as own brands until their portfolios and networks are united.
As it looks now from May 2017 Tre customers can use the Wind network too in 2G and 3G for domestic roaming and the exisiting roaming on TIM's 2G for 3 customers will be ended by August 2017.
Wind (to be merged with 3)EditWind is Italy's 3rd network in market share merging with 3 ('Tre') from 2017.
For now they offer 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE up to 150 Mbps without surcharge to all of its plans and packages. Their LTE network covers about only 65% of the population so far, making it the lowest coverage of any network (you can check coverage here: Wind Coverage Checker).
They sell a lot of rates including domestic calls, texts and internet at very good rates. SIM card activation costs 10 € in Wind shops Wind Store Locator .
Top-up cards can be purchased in tobacco stores for 5€, 10€, 15€, etc.in Italy. Wind excludes most international credit and debit cards from their online top-up, but PayPal remains an option.
Text "Saldo" to 4155 to get balance and the details of the offers on your SIM card and "Dati" to get data credit.
They sell two different tariffs for voice, with charges only if you use it. The one that doesn't have a monthly fee is called 'Wind 1' - 23 cent/min + 11 cent/call connection fee, 7 cent/SMS, with a default data rate of 0.24 €/MB (be aware that there is a service that works as in the other networks: if you get a call while your phone was off or out of reach, you'll get a text notice called My Wind SMS and you are charged 0.19 € cent per week by default. You can have it switched off in a Wind store or do it by yourself calling 403020, option 2).
Combo plans Edit
Very popular are bundled packages, all including free tethering and 4G/LTE, with auto-renewal every 28 days:
- All Inclusive: 500 domestic mins, 500 domestic SMS, 4 GB (if you are aged under 30, you get an extra GB for free) - 12 €
- All Digital: 500 domestic mins, unlimited domestic SMS, 5 GB - 10 € (only if you top-up online or by app, otherwise you will be charged 15 €)
- Noi Tutti: it's a voice only bundle that offers 400 domestic mins at 7 € but you can combine it with the data packages listed below.
These data packages can be added online on your account or by code:
- + 1 Giga: 1 GB for 28 days - 3 €, activation: '1GIGA SI'
- + 3 Giga: 3 GB for 28 days - 6 €, activation: '3GIGA SI'
- + 5 Giga: 5 GB for 28 days - 9 €, activation: '5GIGA SI'
Overuse will be throttled to 32 Kbps. Activation is online or by texting code to 4033 for free. All packages auto-renew after 28 days, if there is enough credit. To stop, deactivate them on your account or text '?GIGA NO' to 4033 where ? stands for the size of your package.
Data-only SIM Edit
Wind offers two data-only SIM cards called Internet No Stop for an activation fee of 9 €. These two packages can be added:
- Internet No Stop : 1 GB for 28 days - 5 €
- Internet No Stop Large: 2 GB for 28 days - 7.50 €
When all data is used up, speed will be throttled to 32 Kbps. Packages renew automatically after 28 days and can be stopped by texting 'NO STOP NO' or 'NO STOP LARGE NO' to 4033.
For tablets they offer:
- Giga MAX Limited Edition with 10 GB at 9 € valid for three months. Speed will be throttled to 32 Kbps when used more.
- Open Internet with 12 GB for 19 € valid for 28 days. Speed will be throttled to 32 Kbps when used more. The SIM costs 3 €. Check data balance by texting 'DATI' to 4155.
Tourist SIMs Edit
Finally Wind also released SIM cards aimed at tourists in two different tariff lines:
- Italy Tourist Pass: 20 € - including 100 minutes voice domestic and to 40 countries (list in the middle ) and 2 GB of data valid for 30 days. You can restart this package for more or longer volume by texting 'TOURIST ITZ RESTART' to 4033 for 10 €.
- Tourist Pass Data: 30 € - including 4 GB of data and 5 € credit valid for 30 days. This pack can be extended by a restart for 25 € by texting 'TOURIST DATA RESTART' to 4033.
For visitors from out of Italy Wind has released a data-only SIM promotion:
- Giga International: 16.95 € - including 20 GB data valid for 28 days. The activation fee is 5 € and their offer is only for customers with foreign citizenship. It can be started by texting 'GIGA INTERNATIONAL SI' to 4033. As it auto-renews after 28 days, it should be stopped by 'GIGA INTERNATIONAL NO'. Check data balance by texting 'SALDO' to 4155.
Roaming offers Edit
On all prepaid SIMs Wind offers these two data packages valid for roaming in the EU/EEA and US:
- Smart Travel Europa & USA: 100 MB for 1 day (until midnight in Italian time): 2.50 €, for activation text 'SMART EUROPA SI' to 4033.
- Web Travel Weekly Europa&USA: 1 GB for 7 days (based on Italian time): 9 €, for activation text 'WEB EUROPA SI' to 4033
- APN: internet.wind
- Tethering and VoIP are both allowed
- Website in Italian: http://www.wind.it/it/privati/
3 ('Tre' - to be merged with Wind)Edit
3 (spoken: Tre) is Italy's 4th and smallest network by market share merging with Wind from 2017.
For now it's a 3G and 4G only network, so you'll suffer poor coverage in certain areas or inside old buildings. Your phone will roam onto TIM's 2G (from May 2017 Winds' 2G/3G) network, if you don't have a 3 coverage and you will be charged 0.60 € per MB, if you use mobile data while calling or texting is without surcharge. So better switch off roaming or stick to 3, if you want to avoid the extra fees.
Its own 3G network reaches 97% of population, while 4G reaches 69%. In 2014 they were given frequencies on the 900 Mhz band to reach another 3,750 municipalities at a reduced bandwith (21 Mbps instead of 42 Mbps). So coverage is still limited in the countryside, but can be quite fast in the cities: Tre 3G/4G coverage map.
For 4G/LTE you'll need activate their Opzione LTE. This is free of charge for new subscribers, but charged at 1 € per month for existing customers. Be aware, that you need to disable this option when you want to pause your SIM or every month 1 € is debited.
SIM cards are sold online to be sent to an Italian postal address or in 3stores (store locator).Voice SIM card costs 20 € start-up price. When ordered online, it will be sent with the same credit on. In 3stores, they may charge you around 5 € for activation.
Top-ups can be made with scratch cards. Since 2016/7 it proved to impossible to top-up Tre SIM cards online with a non-Italian credit/debit card. Furthermore PayPal payments are restricted to accounts opened on the Italian PayPal site. So you are limited to a few top-up agencies charging you a premium from abroad or better buy scratch cards while in the country.
Base plan Edit
Their prepaid base tariff without addons is called "Power15".
Default data rate for new activations is 20 ct per 20 MB (15 ct per minute, 15 ct per SMS).
- Online or by phone you can buy the only data add-on called "Super Internet" giving you 3 GB high speed data per month up to 100 Mbps on 4G/LTE for 5 EUR. If you link your SIM to a credit card with a 30 months contract, they will give you 4 GB for 5 EUR.
Combo plans Edit
Furthermore, they offer these combined packages all valid for 4 weeks giving a max. speed of 100 Mbps:
|Package||Price||Dom. Minutes||Dom. SMS||Data Volume|
|ALL-IN Start||10 €||400||400||4 GB|
|ALL-IN Prime||20 €||unlimited||400||8 GB|
|ALL-IN Master||30 €||unlimited||300*||30 GB*|
*this means in fact a daily bundle of 10 SMS and 1 GB per day
ALL-IN packages doesn't require a minimum initial top-up although many 3Stores tell you so. Allowances of ALL-IN Start/Prime are actually limited per week (divided by 4). This means a limit of 1GB data per week on a 4 GB package for instance. If you exceed usage, you'll be charged for extra calls, texts and data, at a higher-priced plan, compared to Power15.
Data-only SIM Edit
Their data-only SIM is aimed at tablets and modems. Base tariff is called 'SuperWeb New': Default rate: 0.50 € per 100 MB on Tre network, 0.60 € per MB in national roaming on TIM. You can add one of the SuperInternet packages valid for 30 days at max. 100 Mbps:
|Package||Price||Data Volume||Validity Period|
|Superinternet||5 €||3 GB||30 days|
|Superinternet 8GB||10 €||8 GB||30 days|
Tre has a strange billing cycle for the renewal of the SuperInternet packages. The renewal is charged automatically every 30 days, but data is considered for a calendar month (3 GB) or weekly (8 GB)
Activation of a new SIM card is free. If you want to activate the packages on an existing SIM card, Tre charges 9 €. Although tethering is not contractually allowed, it works without surcharge.
For longer periods or more data Tre offers this data SIM card as a promotion:
- Super Internet Express: 20 € for 20 GB in 90 days
Max. speed on 4G/LTE where available is 100 Mbps. Overuse is charged at 0.2033 € per 10 MB on Tre and at 0.60 € per MB on national roaming on TIM. At the end of the 90 days you will be able to buy the Super Internet Express option again, just once, for 20 € to have another 20 GB valid for an additional 90 days: to do so you must buy 20 € credit. The 20 GB can only be used on 3 network, not for roaming.
Roaming Packages Edit
Tre also offers cheap roaming to some other countries: Europe Pass: 500 minutes and 500 MB data per week all over the EU for 0.30 € per call/data session (defined as one continuous connection up to 6 hours). Note that dropping coverage and reconnecting counts as a seperate session. So be careful to select a strong roaming partner. You are not limited anymore to 3, so it's better to manually select a provider known to have good coverage to avoid restarting sessions. All overuse is charged at 0.20 € per 20 MB plus 0.30 € for every new session.
In 2016 they added their Internet Pass to their portfolio. For 5 € you can use up to 100 MB in the EU/EEA, Switzerland, US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Macau, Russia, Sri Lanka and Turkey for up to 3 days until midnight Italian time on partner networks. Additional data is charged at 0.244 € per MB.
Both passes need to be activated by calling 4040 from Tre in Italy, +39 393 393 4077 from out of Italy or better in your online account (Area Clienti) or by app.
- APN: tre.it
- Be careful not to tap an ad banner as some ads automatically enable value-added 3rd party services.
- Take care: Due to the roaming agreement with TIM ensure you have data roaming disabled or select 3G-only mode (for iOS users: make a manual network selection for "3 ITA" and lock on it). By automatic selection you risk roaming on TIM. This gives you a better coverage, but can lead to high surcharges for data (0.60 € per MB) unless you disable data roaming.
- Website in Italian: http://www.tre.it/
Coop VoceEditCoop Voce is a MVNO using the TIM network, running on 2G/3G only. SIM cards are sold by one of the Italy's biggest supermarket chain "coop" in all their stores nationwide: coop store locator.
An Android/iOS app is available, it allows to check balance and remaining allowances, enable new plans.
The SIM card is sold for 10 € with 5 € balance. Choose one tariff without base rate like "superfacile" or "veloce". You can change tariffs online in your clients area or by calling 188 or 4243688. The first change is free, all subsequent changes are for 5 €.
Top-ups can be made at Coop shops or online after registration even with foreign credit cards in increments of 5 €. To check your balance, text 'INFO SIM' to 4243688 for free. To top-up by voucher text 'RIC<blank><voucher PIN>' to 4243688.
Data feature packagesEdit
- for one month:
- Web 1 GIGA senza limiti: 4 €, 1 GB, activation: 'SI 1 GIGA'
- Web 2 GIGA senza limiti: 6 €, 2 GB, activation: 'SI 2 GIGA'
- Web 3 GIGA senza limiti: 8 €, 3 GB, activation: 'SI 3 GIGA'
- Web 5 GIGA senza limiti: 12 €, 5 GB, activation: 'SI 5 GIGA'
- Web 10 GIGA senza limiti: 18 €, 10 GB, activation: 'SI 10 GIGA'
- for one year:
- Web 2 GIGA senza limiti: 69 €, 2 GB per month for a year
- Web 5 GIGA senza limiti: 119 €, 5 GB per month for a year
- Web 10 GIGA senza limiti: 169 €, 10 GB per month for a year
For activation, simply text code to 4243688. Check data credit by texting 'INTERNET' to 4243688. When you have used up all data, you can buy another package ahead of time by calling 188. Each package will automatically renew after one month, if there is credit. If not, the pack will be terminated. To stop call 4243688 before the renewal date. The SIM stays valid for 24 months, which is the longest time without top-up of any Italian SIM card.
More info Edit
- APN: web.coopvoce.it
- Tethering is allowed
- Website in Italian: http://portale.coopvoce.it/web/portale
Poste mobileEditPoste mobile is the MVNO of Italian Mail (Poste Italiane) which used to operate on Vodafone. In 2014 they switched over to Wind network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. It's the biggest MVNO by customer numbers in the country and as only MVNO so far on 4G/LTE for all of its tariffs.
This SIM can be bought (theoretically) in every postal office in Italy and postal agencies called "ki point" for 10 €, but they are probably easier to find in the central post offices: List . SIM are also sold online on their website to be sent to an Italian postal address.
Anyway, all post offices and agencies accept top-ups or you can do that online after registration using a credit card.
Combo packages: Creami Giga Turbo Edit
In 2015 a new tariff line was introduced with Creami (= create me) that has been opened to 4G/LTE. It contains a number of credits, that can be used for domestic calls, texts or data and data allowance for 28 days. 1 unit is 1 minute or 1 SMS or 1 MB.
- 10 €: 1000 units and 1 GB data
- 15 €: 2000 units and 2 GB data
- 20 €: 3000 units and 3 GB data
All packages auto-renew after 28 days, if there is enough credit. You can change between the packages every month for a 8 € fee by calling 160 customer service.
Data-only SIM Edit
For tablets and routers, Poste mobile gives out data-only SIM cards on 4G/LTE too. One of the three choices need to be activated after purchase or by command:
- Mobile 1Giga: 1 GB per month: 7.50 € - activation: text 'SI GIGA', to stop 'NO GIGA'.
- Mobile 3Giga: 3 GB per month: 9.90 € - activation: text 'SI 3GB', to stop 'NO 3GB'
- Mobile 10Giga: 10 GB per month: 14.90 € - activation and deactivation: online
Speed is up to 150 Mbit/s on 4G. All packages auto-renew. To activate or deactivate, text code to 4071160. For overuse, a high fee of 0.50 € per MB is applied, but you will receive a message before.
Alternatively, they sell 2 time-based packages now on 4G/LTE too:
- Internet 30 ore: 30 hours per month: 9.90 € - activation online or text 'SI 30ORE'
- Internet 100 ore: 100 hours per month: 19 € - activation online or text 'SI 100ORE'
Speed is up to 4G/LTE. Activation is sent to 4071160. All packages auto-renew. To stop text 'NO ??ORE' with ?? your package to the same number. For overuse a high rate of 2.02 € per hour is applied, but you will receive a message before.
More info Edit
- APN: internet.postemobile.it
- Website in Italian: https://www.postemobile.it
Fastweb is an Italian MVNO specialising in Triple Play and Broadband Services. It has been bought by Swisscom. In December 2016 it moved from the Tre network to TIM and added 4G/LTE to all of its plans in January 2017.
Their SIM card is sold at their sales outlets: Fastweb Store Locator. There you can reload too or at Sisal Pay terminals. All combination of the packages below are offered as starters. Price with one package included is 10 € more than the package price (or 10 € for Simpaty) that will be credited as balance for the next month.
Data feature packs Edit
They have these prepaid product lines with data:
- Simpaty: default data rate is 0.20 € per MB
These packages are offered for one month:
- Mobile100: 100 dom. minutes, 300 dom. texts, 100 MB data: 3 € with an activation fee of 14 €.
- Mobile Fuel 2GB: 300 dom. minutes, 300 dom. texts, 2 GB: 10 €. You can add 1 GB more for 3 € or 2 GB more for 6 €.
- Sprintweb: 1 GB: 6 €
- GigaWeb: 5 GB per month for 3 months, with a total of 30 € (for all 3 months)
With autoricarica meaning automatic debit from an interntl. credit card you can add these plans, that can be discontinued anytime:
- Mobile250: 6 GB data, 250 dom. mins, 250 dom. SMS: 10 €
- Mobile500: 3 GB data, 500 dom. mins, 500 dom. SMS: 10 €
- Mobile Freedom: 6 GB data, unltd. dom. mins and SMS: 15 €
Speed is up to 100 Mbps on 4G and will be throttled to 64 kbps beyond data limit.
More info Edit
- APN: apn.fastweb.it
- Website in Italian: http://www.fastweb.it
Lycamobile is an UK-based MVNO which started its operations in Italy in summer of 2014 and is already the 2nd most popular MVNO in the country by customer numbers. It operates on the network of Vodafone in 2G and 3G only (for coverage see above).
Their SIM cards are sold for free in their outlets like Carrefour hypermarkets: Lycamobile store locator. Top-ups must be done right away there, or e.g. at Coop and Pam supermarkets. To find more shops for reloads click "Ricarica" on the store locator link.
Data feature packs Edit
Default data rate is 0.18 € per MB. They offer these three monthly packages:
- 1 GB: 5 €, activation: *139*1001#
- 2 GB: 9 €, activation: *139*1002#
- 3 GB: 10 €, activation: *139*1003#
This package will auto-renew every month, if there is credit. To stop, call customer service at 40322. You can add extra data, valid for the rest of the running time of the base package:
- 1 GB: 4 €, activation: *139*10011#
- 2 GB: 7 €, activation: *139*10022#
EU roaming offer Edit
Lycamobile offers cheap roaming bundles to be used in certain EU countries only. All packages are valid for 30 days and can't be renewed ahead of time. For more info see Euro5.
More info Edit
- In many countries Lycamobile actively prevents tethering, including Italy. Tethering is blocked also with data packs, where customer has bought certain amount of data for use.
- Actively blocks VPN. Bypassing tethering block with VPN is not possible.
- APN: data.lycamobile.it
- Username: lmit (that's lowercase L, not capital i)
- Password: plus
- Website in English: http://www.lycamobile.it/en/
Ringo Mobile Edit
Ringo Mobile by Noverca and ICS is a MVNO on the good TIM network in 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE so far. It has started in September 2015 and claims to be the first "multi-ethnic" MVNO of Italy. At least it has an English website.
Their starter pack is available at very few own Ringo stores and some more points of sale (locator, for points of sale check box) for 8 € with 5 € preloaded credit. Some users had problems finding a SIM card.
Top-ups can be made online by internatl. credit card or PayPal 5-100 € or by vouchers sold at their outlets. To top-up type *135*9911*<voucher PIN># and to check credit *123#. Some users reported problems topping up with PayPal and some European credit cards. In Italy you can use PuntoPay and Sisal Pay terminals located in some stores too for topping up with cash.
SIM card and credit stays valid for 12 months after the last recharge. Because of the top-up issues it may be hard to maintain your SIM from abroad.
Data packages Edit
All allowances (domestic voice, texts and data) can be customized on your account. You can change or reset any package month by month. If you don't change, the same package will be charged again when you have enough credit on your balance.
Data outside of packages by default is a very low 1c per MB. They offer these monthly packages for domestic data:
- 1 GB: 5 €
- 3 GB: 10 €
- 8 GB: 20 €
- 15 GB: 30 €
More info Edit
- APN: internet.ringomobile.it
- Website in Italian: http://www.ringomobile.it
Tiscali is an Italian-based international triple player that has introduced a prepaid product some years ago. It operates on the network of TIM on 2G and 3G, but no 4G/LTE for prepaid so far.
Their prepaid SIM is only available in their own stores and outlets (locator). It's sold at 10 € and a minimum top-up amount of 20 €.
Top-ups can be made there or online using credit cards or PayPal from 5-100 €. Check credit by calling 4130.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is a high 0.30 € per MB. Speed is up to 14.4 Mbps. You have the choice of combo packages and data-only packages:
- Combo packages with data, voice and text for 28 days:
- 5 €: 1 GB, 250 dom. mins
- 9 €: 4 GB, 600 dom. mins, 600 dom. SMS
- 15 €: 6 GB, 1000 dom. mins, 1000 dom. SMS
- Data-only packages for 30 days:
- 14 €: 5 GB
- 24 €: 10 GB
These packages must be activated on your personal account. Packages auto-renew after one month, if not stopped. Overuse is charged at 0.01 € per MB.
More info Edit
- APN: tiscalimobileinternet
- Website in Italian: http://casa.tiscali.it/mobile
Digi Mobil Edit
Digi Mobil is a Romanian MVNO by RCS & RDS operating in Spain and Italy too. It used to run on the network of Tre, but changed to Tim network in 2016 on 2G and 3G, no 4G/LTE yet.
Digi Mobil sells their SIM card called Dual Nation in their stores (locator) with an Italian (+39 353...) and a Romanian (+40 772...) number combined for 10€ that is included as credit too.
You can top-up at Lottomatica Italia and Sisal or online using credit cards. Check balance by *146#. You need to top-up at least every 12 months to keep the SIM card alive.
Data feature packages Edit
They sell combo packages with calls to 50 countries included combined with a data bundle or data-only packages valid for 30 days:
- Combo packages:
- Combo 250: 5 € - 1 GB, 250 mins to Italy and 50 countries
- Combo 2000: 10 € - 4 GB, 500 mins to Italy and 50 countries, 1500 on-net mins
- Combo 3000: 15 € - 8 GB, 1000 mins to Italy and 50 countries, 2000 on-net mins
- Combo 5000: 20 € - 16 GB, 2000 mins to Italy and 50 countries, 3000 on-net mins
- Data-only packages:
- Navig@ 3 GB: 5 €
- Navig@ 10 GB: 10 €
- Add-on packages (valid for the rest of the running time of the base pack):
- Navig@ Extra 500 MB: 1 €
- Navig@ Extra 1 GB: 2 €
- Navig@ Extra 3 GB: 5 €
Activation and deactivation is by code *146#, check data balance by *147#. Monthly packages (not the add-ons) auto-renew after 30 days. Unused data on the combo plans (not the data-only or add-on plans) roll over to the next month.
More info Edit
- APN: digi.mobile
- Website in Italian and Romanian: https://www.digimobil.it/it/
1Mobile (Carrefour Uno Mobile) Edit
1Mobile spoken Uno Mobile is the MVNO of the French retail group Carrefour in Italy. It operates on the network of Vodafone in 2G and 3G, but no 4G/LTE yet.
Their SIM cards are exclusively sold in most Carrefour stores in the country: Carrefour Planet, Iper, Market and Express (locator) and at Phonebox Italia outlets. They sell different starter kits from 4.99€ to 9.90€ all with 5€ credit inlcuded. Phonebox sells SIMs for 20€ with 15€ credit.
Top-ups of 5€, 10€, 15€, 30€ or 50€ can be made in Carrefour stores or at Lottomatica Italia and Sisal outlets. Check balance by *5002# or calling 401002.
Default data rate Edit
They sell different base plans that don't make a difference for data. Their default rate is a pretty expensive daily rate: 250 MB for one calendar day at 3.50 €. Overuse is excessive 1 € per MB. So better use packages from the start.
Data feature packages Edit
They sell different combo and data-only packages which can be mixed in certain ways all valid for 30 days:
- 1Mobile Start: 5 € - 1 GB, 100 dom. mibs - activation: 11*109*1#
- All in 1: 9 € - 1 GB, 350 dom. mins, 350 dom. SMS - activation: *11*106*1#
- All in 1 plus: 12 € - 3 GB, 500 dom. mins, 100 dom. SMS - activation: *11*105*1#
- 1Mobile Country Special: 10 € - 2 GB, 300 dom. mins, unlimited 1Mobile calls - activation: *12*108*1#
- Internet Veloce: 5 € - 1 GB - activation: *5050*1, can't be mixed with a combo package, package auto-renews, to stop type *5051*1.
For more data you can add to all plans: Extra 1 GB: 5 € - 1 GB - activation: *5050*2. This add-on auto-renews, to stop dial *5051*2.
All packages auto-renew, even the extra package. To check consumption dial *104# for All in 1, *103# for 1Mobile Country and *5060# for the data packages.
More info Edit
- APN: web.unomobile.it
- Website in Italian: http://www.unomobile.it/