FANDOM


Flag of Italy.svg-0

BasicsEdit

Operators Edit

There are four network providers currently operating in Italy, with one merger and one new entrant scheduled:

  • TIM
  • Vodafone
  • Wind merging with Tre to WindTre
  • 3 (= 'Tre') merging with Wind to WindTre
  • [Iliad - expected to start in summer 2018]

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 2017-9 and the new mobile operator has begun offering services and national roaming.

After this merger there will be a new 4th network in Italy by French Iliad Group launching in summer 2018.

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.

Frequencies and coverage Edit

  • 2G: up to EDGE is on 900 and 1800 MHz
  • 3G: up to DC-HSPA+ is on 900 and 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE is on these frequencies with all networks: 800 MHz (band 20), 1800 MHz (band 3), 2600 MHz (band 7). Additionally TIM is using the unusual 1500 MHz (band 32) in metro areas and Tre is testing TD-LTE on 2600 MHz (band 38). Vodafone has started to deploy LTE also on 2100 MHz (band 1) in large cities.

TIM and Vodafone have the best coverage. Both are at around 97% of population with 4G/LTE. This is followed by Tre and Wind with around 80%. Speed tests in 2016 gave similar results: Vodafone is in the lead, followed by TIM, Tre is in 3rd position and Wind is last. This ranking varies significantly between different areas and may have improved by the new Tre/Wind roaming, but only TIM and Vodafone are using carrier aggregation (2x, 3x, 4x) so far.

The article here is listed like in most countries according to the traditional ranking of networks. However, the new Tre/Wind network will have the most subscribers in the country after the merger has been done.

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. So better have your codice fiscali handy and print out when you buy 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.

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.

Expiry Edit

Italian SIM cards are generally very generous about their expiry. But during a pause some 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.

The expiry policies of the major network providers is as follows: SIM will stay active for 11-12 months from activation or its last recharge. Then it falls in passive mode with credit frozen for up to 12 more months. During this time you can re-activate it by going to a service center of the provider showing your passport again. After 24 months from the last top-up your number will be suspended forever and the remaining credit is lost. Have in mind that many MVNOs have adopted a more rigid validity policy instead.

EU roaming Edit

EU flag
Italy is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates. Italian providers generally apply the rules without any limitations. For specifics about the new regulation check the European Union chapter and every provider below.

All major network operators TIM, Vodafone, Wind and Tre give out domestic allowances for EU/EEA roaming with and without special caps and may limit to 4 months of continuous use. What the MVNOs are concerned, this is also true to Poste Mobile, Tiscali, Kena Mobile and Coop Voce. Fastweb has issued clear caps, Lycamobile gives out only some packages for roaming and Digi Mobile and Ringo skip the rules by not offering data roaming at all. So stay away from them when you want to use data outside Italy.

Billing cycle Edit

In 2016/7 most operators changed from a monthly cycle of 30 days to a period of 4 weeks or 28 days. Thus a year suddenly becomes 13 "months" or cycles. This policy was banned by the Italian parliament in a new law and all providers now have to go back to the billing of "lunar months". This transition will happen in March and April 2018 and can lead to a slightly different pricing as mentioned in the article. That's why the numbers in some offers are so odd with some providers. From May 2018 all billing will be in "lunar months" meaning the (re)start date of the plan stays on the same day of the month regardless how many days the month has.

Base rate Edit

For all Italian plans you are on a base rate, that runs together with your options. Italian operators try to make money as they put you on a payable base rate after activation of a new SIM card by default. This way you will be charged 2€ to 3€ per month for advertisements and services you will most likely not need. It's very much recommended to change your base plan to a free base plan. This can be done in the store at activation (sometimes for a fee), but must be possible by law anytime by app or through your online account for free. This change of base rates is especially suggested when you like to pause your plan for a while, because the base rate can't be stopped and SIM cards of some Italian providers can even run into negative balance.

Recharges Edit

Many Italian providers decline credit or debit cards from out of the country for top-ups on their website or through their app. This has now made illegal in the EU and at least EU-issued cards should be accepted, but it remains to be seen whether this new EU regulation has any effect. While being in the country, you can easily buy reload vouchers in many shops like tobacco stores, kiosks, service stations etc. But trying to top-up from outside while roaming in Europe or keeping your SIM alive, you will run into high surcharges of 3rd party agencies.

There is a workaround confirmed for TIM, 3, Wind and others that accept PayPal. You need to open an Italian PayPal account on a random Italian address using the internet connection of your Italian SIM card (or a VPN with Italian IP). It needs to be linked to a different email address, if you already have a PayPal account in your country and will be verified through your Italian phone number. This Italian PayPal account can be used to top-up without any fees as long as currency stays in Euro (else only conversion fees apply). You can transfer funds from your local PayPal to the Italian or link it to most international credit or debit cards.

TIMEdit

Tim1

TIM owned by Telecom Italia is still the biggest operator in the country. All of the country is covered by 2G, 97% of the population is covered by 3G and 4G/LTE is available in 6,300 municipalities covering 94% of the population: TIM 4G coverage. From 2017 the rare band 32 on 1500 MHz will be added for LTE aggregation in Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Palermo, Taormina and Giardini-Naxos.

Availability Edit

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 activating a package. If you order online on their website sent to an Italian address, you will be charged 20 € and given 15 € credit pre-loaded with free delivery.

Topping up online on their website (select "Ricarica online") seems to reject all non-Italian credit cards (Visa or MasterCard), as users have reported. You might try AmEx or PayPal instead, although you will need to create a PayPal account with an Italian postal address. 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 redeem the top-up.

Base PlansEdit

Their prepaid base plans (TIM calls them "Piani Base") are:

  • TIM One Prime Go costs 2.11 € per month with the first month 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. This plan is enabled by default for new SIM cards.
  • TIM Base New and TIM Semplice are their base plans without a base rate and slightly higher domestic call and text rates; TIM Base New with a connection fee, TIM Semplice without.

If you are not interested in their special promotional add-ons, it's better to go with TIM Base New or Semplice base plans, as no weekly or monthly base rate is debited. Change for free in store already, on your online profile, by app 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/LTE) then throttled to 32 Kbps. This is reset at midnight, when a new daily bundly is charged.

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 for a month are listed below and are 4G/LTE enabled.

TIM Senza Limite Voice Data Price Extras
Voce unlimited no 10 €
Silver unlimited 2 GB 15 € Chat
Gold unlimited 8 GB 25 € Chat, Music Streaming
Platinum unlimited unlimited (*) 59 € Chat, Music Streaming

All options with TIM can only be activated and deactivated online, by app or by calling 40916 or 119. They offer reductions for every plan, but for this you need to link it to an Italian credit card or a local bank account.

Chat includes unlimited use of Whatsapp, Facebook Chat, Skype, iMessage, Imo, Telegram, Viber, Snapchat, WeChat, not in EU roaming. Music streaming includes unlimited streaming via Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, iTunes streaming, SoundCloud, Google Play Music, Xbox live, Microsoft Groove, not in EU roaming.

(*) There are no caps for EU roaming only this plan is limited to 25 GB in EU roaming.

For more data, you can add another 1 GB for 5 € or 2 GB for 10 €, with auto-renewal every month. Online, this is done on the TIM website; you can click "Offerte", "Mobile", "Voce e Internet", then look at "Opzioni TIM". For data overuse without an add-on 1.90 € per 200 MB are charged up to 1 GB or 9.50 € and then shut off.

Data-only SIM Edit

Activation of a new data SIM is 5 € with a minimum top-up of 25 € leaving you 20 € credit on the account. You can activate it online, but it's better to do it in a TIM store. All packages are on up to 4G/LTE with up to 700 Mbit/s for a month each:

Data plan Price Data EU cap
Internet 4GB 10.82 € 4.4 GB no cap
Internet 10GB 16.22 € 11 GB 4 GB

All prices are lowered, if you link it to an Italian credit card or Italian bank account, which most travellers won't have. The EU cap column indicates the maximum domestic allowance to be used in EU roaming without surcharges.

TIM international - for foreigners only Edit

TIM international is a series of plans only given out to everyone born outside Italy. You will be asked for proof that you were not born in Italy. Any official document that shows your place of birth will suffice. A foreign passport or ID card is generally accepted.

  • TIM International Senza Limite: 11 € for unlimited domestic mins and up to 300 mins to certain countries and 10 GB data with unlimited chat (for messengers see list above) in Italy (capped at 4 GB in the EU) per month, no further activation fees when activated on new SIM cards
  • TIM International 30GB: 11 € for 30 GB (EU roaming cap: 4 GB) per month. All consumption through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage, Imo, Telegram, Viber, Snapchat, WeChat is free (in Italy only, not in EU roaming). Activation charge: 5 € (online for free).

These plans need to be activated on an existing or new SIM either by calling customer service 119 or 40916 or online on your TIM account. All plans auto-renew. Use the same methods to suspend.

Tourist SIM Edit

For tourists TIM has released a SIM card for 20 € (+ 10 € for the SIM, including credit of 5 €), 100 minutes for call and 4 GB of data for a month.

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.

Roaming offers Edit

TIM has implemented Roam like at Home mostly without restrictions on all prepaid plans. Alternatively, they still offer these add-on packages on top of your allowance instead of taking it from your domestic bundle:

  • TIM in Viaggio Pass: 500 minutes voice (= 250 mins incoming and 250 mins outgoing), 500 SMS and 10 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 Internet: 4 GB for 10 days in the EU, Switzerland and USA at 25 €. This option is only for data on data SIM cards. It can be activated by texting "VIAGGIOINTERNET ON" to 40916. To check allowances, text 'SALDO VIAGGIOINTERNET'.
  • For roaming in Switzerland and Monaco TIM offers TIM in Viaggio Full with 500 MB at 3 € per day. To activate, text 'VIAGGIOFULL ON' to 40916.
  • For roaming in 72 countries outside the EU/EEA zone from Afghanistan to Vietnam (full country list) TIM has introduced the new TIM in Viaggio Pass Mondo with 100 mins (= 50 mins incoming and 50 mins outgoing), 100 SMS and 500 MB for 10 days at 30 €. To activate text "TVPMONDO ON" to 40916, to check allowances, text 'SALDA TVPMONDO'.

More infoEdit

  • some VoIP has been blocked in the past, but this ban was lifted in 2016
  • tethering is enabled and allowed

VodafoneEdit

Vodafone

Vodafone is Italy's 2nd network and according to tests in 2016 it has surpassed TIM in 4G speeds and coverage. 4G/LTE covers 97% of the population in 2017 and is included in most of their prepaid plans: Vodafone 4G map.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is for 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.

Vodafone is one of the few providers that can be topped-up online with an international credit card or PayPal or using vouchers, sold locally for 5-100 €.

To check credit, dial 414 (default voice rates apply, not included in bundles), use their app or go online to your personal account. Be aware that Vodafone is the only network that charges calls to check the balance.

Base plans Edit

Vodafone offers two base plans without a monthly base rate, that are rather expensive:

  • Tutto Facile Basic: has a daily rate of 4 € for up to 500 MB.
  • Vodafone 19: has a daily rate of 1 GB at 6 € and a mandatory charge of 0.49 € per week giving you 2 GB free on Sundays.

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. You can change plans in your online account.

Combo plansEdit

There are three combo plans, all valid for 28 days with 4G/LTE included plus unlimited social and chat pass:

  • Vodafone Smart: 500 minutes, 100 SMS, 2 GB data for 12 € (10 € auto-pay)
  • Vodafone Pro: 1000 minutes, 1000 SMS, 5 GB data for 20 € (15 € auto-pay)
  • Vodafone RED: unlimited minutes and SMS, 8 GB data for 35 € (25 € auto-pay)

When a new SIM card is bought, Vodafone enables some extra services (= a waste of money) even if you don't want to, such as Vodafone Rete Sicura (1 € per month, "safe" internet browsing - doesn't affect browsing at all), Vodafone Exclusive (1.90 € per month, 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). You can disable this services calling 42071.

To all offers Vodafone's social and chat pass is added for free. In Italy (not in roaming) it gives unlimited traffic not debited from your general balance through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Happn, Imo, ASKfm, Whatsapp, Skype, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, iMessage, Message+, Call+, Hallo , Viber and Snapchat.

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:

  • Extra 1 GB: 5 €
  • Extra 2 GB: 10 €
  • Extra 5 GB: 15 €

All add-ons will also renew after 28 days, if not stopped before. All allowances can be used in the EU for roaming without surcharges.

SIM for foreigners Edit

Vodafone offers a special plan to foreigners without Italian citizenship showing an ID document from abroad. It's called C'all Global and is a combo pack with 300 mins from Italia to about 50 countries, 500 domestic mins and 8 GB of data (roaming in the EU max. 2.7 GB) for a month at 10 €. New activations are for 3 €. It includes the Vodafone Pass Web Voce with zero-rated chat and messenger apps (see above).

Data-only SIMEdit

They offer these usual prepaid data packages for modems and tablets in 4G/LTE for 28 days with an activation fee of 3 €:

Package Price Volume EU cap
Giga In&Out 12 € 10 GB 2.7 GB
Total Giga 35 € 30 GB + 30 GB (0-8am) 8.1 GB

Speed is up to 225 MBit/s in 4G. Tethering costs 6 € per day extra. Take care to buy either a prepaid (= ricaricabile) or a contract (= abbonamento) SIM!

Roaming offers Edit

Vodafone has implemented roaming at domestic prices on all of their plans. Like TIM they offer two passports for outside the EU roaming zone:

  • in Switzerland, Monaco (until 25/3/18), Turkey, Albania and USA - Smart Passport: 200 MB, 60 mins voice roaming (as 30 incoming mins and 30 outgoing mins) and 50 internatl. SMS per calendar day (based on Italian time) are included for 3 €. They charge you only on days of use. 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
  • in 72 countries from Afghanistan to Vanuatu (full list) - Smart Passport Mondo: 30 mins voice (= 15 mins incoming and 15 mins outgoing), 30 SMS, 30 MB per calendar day (based on Italian time) for 6 € per day.

Tourist SIM Edit

Like the other providers in Italy, Vodafone released a SIM card aimed at visitors. It's 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 in Italy and EU, 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.

More infoEdit

  • VoIP allowed and may only be blocked on special tariffs when specified in the T&Cs
  • 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

WindTre Edit

Wind Tre

On the January 2nd, 2017 WindTre was born. This new company will be market leader with 27 million mobile customers. Both networks and sales channels are going to be 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.

From May 2017 all Tre customers can use the Wind network too in 2G and 3G and from July 2017 in 4G/LTE for domestic roaming and the exisiting roaming on TIM's 2G for Tre customers was ended in August 2017. Since May 2017 both brands Wind and Tre offer EU roaming at domestic rates called 'Easy Europe'. Only few plans are excluded and a FUP may apply.

Wind (to be merged with 3)Edit

Wind
Wind 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).

Availability Edit

SIM card or rather activation costs 10 €, done in Wind shops Wind Store Locator .

Top-up cards can be purchased in tobacco stores for 5€, 10€, 15€, etc. all over Italy. Wind excludes most international credit and debit cards from their online top-up, but PayPal remains an option. Without top-up, the SIM card is valid for 30 days after activation. After each top-up the validity gets extended by 13 months.

Text "Saldo" to 4155 to get your balance and the details of the offers on your SIM card and "Dati" to get data credit.

Base plansEdit

They sell different tariffs for voice, text and data, with charges only if you use it. On all plans Wind Basic for 2.17 € per month is automatically enabled by default. You need to change this online on your account or by app to Wind Easy, if you want to avoid a base charge.

Default data rate Edit

Their default rate for data without having booked a data package is their daily rate and rather expensive: 4 € are charged per day for up to 500 MB in up to 3G speed until midnight local time. This is charged for any data use, but throttled to 32 Kbps using more. It will be reset around 2am when a new daily pack is charged (as long as you use data). So better add a package.

Combo plan Edit

You can change to their combo plan instead with auto-renew every month on the same day and include a call, text and data allowance:

  • All Inclusive Unlimited: unlimited mins, 500 SMS, 5 GB for 12 € (if you are under 30, you'll pay 9 € and if you order the "Online Edition" to be picked up in a selected store, you'll pay 10 € per month).

Data feature packages Edit

For larger data volumes and a better rate they now have three add-ons that can be added to all prepaid SIM cards as well. These add-on data packages can be activated online on your account or by app in addition to combo packs valid for one month:

  • + 1 GB: 3.25 €
  • + 3 GB: 6.51 €
  • + 5 GB: 9.77 €

Data-only SIM Edit

These SIM cards are given out for tablets and modems, but work in smartphones too:

Plan Data Price Activation
Internet 5 Giga 5 GB 8 € INTERNET 5 GIGA SI
Internet 10 Giga 10 GB 10 € INTERNET 10 GIGA SI
Internet 20 Giga 20 GB 15 € INTERNET 20 GIGA SI
Internet 30 Giga 30 GB 20 € INTERNET 30 GIGA SI

Activation is online or by texting code to 4033 for free. Activation fee for all options is 5 €. Having reached included volume, speed is throttled to 32 Kbps. They will auto-renew after 28 days. To stop text 'INTERNET # GIGA NO' before renewal to 4032. To check data balance, text '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 [1]) 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.

SIMs for foreigners only Edit

For non-Italian citizens only carrying a passport or ID from out of the country, Wind has released these two offers - Giga International with data-only and Call you Country Super as a combo package:

  • Giga International: 9.77 € - including 20 GB data valid for one month. The activation fee is 5 € and the SIM card is for 9 €, making the total cost 25 € for the first month and 9 € for following months. This 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. The Easy Europe roaming is valid on this plan too.
  • Call your Country Super: 10 € - including 8 GB data, 500 mins and 150 mins foreign calls to about 50 countries (list) for 28 days. 5 € activation fee, only with foreign passports. The 8 GB data and 500 mins can be used in EU roaming too. To activate text 'ESTERO SUPER SI' to 4033, to stop 'ESTERO SUPER NO', to check balances *123*168#.

EU roaming Edit

Wind has scrapped all roaming surcharges and introduced Roam like at Home dubbed "Easy Europe" in all EU/EEA countries and offers roaming to all of their prepaid plans at domestic rates, so far without any caps.

More infoEdit

3 ('Tre' - to be merged with Wind)Edit

3-brand

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, but your phone will roam on Wind's network, if you don't have an own 3 coverage, now without surcharges. The old roaming on TIM's 2G net is discountinued by September 2017. Tre's own 3G network reaches 97% of population, while 4G reaches 80%: 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 for every month 1 € will be debited.

Availability Edit

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 plans Edit

Their prepaid base tariff without add-ons is called "Power29". Default data rate for new activations is 0.20 € per 20 MB and a mandatory charge of 2.17 € per month. You can change the plan after activation to the free 3Basic base plan by app or in your account.

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 Mbit/s on 4G/LTE for 5 €.

Combo plans Edit

Furthermore, they offer these combo plans valid for a month:

Plan Data Voice Price
Play 5 5 GB 500 mins 7 €
Play 9 9 GB 900 mins 9 €

Play plans have an activation charge of 9 €. If you exceed usage, you'll be charged for extra at your base rate. In case of unsufficient credit the option will be put to a hold for up to 180 days.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their data-only SIM is aimed at tablets and modems. The base plan is called 'SuperWeb New'. Default rate is 0.50 € per 100 MB. You can add one of the SuperInternet data packages at max. 100 Mbps. Be aware that most of the plans require an Italian credit card (carta de credito) or local bank account (conto corrente). Only one plan can be used on a prepaid account (credito residuo):

  • SuperInternet 15GB: 10 € for 15 GB per month with 'Giga Bank'

Activation of a new SIM card is free, but you need to buy a SIM for 20 € with the same credit loaded. If you want to activate the package on an existing SIM card, Tre charges 9 €. Although tethering is not contractually allowed, it works without surcharge. Giga Bank means a roll-over of unused allowances to the next month. Max. speed on 4G/LTE where available is 100 Mbps. Overuse is charged at 0.50 € per 100 MB.

Roaming Edit

Domestic roaming in Italy on Wind and TIM networks is now without surcharges. The same is true to roaming in the EU/EEA at domestic rates dubbed 'Easy Europe' without any data caps.

They have introduced a package for about 50 countries outside the EU zone (listed here) called 'Internet Pass'. 100 MB for three days following the day of activation based on Italian time at 5 €. Activation is by app, on your account or through customer support.

More infoEdit

  • APN: tre.it
  • Be careful not to tap an ad banner as some ads automatically enable value-added 3rd party services.
  • Website in Italian: http://www.tre.it/

Iliad (to be launched in summer 2018) Edit

Iliad

Iliad by the operator that offers 'Free mobile' in France has acquired the 4th licence as network operator in Italy after the merger of Tre and Wind. It's building up a 3G/4G-only network in the country right now.

In many areas you can already receive their signal (often shown as '222-50'). It's expected that they will launch in summer 2018 under the brand of Iliad in Italy (after Vodafone has protected the 'Free mobile' brand in Italy on its name).

We keep you updated about their offers, when they are released.

Coop VoceEdit

Coop VOCE
Coop Voce is a MVNO using the TIM network, running on 2G/3G only, no 4G/LTE yet. 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.

Availability Edit

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

Their packs are called Web GIGA senza limiti:

Data Validity Price Activation
1 GB 30 days 4 € SI 1 GIGA
2 GB 6 € SI 2 GIGA
3 GB 8 € SI 3 GIGA
5 GB 12 € SI 5 GIGA
10 GB 18 € SI 10 GIGA
2 GB/month 1 year 69 €
5 GB/month 119 €
10 GB/month 169 €

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.

EU roaming Edit

Coop Voce implements Roam like at home regulations for EU roaming at domestic rates. They haven't specified any FUP policy or limitations about their plans yet.

More info Edit

PosteMobileEdit

Poste Mobile
PosteMobile is the MVNO of Italian Mail (Poste Italiane) which used to operate on Vodafone. In 2014 they switched over to the Wind network on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. It's the biggest MVNO by customer numbers in the country and opened 4G/LTE for all of its tariffs. All allowances can be used in the EU at domestic rates.

Availability Edit

This SIM can be bought (theoretically) in every postal office in Italy and postal agencies called "ki point" for 15 € with 5 € credit included, 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 Edit

Creami Giga plans contain a number of credits, that can be used for calls, texts or data plus a data allowance for a month. 1 unit is 1 minute or 1 SMS or 1 MB:

  • Creami Giga 1 - 10 €: 1000 units (mins/SMS/MB) and 1 GB data
  • Creami Giga 3 - 12 €: 1000 units (mins/SMS/MB) and 3 GB data (EU roaming cap: 3.28 GB)
  • Creami Giga 5 - 16 €: 1000 units (mins/SMS/MB) and 5 GB data (EU roaming cap: 4.37 GB)

All packages auto-renew after a month, if there is enough credit. You can change between the packages every month for a 8 € fee by calling 160 customer service.

Creami Revolution contains 7 GB data a month and 1000 units that can be used for mins or SMS (1 unit = 1 min = 1 SMS):

  • Revolution 1: 12 € for a month, (EU cap: 3.28 GB)
  • Revolution 3: 30 € for 3 months, (EU cap: 2.73 GB)
  • Revolution 6: 48 € for 6 months, (EU cap: 2.19 GB)

All packages auto-renew, if there is enough credit.

Creami Wow is an ongoing promotion PosteMoblie gives out these plans with data and units for mins or SMS valid for a month:

  • Creami WWOW 5GB: 7 € for 5 GB data (EU cap: 1.91 GB) and 500 units (mins/SMS)
  • CreamieXtraWOW: 10 € for 10 GB data (EU cap: 2.73 GB) and unlimited mins and SMS

SIM for foreigners only Edit

Like TIM and Wind Poste Mobile has one plan which can only be bought by costumers who have activated the SIM showing their foreign ID in a post office. It's called Il Tuo Mondo WOW and has 10 GB data (max. 2.73 GB in the EU) and 1000 units that can be used as MB, minutes, SMS or any mixture of it for 10 € per month.

Data-only SIM Edit

For tablets and routers, PosteMobile gives out data-only SIM cards on 4G/LTE too for 15 € with 5 € credit inlcuded. One of the 4 choices need to be activated after purchase or by command valid for a month:

  • Mobile 1Giga: 1 GB: 7.50 € - activation: text 'SI GIGA', to stop 'NO GIGA'.
  • Mobile 3Giga: 3 GB: 9.90 €, EU cap: 2.7 GB - activation: text 'SI 3GB', to stop 'NO 3GB'a
  • Mobile 10Giga: 10 GB: 9 €, EU cap: 4.07 GB - activation and deactivation: online
  • Mobile 30Giga: 30 GB: 19.90 €, EU roaming data cap: 5.44 GB

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, EU cap 2.1 GB: 9.90 € - activation online or text 'SI 30ORE'
  • Internet 100 ore: 100 hours per month, EU cap: 4 GB: 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.

EU roaming Edit

PosteMobile has so far applied Roam like home principles for EU roaming at domestic rates. Most data packages are capped according to EU FUP rules indicated at every plan above.

In Nov. 2017 Italian regulator Agcom has given its approval to a request from PosteMobile to opt out of the roam-like-at-home requirement in the EU on grounds of economic viability. The operator will be allowed to apply surcharges for roaming throughout the continent over a period of 12 months, after it successfully argued that it couldn't recover the costs incurred for the provision of roaming services.

So far, it doesn't seem to implement the allowed surcharges and sticks to its FUP.

More info Edit

Fastweb Edit

Fastweb

Fastweb is an Italian MVNO specialising in Triple Play and Broadband Services. It has been bought by Swisscom. In 2016 it moved from the Tre network to TIM and added 4G/LTE to all of its plans in January 2017.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold at their sales outlets: Fastweb Store Locator or online sent to an Italian postal address. Price for a starter is 5 € and 15 € for a first top-up. For delivery by mail add 5 €. Their plans need to be linked to a credit card for auto-pay, but can be discontinued anytime.

Data feature packs Edit

They have these prepaid product plans for 28 days with data and international calls:

  • Mobile 100: 1.95 € with 100 MB, 100 mins
  • Mobile 250: 9.95 € with 6 GB, 250 mins, 250 SMS
  • Mobile 500: 9.95 € with 3 GB, 500 mins, 500 SMS
  • Mobile Freedom: 14.95 € with 6 GB, unlimited mins and SMS

Speed is up to 100 Mbps on 4G and will be throttled to 64 kbps beyond data limit, but you can buy another 1 GB at 2 €. Call allowance includes Italy and to these 50 countries (list).

EU roaming Edit

Fastweb has implemented surcharge-free Roam at home in EU countries. All packages are capped at 1 GB without surcharges. As only Italian provider Switzerland is included to the list of free countries.

More info Edit

Lycamobile Edit

Lyca

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 and new on 4G/LTE (for coverage see above).

Availability Edit

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 0.15 € per MB. They offer these three monthly packages for Italy only in up to 4G/LTE, not valid for EU roaming:

  • 1 GB: 5 €, activation: *139*1001#
  • 2 GB: 7 €, activation: *139*1002#
  • 4 GB: 10 €, activation: *139*1003#
  • 10 GB: 12 €, activation: *139*1004#

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: 3 €, activation: *139*10011#
  • 2 GB: 6 €, activation: *139*10022#

EU roaming Edit

Lycamobile doesn't give out data-only packages for EU roaming. You will stay on the 15c per MB default rate when roaming in the EU.

But their combo packages can be used for roaming instead:

Pack IT Data EU cap Voice SMS Price Activation
Blue 1 GB 200 mins 200 6 € *139*10010#
Green 2 GB 600 mins 600 10 € *139*10012#
White 5 GB 3.5 GB unlimited unlim. 12 € *139*10018#
Red 10 GB 4.75 GB unlimited unlim. 17 € *139*10019#

All EU roaming data beyond the included cap is charged at 0.15 € per MB.

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. Any bypassing of a tethering block by 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

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. Note that Ringo doesn't comply with EU roaming regulations so far.

Availability Edit

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 1ct per MB. They offer these monthly packages for data in Italy only:

  • 1 GB: 5 €
  • 3 GB: 10 €
  • 8 GB: 20 €
  • 15 GB: 30 €

You can add allowances for domestic voice and SMS too.

EU roaming Edit

Calls and SMS made in EU roaming are still for surcharges and data roaming is completely blocked.

More info Edit

  • APN: internet.ringomobile.it

Tiscali Edit

Tiscali-0

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.

Availability Edit

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 for a month:
    • 3 €: 500 MB, 60 mins
    • 5.50 €: 1 GB, 300 mins, 100 SMS
    • 9 €: 6 GB, 600 mins, 300 SMS
    • 9 €: 7 GB, 200 mins
  • data-only packages for a month:
    • 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 the high default rate.

Tourist SIM cards Edit

For visiting tourists Tiscali has issued special offers valid for 7 days:

  • Smart Tourist EU: 2 GB, 100 dom. mins, 100 mins to the EU - 16 €
  • Smart Tourist USA: 2 GB, 100 dom. mins, 100 mins to the US - 20 €
  • Smart Tourist Mondo: 2 GB, 100 dom. mins, 50 mins to most countries - 30 €

All SIM cards can be extended in value or time by adding a new pack for the same price.

EU roaming Edit

Tiscali has applied to Italian regulator Agcom for permission to opt-out of the newly-introduced roam-like-at-home requirement in the EU for a period of 12 months on grounds of economic viability. So there will be probably no EU roaming at domestic rates.

More info Edit

Kena Mobile Edit

Kena mobile

In 2017 TIM's new MVNO started on the TIM network in 2G and 3G, but no 4G/LTE yet. It's a sub-brand of TIM enabled by Noverca and a no-frills provider to fight the arrival of Iliad.

Availability Edit

Their new SIM card can be ordered online or by going to one of their few stores so far in the largest towns (locator).

Top-ups can be made online (foreign cards don't work, but PayPal should), in their few stores or by buying a voucher in all Lottomatica or Sisal betting agencies. Check credit online or by calling 40181.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is expensive 0.50 € for 50 KB. Better change to one of their monthly plans:

Plan 3G Data EU cap Voice SMS Price
Facile 200 MB 200 mins 2 €
Special 5 GB 1.5 GB 1000 mins 50 5 €
Internet 8 GB 1.3 GB 6 €
Comoda 4 GB 2 GB 400 mins 6 €
Smart 8 GB 2.5 GB 800 mins 8 €
Digital 12 GB 3 GB 1500 mins 100 10 €

Activation charge is 9 €. For more data you can add 1 GB for 3.99 € vaild for 30 days or the expensive default rate is charged. You can manage your plan and add-ons by app or on your personal account.

EU roaming Edit

All allowances can be used roaming in the EU at the domestic Italian rate without surchages up to the cap indicated in the table.

More info Edit

Digi Mobil Edit

Digi it

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. Note that Digi doesn't offer any EU data roaming. So you can use your SIM abroad for calls and texts only.

Availability Edit

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 only in Italy for 30 days:

  • Combo packages:
    • Combo 250: 5 € - 1 GB, 250 mins to Italy and 57 countries
    • Combo 2000: 10 € - 4 GB, 500 mins to Italy and 57 countries, 1500 on-net mins
    • Combo 3000: 15 € - 8 GB, 1000 mins to Italy and 57 countries, 2000 on-net mins
    • Combo 5000: 20 € - 16 GB, 2000 mins to Italy and 57 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.

EU roaming Edit

Digimobil doesn't offer data roaming at all, only roaming for calls and SMS.

More info Edit

1Mobile (Carrefour Uno Mobile) Edit

1Mobile

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.

Availability Edit

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 all valid for 28 days:

  • 1Mobile Start: 4- 1 GB, 100 mins - activation: 11*109*1#
  • All in 1: 9 € - 1 GB, 350 mins, 350 SMS - activation: *11*106*1#
  • All in 1 plus: 12 € - 10 GB, 1000 mins, 100 SMS - activation: *11*105*1#
  • 1Mobile Country Special: 10 € - 2 GB, 300 mins, unlimited 1Mobile calls - activation: *12*108*1#
  • 1Mobile Country
    • S: 6 € - 3 GB and 200 mins - activation: *11*103*1#
    • M: 7 € - 5 GB and 450 mins - activation: *11*102*1#
    • L: 11.90 € - 10 GB and 850 mins - activation: *11*101*1#
  • Internet Veloce: 4.50 € - 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: 3 € - 1 GB - activation: *5050*2. This add-on auto-renews, to stop dial *5051*2.

For a weekly rate 1 Mobile Country Weekly is offered at 2 € with 1 GB and 100 dom. mins valid for 7 days. No add-on packages are sold for this - activation 11*107*1.

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.

EU roaming Edit

The included allowances of the domestic packages can be used roaming in the EU too. They say that FUP caps according to the EU rules may apply, but this hardly reduces data volumes.

More info Edit