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BasicsEdit

Operators Edit

There are four network providers currently operating in Italy, eventually coming down to three:

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

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 by 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).

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.

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.

The expiry policies of the 4 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 the 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 like Lycamobile.

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.

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 operators TIM, Vodafone, Wind and Tre give out all domestic allowances in EU/EEA roaming without restrictions and may only limit it to 4 months of continous 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 doesn't give out data packages in roaming so far and Digi Mobile and Ringo don't comply with the rules. So stay away from them when you want to use it outside Italy.

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 July 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 booking 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 many 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:

  • 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. 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 28 days are listed below and are 4G/LTE enabled.

  • TIM Special Voce: 500 domestic minutes, no data - 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 €
  • TIM Special Pack: 2000 domestic minutes and 20 GB valid for 6 months - 49 €

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 at "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 €, activation of Supergiga plans is free. You can activate it online, but it's better to do it in a TIM store. All packages are on up to 4G with 100 Mbit/s.

Data plan Price Data Volume EU cap Validity
Internet Start 10 € 2 GB (4 GB auto-pay) no 28 days
Internet Large 20 € 5 GB (10 GB auto-pay) no 28 days
Internet XL 30 € 10 GB (20 GB auto-pay) no 28 days
Supergiga&Music 9.99 € 10 GB + audio streaming 4 GB 60 days
Supergiga&MusicXL 19.99 € 30 GB + audio streaming 8 GB 60 days
Internet 50GB 99 € 25 GB no 1 year
Internet 100GB 149 € 50 GB no 1 year

The zero-rated audio streaming includes: Spotify, Dezer, Apple Music, iTunes streaming, SoundCloud, Google Play Music, Xbox live music, Microsoft Groove.

TIM international - for foreigners only Edit

TIM international is a series of plans only given out to foreign tourists, not Italians. You need to show a foreign passport or ID card in their stores to register your SIM card as "foreign" (20€ activation fee waived if staying with TIM and paying with debit/credit card so not sure if one can just cancel so that the subscription is not renewed) to add one of these plans:

  • TIM International 1000 Super: 9.99 € for 1000 dom. mins and up to 300 mins to certain countries, reduced rates to other countries, unlimited on-net calls and 10 GB data in Italy (4 GB in the EU) for 28 days, no further activation fees.
  • TIM International Pass: 15 € with 500 mins (= 250 mins incoming and 250 mins outgoing), 500 SMS, 2 GB in Italy and roaming in the EU and US for 10 days, no further activation fees.
  • TIM International 2GB: 3 € with 2 GB for 28 days, no activation fee.
  • Internet 3GB: 5 € with 3 GB for 30 days. This offer is free for the first three months, no activation fee.
  • TIM International 10GB: 15 € with 10 GB (3G only, no 4G/LTE) for 30 days. Activation is 3 € on a new SIM or 5 € on an old one.
  • TIM International 30GB: 9.99 € with 15 GB plus 15 GB (at night 0-8am) for 28 days. Activation charge: 5 € (online for free). EU roaming cap: 4 GB.

These plans need to be activated on an existing or new SIM card registered to a foreign passport 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 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.

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 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 for free

VodafoneEdit

Vodafone

Vodafone is Italy's 2nd network and according to tests in 2016 it has surpassed TIM in speed 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 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 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:

  • Vodafone Start: 400 minutes, 100 SMS, 100 MB data for 10 €
  • Vodafone Digital: 400 minutes, 100 SMS, 2 GB data for 15 €
  • Vodafone Super: 400 minutes, 100 SMS, 3 GB data for 18 €

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 - does not 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.

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.

Data-only SIMEdit

They offer these classical prepaid data packages for modems and tablets in 4G/LTE:

Package Price Volume Validity
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 € 15 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!

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, Turkey, Albania and USA - Smart Passport: 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 €. 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 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.

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

Wind Tre Edit

Wind Tre

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.

From 1st 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 will be ended by 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).

Wind announced to scrap all roaming surcharges in EU/EEA countries from April 24th 2017 prior to the planned implementation of the new rules in summer.

Availability Edit

They different plans including domestic calls, texts and internet at 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. 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.

  • Wind 1: without a base rate
  • Wind senza scatto: 0.19 € per week and lower call and text rates

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 plans Edit

You can change to one of their combo plans instead with auto-renew every 28 days and a call, text and data allowance:

  • All Inclusive Unlimited: 500 minutes, 500 SMS, 5 GB - 12 € (if you are under 30, you'll pay 9 €).
  • All Digital: 500 dom. mins, unlimited dom. SMS, 5 GB - 10 € (only if you top-up online or by app, otherwise you will be charged 15 €)
  • Noi Tutti: is a voice-only bundle, that offers 400 dom. mins - 7 € but you can combine it with the data packages listed below.

All plans can be changed online or by calling 155.

Data feature packages Edit

Wind offers different data options that can be added to every prepaid SIM card of Wind:

  • Internet No Stop : 1 GB for 28 days - 5 €
  • Internet No Stop Large: 2 GB for 28 days - 7.50 €

Activation fee for both options is 9 €. 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 larger data volumes and a better rate they now have three plans 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 code in addition to combo packs for 28 days each:

Plan Data Price Activation
Internet 5 Giga 5 GB 8 € INTERNET 5 GIGA SI
Internet 10 Giga 10 GB 12 € 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.

SIM for foreigners only Edit

For visitors from out of Italy carrying a non-Italian passport, Wind has released a data-only SIM promotion:

  • Giga International: 9 € - 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. The Easy Europe roaming is valid on this plan too.

EU roaming Edit

Wind has introduced Roam like Home dubbed Easy Europe in all EU/EEA countries and offers on all of their prepaid plans roaming 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, so you'll suffer poor coverage in certain areas or inside old buildings. Your phone will roam onto from May 2017 on Wind's 2G and 3G network and from July on 4G/LTE too, if you don't have an own 3 coverage, now without surcharges. The old roaming on TIM's 2G net is going to be 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 plan Edit

Their prepaid base tariff without addons is called "Power29".

Default data rate for new activations is 0.20 € per 20 MB and a mandatory charge of 0.50 € per week:

  • Online or by phone you can buy the only data add-on called "Super Internet Plus" giving you 4 GB high speed data per month up to 100 Mbps on 4G/LTE for 5 EUR.

Combo plans Edit

Furthermore, they offer this combo plan called Play:

  • Play includes 600 minutes and 6 GB for 30 days

Allowances of Play package are actually limited per week (divided by 4). This means a limit of of 150 minutes and 1.5 GB data per week on a 6 GB package. If you exceed usage, you'll be charged for extra calls, texts and data, at the default plan Power29.

The ALL-IN plans are not listed anymore because they have become contracts with link to a credit card a 12 months term that can only be terminated ahead of time by paying 49 € extra.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their data-only SIM is aimed at tablets and modems. The base tariff is called 'SuperWeb New'. Default rate is 0.50 € per 100 MB. You can add one of these SuperInternet packages at max. 100 Mbps:

Package Price Data Validity
Superinternet Play 10 € 10 GB 30 days - Promotion
Superinternet 5GB 5 € 3 GB 30 days
Superinternet 10GB 10 € 10 GB 30 days
Superinternet 30GB 15 € 30 GB 30 days
Superinternet Express 20 € 20 GB 90 days - Promotion
40 € 50 GB 180 days - Promotion

Activation of a new SIM card is free, but you need to buy a SIM for 20 €. 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.

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.

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. Like TIM and Vodafone 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/

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

  • 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.

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

Poste mobileEdit

Poste Mobile
Poste 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. 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 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 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
  • 13 €: 2000 units and 3 GB data (EU roaming cap: 2.5 GB)
  • 16 €: 3000 units and 5 GB data (EU roaming cap: 3.4 GB)

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 for 30 days: 7.50 € - activation: text 'SI GIGA', to stop 'NO GIGA'.
  • Mobile 3Giga: 3 GB for 30 days: 9.90 €, EU roaming data cap: 2.1 GB - activation: text 'SI 3GB', to stop 'NO 3GB'a
  • Mobile 10Giga: 10 GB for 30 days: 14.90 €, EU roaming data cap: 3.2 GB - 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, 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

Poste Mobile applies Roam like home principles for EU roaming at domestic rates. The larger data packages are capped according to EU FUP rules indicated at every plan above.

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 and 250 SMS
  • Mobile 500: 9.95 € with 3 GB, 500 mins and 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 these 50 countries (list). Note that EU roaming use at domestic rates is capped at 1 GB on all packages.

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 only (for coverage see above).

Lycamobile doesn't give out data packages at the domestic rate for EU roaming, but only the default per MB rate.

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 0.18 € per MB. They offer these three monthly packages:

  • 1 GB: 5 €, activation: *139*1001#
  • 2 GB: 7 €, activation: *139*1002#
  • 4 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: 3 €, activation: *139*10011#
  • 2 GB: 6 €, activation: *139*10022#

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

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 €

More info Edit

  • APN: internet.ringomobile.it

Tiscali Edit

Tiscali-0

new logo

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

Tiscali

old logo

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, 100 mins
    • 9 €: 4 GB, 600 mins, 600 SMS
    • 15 €: 6 GB, 1000 mins, 1000 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.

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

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

They only offer monthly plans valid for 30 days for now:

  • Kena Facile: 1.99 € with 200 mins and 200 MB. You can add 1 GB for 3.99 €.
  • Kena Internet: 3.99 € with 4 GB data. Activation cost is 9 € once. SIM costs 20 € and 3.99 € credit remain, EU data roaming cap: 1 GB.
  • Kena Comoda: 4.99 € (5.99 € for activations past 10 July 2017) with 300 mins, 3 GB data. EU data roaming cap: 1.3 GB
  • Kena Digital: 9.99 € with 600 mins, 6 GB data and 100 SMS. SIM price is like Kema Internet, EU cap is 2.2 GB.

For more data you can add 1 GB for 3.99 € vaild for 30 days. You can manage your plan and add-ons by app or on your personal account.

EU roaming Edit

The allowances can be used roaming in the EU at the domestic Italian rate up to a certain cap on most plans. For roaming overuse within the domestic plan allowance 0.50 € per 50 MB are charged.

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 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.

More info Edit

  • no international data roaming offered, only calls and SMS

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 in certain ways all valid for 30 days:

  • 1Mobile Start: 5 € - 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 € - 3 GB, 500 mins, 100 SMS - activation: *11*105*1#
  • 1Mobile Country Special: 10 € - 2 GB, 300 mins, unlimited 1Mobile calls - activation: *12*108*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: 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.

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

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