Which mobile phone operator to choose in Italy?

Another formality that you must go through when you settle in a foreign country: find the right telephone operator and package for your needs. Which one to choose in Italy? Choose subscription or prepaid card?

With the arrival of Iliad on the Peninsula last May, the Italian telephony market is now shared between Free’s parent company, Vodafone, TIM and Wind/H3G. And the latter three had to quickly adapt to the aggressive offers of the mobile troublemaker: first a €5.99 package with unlimited calls and text messages in Italy and Europe and up to 30 GB of 4G including 2 GB in Europe and without commitment, reserved for the first million customers, who were won in 50 days. Then at the end of July, a subscription of 6.99 euros per month reserved this time for the first 500,000 customers.

Note: it is necessary to pay 10€ more to obtain a SIM card.

The prepaid card market

Unlike the French, Italians are used to buying reloadable prepaid SIM cards. You can visit https://www.simoptions.com/ if you wish to know more information about prepaid SIM cards in Italy. About 80% of Italian mobile users prefer the prepaid card system to the subscription system, while in France the sale of these has been declining steadily for 5 years (according to ARCEP). The advantage is that you can adapt your credit to your monthly consumption, by buying refills when you need them. Their price varies between 10 and 25 euros depending on what you need. In addition, they are available at newsagents, supermarkets, and tobacco stores and online. You can choose an automatic renewal option; otherwise you should not forget to renew your recharge at the end of the month.

That is, there are also special prepaid SIM cards for short-term tourists. Most Italian operators also offer travel packages for travellers travelling to Italy, with calls, SMS and internet (between 20 and 30 euros)

The subscriptions

At Vodafone, packages range from €10 to €25, offering calls, SMS and internet. The most popular is the €14.99 package including unlimited calls, 10 GB of internet access and unlimited access to certain mobile applications (WhatsApp, Instagram, Spotify…). Vodafone also offers a special offer for under-30s from €13 to €19 per month.

At Wind/H3G there is a package that should interest expatriates, the call your country. It offers call minutes not only in Italy, but also abroad.

At TIM, the packages are much diversified. Some are suitable for those who only want to call or who use the Internet a lot; others are designed for those who need calls as much as SMS and the Internet.

The necessary documents

To subscribe, you need your passport rather than your French identity card, as some operators do not recognize this document, and especially have an Italian bank account. For those who do not have an Italian bank account, there is still the option of prepaid cards, which simply requires a credit card and your identity card.

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