There are four network providers operating in Italy: TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3 (Tre). In recent years MVNO's have started up competing with the network providers on their networks.
2G up to EDGE is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G UMTS on 900 and 2100 MHz. LTE or 4G is on 1800 Mhz on 3, TIM and Vodafone and is available to prepaid costumers for a surcharge mainly in the cites: TIM 4G coverage Vodafone 4G coverage
To purchase a prepaid (= ricaricabile) SIM card a photo ID (e.g. a passport) is necessary in Italy. You can get them in the shops of the providers where they will be registered as well. Often (but not always) you are asked for a "codice fiscale" (fiscal code), a number which is required in Italy for many online purchases and identification. As a non-Italian you probably don't know yours, but even foreigners have one of this 16-digit code in Italy. It can be created easliy online: [How to create a codice fiscale]. Just fill in your name, birth date, sex and the italian name for your home country.
Topups can be bought at many more places like tobacconists, supermarkets, newsagents or even bars and coffeeshops.
TIM owned by Telecom Italia is still the biggest operator in the country. They have the best coverage: all of the country is covered by 2G, most of it by 3G but 4G/LTE is only available in some cites (see above).The prepaid SIM card costs 10 EUR with 5 EUR credit.
Beyond the included volume, speed will be reduced to 32 Kbps, Since end of 2013 all the internet options with TIM can only be activated and deactivated online or by phone. Here is a good how to do in english: Instructions
4G Add-on for the 3G packs cost 5€ per month.
|Data package||Price||Domestic minutes||Domest. SMS||Data Volume||
|Internet Start||10 €||-||-||2 GB||14.4 mbps||1 month|
|Internet Large||20 €||-||-||5 GB||42.2 mbps||1 month|
|Internet 4G||30 €||-||-||10 GB||3G: 42 4G: 70||1 month|
|TIM Special||15 €||200||200||500 MB||14.4 mbps||1 month|
3 (= tre) ItaliaEdit
3/Tre is Italy's fastest - 4400 municipalities covered by 42mbps - but smallest network. So 3G coverage is limited in the countryside but can be very good in the cities. They have national free roaming on TIM network for calls and texts, but not for data (60cent per MB).
Their prepaid tariff without addons is called "Power10".
Default data rate is 20 cent per 10MB (10 cent per minute, 10 cent per sms).
Online or by phone you can buy the only data add on called "Super Internet" giving you 3 GB high speed data per month up to 42.2 Mbps on 3G for 5 EUR.
But there is a big catch: a 100 MB per day limit. If you use more than 100 MB in one calender day, the default data rate will be charged extra. The daily limit does not apply if you ask for a only-data SIM (mainly for tablets).
This can be added by the 4G add on for speeds up to 100 Mbps for another 1 EUR per month. 3's 4G network is currently active in a hundred of cities 
|Data package||Price||National minutes||National SMS||Data Volume||Validity Period|
|SuperInternet||5 €||-||-||3 GB||1 month|
|ALL-IN SMALL||9 €||200||200||2 GB||
Tethering not allowed on all plans. Tethering will cost 5€ per day.
- Vodafone Store
- mini-SIM (2FF) available.
- APN: mobile.vodafone.it
Their SIM is free, but you have to top up right away and book a package.
Default data rateEdit
Up to 43.2 mbps in 3G (Internet Fly), up to 100 mbps in 4G (Internet 4G)
Data feature packsEdit
|Data package||Price||Domestic minutes||Domest. SMS||Data Volume||Max. Speed||Validity Period|
|Internet Fly||20 €||-||-||7 GB||42.2 mbps||1 month|
|Internet 4G||35 €||-||-||15 GB||
3G: 42 4G:100
|Giga Summer||14.90€||-||-||3 GB / month||4G||3 months|
|Smart 200||14,90€||200||200||1 GB||14.4 mbps||1 month|
Tethering not allowed on all plans. Tethering will cost 5 € per day.
- Vodafone store locator in English.
- mini-, micro-, nano-SIM available
- APN: mobile.vodafone.it
Wind EditWind has terminated all time based offers, but has a big variety of volume based packages. It sells a lot of rates including domestic calls, texts and internet.
The default rate for all prepaid cards of wind is the daily rate of 4 €. You get max. 500 MB at high speed, then throttled to 32 kbps on one calendar day (0.00-23:59).
Data feature packsEdit
- Open Internet: 30 days, 3 GB, 9 €
- Open Internet: 30 days, 6 GB, 14 €
- Open Internet: 30 days, 12 GB, 19 €
The packages can be booked by texting 3GB SI, 6GB SI or 12GB SI to 4033. They can be renewed ahead of time by texting RESTART <pack size> SI to 4033. Otherwise speed will be throttled to 32 Kbps. Packages renew automatically and can be stopped by texting <pack size> NO to 4033.
The SIM card activation costs 5 € in WIND shops. Top up cards can be purchased in tabacchi stores to the values of 5€, 10€, 15€, etc.
Send SMS to 4155:
|Text to 4155||Info|
|Saldo||get information about your balance|
|Dati||get data balance|
|Info||get information about current active plan, last payment and SIM lifetime|
|Chiamate||get a list auf recently used numbers and call time and other statistics for the past 320 day. You may receive up to 4 SMS|
- APN: internet.wind
- Tethering is allowed
- VoIP is officially not allowed, but not blocked.
coop voceEditcoop voce is a MVNO using the good TIM network. It is sold by Italy's biggest supermarket chain "coop" in all their stores nationwide: coop store locator
The SIM card is sold for 5 EUR with 250 national minutes. Choose one tariif without base rate like "superfacile" or "veloce" coop. Topups can be made at coop shops or online after registration even with foreign credit cards in increments of 5 EUR.
- Web 1 GB senza limiti: 8 EUR, 1 GB, 1 month, activation: SI 1 GB
- Web 2 GB senza limiti: 10 EUR, 2 GB, 1 month, activation: SI 2 GB
- Web 5 GB senza limiti: 14 EUR, 5 GB, 1 month, activation: SI 5 GB
- Web No limiti: 18 EUR, 10 GB, 1 month , activation: SI NO LIMITI
- Web 30 ore: 12 EUR, 30 hours, activation: SI 30 ORE
For activation, simply text code to 4243688. Check data credit by texting INTERNET to 4243688. When you have used 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.
The SIM stays valid for 25 months. APN: web.coopvoce.it
poste mobileEditposte mobile is the MVNO of Italian Mail (Posteitaliane) which used to operate on Vodafone. In January of 2014 they switched over to the Wind network.
This SIM can be bought theoretically in every postal office in Italy and the postal agencies called "ki point" for no activation fee (price = credit) but they are probably easier to find in the central post offices where they have a phone corner. List
Anyway,all post offices and agencies accept top ups or you can do that online after registration using a credit card.
- Tarifa base gionaliera = daily base rate: this is the default rate when no other package is booked. 250 MB for 2.52 EUR per calender day (0.00-23.59 hrs).
- Mobile 1Giga: 1 GB, 1 month, 7.50 EUR, activation: text SI GIGA to 4071160
- Mobile 3Giga: 3 GB, 1 month, 16 EUR, activation: text SI 3GB to 4071160
- Internet 100 ore, 100 hours in 1 month, 19 EUR, text SI 100ORE to 4071160
- Internet 30 ore, 30 hours in 1 month, 9.90 EUR, text SI 30 ORE to 4071160
Overuse is charged by 0.55 cent per KB. All packages will renew autonatically after 1 month, unless stopped by texting NO <package name> to 4071160.