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What is the best option for a prepaid data plan for a cell phone for a short stay in Italy (Sardinia)? I am looking for a Micro-Sim Card. I don't need to call and I need approximatively 300-500 MB.

Ideally, I would like to buy the Sim card in Italy. Where can I buy those cards?

Alternatively, are there other options for such a situation? I heard the EU has passed a law that lowers the roaming fees (I have a German carrier) but it still seems pretty expensive.

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what do you mean with "short stay"? –  Geeo Jul 3 '13 at 5:56
    
@Geeo: 11 days stay –  A.Schulz Jul 3 '13 at 13:16
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3 Answers 3

I just got a vodafone.it prepaid SIM with unlimited (or maybe several GB of) data for less than 30€. I'm fairly certain that was the best data plan available for my travels in Italy. You can get it at a Vodafone store in Italy. The Vodafone network in Como/Garda/Verona is very good.

I can confirm that data roaming between Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy is infeasible other than for very little data. In other words, you're usually still better off buying another SIM for each country.

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A plan I found is this one: vodafone.it/portal/Privati/Tablet-e-Chiavette/Tutte-le-offerte/…. It seems to say 7 GB of data for 20 EUR a month. Is this a pre-paid plan? –  Kozuch Mar 2 at 16:47
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After further research on my own I found an interesting option. The companies simyo and blau.de offer a prepaid roaming plan in Germany for the European Union. See for example here for simyo. You can buy a package for 20 Euros that covers

  • 150 minutes calling
  • 150 text messages
  • 300 MB data
  • valid 8 days

You can also buy 50 MB (valid for 7 days) for 5 Euros.

Edit: Just for the record. I went to italy with this prepaid roaming plan and it worked out great. Depending on where I was, it was either connecting to TIM or to WIND, and sometimes to some other carrier. Coverage and speed was quite okay.

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It might be worth checking what network these companies use. For example, the Orange SIM that I had in Switzerland was pretty much useless because the network coverage was so bad. SwissCom and Sunrise (in CH) and Vodafone (in I and D) on the other hand had good coverage. –  alx9r Jul 8 '13 at 20:17
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All the 4 mobile operators (TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3) offers pre-paid SIM card with data plans. Compared to other countries, Italy is quite permissive and you don't need to provide any proof of residence to purchase a pre-paid card.

3 (Tre) is generally the most cheap operator when it comes to data plans. The downside is that the signal can be quite limited if you travel outside cities. The plan normally covers only 3G traffic, thus if there is no 3G signal you will be charged for a roaming fee.

Solutions and prices change depending if you prefer a data-only SIM (that means you will use the iPhone as a modem, but you will not be able to call or receive calls) or if you want a normal SIM with a data plan attached.

If you want a data only SIM, then the options are:

If you want a normal SIM card with a data plan, then the price should be:

Keep in mind that TIM, Vodafone and Wind tend to change their plans quite frequently. You may want to ask for some recommendation once you arrive in Italy.

Moreover, you may be asked to pay the price of the new SIM card on top of the plan price.

I don't have a lot of experience with Vodafone or Wind. Moreover, you need to be very careful because some operators require an extra charge if you use the iPhone tethering feature (as far as I remember, Vodafone was used to charge an extra price of 4€/day for it).

I'm quite happy with TIM. It's a little bit pricey, but it works well if you travel. If you are not planning to travel a lot and if you will stay in big cities where there is a 3G/4G coverage, then 3 is definitely cheaper and a good solution.

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Note. This was originally an answer to another question that has been merged here by a Mod. Some details are specific to that original question. –  Simone Carletti Jan 22 at 12:10
    
Plans of Wind seem to be here: wind.it/it/privati/tariffe_e_opzioni/internet –  Kozuch Mar 2 at 17:08
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