Getting a temporary phone in Italy

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by marciphoto, Jun 27, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. marciphoto

    marciphoto Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    25
    I will be in Italy for 3 months and would like to have a phone to use. I have an iPhone and will need to keep my number and US service in case of emergency but would love to be able to also use that same phone in Italy if possible so I can have access to my apps.

    Is that a possibility? Can I get an Italian sim card and temporary service in Italy?

    Or do I have to get a different phone? What phone company would be the best?

    Is it possible to get this before I arrive in Italy? I would love to be able to know what phone number I would have so I could print up a few business cards with the number on it before I leave the US.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this matter.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Having 2 SIMs in an iPhone isn't going to work. You can forward your US number to a VoIP provider and have that forward to the Italy number once you get one if you want to be able to receive calls on your normal number while not in the USA. Also consider that the device might be locked so you may need to have the current operator unlock it for you to permit use of other SIMs.

    Getting the SIM while still in the US is likely to be rather more expensive than picking it up once you are in country.
     
  3. MrAOK
    Original Member

    MrAOK Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    135
    Status Points:
    420
    If you move your iphone to t-mobile (which t-mobile will pay to get you out of an at&t contract), you get free data service in Italy (Not the highest speed, but free) and pay 20 cents a minute for calls. That's probably the best deal.
     
    flyforawg, estnet and Gargoyle like this.
  4. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Status Points:
    1,270
    I, too, was wondering if you had considered tmobile. Makes my life a lot easier
     
    flyforawg likes this.
  5. marciphoto

    marciphoto Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    25
    I will definitely look into Tmobile. I wasn't aware of that. I am no longer under contract to ATT. Thanks so much.
     
    flyforawg likes this.
  6. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    If you were under contract then your iPhone is locked and you cannot use another carrier. You can have it unlocked pretty easily though: https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/?
     
  7. marciphoto

    marciphoto Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    25
    Awesome! This forum is wonderful!
    Can you recommend a VoIP provider?
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Google Voice :)
     
  9. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    165
    Status Points:
    420
    All the above replies are great, but after you get your phone unlocked you can get an 800 type number that will forward to your cell phone in Italy. I use Kall8, but there are others. I use Skype to call back to the states. I have an annual subscription to call land lines and cells. You will want a local sim as it is easier to call people there and for them to call you since you will be there for three months. You don't want them to have to make an international call to call you when you are three blocks away if you go the T-mobile route. Look at
    www.prepaidgsm.net they have some good forums on Italy. The forum mod is from Italy so the information is pretty current they have an operators page that will show you the cell companies and you can look at their web-sites from there. I hope this helps.
     
  10. konoyaro

    konoyaro Silver Member

    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    Status Points:
    845
    Some things to consider:
    It's pretty easy to get a SIM card in Italy. If you're landing at FCO and take the train to the main terminal in Rome, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card at TIM. It's on the upper level towards the rail gates. There's also a TIM shop at FCO but it can be hard to get to as it's behind security. They have shops all over town as well.
    If you're considering T-Mobile and have an unlocked 4S or older iPhone, be aware that their coverage for these older models can be poor. I have a 4S that I'm using with TMobile currently and here in SFO there are quite a few dead spots. Coverage was much better when it was under contract with ATT. If you have an LTE enabled iPhone (iPhone 5 or greater), it's a different story as the frequency used on those phones is more compatible with T-Mobile's network
     
  11. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    228
    Status Points:
    375
    If you want an Italian sim Card I recommend Wind "rechargeable" sim. View this link. If you want LTE view vodafone, TIM or 3 but are more expensive, and LTE usually is additional paid option
     
  12. TravelKane

    TravelKane Silver Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status Points:
    125
    That sounds good, I'm going to look into that - Thanks
     
  13. TravelKane

    TravelKane Silver Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status Points:
    125
    Here is what I did:
    (Might not be the best system, but it works great for me)

    1) I bought a second UNLOCKED phone just for use overseas. This way I did not have to mess with unlocking my iphone (which I no longer have) and worry about breaking the user agreement or messy anything up on my US phone.
    You can buy good cheap used phones online. I think the site I used was Cellular Country.

    2) Got a sim card once in Italy. I did go with Wind rechargeable & it worked great.

    3) Got a Google Voice number and had my US phone number forwarded to it. This way anyone in the US calling my number I got a voice mail via email.

    4) To call anyone back in the US I used Skype.
     
  14. davythefatboy

    davythefatboy Silver Member

    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    65
    Status Points:
    270
    Note that although you can forward your US cellphone to Google Voice or something else, incoming text messages can not be forwarded (at least with Verizon) and will simply disappear if not read within a few days.
     
  15. Laptop Nomad

    Laptop Nomad Silver Member

    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    165
    Status Points:
    420
    That is when you get whats app. The best sms for world wide delivery.
     

Share This Page