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Effendi (Offline)
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Arrow Prepaid in Italy - How to buy - 09-05-2011, 09:20

A little guide on how to buy a prepaid card in Italy and the most common issues.

CODICE FISCALE

In order to buy a prepaid sim-card in Italy you must register to the Italian tax system. The only way to do so is to have a CODICE FISCALE.

Smart dealers will generate one for you, but many will not so it's better if you arrive here in Italy well prepared.

Here is a very well done blog with all the detailed instructions about this issue:
How to create an unofficial Italian codice fiscale code to use for making online purchases - Blog from Italy


WHERE TO BUY

Once you have your passport and your personal Codice Fiscale you are ready to go to Italy and buy a prepaid sim-card. But of course you need to find a shop which will sell you one.

At most airports in Italy you WON'T find any phone shop. That's very strange for a phone-addict country such as Italy, but so it is. So it's most likely that you will need to go to the city centre and find a shop there. Often there are some shops at bigger railway stations and you will surely find more than one at shopping centres. In the main pedestrianized streets in the centre you will surely find some as well.

Here are some seach engines for official mobile carriers shops:
TIM
Vodafone
Wind
3
COOP Voce
Poste Mobile

NÚverca is available online or at Panorama shopping centres.
MTV Mobile offers are available at TIM shops.


HOW TO ACTIVATE THE CARD

You have to do nothing. The dealer will do everything for you.
Vodafone and 3 sim-cards are preactivated, TIM sim-cards usually are active after a couple of hours. With Wind it can take longer, officially also 48 hours, but usually they are active in few minutes, but you could be unlucky and wait even a couple of days. No idea about MVNOs, but usually they work as their network operator.


HOW TO REFILL

This is very easy. Any phone shop and any Tabacchi shop has refills. Most of them don't have scratch cards anymore but they will simply ask you for your number and the amount in euros you want to refill. So just pay attention to tell them the correct number, that's all.
If you find a scratch card you then will have to scratch it and follow the instructions written on the back. Usually you have to call a number or send an SMS with the code, it depends on the operator.

You are not buying "minutes" like in the US, you are buying credit (euros) which you can use for everything you can do with your mobile (calls, messaging, data, options, etc...).


Working Prepaids: IT: Wind, Vodafone IT, UNO Mobile; SM: Prima; UK: 3, Virgin; INT: TravelSIM, Truphone.
Deceased Prepaids: CZ: Oskar, Eurotel; SK: Orange; DE: E-Plus, Aldi, Simyo; GE: Geocell; AM: Armentel; PL: Heyah, Plus; LT: Tele2; LV: Amigo; EE: Elisa; UA: Kyivstar; NZ: Vodafone; INT: UM, UM+, ICQSim.
GSM/3G Phones: Nokia Lumia 630 dual sim
   
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