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wco81 (Offline)
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Default LTE on TIM network? - 13-05-2014, 17:25

I have an iPad Mini Retina, which is suppose to support the LTE bands in Europe.

I see in the current prepaid offers that you can get LTE for free the first month, including presumably on prepaid plans?

http://www.tim.it/internet/offerte-i...tablet-incluso

But what is their network like?

I'm going to the Amalfi Coast.

Actually, I couldn't find any TIM shops there. Closest would be in Salerno, which is a good distance away.

So I may have to try to cut one of my TIM SIMs into a nano SIM, try to top up my account and activate.

However, I don't know that I can send texts out of my iPad. I have sent texts through my Mifi device but that's about it.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 19-05-2014, 00:51

Almost tempted to try it because I'm going to the Amalfi Coast and according to TIM's site, they actually have more towns covered with LTE:

Here is a their LTE page translated:

https://translate.google.com/transla...%2Finternet-4g

And from there, if I check Campania, Salerno for LTE coverage, it shows Amalfi is one of the towns that is covered ("CAP coperti"):

http://www.tim.it/internet/ultra-internet-4G-LTE

But here, it shows Amalfi has no UMTS or HSPA, just EDGE or GPRS:

http://www.tim.it/coperturaumts/c/ca...tocopertura.do

(Odd thing is towns to the east and west of Amalfi on the coast there have UMTS and HSPA coverage, so maybe it's in between the footprints of a couple of base stations or something, though it's odd, Amalfi is one of the bigger towns there).

Price are higher than last year, when I got the Internet Large 42.2 plan with 10 GB for 25 Euro with the 5 Euro activation waived.

Now, you go from 20 Euro for 5 GB to 30 Euro for 10 GB, no activation fee waiver.

Maybe there will be some kind of promotion, though I will be in about 2 weeks so unlikely.

But it's good to see them rolling it out at least.
   
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naco (Offline)
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Default 26-05-2014, 04:38

I think the website for gprs/umts/hsdpa coverage has not been updated for years!
I have no direct experience about hspa/LTE coverage in Amalfi, but i know for sure that the base station which covers Amalfi has HSPA. There should also be a micro site in Atrani with edge only.
I have no information about LTE, but the LTE coverage website should be reliable.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 26-05-2014, 04:43

I'll find out in a couple of days.

Hotel I'm staying at says there's a telecom shop which sells TIM. Otherwise may have to go to Salerno.

Also seen some claim on another forum that they will let you trade in standard for nano SIMs. Otherwise I have to try to cut it myself.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 04-06-2014, 08:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by naco View Post
I think the website for gprs/umts/hsdpa coverage has not been updated for years!
I have no direct experience about hspa/LTE coverage in Amalfi, but i know for sure that the base station which covers Amalfi has HSPA. There should also be a micro site in Atrani with edge only.
I have no information about LTE, but the LTE coverage website should be reliable.
Well there was 3G in Amalfi but depending on where you were, the signal would drop off. Guess it's the high cliffs above these coastal towns. Took the bus from Amalfi to Salerno and the signal would drop in and out as you turned in and out of various little bays or coves.

Salerno around the port and train station had solid 3G coverage, no LTE.

On the ferry from Amalfi to Capri, the signal would drop to EDGE, especially well west of Positano, since that area is not as populated.

Capri has good signal near the center of Capri and Anacapri towns, drops off as you go towards the edges of the island, for instance the Faro in the SW tip.

Will see if LTE is to be found in Rome.

So far, the TIM coverage maps for the Amalfi Coast haven't proved to be reliable.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 07-06-2014, 21:54

This is my experience the past two weeks with iPad Mini Retina, which supports European LTE and UMTS (HSPA, HSPA +, etc).

I've been using TIM SIM cards for years, with a Mifi device, to use data with a locked iPhone.

This year I got an iPad Mini Retina, to use on a trip. I couldn't find a TIM shop on the Amalfi Coast on their web site, which showed the closest shops in Salerno.

But my B&B in Amalfi assured me there was a local shop which would help me with TIM.

So they said they could cut my SIM to a nano SIM for the iPad. She used a stamping device and then a nail file to make the SIM fit into the nano SIM tray of my iPad.

That SIm had just under 10€ credit on it and I wanted to get the Internet 4G plan, which would be 30€ plus 5€ activation.

She said it would be hard to use any of the residual credit on the SIM to activate the plan, that I'd have to add a whole 35€ credit. Didn't understand exactly why that was.

She had to call TIM to be able to use some of the credit. She charged me 25€ and deducted 5€ from the residual credit and activated what I thought was the Internet 4G plan. But later found out it was only Internet 42.2, which should only have been 25€ total including activation.

In the Amalfi Coast and Capri, the 3G signal was in and out, given the canyons that a lot of towns were in. TIM coverage maps indicate LTE in Amalfi but it never showed, becUse as it turned out, I didn't have the 4g plan. Nor did I see it in Salerno or Napoli, bigger cities which should have had it.

Even still, 3G was often more reliable for more data heavy tasks like updating podcasts in iTunes than the wifi in the places I stayed.

When I got to Rome, somehow the iPad displayed 4g signal at the B&B I was staying at SE of piazza Navona. Only 2 or 3 bars yet I clocked 27 Mbps down, 17 Mbps up!

But the iPad will show LTE so I'm not sure what 4G is. Maybe bonded HSPA? In the US, some carriers were calling HSPA+ as "4G" in marketing and apparently the ITUNES let them so iOS shows that.

I will say the speeds I got were comparable to LTE speeds I got back home, faster than some places, slower than others.

Unfortunately, I reached my 5 GB cap before I could use it much in Rome. Then it showed 3G and in the same place where I got 2 or 3 bars of 4G, I got 5 bars of 3G.

However as I reached my cap, TIM throttled severely, down to .01 up and down. Unusable, even worse than the free international roaming of T Mobile, which was .1 Mbps.


So if you got an iPad Air or iPad Mini Retina and you may want to use a lot of data, possibly supplement hotel wifi, I would say its worth considering the TIM 4g plans.

I'd ask the mobile stores if there is good 4g signal in the area. TIM shop at Napoli Centrale had a retail display touting 4G so they are promoting it somewhat.

You can tether with these plans and tethering to a laptop will eat data fast.

If all you want is mostly email and surfing on iPad and not tethering much, then you can probably get by with 1 or 2 GB over a week or 2 weeks.

Or the T Mobile Simple Choice plan, which gives you just enough speed to use on the device itself. Though they may not keep it at $10 a month after this year.
   
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