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MichaelErnesto (Offline)
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Default 03-06-2006, 22:13

Ciao,

I will be studying at the University of Bologna for a year, beginning in August, and I want to get a phone ASAP following my arrival in Bologna, so I need to research this ahead of time as much as possible.

I've heard of a good international calling plan from Tre (?15 per month, 50 hours of calling to US landlines or mobiles, many other countries included as well). Calls must originate from 3's native UMTS network (not GSM roaming) to qualify and are limited to 10 hours in any single day.

I understand that 3 is a UMTS-only provider with roaming on GSM, but I'm not familiar with the Italian mobile scene much, so I don't know how competetive 3's tariffs are and how good their coverage is. I do know I can use GSM where there's no UMTS coverage, so I'm not concerned about having coverage for domestic calling.

So, does anyone out there have 3? How is the coverage (ever been to Bologna? ) Are the rate plans for voice and text cometetive with TIM, WIND and Voda? I don't THINK I will use videochamate, MMS or data much so I'm not too concerned with that, but who knows what my life will be like in 6 months?

Anyway I am mostly concerned with making the international calls (thus I need to stay in UMTS areas) and how competetive their voice/SMS prices are.

Any thoughts?

Grazie!

- Michael
   
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Triband81 (Offline)
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Default 03-06-2006, 23:48

Hi Michael,

if your Italian is up to par, you can have a look here while you wait for a reply from Effendi or Andrea:

http://www.mondo3.com/
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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 04-06-2006, 14:35

3's tariffs are some of the cheapest in Italy (choose "Super3"), and anyway they are listed on this site as well as TIM, Vodafone and Wind ones. Just click here.

Staying in Bologna you should have no problems with UMTS coverage. Of course you need to buy an UMTS phone and the ones sold by 3 are "sim-locked" and cannot be unlocked before 9 months, and then only at quite a high price.


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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MichaelErnesto (Offline)
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Default 06-06-2006, 18:53

Effendi,

Thanks for your advice. I had looked around the site, but getting a straightforward evaluation of the service is another thing entirely.

I plan to be mostly in Bologna (obviously I hope to travel as well), so I won't worry too much about staying in 3's network while making international calls.

Thanks as well for the straightforward assesment of how 3's tariffs stack up. I basically just wanted to hear that they are competetive. There are so many options for all the carriers that they can be very confusing to someone who's not used to such a system. The advantage to that situation, I suppose, is that you're bound to find a plan that will be a good match with your usage habits. I will just have to make an educated guess and play with my options to find out which will be best for me.

Grazie di nuovo,

- Michael
   
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MichaelErnesto (Offline)
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Default 06-06-2006, 18:55

Followup question, if I get a UMTS phone, do you have a favorite? Also, are there different bands (frequencies) for UMTS phones around the world, or are they all the same?

Thanks again (again),

- Michael
   
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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 06-06-2006, 19:00

There are 2 different bands for W-CDMA: 1900MHz, used in the US and 2100MHz, used everywhere else. Almost all W-CDMA phones are available on the 2100MHz only. AFAIK dual-band W-CDMA phones don't exist, by now.

All W-CDMA phones (except some sold in Japan) are dual-mode, which means they are GSM as well, usually triband (900/1800/1900).

If you want to use it in Italy I suggest to buy it with 3, there are some very cheap bundles, with sim-locked phones (you can use only the sim included with the bundle). After 18 months you can unlock them for free, while after 9 months you have to pay something for the unlock.


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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