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cerebra (Offline)
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Default Italy honeymoon - Confused - iPhone 3GS unlocked...what now? - 22-09-2009, 21:07

Hey everyone, this is my first post here so be gentle.

First, I've read quite a few threads here on this topic, including the sticky regarding different prepaid plans in Italy. I'll admit to being slightly confused by all of the options. I've also read others requests here, but none seemed to confirm that the answers would work for me.

My Situation:
Going to Italy in mid-October for our honeymoon. I have a 3GS iPhone that is Jailbroken and Unlocked (via redsn0w and ultrasn0w). I would like to get a prepaid Sim card that has tons of data, and reasonable rates to the US.

I'm fairly certain that I either want to go with WIND or TIM, and I don't mind paying a bit extra for TIM if their coverage is better in the hill country in Chianti (Tuscany area) as I'd love to have access to google maps out there via my phone.

I want everything to go right on the honeymoon, and I'm just looking for some helpful advice on what to do. I'm arriving in rome (FCO) then going to the train station and taking a train to Florence, 4 nights, then chianti 4 nights then Rome again for 5 nights and we're flying out.

I was wondering if someone could just spell out exactly what I need and how to get it.

For example:
After landing in FCO and traveling into Rome, near the train station, find a TIM/WIND booth and get a sim card. What package do I need to get at that point to have cheaper calls to US and a good data plan (a few GB's maybe). Any APN considerations? Etc.

Any advice would be appreciated to make our honeymoon go as smoothly as possible.
   
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Effendi (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 07:40

Wind has no special plans for the i-phone, since it's the only operator in Italy which is not selling it. But it has several interesting data options that you saw on the sticky thread.
With TIM you have the Maxxi Internet 10 option with 50 MB/day, but it's a wap APN, so with some limitations, AFAIK. Similar option is available on 3, with no limitations, but only using their 3G network which could be non existant in the Chianti area.

Vodafone has a special iphone option called "Mobile Internet per iPhone" at 3€/week including 500MB/week.

Coverage in Rome and Florence is fine with all operators, in the Chianti probably TIM and Wind could be the best options, just check the coverage pages.

In any case, you just have to buy a normal prepaid card with no options, refill it and then ask to activate the data option you chose.
Prices for international calls are usually quite high. With Wind you have the Call Your Country option (30c/min), with TIM the Welcome Home plan (same rate).


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.
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Uncle Scrooge (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 11:34

H3G would be the best solution, cause the standard cost for calling in the USA (with no special plan or option) is only 25c/min (using their 3G network or national roaming on TIM network).
In addiction you can activate the "International 3" option for 15 euros/month, that includes 50 hours calling the USA both landlines and mobile phones (but only using their 3G network).
The H3G data offer includes 100 MB/day (web APN) and costs 3 euros/week (only with their 3G network).

If you choose to buy a Wind prepaid card, just ask the seller to activate Call Your Country and the data offer you want AT THE SAME TIME of the prepaid card activation, not later, in order to save 7 euros (Call Your Country activation fee) and 4 euros (data offer activation fee). Obviously you will have to refill the prepaid card just after the activation.

In any case, check the coverage pages before choosing, as Effendi just suggested to you.
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VladS (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 12:40

In Tuscany I had very good coverage with Tim and just about average with Wind.

On the other hand, an 'iPhone 3GS with tons of data' is not a good thing to have with you on your honeymoon.


VladS
Mobile phones: iPhone 5, Blackberry 9900, Nexus S, Samsung S3322 duos
Mobile data cards: Huawei E587u-5, Huawei E583c, Huawei E160
Postpaid SIMs: CA: Fido, Wind; INTL: Telna
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cerebra (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 17:16

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm torn between TIM and WIND as I've heard the best things about these two and they have similar offerings in our area of Tuscany, according to their coverage maps.

I plan on driving around a fair amount in the hill towns of tuscany, and want to be sure I have access to Google maps, which requires a data connection (Edge will work). I will also have my laptop with me, for sending emails, uploading pictures, etc...and my fiancee' really wants to be connected as well. We won't use it much, but we want it available when we want to get online.

We definitely want the WEB APN, for full internet functionality, so am I correct in assuming this means I'm looking between the following:

TIM:
- Maxxi Alice Facile Recharge: 1 GB/month worth of data for 20.00/month. They become 2 GB/month after the first month, at the same price.
- Maxxi Alice 30h: 30 hours/month worth of data for 10.00/month (plus 5.00 activation cost)
- Maxxi Alice 100h: 100 hours/month worth of data for 20.00/month (plus 5.00 activation cost)
- Maxxi Alice Unlimited: 400 hours/month worth of data for 35.00/month (plus 5.00 activation cost)
(APN: ibox.tim.it )

WIND:
- Mega 1500 (488MB): 1500 worth of data credit for 8.00
- Mega No Limit (2.6GB): 8000 worth of data credit for 20.00
- <s>Mega 15000 (4.9GB): 15000(*) worth of data credit for 30.00</s>
(APN: internet.wind)

Since we're only there for 2 weeks, and the WIND Mega 15000 splits the 5GB into two 2.5GB periods, I think that one is out.

Regarding the voice plans:
Tim:
Welcome Home - Call US: 0.30E/min + 0.19E setup fee? (What is this setup fee? Additional charge per call?)
International SMS: 0.30E ; MMS 0.60 or 1.2E (ouch)

Wind:
Call your country option - Call US (Zone 5): 0.30E/min+0.15E setup fee
SMS: 0.15E, MMS: 0.60E


Does this seem correct?

Looking at everything, it looks like WIND has the advantage over TIM. Does anyone know why I would go with TIM above WIND? Is TIM more known for better connections throughout Italy? Are they worth the extra money?

Also, when I go to get the pre-paid sim, how much money can I put on a sim card? Will I be able to load it with, say, 80E for the extent of the trip, enable the data plan I want, and start making calls and not have to worry about it again? How does one set these things up?

Right now, I'm likely to go with WIND:
Data: Mega No Limit (2.6GB): 8000 worth of data credit for 20.00
Voice: Call your country option - Call US (Zone 5): 0.30E/min+0.15E setup fee
SMS: SMS: 0.15E, MMS: 0.60E

If no one talks me out of this, how would I set this up? Go to a WIND store, ask for a SIM, provide passport, ask to pre-load it with a certain amount of Euro's, after 30 minutes, send an SMS to # 4033 with the text "MEGA SI", ensure that I have the APN internet.wind set properly, and then wait for it to work? Can I do this at the FCO (Rome) airport?

Thanks!
   
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Uncle Scrooge (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 18:09

At the Wind (or TIM) store, you will have to tell them your "Codice Fiscale". Go to the "Italy operators" page on this website and look for instructions at the end of the page about how to have Codice Fiscale (the fast way

Look for a Wind9 prepaid card (sms cost is 9 cent instead of 15), if they have nomore wind9 available, then ask for SuperSenzaScatto prepaid card (sms cost is 12 cent).
During the activation, directly tell them that you want CallYourCountry and MegaNoLimit options to be activated (so you will save 7+4 euros activation cost for the 2 options that you should pay if you activate later with sms to 4033).
Within 24 hours (usually much sooner) the Wind prepaid card will be active with the required options (you receive SMS confirmation when the card and the options have been activated).

The prepaid card costs 10 euros and contains 5 euros credit. As MegaNoLimit cost is 20 euros, you need to refill it just after the activation process. You can buy credit directly in the Shop (you can load the card with how much money you want).
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cerebra (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 18:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scrooge View Post
At the Wind (or TIM) store, you will have to tell them your "Codice Fiscale". Go to the "Italy operators" page on this website and look for instructions at the end of the page about how to have Codice Fiscale (the fast way

Look for a Wind9 prepaid card (sms cost is 9 cent instead of 15), if they have nomore wind9 available, then ask for SuperSenzaScatto prepaid card (sms cost is 12 cent).
During the activation, directly tell them that you want CallYourCountry and MegaNoLimit options to be activated (so you will save 7+4 euros activation cost for the 2 options that you should pay if you activate later with sms to 4033).
Within 24 hours (usually much sooner) the Wind prepaid card will be active with the required options (you receive SMS confirmation when the card and the options have been activated).

The prepaid card costs 10 euros and contains 5 euros credit. As MegaNoLimit cost is 20 euros, you need to refill it just after the activation process. You can buy credit directly in the Shop (you can load the card with how much money you want).
Perfect. Thanks! This is just the info I needed.

Does anyone else see any problems with me going with WIND over TIM? Anything that I might be missing?

Thanks for the corrections regarding SMS charges too, and info on how much the SIM itself costs.
   
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cerebra (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 18:38

Just got a Codice Fiscale the fast way, thanks!

Here's the link for others, in case they're viewing this for info:
PrePaidGSM: Italy - Scroll down to bottom where it says "Codice Fiscale, what's that?"

I just went to this website (Comuni.it - Servizi e Strumenti per la Pubblica Amministrazione, il Cittadino e gli Enti Locali) , following the directions in the first link, and registered. I first tried to register using Firefox browser, but it didn't show the fields properly, so I used IE and it worked fine.

I took a screenshot of the page, so i'll have the info on hand, but for now it looks like I have a valid code - I'll find out in a month if it really works .
   
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cerebra (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 20:29

I'm also considering getting a sim card for my fiancee', who also has an iphone, but I don't think we both need data plans while over there.

I'm curious about this plan though:
Noi 2 Big: 200 mins/week to 1 Wind number for 1.00/week (voice calls only)

Is this something that would be helpful for each of us, if we get sim cards? Can we activate this at the time of purchase for our SIM? I'd use her # as my choice, and her mine, and we'd get 200 minutes/week (for the 2 weeks we were there) for only 1E/week.

Is there any better option here, aside from just using one phone? I just want her to have a phone that can work in case we're separated.
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2009, 21:52

Remember that incoming calls are free on Italian mobiles, so you may only need that Noi 2 Big feature on one number, unless you think you need the larger number of effective minutes.

If you're separated and need to chat, the one without the plan can text, or make a one-minute call asking to be called back, after all.

I think having two phones is useful - I certainly called my wife a couple of times while we were in Europe a couple of years ago. I got separated from her at Mount Santis in Switzerland and she called to find out where the heck I was.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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