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lenkarm (Offline)
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Default Buying a SIM Card At FCO Without Having To Exit Secure Area - 16-04-2013, 01:25

So I'm finding a lot of outdated information regarding this subject and wanted to hear from someone who has recently arrived in Rome.

Ideally, I would like to buy a SIM card for my unlocked GSM smartphone at the airport in order to use Google Maps, etc while exploring Italy for 3 weeks.

I will be arriving on a British Airways flight at Terminal 3. I know there is a TIM, 3, and Vodafone store in Terminal 1, but is it possible to get to those stores without exiting the secure area? If so, what is the walking route I should take and is it before or after passport control?

If those areas are inaccessible given an arrival at Terminal 3, is there anywhere else at the airport where I can buy a data SIM card for a decent price?

Thanks so much!
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2013, 03:37

You can get the information "from the horse's mouth" by checking the adr.it website:
Shops at FCO
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lenkarm (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2013, 04:41

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Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
You can get the information "from the horse's mouth" by checking the adr.it website:
Shops at FCO
Thanks for the reply. I have looked at that site before, it lists TIM, Vodafone and 3 (Tre) as being in Terminal 1 and at Gate B respectively, both are in the airside section. It seems like that upon arrival at Terminal 3, you are forced to go landside.

I'm wondering if there is any way to access those shops at Terminal 1 directly from Terminal 3 without exiting the secure area. I wouldn't even be able to go through security to get to Terminal 1 if I'm not a departing passenger, right?
   
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lenkarm (Offline)
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Default 16-04-2013, 05:24

Thanks for the reply. I did check the website that you linked, and it lists Vodafone, TIM, and 3 (Tre) as being in Terminal 1 and at Gate B, both of which are airside, after the security checkpoint. The only electronics store landside, not in the secure area, seems to be Dixon's, whom I've heard only sells Vodafone SIM cards. I've heard that Vodafone SIM cards can sometimes take 24 hours or more to activate, so I'd prefer TIM, Wind, or 3 if possible.

I was wondering if it is possible the mobile stores in Terminal 1 without having to exit security. It seems like, from what I've read, that international arrivals at Terminal 3 are forced out of the secure area. Also, it's not like the security personel would let me access the airside part of Terminal 1 if I'm not a passenger, right?
   
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Default 16-04-2013, 14:10

It's sadly been many too years since I've been to FCO, so I can't count on my memory to help. The website says that the Vodafone shop is in T1 departures, on the mezzanine. TIM is in T1, area B. "3" is between gates B1 & B3. AFAIK there has never been a Wind agent at FCO. Now, I recall there being shops outside security but that was years ago.
The Italian carriers generally have a list of agents on their websites. Vodafone's is here and lists Dixon's as an agent. For "3" you just go to this page and zoom in. Wind's agent locater is here.
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Default 18-04-2013, 10:36

You can get a sim card at the Termini railway station where you will arrive if you take the train from the airport to Rome. Unfortunately it seems a bit complicated to get sim-cards at Italian airports...


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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Default 18-04-2013, 13:26

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Originally Posted by lenkarm View Post
It seems like that upon arrival at Terminal 3, you are forced to go landside.
AFAIK, there is no way to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 without going outside or through the pedestrian bridges to the parking area & train station.

On second thought, it may actually be possible if you just stay to the left and don't ever go down to pick up your bags. I'm not at all sure of that.

It's crazy to put cell phones behind the security check.
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Default 18-04-2013, 14:03

Further complicating things at the railway station is the vast numbers of pickpockets. You really want to avoid speaking in English, pulling out passports, money, etc. You can also bite the bullet and buy Italian SIM cards online before you go:

Amazon.com: Noverca SIM / Micro SIM Card Italy - Incl Euro Euro 5,00 Call Credit -Italian Number - Mobile SIM Cards - International Sim Card - Pay As You Go Prepaid Sim Cards Cheap International Calls: Cell Phones & Accessories

Europa SIM-Card - Mobiles Internet in Europe, jederzeit, überall - ab ? 2 pro Tag, inkl. 100 MB (rebranded Vodafone Italy)

While I might chance buying something in the terminal, my opinion about the train station is something completely different and no I was never pickpocketed there, but I know about 50 people who were.
   
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Default 18-04-2013, 22:34

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Further complicating things at the railway station is the vast numbers of pickpockets. You really want to avoid speaking in English, pulling out passports, money, etc.
I'm kinda with Stu on this. Termini can be a madhouse. Whenever you go there you need to have a plan on exactly how to get in and out while managing to keep hold of all your stuff. If I couldn't get the SIM at FCO, I might just wait until I got to a nice area like Via Cola di Rienzo to buy the SIM there.
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Default 19-04-2013, 08:43

Termini is surely full of tourists and pickpockets as well. But inside a telecom shop I think it's quite unusual to be pickpocketed


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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