Many of our international exploits take place in Italy. Getting on-line is easy in Italy as we are customers of Three UK, and so we make good use of the Three at Home service – have a read here
Travelling to Italy and thus passing through other countries has however, in the past, relied upon WiFi or the risk of running up a large bill. However, in our possession, we also have an Italian sim card. The provider is the TIM network. For a very low fee, we make use of the Italian SIM in its country of origin, offering varying amounts of data on a pay and go tariff. This is useful in the event of no coverage from Three, or simply to give us more gigabytes of data to use. I will add though that Three Italia offered good coverage and good connection speeds.
TIM recently launched a promotion called TIM Travel Pass – have a read of the Italian website here. For just ten euro, the user receives 500 MB of data, 125 minutes of inbound calls and 125 minutes of outbound calls, along with 250 text messages. This “bundle” lasts for seven days after activation of the offer.
Low cost data roaming and calls in Europe – data speeds
The TIM sim card is an Italian phone number. Consequently, this may prove a little costly for your folks back in the UK to call you. We have an instruction in place whereby people will send a text to our UK mobile with the message “please call”. Alternatively, they will call the UK number and we return the call using the Italian sim card. Equally we send outward texts from the Italian sim, and receive replies on the UK sim – our tariff for receiving SMS messages in Europe is free of charge.
Whilst travelling back from Italy this week, it was the first usage of the Travel Pass offer. In respect of calls and texts, these were predictably reliable with no connection issues.
In respect of data/web browsing, the following networks became the “default”
Switzerland – Swisscom – VERY FAST connection!
France – Orange France
Belgium – Proximius
Luxembourg – Vox
UK – O2
In all five countries, the download/upload speed was good – it was possible to watch a You Tube video for example.
500MB of data is not a vast amount but we browsed the web quite a lot and at the end of the trial, we still had 100 MB left. Any unused MB or texts/call minutes not used within the seven days are lost. After seven days, you can set up another “bundle”
Low cost data roaming and calls in Europe – Google translate!
I am an Italian speaker so find this easy to “administer” but Google translate will easily solve any language barriers.
Log onto the TIM website and you are shown how much remaining usage you have within the pre purchased bundle. You can usually obtain a TIM sim card free of charge. You can top up online, in TIM stores or a many news agents and tobacco shops.