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  1. #1
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    Unlocked iPhone traveling to Italy from USA

    Alright guys, need your help here. I'm going to be in Italy for 9 days and I would like to buy a pre-paid sim that i can use to make calls back home to the USA.

    I have an unlocked iPhone currently using T-mobile USA, what do I need to buy inorder to make phone calls back home in Italy. Also what is the United States Country code. How would I make a phone call in Italy back to the United States.

    Also where can I purchase a Sim-card?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    These aren't really "iPhone questions", per se ... and there's a lot of resources around to learn about international roaming and dialing, if you just search a bit. But one additional item you should look into:

    Last time I was traveling to Italy, I was looking into getting a prepaid card locally. I found some consistent references online about needing to have some sort of Italian tax ID in order to make a purchase of a prepaid card. There was some Italian government website where I was able to get a tax ID as a foreigner (Stato Unati i.e. "United States") so that I could buy a card.

    I never did end up buying a card on that trip - international roaming rates really weren't that bad (IMO) for the amount I was likely to use the phone. So I just kept my US SIM in the phone.

    (nothing like getting a text in the middle of a romantic dinner in Florence "WHAT IS PSWD TO EXCHANGE SERVER? HARD CRASHED, RESTORING...")

    So in addition to everything else, look into whether foreign guests are allowed to buy prepaid SIM cards directly, or if there is some other process you must complete first. I would imagine that an up-to-date travel book on Italy might have more info.

    Enjoy your trip!
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  3. #3
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    Since your phone is unlocked just buy a prepaid sim where ever you are and put it into the phone. Im sure when you get to Italy just ask locals where to get prepaid service at.

  4. #4
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    just go to one of their carrier. TIM is big in italy.


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  5. #5
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    The international dialing code for the USA and Canada is +1. So for (604)555-1234 you would dial +1 604 555 1234 (the spaces are just for clarity).

    Mike

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    You can buy SIM from different places, they sell SIM and Phones. Theare are different companies like TIM, VODAFONE, 3, and WIND.

    I got myself a WIND, and I was calling back to the states without any problem.

    Number to dial is 001 then the regular U.S. number staring from area code and number.

    My WIND sim still works here in the US too and it is roaming with at&t or tmobile....and it is like 8 months ago. I bought the sim and some prepaid for like 25euro and it lasted me the 2 weeks that I was there, but I mostly called my friends there in Italy and called few times in the STates!

    Good luck and have fun!

  7. #7
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    I'm leaving for Italy tomorrow. Is there anywhere to purchase a SIM in the Rome Airport? I'll be staying in Florence for the first few days, then Rome. I'm guessing service is the same in both cities? Also, any word on rates to call back to the US?

    Thanks

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    Don't get SIM in Roma airport international area

    There is a store that sells them on the lower level. They are a pain in the butt to deal with. On the upper level between terminal A and B is a shopping area. There is a Wind, TIM and Vodafone store up there that are very good and usually have someone who speaks English.

    If you stay in the north of Italy, all companies have nearly equal coverage so it does not matter which you use. Wind is the cheapest call rate to the US from Italy. If you plan on making a lot of calls to the US activate the Call Your Country option. That will drop the rate from Italy to the US to 50 Euro cents per minute.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifoso1
    If you stay in the north of Italy, all companies have nearly equal coverage so it does not matter which you use. Wind is the cheapest call rate to the US from Italy. If you plan on making a lot of calls to the US activate the Call Your Country option. That will drop the rate from Italy to the US to 50 Euro cents per minute.
    With the US and Euro rates the way they are ... this almost makes a local SIM pointless.

    50 euro cents per minute = 80 US cents per minute (roughly)

    If you pay the $5.99 to sign up for AT&T's "World Traveler" program, rates are 99 US cents per minute in Italy.

    If you're going to make tons and tons of calls, for long periods of time - then a prepaid SIM probably still works. But this is a situation where the currency exchange rates almost makes this one pointless if you were going to make a moderate amount of calls...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomer
    With the US and Euro rates the way they are ... this almost makes a local SIM pointless.

    50 euro cents per minute = 80 US cents per minute (roughly)

    If you pay the $5.99 to sign up for AT&T's "World Traveler" program, rates are 99 US cents per minute in Italy.

    If you're going to make tons and tons of calls, for long periods of time - then a prepaid SIM probably still works. But this is a situation where the currency exchange rates almost makes this one pointless if you were going to make a moderate amount of calls...
    but the 50 euro cents per minute rate is for a call originating in italy to the us
    i imagine that rates within italy would be cheaper

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marktang
    just go to one of their carrier. TIM is big in italy.
    TIM has freaking coverage everywhere.
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  12. #12
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    How you use your phone matters in rates

    I live in Italy about two months a year so I make a lot of calls there. How you use your phone is what matters. If you receive a lot of calls an Italian SIM will save you a lot of money since all incoming calls are free including international incoming. With a US SIM you pay the same rate for incoming and outgoing calls.

    And, yes, local calls are much cheaper with an Italian SIM. Depending on the plan a local call is between .15 and .25 Euro cents per minute. That is for calls you place. Incoming calls are free.

    Where you plan to spend your time should determine the carrier as it does in the US. In the north the three major carriers are about the same. Below Naples, where I spend most of my time, Wind is the best carrier. Coverage maps show all three about the same in the South, but the call quality for TIM and Vodafone is very poor.

  13. #13
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    This thread is a few years old, but I am faced with the same question currently.

    I will be traveling from Rome north from 22sep2012 to 50ct2012 and I want to use my iPhone 4s with a local sim card. The various vendors are pretty aggressive in the claims of best. They all look pretty expensive to me in comparison to the Lebara sim I was using in the UK a couple of years ago. (with a different phone)

    I will be carrying my laptop and depending on wifi availability, I was interested in using the iPhone as the Wireless Access Point (actually tethered) to my laptop.

    My iPhone is on Verizon, and I have not yet requested an unlock but I have been reading a lot and could use some guidance. Vodafone or Tim? Is Wind still unavailable? etc.

  14. #14
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    Just go with a VOIP app that will give you FREE voice calls both to US or US to you in Italy via wifi. I use Line2 and it's been the best one. They have a weeks free trial and it allows you to make any local or long distance calls and text. I use it for 50% of my calls here in California on wifi or my phones data and it gives me excellent call quality on both.
    Forgot to add it's $9.95 a month after the trial. My two iphone user sisters use Line2 for much of their voice calls and 100% of their texting since Att rates for just text is $20. a month and this app also allows them to choose a low tier minute plane for further savings.

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