Network Name: Wind
Owned by/Major partner: ENEL (Italian electric company)
Operational Frequency: 900 (rural areas) and 1800 (cities) GSM
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): 10 Euro with 5 euro of credit (there are often offers at 5 euros)
CSD access: Yes
GPRS access: Yes (after activation)
SIM applications: Yes (64k sim card)
Manual included: just a quick guide in Italian
Refill amounts: 4(3), 10(8), 25(20), 45(40), 60(60) euro cards (credit included)
Availability: MondoWind and TuttoWind shops, multibrand phone dealers
Competitors: TIM, Vodafone, 3 (UMTS)
More In-Depth Information
Very easy to buy a Wind prepaid card, and very cheap too. You can easily find a Wind shop in big towns, a bit harder in smaller villages. It's even much easier to top-up, mostly any "tabacchi" and "lotto" shop can recharge your Wind account, as well as any newsstand and Wind shop, of course. If you are staying in Italy for a longer period it is suggested to use the 60 euros top-up, since you will get 60 euro of credit, unlike smaller scratch cards.
You first need to have an Italian "Codice Fiscale", otherwise you cannot buy any prepaid card in Italy. You can get one here:
Print it and bring it with you.
You cannot buy or top-up on the online shop (www.mondowind.it) with no Italian credit cards. No chance to top-up a Wind card outside of Italy, unless you first buy a scratch card in Italy. In the future it should be possible due to an "alliance" with O2 and other European carriers.
The simcards are preactivated, you just dial 4242 and choose your language (Italian or English), then you are ready to go. CSD is preactivated, while you need to activate GPRS and MMS if you want to use them. International roaming is preactivated, and it works with USSD commands or also CAMEL direct roaming with some operators.
Old Wind tariffs were the cheapest, the new ones (June 2004) are not that good, very similar to Vodafone ones.
SMS work well, while the services on the sim-card seem to be quite unuseful (as it always happens, IMHO). You can surf on Wind wap portal (Libero) to get some information, but it's quite expensive. No problem surfing the net via GPRS and any browser (on the phone or on a PC). There is a flat rate GPRS-web tariff for 19 euro/months with unlimited navigation.
Useful serive "MyWind" tells you when you miss calls while your phone is turned off or without net.
Wind is also the only Italian operator which offers i-mode
The most concerns about Wind are usually related to its coverage, mostly 1800 in towns, and dual, or just 900 in rural areas. And the biggest problems are with 1800 inside of buildings (like 1900 in the US). Anyway, unless you go to some "strange" location, you should have Wind signal, and in some places you can roam on Vodafone net too.
Customer Care service is not that good, and in Italian only... I wish you never need it! ;-)
1)Find which is your "Codice Fiscale", otherwise you cannot buy any simcard in Italy.
2)Before buying a Wind sim ask to some Italian friend how is their net coverage in the place you are going to stay (usually no big problems in big towns and touristic places).
3)Check the tariff you have (the initial one should be BeWind, good for SMS but not for calls to other mobiles, Autoricarica should be better)
4)Ask the dealer to activate GPRS (if you need it) for you, otherwise you'll need to call the 155 (customer care) and pray God to find an English speaking operator! You can also activate it via web, at www.155.it, but you need to know Italian, as usual.
5)If you have other problems ask me!
Wind prepaid card usually works well, the only problem could be the net coverage, but they are improving their net quite a lot. The starting kit is the cheapest in Italy and the tariffs are now quite similar to the competitors' ones. If you are going to travel throughout Italy I think it's still better to buy a TIM or Vodafone card, even if they are a bit more expensive.
AdmiralAK -tried to add screenshot (did not succeed)
Last edited by AdmiralAK; 06-18-2004 at 12:05 PM.
Greetings from Charlie "Effendi"