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Cheapest data only sim, 1 week, LTE, 2GB

Cheapest data only sim, 1 week, LTE, 2GB

Old Nov 19, 17, 4:58 pm
  #1  
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Cheapest data only sim, 1 week, LTE, 2GB

There seem to be quite a lot of choices to sort through for short term data sims for italy.

I don't need roaming, or voice, just need data, only need to last 1 week, and I only use ~250-300MB per day typically.

Most of the short-term deals seem to come to nearly E30, and include more duration and data than I need. Are there any cheaper options that meet my criteria?
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Old Nov 22, 17, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by angra View Post
There seem to be quite a lot of choices to sort through for short term data sims for italy.

I don't need roaming, or voice, just need data, only need to last 1 week, and I only use ~250-300MB per day typically.

Most of the short-term deals seem to come to nearly E30, and include more duration and data than I need. Are there any cheaper options that meet my criteria?
I'm not the most informed about this, but I doubt you will find anything cheaper than 30 E. If you're not roaming, why do you even need it? Maybe it's not clear to me, but in any hotel or rental, there will be internet connection.

And where are you going in Italy? that makes a huge difference, between going to Milano or Roma, vs. some small town in Campagna. In many cities, unlike in the past, many coffee shops have WiFi, and you can go in there, ask for the code, download and send emails, texts, web browse, etc., for no cost. I don't think you're going to get under 30 E, or you might save 4-5 euros but spend an hour in the store trying to start up the service, and waiting on the interminable lines.

I don't mean to go to a Starbucks place, because Starbucks hasn't opened yet. And also, there are so many places in Rome with free WiFi, that you can just stop in those places, and do the rest from your hotel. For just a one week trip, that might be an option. Getting a new SIM, activating it, waiting for it to activate, can be a headache. Italian cell phone stores are sort of like cable TV in the USA: the worst service in the world.

I stopped at a bar today in the San Francisco Bay area, where I live when not in Italy, which is about 60/40%. There were about six guys all with laptops out, no one talking to one another. The only person to talk to was the bartender. Everyone else was glued to their laptop. You couldn't even try to start up a conversation. This behavior is frowned on in Italy, and will get you labeled right away, but going in smartly and using your phone while having a coffee or a glass of wine, and not making a spectacle of it is OK, depending on the time of day. Everyone needs to do this in the morning, on the way to work, or in the late afternoon/early evening to finish work. Otherwise, it's frowned on to go to a social place like a bar and stare at your phone, but it your use is going to be as infrequent and as little as you say, then I would just use a bar and the hotel, provided that you say where you are going.

The advice would be completely different if you were going to Siracusa, Lecce, Venezia, Roma. Just like the USA, Italy is not one standard place. Try getting cell phone service in certain areas of New Mexico, Montana, or Georgia. It's in the details. Promotions that exist in Rome won't exist in Sicily or Venice. If you are going to Milan or Rome, and you only want to use data as you describe, you probably don't need anything. Hotspots are everywhere.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 5:58 am
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Look at these TIM plans specifically designed for foreigners. https://www.tim.it/offerte/mobile/estero/dallitalia

Realize that beyond their cost, you will have to purchase a SIM card. I just bought a second 30GB per month plan (for my wife's phone) and it basically cost €25 for the first month (and then just €9.99 every 4 weeks).

Since it is rechargeable, when you run out you can recharge it online (make sure your credit card security will allow the foreign charge) or let it lapse. If it lapses, you can recharge it later the next time you need it which is great. For example, I left Italy in late August and when my SIM was to be recharged in September my balance was too low so it couldn't. I let it stay that way until last Saturday when I was leaving the US for Italy. Recharged it online in the USA on Saturday and when I landed in Italy Sunday, it was working fine.

As Perche mentions, I don't think you're going to find much lower than €25 because you'll have to purchase the SIM card. I think they can be had for next to nothing if you order them online but then they need be sent to you. If you're just in Italy for a week, going to a store is really the only way to get a SIM and if you do you'll have to pay for it. If you think that's too much then your only alternatives are to do the cafe/wifi thing Perche describes or roam on your US carrier which, with the exception of Tmobile, would cost more. If you have TMobile US with one of their plans that allow international roaming for free, you can get 128kbps or 256kbps (depending on which plan) at no additional cost. That would work for email and very light browsing - 250 mb per day might be a bit painful at those speeds.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 10:43 am
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Hello good folks. Thanks for the response comments.

I apologize for leaving out the detail that I'll be in Rome the entire time unless I make any daytrips which are currently not planned.

It's possible I can live with wifi only. I make heavy use of google maps while I am traveling. I haven't checked lately to see if Rome is available for offline-use-download.

I can probably live with E30, but that seems high compared to other places, so I thought that there might be something cheaper. No dig at Italy intended, and no hard data to back this up, it was just a feeling.

based on http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.c...oreigners_only it appears that the E10 plan would be good for me. That page claims that the current cost for a new sim is E10 with E5 in credit, so total cost would be E15. However, as Perche alluded in his response, perhaps that setup time and hassle would be significant. That part I can't guess. I'll take Perche's comment as a hint that it might be. Since there is a TIM store near my lodging, I may just go there, try my best for the cheaper plan and plan to fall back to the E30 options if I get a lot of resistance. My Italian is not good so I probably won't care to engage in a haggling session with the clerk if it comes to that.
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