eSIM in Italy: everything you need to know
Let’s take a look at your options of eSIM in Italy
Italy, the land of diversity – from art to religion, history to food, romance to beaches, ski to cities, and wine to language – we believe Italy has it all, and certainly something for everyone, whatever their vacation needs – oh, we forgot to mention the cars, shopping, people, scenery, and family values!
Not only that Italy has a lot to offer, most of their major local carriers support eSIMs as well!
Traveling to Italy? Stay connected by purchasing an eSIM online!
eSIMs are easy to activate without the need of physical swapping of cards to install a connection. They also allow for another physical SIM to be used at the same time. Travel eSIMs are especially good as you can get them digitally right before you travel. eSIMs is perfect for travelers as it removes the need for individual SIMs. You can also upgrade devices in a breeze by registering your new device with your cellular network provider.
TIM owned by Telecom Italia is still the biggest operator in the country. All of the country is covered by 2G, 97% of the population is covered by 3G and 4G/LTE is available in 6,300 municipalities covering 94% of the population: TIM 4G coverage
5G started in summer 2019 in a few Italian cities and will be build up in cooperation with Vodafone. It is included on the Advance 5G and 5G Top plans (auto-pay required) and costs 10 € extra with any 4G offer (ask for the 5G On option).
For tourists TIM has released a SIM card called Tim Tourist for 20 € (+ 10 € for the SIM, including credit of 1 €), 200 minutes for call and 15 GB of data in Italy and up to 6 GB in the EU for a month.
Calls are domestic and international to 65 countries, data is on 3G/4G and will be throttled to 32 Kbps after exceeding quota. No upsize or extensions possible.
Some shops may not like to sell you this offer, as they don’t get any benefits from it. Be firm and polite. You may show them a print-out of the offer or let them call Head Office. Numerous users reported problems in getting this official offer by going to more than one TIM store, but it’s possible.
Windtre, In 2017 WindTre was born. This newly merged company has 27 million mobile customers. In 2018 Hutchison (former owner of Tre) took over the rest of the company and bought out Veon (former owner of Wind). For the time being both brands were sold separately.
Meanwhile the newly combined network scored many points in network tests and seems to be on par with TIM and Vodafone now. Both Umlaut and OpenSignal found out in 2020 that W3 4G coverage is equal to the other two networks and average speeds are even slightly higher at 28.6 Mbit/s.
Finally, as of 16 March 2020 the new brand and logo W3 (called: WindTre) was introduced and both brands have now merged commercially.
For non-Italian citizens only carrying a passport or ID from outside the country, WindTre has released these offers:
- Giga International: 9.99 € – including 40 GB data (EU cap: 4.7 GB) valid for one month. The activation fee is 5 € and the SIM card is for 9 €, making the total cost 24 € for the first month and 10 € for following months. This offer is only for customers with foreign citizenship. It can be started by texting ‘GIGA INTERNATIONAL SI’ to 4033. As it auto-renews after a month, it can be stopped by ‘GIGA INTERNATIONAL NO’. Check data balance by texting ‘SALDO’ to 4155. After using all your data, the allowance can be renewed by texting ‘INTERNET RESTART SI’ to 4033.
- Call your Country
This carrier supports eSIM in Italy.
Check out their local prices and coverage (in EUR )
Vodafone is Italy’s 2nd network and according to tests it has surpassed TIM both in 4G/5G speeds and coverage. 4G/LTE covers 98% of the p
opulation in 2019 and is included in most of their prepaid plans: Vodafone 4g Map.
5G started in summer 2019 in a few Italian cites and is available on prepaid without surcharge on most plans. It will be deployed in cooperation with TIM in the years to come.
Vodafone offers a special plan to foreigners without Italian citizenship showing an ID document from abroad. It’s called C’all Global Max and is a combo pack with 300 mins from Italia to about 50 countries, 500 domestic mins and 50 GB of data (or 70 GB if you can link it to a credit card or bank account, roaming in the EU: max. 5.6 GB) for a month at 11.99 € plus an activation fee of 3 €. It includes the Vodafone Pass Web Voce with zero-rated chat and messenger apps (see above), VoIP calls and 300 mins to EU/EEA, Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Rep., India, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland, UK, USA and landline numbers in Australia, Brazil, Israel and Morocco.
As a tourist plan Vodafone offers Dolce Vita for 24.99 € per month exclusively to foreign tourists. It includes 30 GB in Italy (15 GB in the EU), 600 minutes domestic and to many international destinations and their Social, Chat and Map Passes with zero-rated apps. This plan is free of an activation charge.
Note that the terms for both of these offers indicate that a “foreign tax ID” is officially required (even for the tourist offer!). Follow the directions at the beginning of the wiki to calculate yours and have it ready, just in case.
This carrier supports eSIM in Italy.
Check out their local prices and coverage (in EUR)
eSIM2Fly Roaming Sim
So how does a roaming eSIM compare with local eSIMs?
Local SIMs are charging about USD 2.12 per GB. The price per GB on Sim to fly is USD 3.10 of per GB on the first package then only USD 2.50 for add on packages. This makes the eSIM2Fly roaming sim competitive with the local eSIMs in price per GB.
In the graph above, we see the equivalent cost of 6 GB when priced in USD.