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Data-only SIM for Tablet?

I've been trying to research data-only SIMs for use in a tablet on our next trip to Italy. So far I haven't come up with anything. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Posted by
93 posts

Thanks Andrew. I had seen this earlier but it didn't make much sense. I'll study it some more.

Posted by
1511 posts

Upon arrival in Italy we purchased a data only SIM card. For €12 a month we have 20GB with Vodafone. It’s pay as you go (at any tabacchi) so if you only need for one month, a better deal than using data on US international plan. We used in a D-link router, but sometimes use in our iPad when traveling. Using the hot spot allows others in your group to use data on same SIM card. Watch for anything working in the background that could unknowingly eat data. We also chose 3G instead of 4G to conserve data use. Have no problems with speed, even if watching Netflix

Posted by
1511 posts

This link might be helpful. Scroll down to SIM cards.

Posted by
5 posts

A little late in replying but ....It is March 2019 and I just got back from Italy and here's what I learned for other's to take advantage.

IF your first stop is Italy then GREAT! You can prepurchase a TIM (Tele Italia Mobile?) SIM card before leaving the states or when you get there and, BTW, I believe is ONLY available for pick up inside Italy. If you purchase while state-side then you get a voucher and you present this to any TIM store and they will do the activation work and hand you a SIM to place in your phone. Reports are that most TIM stores are not corporate stores but authorized dealers that won't necessarily be happy about helping you reportedly because they don't make much, if any money, on the transaction. This was my experience. The clerk took the paper work and ran around doing somethings and then handed me a SIM card and said that I needed to wait 2+ hours for it to activate. (So don't come back and bother him??)

Any way it did activate after 3+ hours and worked flawlessly throughout my time and travels in Italy from Verona to Rome. We had a stop over in Amsterdam and it worked there too. That's because the EU (god bless them) passed a rule that said the EU is ONE and so one EU country's SIM is good for all of EU. So if you can swing through Italy early in your EU travels then TIM is a good choice.
Sadly when I got back to the States I could not use up the remaining data.

ONE BIG CAVEAT: TIM says unlimited CHAT'ing. THIS IS NOT TXT'ing! TXT'ing is NOT included and will use up all your credit very quickly. I purchased 15G of data and it came with 200 minutes of voice. I used about half of that (7.5G) on doing Google maps and checking my bank account and e-mail and calling an UBER. No worries about security because when you use a cell phone DATA PLAN it is secure unlike free WiFi.

Speaking of WiFi - its free every where you go in Italy but LOUSY. Slow and unpredictable. So it paid to have my own data access over the cell phone network.

BTW. I used the SIM card in a second phone and turned on it's HOTSPOT / Tethering which gave me the best of both worlds: use of my USA phone's voice and text but NOT DATA while having my own WIFI for data. And I was able to share this with my travelling party. It's not that hard to do. If you have a geeky friend then ask her for help and practice it before leaving.

I went to France last year and the Orange card I got before leaving was a disaster.