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"long distance" for locals (e.g UK number in Italy)

I am considering purchasing a SIM from https://www.telestial.com/ for use in Italy and other international destinations in the future. The Explorer SIM has a +44 (UK) number: would locals (e.g. shop keepers etc.) in Italy for instance be concerned about having to make a "long distance" call or does this not matter since like in the US they usually have eurozone calling plans; or would it be better to get a SIM that provides an Italian number: I'd rather not have to get a SIM for every country in Eurpope if possible.

Thanks

CG

Posted by
676 posts

Dialing from landlines to mobiles is still. expensive so I can imagine some people wouldn't be keen to return the call.
That said you would expect any business to have access to a mobile and then calls tend to be 3/10c max back to another EU country.

Posted by
23751 posts

It isn't just long distance, it is international. Not everybody will have an international plan on their mobile, not every small shopkeeper will want to find the right mobile or make the effort to call the UK.

Are you saying that in the US you can just call, say, Panama on your usual plan?

Posted by
3 posts

I've purchased a Telestial SIM in the past and had it not work when I got to Italy. And Telestial's customer service was less than useful (although I forget now if they refunded my money or not). I now buy a SIM locally on arrival (and in Italy, I did use TIM successfully). That way you can make sure it will work with "your" phone. (Although in one instance, it was cheaper to buy a whole new phone with SIM and included minutes.) The kids at the TIM store I went to spoke fine English and helped me set up voicemail and everything.
Also, if you are buying a SIM from Telestial or TIM for future travel, be aware that they generally expire if not used every 6 months or so, even if you have $$ credited on the account. I wasn't able to get my TIM SIM to work back home, so just let it lapse.
I'm planning a multi-country trip this summer and will be buying a new SIM in each destination. In some countries, the cost for the SIM is 0 or 1-2 Euro.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you one and all. Indeed the TIM SIM seems quite attractive, however I note that one has to purchase it there according to TIM's website and your comments, which is fine, however I am traveling to Florence and Tuscany and the website indicates there are no stores there.

I have also heard that vodafone is an option: has anyone had any experience with them and/or know if there are any stores or kiosks, ideally at the Florence airport ? Unfortunately when I click on Italy, the vodafone.it webpage changes to Italian, which I do not speak.

CG

Posted by
4 posts

Please disregard my previous comment that TIM does not have stores in Florence: I figured out that I need to be searching for Firenze. It looks like there is even one near the airport.

CG

Posted by
388 posts

The advice on this thread looks good.

Posted by
11158 posts

@doingyboy: If you have a smartphone, TIM has a great deal, called TIM Welcome. For €30, you get a SIM, 2 GB of data (4G speed where available), 200 minutes of calls good both for domestic calls in Italy and for calls to many international destinations (including the US), and €5 of credit for texts or extra calls. This is all good for a month. On my recent trip to Sicily, my friend got this and it worked great. The only problem was the the TIM store in Rome Fiumicino Airport Terminal 1 did not have nano-SIMs, so we had to wait to buy it in Palermo.

I don't have a smartphone, so I paid €20 for a SIM and €15 of credit for talk and text. The airport shop had mini- and micro-SIMs, so I was able to get mine at the airport without difficulty. You will need a passport, and may or may not need a codice fiscale; see the bottom of this page for details: http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/italy.php. Be sure when they set up your phone that they set up the voice mail prompts and the balance updates in English.

On all Italian cell phone plans (and all European phones for that matter), you pay only to send texts or initiate calls. Receiving calls and texts is free.

@Nigel: "Are you saying that in the US you can just call, say, Panama on your usual plan?"
With many plans, yes; of course, it can cost a lot ($1.99 per minute to Panama on T-Mobile, although you can get much better rates if you sign up for a international package first). Some carriers and plans are not enabled by default for international calls, but many carriers and plans are.