My college-age daughter is going with classmates to Italy for a month. Our cell carrier does not have international data, so she’ll need to get a sim card for her iPhone when she gets there for the time she’s there, about three-four weeks.
But I have no idea how those plans would work, or what to tell her to get. Would it give her X amount of data and then she re-loads it if she reaches that amount? Or pay-as-you-go? What carrier is good there? She’ll be in Rome and Tuscany, not in remote areas.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, particularly since this is on my dime, not hers.
I have Google Fi, which I gather is similar to what T-Mobile offers. When I step off a plane in a new country, it takes 5-10 minutes for my phone to connect to the local network, then I’m on with full phone, text and data, using my U.S. phone number. Costs about 20 cents/minute for phone calls, but texts are free and data is the same rate as the U.S. I’ve used this reliably in Thailand, Argentina, Japan, China, France, Costa Rica, and Mexico. In Vietnam it didn’t work, and I had to buy a sim card (which I knew I’d have to do in advance) and it was no big deal–the lady at the kiosk in the airport expertly disassembled my phone, installed the new SIM and configured it properly. Italy, however, is covered by Google Fi.
If it’s only for a month you could also get a local plan geared towards tourists. Not the greatest deal in world when you compare it to their regular plans, but those are usually a two year commitment and in my experience Wind has the best coverage in Italy:
If she has wireless access in hotels etc. for data intensive stuff like videos she should be ok with the 20GB data cap. Otherwise Google Fi is probably a better route.
You can purchase online through their store and get the Sim card delivered to an Italian address or pick it up in a store of your choice.