Italy,  ITCILO,  MALED,  Torino

Getting a SIM card

Getting a SIM card in Italy is not so easy nor too hard. First, you will need the codice fiscale or Italian TAX code. You can request one from your Italian Embassy back home but if you failed to do so like me, the secretariat of the course will help you get one when in Torino. The codice fiscale is a unique code with character and number generated from your name, birthday and place of birth. If you are pretty sure that there is no one with the same first and last name, born at the same day and coming from the same country then you can use online generator that available on many webpage (use Google!). I got one from the official office exactly the same code as online generator give me.

There are about 4 main operators which are TIM, Vodafone, Tre and Winds (now merged). The package filled with data, SMS and talk time vary among the operator but expected to pay around 10€ for a reasonable package (beware of hidden charge such as break contract fee). There are also a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) operator which rent the coverage from the main operator and sell their own package, they are mostly cheaper than the main operator but with some draw back:

  1. Speed is slower, even you are online in their 4G network
  2. You are less priority, you maybe kicked out to 3G or 2G network when it become congested

My choice is PosteMobile, which is using Wind network with 4G coverage. During my time the package of CREAMI WOW 5GB with 500 credit of local call and SMS is costing 7€! To get the SIM card, you can ordered online and pay cash on delivery (ITCILO front will contact you to pay when it arrive and submit the copy of passport at the same time), I paid 15€ with full amount credited so basically free SIM card. You can also get one from local post office (not one in the campus) for a fee. Another one I recommend is LycaMobile, the big MVNO player in Europe. The SIM card is free too and the package is started from 5€ for 1GB data only package, you can get one from many shop near Porta Nuova station.

Note on EU roaming, with effecting from last year, all operator is expected to lift all surcharge to the user when roaming in the EU (with exception of Switzerland and some countries). It is mean that you can use your package as if you are in Italy when roaming abroad. MALED will bring you to France and Switzerland as a study visit so this is very handy (unfortunately Switzerland, is not included, be sure to turn data roaming off when enter Geneva). Check your package if it is support EU roam like home, the allowance before hand!

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