Any traveller from around the world, and especially from Australia will know that mobile roaming is very expensive. For those who don’t know, the term roaming is when you use your Mobile phone from one country in another country.
When in Australia, I rang up Virgin Mobile to see how much roaming will cost. Given estimates, it was about a $5 connection fee and $5 per minute to make a call. Is is ridiculously expensive. And using mobile internet whilst roaming, will just eat through your money.
Where we were staying, we did not have an internet connection so we enquired about mobile internet. Down the road from where we were staying, there is a small shop that sells phones and plans. The mobile operator is TIM.it. Luckily the person serving us could speak English and we were with a local resident so I was able to get a mobile sim card in there name luckily.
Because we were using Skype a lot, we wanted something that had around 1-2GB of data. We were only planning to stay in Italy for a few days as well. But Tim.it had a great plan for us. 40 hours of unlimited mobile internet.
Tim.IT Internet Plan
It was quite cheap. We payed 10 euro for the Sim card, and a 15 euro recharge that provided us with 40 hours of mobile internet. The only downside was that it’s charged in 15 minute blocks. So unlike in Australia, you can’t go checking Facebook every 5 minutes. Once you are on you are on.
The good thing about this plan was that the I could put the sim card in my mobile phone, and tether it with my laptop, thus not needing to buy a USB dongle which costs about 50 euro.
With the plan, you also get 5 euro worth of calls/sms/data as well just in case.
Setting up and Performance
To be able to tether with your laptop, you need to ensure you setup the correct Access Point for your phone and that you can easily turn mobile data on and off. The AP that you need to use is ibox.tim.it
I was quite impressed by the speed – it was much quicker than what you get in Australia. In fact, the uploads where as quick as the downloads. I was getting over 1, nearly 2 Mbps upload speeds.
I was used Skype quite regularly (connecting my grandma who lives in Australia and her sister who hasn’t seen each other for over 15 years). The two around the 80’s loved the technology.The was absolutely no lag Skyping Australia using mobile broadband tethering with my phone.
Using 40 hours of Internet, I used about 5GB of mobile internet. In Australia, you can’t get a prepaid plan with that amount of data for so little costs.
I also had a phone number
The most useful part was that I got a phone number that people could call me on or sms me. It automatically roamed to other countries as well when I was there, which made it really handy. I also called an Australian mobile number in Germany for one minute, and it only cost 1 euro 20 cents. These rates are cheaper than what we pay in Australia!
The only downside was that the internet only worked in Italy. But, throughout my travels, I had the simcard in my phone and I received sms fine. It was also handy because in McDonalds, you need a phone number to access the one hour of free Wi-Fi that is provide.
So if you need affordable mobile internet in Italy, or an emergency phone number while in Europe, Tim.it is what you need to get.