Use Your Phone from Home
Italy uses GMA technology, like AT&T or T-Mobile phones stateside. Other U.S. carriers, like Verizon, largely use CDMA technology but offer GMA phones to international travelers. If your phone operates on GMA technology you can probably replace the SIM card and use it in Italy.
UNLOCK your phone prior to coming: Call your carrier to make sure your GMA enabled phone is “unlocked” before traveling overseas. Tip: Try to avoid monthly plans as they do not have a military clause.
Major Italian Cell Phone Providers
- Vodafone, TIM, Wind
Cell Phone Plans
- Pay-as-you-go are called “Ricaricabile” plans
- Plans are renewed every 4 weeks [Not monthly]
- Set up an online account to view/change your plan
- Carriers offer U.S. calling plans
- Pay more into your account & avoid SIM card fees
- When you buy a plan, deactivate voicemail and SMS missed call notifications to avoid charges
- Translate all text messages to ensure you are not getting charged for extra services
Wireless Store at BX
The BX has a cell phone and internet store with bilingual Italian employees that can help you choose a cell phone carrier and internet provider. You might find a wider range of options at local providers on the economy.
To sign up for a plan, bring:
- ID – Driver’s license or passport
- Post Office Box Address
- Codice Fiscale (Italian Social Security number)
Keep in Touch with Family Back Home
There are a number of free or inexpensive ways to stay in touch with family and friends in another country.
- iPhone iMessage/Facetime [Free texts & video calls]
- WhatsApp [Free texts, calls & very popular]
- Facebook Messenger [Free texts and calls]
- Skype [Free chats & video calls]
- Magic Jack App [Free/$ voice calls & U.S. number]
- Vonage [Costs $, U.S. number & voice calls]
NOTE: For apps to work, add “+” before Country Code