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  1.    #1  
    I'm off to Italy for the Olympics in February and I have an unlocked GSM Treo 650 that I'd like to use.

    I have been able to find many reasonably priced vendors in the US for voice minutes on prepaid SIM cards with Italian carrier TIM, but I can't find any information about whether TIM allows prepaid/pay-as-you-go customers to have data access.

    Obviously I don't want to (and probably can't legally anyway) sign a long-term contract since I'll only be there briefly.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? How does one go about getting short-term, prepaid, or pay-as-you-go GPRS access?

    Does anyone know TIM (or the other Italian carriers) specifically? i can't find technical information on GPRS in English on their Web sites, so I'm having a bit of trouble.

    Thanks for any help...
  2.    #2  
    To clarify my question a bit, I'm going to be using a prepaid SIM card (pay-as-you-go) that is specific to Italy (Telecom Italia Mobile)

    I am not a T-Mobile (or other GSM) customer in the US and do not want to sign any long-term contracts here or in Italy.

    I'm trying to figure out what you need to do to get short-term, pay-as-you-go data access when you are a prepaid SIM card customer -- what Italian vendors' SIM cards offer this, what it costs, etc.

    Does anybody have any experience with this?

  3. #3  
    Check out TIM Maxi. It is about 20 euros for reasonable data for one month. Wind has a similar plan as well. Go to to compare the plans.
  4. Hicks's Avatar
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    This old thread may be of some assistance.
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer- Albert Einstein.

    Palm M505> Palm Tungsten E> Treo 600> Treo 650> Treo 680> Sony Ericsson P1i (running Styletap BETA)> iPhone 3G 16GB

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  5. #5  
    I'm Italian... and living in Torino, where the olimpic game will be held. So let me welcome you :-)

    The only suggestion is to get a prepaid SIM. There are 3 GSM providers, TIM, Vodafone, and Wind (plus another UMTS only provider, named 3).
    TIM is the only one that offers EDGE access, so this might be a plus...

    Here is a table (in Italian, but I guess you can understand it...), showing that all operators offer a sort of flat rate, with a limitation on the amount of traffic

    The cost of a SIM is 10 Euros, with 5 Euro of traffic for all operators, but usually there are promotions that give you a SIM for 10 Euros with 10Euros of traffic...
    To get a SIM, you need your passport...

    I personally would go with either TIM MAXXI WEB (400MB/month for 20Euros) or WIND Mega No Limit (3000Euro/month of data traffic at a price of 20Euros, or 1GB/month for 20Euros of data traffic, being 3E/MB the data rate...).

    Vodaphone has no particular advantages...

    Hope this helps.
  6.    #6  
    Thank you very much for your help. I was planning on buying a prepaid TIM SIM card in the US, but it does not include the data service. Is that something I can add at a TIM store in Italy, or should I wait until I get to Italy to do everything in the TIM store? I was trying to save time.

    I am arriving late Friday afternoon into Milano and have tickets for Olympics events right away on Saturday, so I wanted to take care of this fast. Are the TIM stores open late on Friday? Are the lines very long? Is there English-speaking assistance at the TIM store? Thanks...
  7. #7  
    I didn't know that you can actually buy TIM sim in the US...
    probably one you get the card, you can access to it via the web, and try to activate the special data plan. Otherwise you'll have to stop by a TIM shop (called "il telefonino").
    English speaking? ehm... if the shop is really big
    I suggest you to come with a printed page showing the option you want to activate...,00.html
    [may google translator be your friend]

    It says that you can activate it directly online using

    Note: you MUST activate it before February the 5th...
  8.    #8  
  9. #9  
    Hey guys, I appreciate the information! I was just beginning to do some research on this, and was surprised to find a thread already specific to Torino. I too am visiting in February, to work at the Olympic games for the host broadcaster. I'm planning to use my Treo (650) to send back as many pictures as I can.

    One other advantage to TIM would be the following:
    They are an official Olympic sponsor, and will have increased infrastructure in place for the games.
    Last edited by afowler; 01/10/2006 at 11:44 PM.
  10. #10  
    I've just returned from Italy where I was able to use my unlocked Treo 650 and Sierra Wireless Aircard 860 for voice and data (EDGE) access through the TIM network.

    Here is what I was able to discover. The TIM Maxxi Web is just a service that you add to your existing TIM SIM (I got my SIM from Some posts made it seem that the TIM Maxxi Web was a separate SIM, however Maxxi Web is only an option that can be added to the SIM at one of the TIM stores. I was able to add my TIM Maxxi Web service to my SIM (before landing in Italy and activating the SIM) by having a friend go to the TIM store and giving them my mobile number and paying 20 euros. It looks like you could also do this via the WWW, BUT you have to establish your account first. The only way to establish your account is to have activated your SIM by making your first call in Italy and then sending an SMS message with your password.

    Once you've done that, the WWW site (only in Italian, but relatively straight forward) will let you track all your account details and recharge your SIM.

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