Cell Phone Providers

There are several cell phone providers covering the city.

You’ll need to bring your passport when signing up for any of these cell phone providers in person. If you do not have residency and an Italian bank account, the providers will sign you up for a pre-paid plan which is what most tourists get. There’s usually a sign-up fee associated with this of about 10€ – 20€. If you do have residency and an Italian bank account, you may want to consider signing a contract as it’s significantly cheaper and takes away the hassle of having to top up whenever you’re out.

It’s best to visit the stores in person so you can receive the SIM card right away. Many of the stores have someone that knows English.

The EU has ended roaming surcharges for all people who travel periodically within the EU. Since 2017, people pay only domestic charges.

Vodafone

Vodafone is the largest carrier in the area. You may have heard of them already because they serve many countries. You’re likely to receive the most coverage throughout Italy and Europe with Vodafone. They also happen to be the most expensive carrier compared to the others.

The website is terrible to navigate and there’s no English available.

Fastweb

The second largest carrier in the area. There’s no English on the website but it’s significantly easier to navigate and translate compared to Vodafone. Fastweb was founded in Italy and now owned by Swisscom.

3 (Tre)

Another large international company that has several locations throughout Bologna.

TIM

Also known as Telecom with a few locations in Bologna.

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