PAYG Contract Roaming Italy Student

  AFoxyLady 07:43 12 Oct 2010

My student son has an orange contract, which I pay through my bank account. The contract is in his name, and he has just re-newed.

He has just graduated and has been offered an EU Funded trip to Italy. He flies out on 18th October, and returns just before Christmas.

What is the best option for him. I have told him he is not to actually "use" his phone when abroad, as it is going to cost for him to send text messages, and also to receive any phone calls, but I want/ need to have contact with him in an emergency.

What is the best option?
1/ Buy a cheap payg phone here in the uk, and get an Italian SIM card over there?
2/ Buy a cheap payg phone here and get a UK sim card - is there one that can do roaming?
3/ Skype phone?

I don't know anything about the Skype phones, but it is something he has thought about.

Any help or pointers would be much appreciated.



  sunnystaines 08:02 12 Oct 2010

but a PAYG that is not locked and buy a sim in italy would be my option

Last time I bought a sim card in Italy it cost around €20 plus a top up. There are so-called roaming sims available in the UK but cant't off-hand remember them Google will find them!

Cheap unlocked payg sounds best deal (or pay a tenner to get one unlocked (your Orange one for example) Buying a payg abroad is another route but it isn't just a case of walking in an handing over money, way more complicated.

Lebara SIM cards are not bad for roaming (you need an unlocked phone)

click here

  AFoxyLady 12:40 12 Oct 2010

Thanks for all the pointers - Will have to do a bit more research. Is it easy to walk in and buy just a SIM card in Italy?

I have purchased one here in the UK, and also tried when out in the UAE - that was difficult and a friend who lives there had to get it sorted for me!

No problems buying a SIM card in Italy, I bought mine from the TIM office upstairs in Termini Railway Station in Rome. Presumably easy to come by in other cities but maybe not so easy in very small towns.

Other countries are not as free and easy as the UK when it comes to IT communications, e.g. in Italy to use an Internet Cafe you need your passport and they will photo copy it!

Helpful info, in English, for TIM Italy (think they are the largest service provider)

click here

  AFoxyLady 17:41 12 Oct 2010

Once again, thanks for all the info and help. I have been looking at the Lebara card, and think we might go for that. There are numerous sites that do comparisons, but you have to read it all very carefully, and what looks like a good deal, has hidden charges!

I have checkd my own orange mobile and for £5 for a 30 day period, I can add roaming, which would allow free calls in, and a reduced fee for making calls. I have tasked said son to do more research and find out whats going to be availble where he is going! Also given him a heads up on the internet cafe policy.

An afterthought, If you go down the UK SIM card route whether Lebara or another one don't forget the possibility of topping it up for the "travelling son" in your local Tesco and texting him the code number to input the top up.

'nother afterthought, If you get the Orange "contract" phone unlocked you should be able to use a payg SIM card in it and have the Orange SIM as an emergency standby until returning to UK.

He'll need at least one adapter to plug his charger into Italian socket - confusinglyly they have two types of socket one with 2 pins and one with 3 ( He may have to buy a 3 pin one locally if they use that where he is going. A good idea is to get a round 2 pin shaver adapter here before he goes - or buy an international adapter set here (he might still need to get a 3 pin one in Italy - I DID!!)

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