Connecting to the internet and using phones in Italy

phones and Internet
Updated 2020-06-02 07:35

Now that you've successfully moved to Italy, you're going to want to make sure you stay connected with your friends, family, and the world around you. Nowadays, it's easy enough to set up your internet, landline, and mobile phone with the same provider. All-inclusive packages are often more convenient and more affordable, although you can still register each with different telecommunications companies if you prefer.

Good to know:

In order to register for internet, a landline, and an Italian sim card, you need to make sure you have a codice fiscale (tax code) and address.

Connecting to the Internet in Italy

Even though Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to be connected to the Internet, Internet access is widely available in the form of broadband, wireless and optical fibre connections. Dial-up, cable and ADSL access is also widely used in small villages and towns.

There are numerous internet providers in Italy, but Telecom Italia (TIM) is the most common. Other popular internet providers include Windtre, IliadVodafone,Tiscali, and Fastweb.

You can sign-up online, although you may prefer to visit your local branch to discuss the best internet package options. In order to register for internet, you will need to provide:

  • Your Codice fiscale (tax code)
  • Proof of address
  • Your preferred package

Getting the connection established can take anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

What to do if you don't have a tax code but you want to connect to the internet

If you haven't received your tax code yet, you will not be able to register for wifi in your home. You can still connect to the internet but you may need to go elsewhere or alternatively spend a little more money to do so.

  • Free wi-fi hotspots are not as common as elsewhere in Europe, though there are public spaces where people can connect to the internet via their phones or laptops for free. Find wifi hot-spots close to you here.
  • A more convenient although more expensive alternative is to purchase a pre-paid mobile internet modem, which allows you to connect to the internet via a small key which looks like a USB. These can be recharged as and when further internet is needed and most internet providers including Windtre, TIM and Vodafone sell these.
  • Most people also browse the internet via their mobile service, which provides mobile data packages and offers hi-speed internet access from most areas in the country.

Landline in Italy

Setting up a landline in Italy follows a similar process to setting up the internet. Telecom Italia (TIM) is the national telephone company, though it is possible to opt for other services too. Other popular landline providers include Windtre, Vodafone ,Tiscali , Fastweb, and Digitel

Applications can be made online, over the phone or in a local branch. In order to apply for a landline, you must provide the following information:

  • Tax number
  • Address where the line needs to be installed
  • Contact phone number
  • Number of extensions
  • Package details
  • Whether you would like your number included in the local phonebook

Once you have registered, a technician will need to come to your home to connect the telephone. The time between registering for a landline and being able to use your landline can take anywhere between a few working days to a few weeks. You will usually receive a bill every two months unless you have opted for a package deal, in which case the frequency may differ.

Good to know:

All landline numbers in Italy are between eight and eleven digits long, beginning with 0 and followed by an area code.

To call an international number from Italy, dial 00 country code.

To call an Italian landline from outside Italy dial 39 0.

To make a call to an Italian number in Italy, dial 0 area code (usually two or three digits).

The Pagine Gialle, the Italian Yellow Pages, provides a useful resource for business and organisation numbers.

Mobile in Italy

If you plan to stay in Italy for a long period of time, you will probably want to switch from an international roaming plan to an Italian sim card. Note that you will need to ensure that your mobile phone complies with the Italian telecommunication network, otherwise you will need to pay a charge to unlock it.

Like most countries, it's possible to purchase prepaid sims (ricaricabile) and permanent contract plans(abbonamento), which usually last between 12 and 24 months. In order to purchase a prepaid Italian sim, you will need to produce an identity card, while contracts require a codice fiscale (tax code) and an address.

Prepaid sims can be purchased online, in provider branches or in some newsagents and grocery stores. Sim cards are free, but you are required to buy a minimum credit for phone calls, usually â¬5-10. To purchase additional credit, vouchers can be purchased in most small shops, supermarkets, ATMs, or online. Most providers also offer monthly prepaid packages, for example, at the time of writing, TIM was offering 30 days of 4GB data for a one-off payment of â¬20.

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