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FCO SIM purchase??

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San Francisco...
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FCO SIM purchase??

Hi All:

Just a little info needed here. We'll be arriving after 7pm (19:00) to FCO and will need to call our apartment rental place when we arrive in Rome (via taxi).

1) Is there a store in the arrivals terminal at FCO where I can buy an Italian SIM card?

2) Will the stores be open at 19h?

3) Will the SIM card need a 2 hr "boot up" aka. if I buy at airport will I be able to use the phone for my arrival?

I'll be using an old Motorola Rzr that is unlocked and and 4 band GSM...I just intend to this use for calls within Italy...

Thanks in advance for the tips/info!

L

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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1. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

As far as I know, there is no place where you can buy an Italian SIM card at international arrivals in the airport. There is a phone store behind security in the domestic terminal, but you would have no way of getting there unless you're arriving on a domestic or inter-EU flight. Someone on this forum recently mentioned that he had got a SIM card at the airport, but I don't know where and how. Even if there is a new phone store in international arrivals, it may be closed when you get there.

Even if you did get a SIM card on arrival, they never guarantee that you'll be able to use it immediately, although in my experience you usually can. You can't depend on it though. I suggest that for that one call, you use your US phone on international roaming. Call your provider to make sure you can roam, and ask if they have a plan that would reduce the cost. Then you can get your Italian SIM card the next day, when the phone stores are open.

Whatever you do, don't get a SIM card from the various kiosks at the airport advertising "international SIM cards". These are not Italian SIM cards, and they cost a fortune. Some people have reported here that they bought expensive SIM cards that didn't even work.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

Hm. Thanks for the info. Maybe I'll pre-purchase a SIM online then, even though its not as good a deal. I think international roaming--even for one call--will be a bit pricy.

Anyone used the Passport Lite SIM from Telestial??

www.telestial.com/view_product.php…

Le Marche, Italy
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for Rome, Marche
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37,498 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

I can pretty much guarantee that you'll spend a lot more with that international SIM card than you would making one international call on your US number and then using an Italian SIM card for the rest of the time.

Actually, if you'll not be making very many calls, you might want to stick with international roaming for the whole trip. However, before deciding that, why don't you call your provider to see what kind of roaming plans they have?

By the way, TMobile in the US now has pretty much done away with roaming charges, even for travel in Europe. However, my daughter wasn't able to get a signal very often on a recent trip to London. Here in Italy, she's usually found pretty good coverage.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

Unfortunately I don't have T-Mobile :(

But I did realize, after reading the fine print, that the Telestial SIM card only gives you 5 minutes call time and it's a minimum of $30 to add time.

AT&T is $30 for international roaming for the month and you get 30 minutes call time then $1/min thereafter...I might just do that as it seems simpler and I won't have to worry about getting a SIM later, etc.

Thanks for all the tips!

Ormskirk, United...
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5. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

You could consider calling the apartment from a normal phone-booth, rather than paying higher prices on a mobile phone.

6. Re: FCO SIM purchase??

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