How to switch between Italian and foreign telephone operators when traveling

One of the many questions tourists and travelers ask themselves as soon as they set foot abroad is, “What phone rate is active here?” What they do not know is that, in most cases, Italian telephone operators have agreements with foreign operators, making the switch almost automatic.

In fact, in European Union countries, users can take advantage of international roaming, without worrying about activating a new tariff.

But let’s take a closer look at what it is.

International roaming: what it is and how it works

International roaming is nothing more than an agreement made between different telephone operators, both Italian and foreign. Thanks to this agreement, users have the opportunity to enjoy a continuous telecommunication service, without additional charges regarding the telephone rate; in a nutshell, they can freely continue sending text messages, making calls and surfing the Internet without limits.

So, the moment you are in a foreign country, all you have to do is activate international roaming on your cell phone by accessing the device’s settings. By doing so, you can continue to benefit from your phone tariff by connecting to the network that the foreign operator grants.

In conclusion, if you are planning to take a trip abroad, to a European country, you will neither have to look for a new mobile offer nor a new SIM. In fact, the latter will still remain active thanks to roaming.

However, keep in mind that this talk only applies to short stays. In case your trip lasts more than 3 to 4 months, the operator may detect prolonged SIM usage abroad and reduce the amount of GB available or increase the price of the tariff.  So before you leave, it is worth going to a WindTre point of sale in Rome or other provider so you can ask for all the useful info.

How much does it cost to use international roaming?

There is no charge to use international roaming in Europe. In fact, the European Commission in 2017 required phone operators not to charge surcharges.

This means that even if you are abroad, you will not have to worry about surcharges or additional charges for your phone rate.

However, there are exceptions: users have a limited number of GB they can use, and free roaming is only guaranteed if your stay abroad is temporary.

In any case, we advise you to check what conditions are provided by your current operator (especially, to know how many free GB available includes your tariff).

How to change operators outside the European Union?

As we have seen, international roaming is present only and exclusively in European Union countries. So, the moment you travel to other countries or continents, in most cases you need to change SIM cards or activate a new mobile tariff. But there is no need to worry!

Most telephone operators offer specially formulated tariffs for those who have to travel abroad. However, in this circumstance, it is always best to request information by phone or by going to a store to receive all the relevant useful information.

Alternatively, you can submit an application to obtain an international SIM card. The latter costs from a minimum of €10 to a maximum of €20, and allows you to call anyone you want in over 200 countries.

It is not possible to determine which of the two options is best, as the answer varies depending on your needs!

To learn more about international roaming, click here.

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