This article is designed for people traveling to Italy, focusing on the importance of mobile internet in Italy for a smooth trip. It helps you choose the right mobile internet, highlighting the benefits of using local SIM cards and eSIMs for staying connected all the time. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know how to stay connected inexpensively and effectively while enjoying Italy’s beauty.

the mobile internet in italy

I. Mobile Internet coverage and speed in Italy

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’ll want to know what to expect for mobile internet and data speeds to stay connected during your adventures.

1. Italy Mobile Internet Coverage

Italy has made big progress in spreading mobile internet all over the country so people and businesses can have good and fast internet. A few big companies control most of Italy’s mobile market, each with different levels of coverage and network quality.

Italy Mobile Internet Coverage
Italy Mobile Internet Coverage. Source: nperf

According to the Opensignal Report (November 2023), here are key points about mobile internet coverage in Italy by major operators:

  • Fastweb and WindTre won an award for having the best 5G coverage, both scoring 5.11.
  • Iliad did well in making sure the network connection was available most of the time, scoring 98.6%.
  • WindTre got the award for 5G Availability, which measures how long the 5G connection is active.
  • Fastweb and WindTre were great at 5G Coverage Experience, while Vodafone was a bit behind by 2.12 points.

Overall, it looks like Italian mobile providers are doing pretty well with 5G coverage and availability.

2. Italy Mobile Internet Speed

Italy has been steadily getting better at upgrading its mobile internet setup, giving people reliable and fast connections. As per Ookla’s report (13rd, March 2024), here’s a quick look at how well Italy’s mobile internet is doing:

mobile internet speed in italy
Mobile Internet speed in Italy. Source: Speedtest

National Ranking:

  • Italy is 53rd globally for mobile download speeds at a median of 49.75 Mbps.
  • For mobile uploads, Italy ranks 53rd with a median of 10.29 Mbps.
  • While surpassing Japan(48.68 Mbps) and Spain (44.07 Mbps), Italy lags behind Germany, China, and leader UAE (302.38 Mbps).

City Rankings:

  • Milan – Italy’s financial hub, is 54th globally, boasting the fastest mobile download speeds at an average of 87.32 Mbps.
  • Rome – the capital, is 68th globally. It follows with an average of 66.06 Mbps.

In general, Italy has good and pretty quick mobile internet in big cities like Milan and Rome. When you travel there, pick a mobile company with good coverage and speed where you’ll be. Big carriers like TIM, Vodafone, and WindTre are usually good all over Italy.

Note: These speeds are averages and may not reflect network maximums. Speeds can vary due to factors like network congestion, location, and device capabilities.

II. Mobile Internet in Italy: Connection options for tourists

Keeping in touch while traveling in Italy is easy with the right mobile internet setup. This table below will give you a glance at several common options:

Option Pros Cons Price Range
Free WiFi Free, widely available Limited coverage, security concerns Free
Pocket WiFi Portable, shareable Battery life, rental fees ~ $5 - $10/day
eSIM Convenient, no physical SIM Device compatibility required ~ $10 - $30/GB
SIM Card Local rates, reliable Requires unlocked device ~ $10 - $30/month
Roaming Seamless transition Expensive, potential overages ~ $5 - $15/day

For many travelers, getting a SIM card in Italy is the top choice. It gives good connections at fair costs. Some trusted SIM card companies in Italy recommended are TIM, Vodafone, and WindTre. 

In addition to that, eSIM is another good choice, but make sure your device works with it before you buy. You can check if your phone is on your list of eSIM-compatible devices.

Outstanding in the eSIM-providing market, Gigago is worth choosing. This a third-party service provider offering flexibility, competitive pricing, and excellent customer support. For Italy, you can check the price at italy-esim website. 

III. Mobile internet rates in Italy

Mobile internet costs in Italy can differ a lot based on the provider, plan type, and how long you use it. Check out the table below for rough price ranges of different options:

Option Price Range 
SIM Card Italy $10 - $30
eSIM Italy $10 - $30
Roaming $5 - $20 per GB
Public WiFi Free - $5 per day
Pocket WiFi (Mobile Hotspot) $5 - $15 per day

Recommendation: For tourists in Italy, think about getting an eSIM if your phone can use it. If not, you can buy a local SIM card instead. Both choices cost about the same, so it’s up to you which one you want. Public WiFi may be an option, but coverage varies. Pocket WiFi is convenient but pricier in short.

IV. Best mobile operators in Italy

Picking the right mobile operator in Italy comes down to what you need and value. Let’s check out this comparison of the top providers:

Operator Main Points Pros Cons Best For
TIM Strong national coverage, reliable 3G/4G Good network stability, wide range of plans Lower 5G availability Users prioritizing coverage and stability
Vodafone Fastest download and upload speeds, good international coverage Excellent speed performance, strong customer service Slightly higher prices Users seeking the fastest connection and good international service
Iliad Competitive prices, strong performance in OTT voice apps (e.g., WhatsApp calls) Affordable plans, good for data usage Limited physical stores, less extensive network coverage compared to TIM/Vodafone Budget-conscious users who prioritize data and OTT voice apps
Fastweb Strong presence in major cities, good value for fiber optic internet bundles High-speed internet with mobile plans, competitive pricing Limited coverage outside major cities Users in urban areas seeking bundled internet and mobile services
WindTre Best coverage for under 30s with specific discounts Attractive plans for young users, good national coverage Slightly slower speeds compared to Vodafone Young users looking for affordable plans and good coverage

Consider your priorities (speed, coverage, price) to choose the operator that best suits you.

Recommendation: Deciding the “best” operator depends on your needs.

  • For top speeds and extensive 5G coverage: Vodafone.
  • For affordability and strong data performance: the Iliad or Fastweb.
  • For consistent nationwide coverage: TIM.
  • For budget-conscious users under 30 with good 4G needs: WindTre.

V. FAQs about Mobile internet in Italy

Are there any restrictions on using mobile internet in Italy?

No specific restrictions on mobile internet in Italy. Be cautious of copyright laws when downloading or streaming. EU rules limit mobile data roaming charges for EU SIM card users.

Is unlimited mobile internet available in Italy?

Yes, Italy offers unlimited mobile internet plans from various providers, though they might be pricier than limited data plans. Review the terms for restrictions such as reduced speeds post reaching a specific data usage.

How do I check my mobile internet usage in Italy?

You can monitor your mobile data usage in Italy using your SIM card provider’s app or website, or your smartphone’s built-in feature for tracking data consumption.

VI. Conclusion

Mobile internet in Italy has got you covered whether you’re a traveler or a local. You’ve got options from prepaid SIM cards to pocket Wi-Fi for easy connectivity. If you’re watching your budget, prepaid SIM cards with data deals can be a smart choice. Remember to check the price carefully before choosing any SIM card packages.