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-   -   Buying a SIM Card At FCO Without Having To Exit Secure Area (https://prepaid.mondo3.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7761)

lenkarm 16-04-2013 02:25

Buying a SIM Card At FCO Without Having To Exit Secure Area
 
So I'm finding a lot of outdated information regarding this subject and wanted to hear from someone who has recently arrived in Rome.

Ideally, I would like to buy a SIM card for my unlocked GSM smartphone at the airport in order to use Google Maps, etc while exploring Italy for 3 weeks.

I will be arriving on a British Airways flight at Terminal 3. I know there is a TIM, 3, and Vodafone store in Terminal 1, but is it possible to get to those stores without exiting the secure area? If so, what is the walking route I should take and is it before or after passport control?

If those areas are inaccessible given an arrival at Terminal 3, is there anywhere else at the airport where I can buy a data SIM card for a decent price?

Thanks so much!

DRNewcomb 16-04-2013 04:37

You can get the information "from the horse's mouth" by checking the adr.it website:
Shops at FCO

lenkarm 16-04-2013 05:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by DRNewcomb (Post 42433)
You can get the information "from the horse's mouth" by checking the adr.it website:
Shops at FCO

Thanks for the reply. I have looked at that site before, it lists TIM, Vodafone and 3 (Tre) as being in Terminal 1 and at Gate B respectively, both are in the airside section. It seems like that upon arrival at Terminal 3, you are forced to go landside.

I'm wondering if there is any way to access those shops at Terminal 1 directly from Terminal 3 without exiting the secure area. I wouldn't even be able to go through security to get to Terminal 1 if I'm not a departing passenger, right?

lenkarm 16-04-2013 06:24

Thanks for the reply. I did check the website that you linked, and it lists Vodafone, TIM, and 3 (Tre) as being in Terminal 1 and at Gate B, both of which are airside, after the security checkpoint. The only electronics store landside, not in the secure area, seems to be Dixon's, whom I've heard only sells Vodafone SIM cards. I've heard that Vodafone SIM cards can sometimes take 24 hours or more to activate, so I'd prefer TIM, Wind, or 3 if possible.

I was wondering if it is possible the mobile stores in Terminal 1 without having to exit security. It seems like, from what I've read, that international arrivals at Terminal 3 are forced out of the secure area. Also, it's not like the security personel would let me access the airside part of Terminal 1 if I'm not a passenger, right?

DRNewcomb 16-04-2013 15:10

It's sadly been many too years since I've been to FCO, so I can't count on my memory to help. The website says that the Vodafone shop is in T1 departures, on the mezzanine. TIM is in T1, area B. "3" is between gates B1 & B3. AFAIK there has never been a Wind agent at FCO. Now, I recall there being shops outside security but that was years ago.
The Italian carriers generally have a list of agents on their websites. Vodafone's is here and lists Dixon's as an agent. For "3" you just go to this page and zoom in. Wind's agent locater is here.

Effendi 18-04-2013 11:36

You can get a sim card at the Termini railway station where you will arrive if you take the train from the airport to Rome. Unfortunately it seems a bit complicated to get sim-cards at Italian airports...

DRNewcomb 18-04-2013 14:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by lenkarm (Post 42434)
It seems like that upon arrival at Terminal 3, you are forced to go landside.

AFAIK, there is no way to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 without going outside or through the pedestrian bridges to the parking area & train station.

On second thought, it may actually be possible if you just stay to the left and don't ever go down to pick up your bags. I'm not at all sure of that.

It's crazy to put cell phones behind the security check.

Stu 18-04-2013 15:03

Further complicating things at the railway station is the vast numbers of pickpockets. You really want to avoid speaking in English, pulling out passports, money, etc. You can also bite the bullet and buy Italian SIM cards online before you go:

Amazon.com: Noverca SIM / Micro SIM Card Italy - Incl Euro Euro 5,00 Call Credit -Italian Number - Mobile SIM Cards - International Sim Card - Pay As You Go Prepaid Sim Cards Cheap International Calls: Cell Phones & Accessories

Europa SIM-Card - Mobiles Internet in Europe, jederzeit, überall - ab ? 2 pro Tag, inkl. 100 MB (rebranded Vodafone Italy)

While I might chance buying something in the terminal, my opinion about the train station is something completely different and no I was never pickpocketed there, but I know about 50 people who were.

DRNewcomb 18-04-2013 23:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stu (Post 42457)
Further complicating things at the railway station is the vast numbers of pickpockets. You really want to avoid speaking in English, pulling out passports, money, etc.

I'm kinda with Stu on this. Termini can be a madhouse. Whenever you go there you need to have a plan on exactly how to get in and out while managing to keep hold of all your stuff. If I couldn't get the SIM at FCO, I might just wait until I got to a nice area like Via Cola di Rienzo to buy the SIM there.

Effendi 19-04-2013 09:43

Termini is surely full of tourists and pickpockets as well. But inside a telecom shop I think it's quite unusual to be pickpocketed

DRNewcomb 19-04-2013 17:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Effendi (Post 42460)
Termini is surely full of tourists and pickpockets as well. But inside a telecom shop I think it's quite unusual to be pickpocketed

Well, if you decide to get a SIM at Termini, there are Wind and "3" shops there. The nearest Voda shop seems to be about a block away.

raywright1 25-04-2013 21:35

mobile carriers on termini website
 
Termini rail station has a website with some stores represented, including TIM, WIND, 3. Link is here. Drill down and there is some contact info and map with store location within the station. There is also an APP in the Android/iPhone app stores for Termini, which has maps etc.

wco81 03-05-2013 22:48

Two years ago, I had a 5-hour layover between my flight from the US and my connecting flight to Palermo.

I believe I landed in T3 (arriving on Alitalia from LAX) and I was able to walk all the way to T1, where I saw the TIM and 3 shops. There was also a Dixons but they didn't have SIMs. My flight to Palermo boarded from near there, so I had to go there anyways.

I'm going to try to do the same thing again, arriving from LAX on Alitalia 621 later this month, then a 5-hour layover until a flight to Verona. So good a time as any to get the SIM and start using it while I wait.

lenkarm 04-05-2013 22:23

Just came back from my trip and can now answer this question accurately. As of mid April 2013, getting to the TIM or Vodafone stores is impossible if you are arriving at Terminal 3 from an international flight. After arriving, I was routed through passport control and immediately was routed to baggage claim, even though I didn't have any checked bags.

I ended up getting a SIM card from a TIM shop on Via Cavour, pretty safe area, close to Termini, and the whole transaction took less than 5 minutes. Didn't even need a tax code and the SIM worked within 5 minutes. From my experience, there are TIM shops on the major shopping streets (Via Del Corso in Rome, Via Del Calzaiouli in Florence, etc) in every city. I paid 25 Euro for the SIM card, which included 1GB of data and 15 Euro worth of talk time. For my 3 week trip, this was plenty. Using Google Maps, I never get lost anywhere, even on the narrow confusing streets of Venice.

By the way, I also highly recommend bringing 2 batteries with a separate battery charger. I bought

Amazon.com: EC TECHNOLOGY 2X 1900mAh Li-ion Battery for HTC Shooter, HTC Sensation, Sensation XE, Sensation XL, HTC Z710E, Z715E, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO 3D(4G), MY TOUCH 4G SLIDE , AMAZE 4G & 1X Multi-purpose USB Travel Charger: Cell Phones & Accessorie

With this approach, I never even came close to running out of power, even after using navigation extensively from 8am to 10pm.

wco81 05-05-2013 00:05

What if you're connecting through FCO, rather than staying in Rome?


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