Mobile broadband on vacation in Italy

I am spending my summer holiday in Italy for once again, this time two weeks in Pesaro and nearby. I don’t have plans to work here at all, but I still want a fast connedtion to internet too. I’m paying it myself, so it should be affordable too.

The best pre-paid deal I’ve found during the first days here is from Telecom Italy (TIM; up to 20 GB of 3,5G data traffic with maximum download throughput of 14,4 Mbps. This costs 24 euros per month, plus there was an additional 10 euro charge for the SIM card. So the total cost is 34 euros. The price would be around 10 euros higher if I wanted to take advantage of TIM’s fastest DC-HSDPA download speeds up to 42 Mbps.

The price isn’t very cheap, but the same amound of data traffic in Italy using my Finnish TeliaSonera SIM card would cost at least 16,000 EUR, around 0,8 euros per megabyte. This ia the latest EU regalated maximum price; still ridiculously expensive in my opinion.

My new SIM from TIM and subscription started working immediately, as soon as I figured out to set as the internet access point name (APN) instead of the usual setting internet in modem settings.

I noticed also Vodafone, and maybe some other operators have pre-paid mobile data deals, but I ddn’t check their offering this time.

According to the test site, my new HSDPA connection isn’t very fast, most often under 2 / 1 Mbps (downlink / uplink), and the roundtrip latency has been around 150 ms.

However, mobile web surfing and updating Fscebook have been fast enough, and Spotify streams (using the higher 320 kbps bitrate setting) works without problems. I also watched a few Finnish TV shows nicely using a 300 kbps MPEG-4 streams.

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