The Italian PrePaid GSM SIM card from Omnitel has been on the market since October 1997. But from 16 December 1997 it has also got possibilities för international calls and roaming.
This card is presented as a "rechargeable business card". They are obviously aiming at professionals.
When you buy a card you'll have to present a valid ID card and an acknowledged credit card and you´ll have to register. On top of that you'll have to be a resident in Italy, because you're supposed to present an Italian fiscal code, somethimg like a social security code. All of this will give the client the ability of roaming with this GSM card.
If you don't want to register, you can buy one of the two different payments schemes of the Omnitel Ricaricabile card instead. This card is designated for national use only.
The price of the card is 300.000LIT (appr $170) incl VAT. It is charged with 250.000LIT (appr $140). At the time of purchase the card is only charged with 50.000ITL of the 250.000ITL. After about two days the rest of the money is made available. This for security reasons, e g time for credit check and registration.
This card has got a flat rate, which means that you'll have the same calling fee, all day, all year. It is 714ITL/min (appr $0.41) incl VAT. Added to the calling fee will be an "call opening fee" (which contain the first 3 seconds of the call, too) of 200ITL (appr $0.11) incl VAT, on every call. The call is made payable in periods of 200ITL, which corresponds to 17 seconds.
When the credit is up, you can refill it over the phone, either with 200.000ITL, 300.000ITL, 400.000ITL or 500.000ITL, by entering your registered credit card number. You'll get a confirming SMS to your phone, which also serves as the actual refiller of your credit. You'll also get a written confirmation to your home address.
When you are using your phone abroad, all costs will be drawn from your registered credit card and not from the GSM card credit.
Services included are; Voice mail, Number presentation, Call waiting, Call diversion, Receiving SMS, Emergency calls, CLI.
This card, just like Omnitel Ricaricabile, can only be used in GSM phones with GSM Phase2 functions, for example Motorola 8900, 8700, 8400, 6700, d460, d470, d160, d170 or Ericsson GH688, GA628, GF788, GF768 or Nokia 1610, 1611, 2110, 3110, 6110, 8100. There are more, of course.
The card is valid for six month, first, after activation or the latest refill, then for one month more to be able to refill it again. During this seventh month you can only receive calls. When all seven month have passed, the card is deactivated and you'll lose the remains of your credit.