Wind
Two Italian PrePaid GSM SIM cards
for 1800 or dual-band phones
The Italian GSM operator Wind is since April 1999 marketing two PrePaid GSM SIM cards of the same type as TIM once initiated. They are called "24ore" and "Quando".

The price of the start package is 100.000 Italian Lire (100DEM). It contains an unactivated Wind GSM SIM card with no phone number but with a credit of 100.000 ITL. After your card is activated, you have to find out, yourself, what number you have been given. You can do that by either contacting the place where you bought the card, or by using your own card calling a phone which has number presentation enabled, so you can see what number you have got. The SIM card is thereafter active for one year, after the latest recharge.

Cards, for refilling your Wind PrePaid credit, are available in 100.000 ITL or 200.000 ITL. In contrast to the other Italian operators, Wind doesn't charge anything for topping up your credit.

The fares for the calls for "24ore" are very simple. It costs 600 ITL (0,60DEM) per minute to all phones in Europe och North America. The fares for domestic calls for "Quando" are, week days 9-19, 1140 ITL (1,10DEM) per minute and the rest of the week, 300 ITL (0,30DEM) per minute.

When we were to test theese cards, they were almost impossible to find. I hope that's going to change very soon. Also, we were refused to buy cards, due to the fact that we had no Italian fiscal code. You just have to find a shop where they know their business.

We have tested this card and it was one of the worst cards we ever tested. About 90% of the calls were never connected. It is the most economical card in Italy, but also the most enervating one. When you finally manage to get a line you get no confirmation of that fact. There is simply no connection signal. It is just quiet in the earpiece. The card lowers the costs of incomming calls, mainly. The long period of validity makes it possible for you to keep the card, even though your trips are not very frequent. The functionality will surely be improved. The owners, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will surely see to that.