Can I use my mobile number abroad?

Do you have to travel abroad and want to know if you can continue to use your SIM? The answer is simple, but you have to consider various factors

You're about to leave abroad, for vacation or perhaps to spend a period of study or work, and you're assailed by a doubt: can I use my mobile number while away from home? The answer is quite simple: yes, you can continue to use the SIM card you have in Italy and you won't be forced to change your number. Provided, however, that you meet certain conditions.

First of all, you need to have an agreement with one or more operators in your destination country, so that you can connect to the local cellular network and receive the radio signal needed to make and receive calls (as well as surf the Web, of course). Usually, all operators have agreements at the international level to be able to connect to the network of one or more foreign operators, but it could happen that in developing countries or with strong problems of digital divide you may have problems of connectivity. Before leaving, therefore, it is always advisable to contact the service center of your operator to receive more information.

Use of mobile number in the European Union

With the entry into force of the new regulation on roaming between EU countries, all those who own a SIM in an EU country can continue to use their data and call thresholds without having to pay anything. While the thresholds for calls and SMS will remain unchanged (if your plan includes unlimited minutes and SMS, there will be no limits on usage even in an EU country), there will still be a limit to the volume of data you can use while outside your home country. Per conoscere la quantità di gigabyte a disposizione con il roaming si dovrà compiere una semplice operazione: dividere il costo della tariffa telefonica (IVA esclusa) per 4,5 e moltiplicare il risultato per 2. Superata la soglia, si dovrà pagare 4,5 euro per ogni gigabyte supplementare utilizzato.

Il regolamento europeo, però, impone anche dei limiti temporali all’utilizzo di SIM straniere in uno dei Paesi dell’Unione. Le regole comunitarie stabiliscono che l’operatore può monitorare il traffico degli ultimi 4 mesi per stabilire se si è trascorso più tempo all’estero che nel proprio Paese. Se così dovesse essere, l’operatore potrebbe applicare un sovrapprezzo alle soglie in roaming. Specifically, the surcharge is:

- 3.2 cents for each minute of call made;
- 1 cent for each SMS sent;
- 4.5 euros for each additional gigabyte (in 2019)

Use of mobile number outside the European Union

Outside the borders of the European Union, of course, the roaming regulation does not apply. And, consequently, the tariff plan thresholds will not be valid. In a non-European country, therefore, will apply surcharges to make or receive calls, send SMS or surf online. As soon as our cell phone hooks up to the cell of a foreign operator, we will receive a text message from our operator with the rates applied in that particular country. It will be up to us to choose whether to use our number or if, to save money, we prefer to use other means of communication.