In March 2022, I decided to go on a big trip.
Why? Because I wanted to try out SIM cards (again).
Yeah… I am that type of person – welcome to Phone Travel Wiz 🤪.
I went for such an intensive trip because I stayed home for a year since March 2021 because of travel restrictions.
Before March 2021, I was a year in Taiwan, where life was basically normal during the first year of pandemic.
So it was a good time for be while the whole world was basically on fire 😳.
Since early 2022, travel restrictions were being lifted throughout the European Union, so it was an excellent excuse to travel around the union.
And because my partner wanted me back in Australia as soon as possible after not seeing him for two years and the country reopening for select travelers (including myself), I had to cram in as many destinations within a month before heading to Australia.
If this is your first Phone Travel Wiz review – welcome.
I buy and test all/most SIM cards in a country and tell you which ones are the best so that you do not have to 😎.
You may have already read some blogs or articles saying that Iliad is the best because they are so cheap.
Wind Tre has become the largest mobile operator after Wind Italy and Tre (3) Italy became one company, kicking TIM Italy off its throne.
But does that make Wind Tre the best option in Italy?
And that is what I did – and I will share my experience in this review.
Let's get started, shall we?
Original publication: 21st of May 2022. Last updated: 17th of August 2023.
Table of Contents
Who is Wind Tre?
Wind Tre is not a name you have heard before if you have already purchased SIM cards in other countries.
However, you may have heard of 3 (Three/Tre/Drei) from Hutchison 3G Enterprises, which is active in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Indonesia (as Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison), Italy (as Wind Tre), Macau, Sweden & the United Kingdom.
In 2016, Wind Italy and Tre Italy decided to merge. In March 2020, the Wind Tre brand became a thing.
Because of the merger, Wind Tre become the largest mobile operator in Italy.
Speaking of mobile operators in Italy, which options do you have?
- Wind Tre (formerly Wind Italy and Tre Italy)
- TIM Italy
- Vodafone Italy
- Iliad Italy
You also have plenty of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in Italy, such as Coop Voce, Lycamobile Italy & Very Mobile.
Speaking of Very Mobile, it is a discount sub-brand by Wind Tre (to compete with Iliad, which offers 120 GB for only 10 EUR a month. Yes… 120 GB!) and a few other discount brands (like Kena Mobile by TIM Italy and ho. Mobile by Vodafone Italy).
While Very Mobile is cheaper than Wind Tre itself, you will have to deal with a speed restriction of 30 Mbps download and upload.
And you cannot use 5G NR with Very Mobile (yet).
When Wind Tre became Wind Tre, it became the fastest mobile operator in Italy.
And it also has fast speeds.
But I will talk more about Wind Tre's speeds later.
First, we have to talk about its coverage after these quick frequency details:
- 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
- 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 1500 MHz (Band 32), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
- 5G NR: 3700 MHz (n78)
- VoLTE: Yes
- VoWiFi: No
Here you have Wind Tre's APN settings:
- Name: WINDTRE
- APN: internet.it
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Wind Tre Coverage + My Experience
You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.
But if it covers only one street in the entirety of Italy, it will be useless.
So, how is Wind Tre's coverage?
Opensignal claims Wind Tre has the best 4G/LTE coverage experience (9.8 on a 10-point scale) – on par with TIM Italy and Vodafone Italy.
When looking at 5G NR, Wind Tre is winning the coverage race outright (22.9% availability).
Its competitors are not even close (Vodafone Italy: 8.1%, Iliad: 2.7% & TIM Italy: 1.9%).
Wind Tre's 5G NR reach score is 4.6 – was ahead of its competitors again (Vodafone Italy: 2.5, Iliad: 0.9 & TIM Italy: 0.7).
So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports, but what was my coverage experience with Wind Tre?
Horrible. Yes – I am not even joking.
Let me explain. My connection with Wind Tre would randomly shut down throughout the day.
And multiple times an hour too.
Meaning I had to enable airplane mode and disable it so that my Wind Tre SIM card would reconnect to the network again.
And I stayed in the center of Rome and Catania most of the time.
So I would be walking down the middle of a popular road looking for the next destination I wanted to visit.
I enter a search query on Google, and boom – no connection.
Initially, I thought it was something with my main phone (Google Pixel 6).
However, even when I put the SIM card in my other phone (OnePlus 9 Pro), I would still have the same issue.
And all the other SIM cards or eSIMs I was testing during this trip (TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy, Iliad, SimCorner O2 Europe travel SIM card, Airalo Eurolink Europe eSIM & Nomad Europe eSIM) did not suffer from such an issue.
So it was indeed a Wind Tre issue.
When Wind and Tre were still separate countries, I did not have such issues… and that was many years ago.
So I do not know what was going on – and I cannot blame 5G NR for it because Wind Tre has the most extensive 5G NR network, and phones would just switch to an older generation network in case reception 5G NR does not work (to 4G/LTE for example).
But when I reconnected to the Wind Tre network again, I always had reception again.
Here you have Wind Tre's coverage map:
How to Get a Wind Tre SIM Card & Prices
Now you have a basic understanding of Wind Tre and the telecom market in Italy, it is now time to talk about how to actually get a Wind Tre SIM card.
That is because of the SIM card registration laws in Italy – SIM card registration is mandatory.
You just have to present your passport (or ID if you are from another European Union nation).
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Italian SIM cards are not sold by third parties, like grocery stores or convenience stores like in many other countries.
I bought my Wind Tre SIM card at Rome Termini train station, which has always been a train station but has become a mall in recent years.
But here is a store locator in case you visit another place in Italy.
Before I tell you how much SIM cards cost, I need to inform you about the… new SIM card process in Italy.
Well, it is not really a process, but every mobile operator has a policy, you could say.
You see, when you buy an Italian SIM card, it always has to be done in combination with a plan.
That is fair – no problem… Except for the fact that there is an activation fee you need to pay too.
Luckily, this does not apply to Wind Tre's tourist SIM card – Tourist Pass.
The Wind Tre Tourist Pass costs 24.99 EUR with 20 GB of local data, 100 local minutes & 100 international minutes 1 for 30 days.
I will list all the prices in EUR (Euro).
To convert EUR to your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
Disclaimer: the SIM card prices mentioned in the review were current when I was in Italy – the offering and prices may have changed since then. To see Wind Tre Italy's current starter packs, check out my Italy SIM card buying guide.
Wind Tre SIM cards are not sold at (Rome) Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO).
1 to Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom & the United States
This was the SIM card offered to me when I entered the Wind Tre store.
I actually wanted to get another plan that featured 5G NR and was cheaper than the Wind Tre Tourist Pass, but the salesperson refused.
Instead, she gave me a plan that is nowhere listed on the Wind Tre website but on a piece of paper behind her.
I asked her if I could see the paper… but she refused. But she did write my plan down on a post-it note.
For 30 EUR, I got 150 GB of data (with 5G NR access), unlimited local minutes & 300 international minutes to the same countries the Wind Tre Tourist Pass can call too.
Not a bad upgrade for only 5 EUR more!
Oh yeah, I did get 150 GB of data – a data allowance you do not see often.
Be aware that although Wind Tre has eSIMs for prepaid customers, most salespeople are not unwilling to sell them to short-term travelers for some reason.
But eSIMs are not available for the Wind Tre Tourist SIM card (Tourist Pass).
If you truly want an eSIM or do not want to deal with Italy's SIM card registration scheme (mandatory) and unnecessary activation fees, consider getting a travel eSIM for Italy.
I compare the best Italy travel eSIMs in my comparison guide and also drop a few discount codes for you 😏.
Italy has the lowest mobile data rates in Europe and the fourth-lowest worldwide.
Anyway, after I paid for my SIM card, I heard the employee telling me that it could take a full day before the SIM card would be active.
A full day!?
A colleague next to laughed and said “no, three days!”.
LUCKILY… I could use the SIM card within a few minutes after purchasing.
But damn… a three day wait would be brutal, especially because I would stay in Rome and Catania for three days only, ha.
Wind Tre Plans, Bundles & Offers
Wind Tre has two types of data-featured prepaid plans: Di Più Plans (combo) & Solo Internet (data).
While there are not that many options, the plans are generous.
Wind Tre could be like Iliad with literally only three plans 🥴.
Anyway, let's see what Wind Tre plans are.
Disclaimer: these were the available plans at the time I was in Italy – the offering may have changed since then (including whether 5G NR is available to prepaid customers or not). To see Wind Tre Italy's current plans, check out my Italy SIM card buying guide (which gets updated regularly – at least once a year).
I will list all the prices in EUR (Euro).
To convert EUR to your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
Di Più Plans
The Di Più Plans are combo bundles with data (U 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.
Note that the Young 5G plan is for the youth (up to 30 years old).
Unfortunately, the elderly cannot get this plan 🤪.
The following Di Puì Plans are available, which initially have to be activated in a Wind Tre store:
Remember: Wind Tre charges a 6.99 EUR plan activation fee, which is not included in the prices below
|Price||Plan||Data||EU/EEA Data||Local/EU Minutes 1||International Minutes 2||Local/EU SMS 1||Validity|
|11.99 EUR||Young 5G||40 GB||5.9 GB||Unlimited||N/A||Unlimited||1 month|
|12.99 EUR||Di Più Lite 5G||25 GB||8.6 GB||Unlimited||N/A||200 SMS||1 month|
|14.99 EUR||Di Più Full 5G||50 GB||9.9 GB||Unlimited||50 minutes||200 SMS||1 month|
|29.99 EUR||Di Più Unlimited 5G||Unlimited||19.7 GB||Unlimited||200 minutes||200 SMS||1 month|
1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to Italy (NOT from Italy to other EU/EEA member states)
2 to Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom & the United States
Solo Internet Plans
The Solo Internet Plans are data bundles (without 5G NR access).
Solo Internet Plans can be activated on the WINDTRE app:
Remember: Wind Tre charges a 49.99 EUR (!) plan activation fee for the Cube Lite and Cube Full plans, which is not included in the prices below. You are better off going with the Internet Card plans, which Wind Tre does not charge activation fees for.
|9.99 EUR||Cube Lite||20 GB||6.6 GB||1 month|
|12.99 EUR||Cube Full||75 GB||8.6 GB||1 month|
|19.99 EUR||Internet Card||100 GB||13.2 GB||3 months|
|24.99 EUR||Internet Card 200||200 GB||16.4 GB||3 months|
EU Roaming – Wind Tre (formerly Wind & 3 Italy)
You can use your Wind Tre allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:
- Czech Republic
- French Guiana
- United Kingdom
Be aware that, in some cases, the EU/EEA roaming allowance is lower than the domestic allowances.
Wind Tre Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check
I did not have to recharge my Wind Tre SIM card because Italy was a short stop on my one-month Europe trip.
But I will still let you know about topping up your Wind Tre SIM card.
The following (online) Wind Tre top-ups are available:
- 5 EUR
- 10 EUR
- 15 EUR
- 25 EUR
- 50 EUR
To top up your Wind Tre SIM card, call 4242 and follow the instructions.
You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.
Dial *123# to check your Wind Tre balance.
Wind Tre Speed Test Results (in Catania & Rome)
Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect to get with Wind Tre after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.
But before I share my 15 speed test results from Catania, Rome & Vatican City, I do want to set the stage first and make a small comparison with Wind Tre's competition.
Wind Tre has been the fastest mobile operator in 2020 and 2021, according to Speedtest.
I do not recall how fast Wind Italy and Tre (3) Italy were when they were still separate companies, but the combined company is doing well.
In fact, Wind Tre is the fastest mobile operator in Bologna (48.40 Mbps), Florence (44.03 Mbps) & Naples (35.33 Mbps).
According to Opensignal, Wind Tre has the slowest 5G NR download speed (57.1 Mbps), behind Iliad (102.6 Mbps), Vodafone Italy (146.7 Mbps) & TIM Italy (271.7 Mbps).
When looking at upload speeds, Wind Tre is not the slowest… but the second-slowest (15 Mbps, ahead of Iliad (9.9 Mbps) but behind Vodafone Italy (18.1 Mbps) & TIM Italy (25.1 Mbps)).
Okay, those were valuable insights – let's talk about my speed test results now.
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app at various test locations: 3 in Catania, 11 in Rome & 1 in Vatican City.
Yes – while Vatican City is a country, it is tiny, and the Italian mobile operators cover the entirety of the city.
Okay, here are the results:
Note that every underlined result is a speed test result on 5G NR.
With the exception of the results at my accommodation in Catania, Rome Airport & an ice cream store in Rome (Gelato San Lorenzo 100% Naturale), I had fast speeds with Wind Tre.
But not those crazy fast 5G NR speed test results you see on YouTube, like a 1 Gbps (like I experienced with Optus in Australia).
In fact, I experienced and expected these speeds on 4G/LTE (the fastest 4G/LTE download speed I got was with FarEasTone in Taipei-Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan).
So the numbers reported by Opensignal saying that Wind Tre has slow 5G NR download speeds seem to be right, based on my limited data collection.
I will show you the comparison with Iliad later, which also has 5G NR access.
First, let's deal with some Wind Tre statistics based on 15 speed test results:
- Wind Tre's average download speed was 61.59 Mbps
- The median download speed with Wind Tre was 52.41 Mbps
- Wind Tre's average upload speed was 19.96 Mbps
- The median upload speed with Wind Tre was 13.89 Mbps
- Wind Tre had the fastest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 3 of the 15 locations
- Wind Tre had the slowest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 3 of the 15 locations
- At 4 of the 15 locations, Wind Tre had the fastest upload speed
- At 1 of the 15 locations, Wind Tre had the slowest upload speed
Those are actually impressive statistics… if it was only on 4G/LTE.
But even on 5G NR, these resutls are acceptable.
So, is an average download speed of 61.59 Mbps fast enough?
Yes, it is – let me elaborate.
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
And I got an average upload speed of 19.96 Mbps – more than enough.
So, in short, these speed test results would be more than enough for watching videos at a high resolution and for uploading content like live streams.
But let's take these results to a global level – Wind Tre is still doing well.
At the time of writing, the global average download speed is 74.87 Mbps – Wind Tre is below this average.
But the average is skewed because of countries like the United Arab Emirates, with an average mobile download speed of 268.87 Mbps (insane!).
So let's look at the global median – 30.75 Mbps. Wind Tre's median download speed was 52.41 Mbps.
That is almost double the global median.
Then again, many countries have yet to roll out 5G NR… but that is why we looked at the mean too instead of only the average.
In short, you should have a smooth network experience with Wind Tre.
Take a look at this Wind Tre and Iliad comparison (both with 5G NR access):
Iliad was (much) faster than Wind Tre at many locations.
A TIM Italy employee told me that I should not waste my money and time trying to chase 5G NR in Rome because TIM's 5G NR reception is lacking.
I got the Vodafone Italy Doce Vita Tourist SIM card that is advertised as a 4G/LTE SIM card, but the salesperson told me that it did support 5G NR.
Yeah… she lied 😒 but that is why I am comparing Wind Tre with Iliad only because I had 5G NR access with both of them.
Anyway, Wind Tre is fast enough for general phone use on cellular data.
My Overall Experience with Wind Tre – Is It Any Good?
I would recommend Wind Tre, but it would not be my first recommendation.
Getting a Wind Tre SIM card was straightforward, and activation was quick.
However, as Wind Tre claims, it can take three business days before your SIM card becomes active; you may want to consider other options if you need to be connected as soon as possible.
Wind Tre has extensive coverage throughout Italy.
However, the unexpected reception loss that happened way too frequently is a big deal-breaker for me.
I would understand this happening if I were in rural Italy with only one person living in a 10-kilometer vicinity.
However, this happened a lot in downtown Rome, which was incredible (in a bad way) and annoying.
And Wind Tre's reception on the metro in some was shoddy too.
The speeds I got with Wind Tre were fast, although I expect better on 5G NR.
The speed test results I managed to get were basic 4G/LTE speeds (at least, from what I am used to).
But you can still browse the web, watch videos in high definition & even live stream with ease with Wind Tre's speeds.
Although I am not sure if you should bother with live streaming when your connection just drops like that without warning.
Wind Tre's prices are comparable with the competition and are competitive for Italian standards.
I hope Wind Tre fixes its connection drop issue as soon as possible.
As I mentioned before, it was not my phone's issue, as I placed the SIM card in my other two test phones, and I was experiencing the same problem on those devices too.
While I had no issues with TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy & Iliad.
So referencing back to the title of this review, Wind Tre is indeed fast.
But it is horrible because of the random connection drops in the city center of the country's capital.
And that is unacceptable for the largest mobile operator in Italy.
Support Phone Travel Wiz
I spent 115.06 EUR on Italian SIM cards (30 EUR for Wind Tre, 35.08 for TIM Italy, 30 EUR for Vodafone Italy & 19.98 EUR for Iliad) and 126 USD on eSIMs (100 USD for Airalo and 26 USD for Nomad) for my Italian SIM card reviews series.
That way, I can share my experiences with you so that you do not get suckered into a good deal (price-wise) but have a terrible network experience.
But… it is expensive. I would genuinely appreciate it if you would donate to Phone Travel Wiz on Ko-fi.
Donations will not be spent on coffees. Instead, the funds will be used to make Phone Travel Wiz the #1 hub for anything related to phone travel, including more reviews.
You can also set up a recurring donation if you want.
I appreciate your support!
Italian SIM Card Reviews
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy & Iliad when I was in Catania and Rome.
You should read those reviews too.
Later, I will make a comparison post of the four Italian mobile operators… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).
But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Italian SIM card reviews.
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other European SIM cards from this trip.
Italy SIM Card Buying Guide
There are more than ten SIM cards to choose from in Italy besides Wind Tre.
I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Italy SIM card buying guide.
Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences
Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:
Support Phone Travel Wiz
It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).
Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).
Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.
Check Out My Resource Page
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience?
Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!
Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.
Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling
Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?
In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.
If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!
Learn About Your Phone Travel Options
Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.
Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks
I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!
Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter
Get updates related to the newest guides, videos & recommended products and services.
Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on saving money while traveling every now and then.
Let's Be Social
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone?
A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!
Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is
Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!