Buy Iliad SIM Cards and eSIM for Tourists: Best Plans and Alternatives

Iliad is a popular telecommunications company in Italy, offering reliable and affordable mobile connectivity options for both local and international travelers. Whether you prefer a traditional SIM card or the convenience of an eSIM, Iliad has you covered with a range of plans tailored to meet your needs. This article is for people visiting Italy and wonder which Iliad SIM cards and eSIM for tourists to buy, costs, where to buy for the best value. Let’s see!


I. Quick Facts about Iliad

Iliad, formerly known as Iliad SA, is a French telecommunications company that has expanded its services to Italy. Founded in 1990, Iliad provides a range of voice, data, and fixed broadband services to over 14 million mobile subscribers in Italy. The company is known for its competitive pricing and no-contract plans, making it an attractive choice for tourists visiting the country.

Company Details

  • Full Company Name: Iliad SA
  • Types of Services Provided: Mobile phone services, fixed broadband internet, fixed telephony, television
  • Number of Subscribers: Over 14 million mobile subscribers in Italy
  • Coverage: Iliad’s mobile network covers over 99% of the Italian population
  • Estimated Number of Network Stores and Agents: Over 1,000 physical stores and authorized retail partners across Italy
  • Customer Support: Available 24/7 via phone, email, and social media in Italian and English

Additional Information

Iliad is renowned for its competitive pricing and no-contract plans, making it a popular choice for both local and international customers. The company offers a wide range of services, including mobile phone services, fixed broadband internet, fixed telephony, and television.

II. Iliad Coverage and Speed in Italy

1. Iliad Coverage in Italy

iliad coverage

Iliad has one of the most extensive mobile networks in Italy, covering over 99% of the population. The network utilizes a combination of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies, ensuring reliable and high-speed internet connectivity in most areas.

  • Iliad wins the Availability award outright with a score of 98.6%. This means Iliad users spend the largest proportion of time connected to either 3G, 4G or 5G.
  • Iliad jointly shares the 5G Coverage Experience award with WindTre. Both operators score 5.11 points out of 10, demonstrating their superior 5G geographic coverage of populated areas, as seen by Opensignal users.

2. Iliad Speed in Italy

Mobile operators speed in Italy
Download and upload speed of Iliad compared with other Italy network operators. Source: Opensignal

For overall Download Speed Experience, Iliad ranks 4th out of 5 operators with an average speed of 26.9 Mbps.

  • Iliad ranks 3rd for Upload Speed Experience with an average of 7.3 Mbps.
  • When looking specifically at 5G speeds, Iliad ranks 3rd for both 5G Download Speed (183.0 Mbps) and 5G Upload Speed (17.7 Mbps).
  • At the regional level, Iliad’s download and upload speeds vary across Italy’s regions but are typically in the middle among the operators. Speeds tend to be faster in northern regions compared to southern regions.

Iliad’s extensive coverage and reliable speeds make it a good choice for tourists visiting Italy who require stable internet connectivity for navigation, communication, and online activities.

III. Best Connectivity Options of Iliad for Travelers to Italy

Iliad offers several connectivity options for travelers visiting Italy, including SIM cards, pocket wifi and roaming.

Connectivity OptionSIM CardPocket WiFiRoaming
Pros– Local number
– No roaming charges in Italy
– Can purchase data only or full plan
– Device can be shared among travelers
– No need to purchase local SIM card
– Uses home/existing plan and number
– Easy to switch between networks
Cons– Need Italian address to purchase
– Extra step to set up payments
– Extra cost to rent device
– Responsible for any damage/loss
– Usually more expensive than local SIM or WiFi
– Coverage depends on home provider’s roaming agreements

While both pocket wifi and roaming offer reliable connectivity, buying a SIM card is generally the best option for tourists due to its wider availability and flexibility.

IV. Best Iliad SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

iliad sim

Iliad offers a range of SIM card plans tailored to the needs of tourists visiting Italy. 

PlanDataEU/EEA DataValidityPrice (EUR)Price (USD)
Voce40 MBShared with data allowance1 month4.99 EUR$5.29
Giga 100100 GB8 GB1 month7.99 EUR$8.54
Flash 180180 GB10 GB1 month9.99 EUR$10.70
Data 300300 GB13 GB1 month13.99 EUR$14.99


  • All plans include unlimited calls and SMS within Italy.
  • Plans can be purchased and activated at Iliad stores, authorized retailers, or online.
  • Tourists should ensure their devices are unlocked and compatible with Iliad's network before purchasing a SIM card.

V. Does Iliad Italy Support eSIM?

Yes, Iliad Italy supports eSIM. They offer both prepaid and postpaid eSIM plans, with prices starting at just €6.99 per month for a basic package with 20GB of data. You can find more information about their eSIM options on their website.

Unfortunately, GIGAGO does not currently provide Iliad eSIM options. However, we offer a wide range of eSIM plans from various operators like Vodafone, TIM and Wind at reasonable prices. Plans ensure you have access to reliable and affordable connectivity during your travels.

VI. Where Can You Buy Iliad SIM Cards and eSIMs?

1. Where to Buy Iliad SIM Cards for Italy

iliad store

Iliad SIM cards can be purchased in several ways:

  1. Upon Arrival in Italy: Iliad SIM cards are widely available at authorized retailers, convenience stores, and airport kiosks throughout Italy.
  2. Iliad Stores: Iliad has over 1,000 physical stores across Italy, where you can purchase SIM cards and receive assistance from knowledgeable staff.
  3. Authorized Retail Partners: Iliad has numerous authorized retail partners, including electronic stores and mobile phone shops, where you can buy SIM cards.
  4. Online: Iliad SIM cards can also be purchased and delivered to your location before your trip through the company’s website or online retailers.

2. Where to Buy Iliad eSIMs

Iliad eSIMs can be purchased directly from the company’s website or through authorized online retailers. The process involves selecting a compatible device, choosing a plan, and activating the eSIM digitally.

While GIGAGO currently does not offer Iliad eSIM options, we provide a wide range of eSIM plans from various operators. Purchasing an eSIM from GIGAGO offers several advantages, including no registration requirements and the convenience of activating your eSIM directly from your device.

VII. How to Use and Activate Iliad Italy SIM/eSIM in Italy?

1. How to Use and Activate Iliad SIM Card in Italy

iliad sim and phone
  1. Ensure Device Compatibility: Make sure your device is unlocked and compatible with Iliad’s network before purchasing a SIM card.
  2. Insert the SIM Card: Insert the Iliad SIM card into the appropriate SIM card slot on your device.
  3. Activate the SIM Card: Follow the instructions provided with the SIM card to activate it. This may involve dialing a specific code or accessing the Iliad activation website.
  4. Top up the SIM Card: Once activated, you can top up your balance using one of the available methods (covered in the next section).
  5. Configure Network Settings: If necessary, configure your device’s network settings to connect to Iliad’s network.

2. How to Use and Activate Iliad eSIM

  1. Ensure Device Compatibility: Check if your device supports eSIM technology and is compatible with Iliad’s network.
  2. Purchase and Activate eSIM: Purchase the eSIM from Iliad’s website or an authorized retailer. Follow the instructions provided to activate the eSIM on your device.
  3. Configure Network Settings: Configure your device’s network settings to connect to Iliad’s network using the activated eSIM.

VIII. How to Top-up Iliad Italy SIM/eSIM

Topping up your Iliad SIM or eSIM is a straightforward process. Here are the available methods:

  1. Vouchers: Purchase top-up vouchers from Iliad stores or authorized retailers. Scratch off the code and dial the specified number to top up your balance.
  2. Online Top-up: Visit Iliad’s website or use their mobile app to top up your balance using a credit or debit card.
  3. Automatic Top-up: Set up automatic top-ups through Iliad’s website or app to ensure your balance never runs out.

IX. Alternatives to Iliad in Italy

While Iliad is a popular choice for tourists, other mobile network operators in Italy offer similar services. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)
  • Vodafone Italy
  • Wind Tre

Each operator has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to research and compare their coverage, speeds, plans, and pricing to find the best fit for your needs. GIGAGO also offers eSIM plans from various operators, providing a convenient way to access reliable connectivity during your travels. GIGAGO corporates to three mobile operators above TIM, Vodafone and Windtre to provide quality eSIM in Italy. You can easily set up by scanning QR code sent via your email.

X. FAQs about Iliad in Italy

Can I use my Iliad SIM card or eSIM in other European countries?

Yes, Iliad’s SIM cards and eSIMs can be used for roaming in other European countries, subject to the roaming policies and charges outlined in your chosen plan.

How long does it take to activate an Iliad SIM card or eSIM?

Activation is typically instant or takes a few minutes once you follow the provided instructions. However, it’s best to activate your SIM or eSIM upon arrival in Italy to ensure immediate connectivity.

Can I use my Iliad SIM card or eSIM for data tethering or hotspot?

Yes, Iliad’s data allowance can be used for tethering and creating a mobile hotspot, enabling you to share your internet connection with other devices.

Do I need to register my Iliad eSIM in Italy from GIGAGO?

No, Iliad’s eSIMs by GIGAGO can be used without registration, making it a hassle-free option for tourists visiting Italy.

XI. Conclusion

Iliad is a reliable and affordable option for tourists visiting Italy, offering extensive coverage, competitive speeds, and a range of prepaid SIM card and eSIM plans. Whether you choose to purchase an Iliad SIM card upon arrival or activate an eSIM before your trip, you can rest assured that you’ll have access to stable internet connectivity throughout your travels in Italy. By following the guidelines in this guide, you can easily navigate the process of purchasing, activating, and topping up your Iliad SIM or eSIM, ensuring a seamless digital experience during your visit.