TIM SIM Card & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024

TIM SIM Card & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024
TIM SIM Card & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024

TIM is one of the major network providers in Brazil and has a wide range of pay-monthly and pay-as-you-go SIM cards that you can purchase. This includes physical TIM SIM card & eSIM that can be installed directly on your compatible smartphone or tablet devices. Today, let’s explore some information about TIM mobile operators in Brazil!

I. Quick Facts about TIM

Here are the key details about TIM Group in shorter form:

  • Founded in 1994 as Telecom Italia S.p.A. and now called TIM S.p.A.
  • Provides phone, internet, TV, and business services
  • Over 114 million customers worldwide
  • Operates mainly in Italy and Brazil
  • Supports customers through many stores and call centers
  • Offers 24/7 support in local languages

II. Why TIM When Traveling Brazil – Coverage and Speed

Why TIM When Traveling Brazil - Coverage and Speed
Why TIM When Traveling Brazil – Coverage and Speed

TIM Group has a large customer base and scale, and diversified service offerings. It has established brand recognition and owns extensive telecom infrastructure. Let’s discover TIM coverage and speed to know why it is a good option for tourists traveling to Brazil!

1. TIM Coverage in Brazil

The map shows TIM’s 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G coverage throughout Brazil. Data comes from user speed tests on the nPerf app. Major cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte have extensive 4G coverage. São Paulo has good 4G coverage city-wide and limited 5G downtown.

Rio sees 4G and 5G along tourist coastal areas like Copacabana and Ipanema. Brasilia’s robust 4G extends to surrounding cities. Belo Horizonte’s 4G covers downtown and tourist spots. Recife provides reliable 4G along beaches like Boa Viagem.

2. TIM Speed

Here’s an overview of TIM’s mobile internet speeds based on user-reported data on the nPerf site:

4G Speeds:

  • In major cities, average download speeds on 4G range from 15-30 Mbps.
  • Speeds tend to be fastest in central areas and drop off slightly in outskirts.
  • Places like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro frequently see speeds over 30 Mbps.

5G Speeds:

  • Initial 5G rollout areas see speeds reach 100-300 Mbps downloads.
  • However, 5G coverage is still limited to parts of a few cities.
  • As more towers are added, 5G speeds should increase and availability expands.


  • Peak speeds may be higher but real-world speeds vary based on location, congestion, and device.
  • Indoor speeds are often 50% lower than outdoor due to building materials.
  • During evening hours, downloads may dip to 10 Mbps in crowded locations.

Comparing Cities:

  • São Paulo and Rio have the most consistently high speeds across all areas.
  • Other major cities generally reach over 20 Mbps on 4G.
  • More remote regions see average 4G speeds of 5-10 Mbps.

Tips to Boost Speed:

  • Use a recent phone with supported bands/speeds.
  • Run speed tests at different locations and times of day.
  • Check carrier settings or upgrade your data plan if needed.

Our recommendation: a TIM SIM card & eSIM is very convenient for travelers to Brazil, keeping them within budget while allowing reliable connectivity for activities and communication throughout their trip.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of TIM for Travelers to Brazil?

What are the Best Connectivity Options of TIM for Travelers to Brazil?
What are the Best Connectivity Options of TIM for Travelers to Brazil?

To stay connected in Brazil, travelers have different options to choose from TIM:

  • Prepaid SIM cards;
  • eSIM;
  • Wifi calling/Data;
  • Roaming package.

 This is the table comparing TIM connectivity options for travelers to Brazil:

OptionEase of UseCostNetwork Access
Prepaid SIM CardModerate – requires purchase and registrationLow – inexpensive pay-as-you-go ratesExcellent – wide 4G coverage across Brazil
eSIMHigh – instant online activationModerate – some monthly plans requiredExcellent – takes advantage of TIM’s 4G network
Wi-Fi Calling/DataHigh – uses existing number and deviceModerate – avoids roaming but relies on Wi-FiLimited – dependent on available Wi-Fi connections
Roaming PackageLow – requires ensuring the right package purchasedHigh – often cost-prohibitive compared to local SIMVariable – relies on partner network coverage abroad

Our recommendations:

  • A prepaid SIM card provides the best balance of cost and network access
  • SIM is the most convenient option for supported devices
  • Wi-Fi only practical for occasional data use
  • Roaming packages are expensive compared to local SIM options

IV. Best TIM SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

TIM offers different mobile plans for tourists traveling to Brazil. For example, TIM Pré TOP plans to provide the most data and longest validity periods of up to 30 days. The prices range from R$15-30 depending on data and validity. Moreover, the TIM Visitors plan is targeted towards tourists with weekly billing and less data.

You can get more details about their SIM card plan below:

Plan NamePriceValidity PeriodData Allotment
TIM Pré TOPR$15 (~$3.11 USD)15 days9GB
TIM Pré TOPR$20 (~$4.15 USD)20 days10GB
TIM Pré TOPR$30 (~$6.22 USD)30 days12GB
TIM VisitorsR$25/week (~$5.15/week USD)7 days1.5GB

V. Does TIM Support eSIM in Brazil?

Yes, TIM offers reliable eSIM connectivity in Brazil via online activations and purchasing. A good option for tourists traveling to the country. It was one of Brazil’s first carriers to launch eSIM in 2019. However, it will be quite complicated when buying an eSIM from the official stores because customers need to show ID cards following different steps and administrative processes.

Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Brazil With Your Cell Phone
Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Brazil With Your Cell Phone

Hence, we highly recommend you buy an eSIM from online eSIM providers for the best experience and saving time. You can try referring to Brazil Gigago eSIM plans to choose the most suitable one.

For Brazil, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $6.00 . What is great about Gigago’s Brazil eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.00$46.00 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Brazil, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. Where to Buy a TIM SIM card & eSIM?

You can buy a TIM SIM card or eSIM in Brazil in different places:

  • TIM Stores: You’ll find official TIM stores in most major cities and shopping malls. Bring your passport.
  • Supermarkets/Convenience Stores: Many larger markets like Extra and Pão de Açúcar sell TIM prepaid SIM cards.
  • Online: Visit tim.com.br to purchase an eSIM plan or prepaid SIM card for delivery. However, it will require CPF. Hence, let’s get one from online eSIm providers such as Gigago eSIM,
  • Airport Stores: Major airports like GRU in São Paulo and GIG in Rio have TIM store counters.
  • Kiosks/Newsstands: Smaller retailers may offer SIM starter packs without identification.

Tips: TIM SIM card u0026amp; eSIM all require you to activate them before using. Therefore, eSIM can be activated remotely. Prepaid SIM may need in-store registration help.

VII. How to Activate a TIM SIM Card & eSIM in Brazil?

How to Activate a TIM SIM Card & eSIM in Brazil?
How to Activate a TIM SIM Card & eSIM in Brazil?

1. How to Use a TIM SIM Card in Brazil?

 To activate a TIM prepaid SIM card in Brazil, please follow these steps:

  • Buy SIM starter packs from TIM stores, supermarkets, etc.
  • Insert SIM, power on phone (may take minutes to register).
  • Visit the TIM store with a passport for registration assistance.
  • Can also try activating without ID at smaller shops.
  • Top up credit by buying recharge vouchers with codes.
  • Dial *144# and enter the code to activate the voucher’s credit/data.
  • Data bundles renew automatically until the balance hits zero.
  • Keep a positive balance for calls/texts.

2. How to Activate TIM eSIM?

Here are the basic steps to activate a TIM eSIM plan in Brazil:

  • Ensure your device supports eSIM (most recent iPhones, Google Pixel/Samsung devices)
  • Visit tim.com.br and purchase an eSIM-only plan. Prices start at R$15-30.
  • You’ll receive an email with activation instructions and a QR code.
  • Open the email on your device and scan/click the QR code.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to install the eSIM profile.
  • Your device will automatically connect to TIM’s 4G network once activated.
  • You can top-up credit for the eSIM plan by purchasing vouchers online with codes.
  • Dial *144# and enter the code to add funds to your eSIM balance.
  • Data bundles will renew automatically until the balance is depleted.
  • Calls/texts only work with a positive balance as with regular SIM.

VIII. How to Top-up TIM SIM/eSIM

Here are the steps to top up a TIM prepaid SIM card or eSIM plan in Brazil:

  • Purchase a recharge (recharge voucher) from retailers like lottery shops or pharmacies.
  • Recarrega vouchers come in denominations like R$5, R$10, R$15. Choose the amount as needed.
  • The voucher will have a long numeric code printed on it that needs to be entered.
  • Dial *144# from your phone for physical SIM cards and enter the voucher code.
  • For eSIM plans – Go to tim.com.br, log in, pick “Recarga” then enter the code.
  • The funds will be credited to your TIM account balance within minutes.
  • Account balances can be checked by dialing *144# as well.
  • The recharged credit allows for calls/texts until used up at TIM’s rates.
  • Data bundles included are automatically renewed until the balance is zero.
  • Keep a positive balance at all times to ensure ongoing connectivity.

So in summary, purchase vouchers from retailers and enter codes via the *144# USSD code or online to top up credit on TIM prepaid SIMs or eSIM plans.

XI. FAQs about TIM in Brazil

1. What is the coverage like for TIM in Brazil?

TIM has extensive 4G/LTE coverage across major cities and most tourist destinations in Brazil. Coverage in remote areas may be more limited to 3G.

2. Is roaming available on TIM if visiting other countries?

TIM Brazil prepaid plans do not include international roaming. You’ll need to purchase a local SIM in other countries. eSIM plans have country limitations.

3. How can I check my TIM prepaid balance?

For physical SIMs, dial *144# and select the balance option. For eSIM plans, check your balance online at tim.com.br after logging into your account.

XII. Conclusion

TIM is known as a top carrier in Brazil. Moreover, it offers several prepaid SIMs and eSIM plans. You can buy physical SIMs at stores with ID, or purchase eSIM online. This is all about TIM SIM card & eSIM information that we would like to tell me. Hope this article will be useful for your Brazil trip.