Phone and Internet on Sardinia
Even if the Sardinians do not feel much like being Italians, Sardinia is politically part of Italy. Correspondingly, italian telephone and Internet providers are the companies active on Sardinia. Taking a cell phone with you - that is part of the normal standard of vacation today. However, expensive roaming charges for using a connection to the Internet (data roaming) are still a problem. Depending on the country you are coming from this might also be true for phone calls. Your first step should be to take a look at your existing data tariff or mobile tariff. Wihtin Europa the mobile phone contract includes a use of data and phone calls in other European countries. But data usage for accessing the internet might still be limited. Those who are frequently on the internet should, however, rather expand the tariff or look for an additional solution on the spot. For the ones not being from an EU-country: If you do not have a wordwide tariff, go ahead and buy an internet tariff in Sardinia. The networks are very good, coverage is better than in many other european countries. Quite often, I have already had an internet connection around some cliff far away from the next bigger city.
Carefree phone calls and internet access
Connection in holiday accommodation for occasional internet use
Many of the hotels, apartments and holiday homes are equipped with Wi-Fi as of today and thus allow access to the Internet. However, the connections are often surprisingly slow. Mobile networks tend to be more reliable and not every house is connected to the internet. Also in many cafés it is no problem to go online. In terms of data security, however, this is not advisable and the compulsion to divulge the e-mail address usually causes a sprinkling with advertising e-mails. Anyone who wants to use Whatsapp or Skype as an alternative to make phone calls or even works on site and wants to upload the latest photos to Facebook will generally be dissatisfied with these solutions. If you only go online a few times, you usually get by with a connection in your holiday home. However, it is important to ask beforehand, because not every accommodation provides an internet connection.
Making phone calls on Sardinia
Making phone calls within Europe is not a problem. But: If you are from canada, the us, australia or another country around the world you may face massive additions costs for phone calls. It is highly recommendable to make use of the very well functioning internet tariffs in this case.
Italian Internet: Buying Prepaid cards in Sardinia
Buy a telephone card with a telephone and / or data plan on-site - that's the idea that comes to mind. But: In Italy you can only buy such a card, if you can present an Italian tax number. This tax code is issued by the Italian authorities. The tax number needs to be presented together with an identity card. The good new is: There are exceptions for foreigners. As those excpetions are often not known to vendors in smaller shops it is best to buy such a card at the airport or near the port where you are arriving. The prices for prepaid data tariffs are quite low - 20 gigabytes for 20 euros are common. Anyone who loves Netflix, YouTube or amazon prime will be happy with it. Do not forget to change your Netflix settings to "Low Qualitiy" otherwise it will use up to 3 to 3.5 gigabytes per hour. With low quality, it is much less, so even a 3-week holiday is easily covered. To use such a data card you should bring a wifi-router with you.
Internet on Sardinia with other solutions
Nevertheless, the hurdles described above are not a reason to despair. There are ways to be constantly online even on the beautiful island. For this you need a data tariff that works in Italy (see above). The mobile network in Sardinia is well developed and often even faster than the Wi-Fi connection of the holiday accommodation. Beyond that, this solution is also safer. You need the following things for this:
A prepaid SIM card that works in the Italian network is initially basic requirement. For this you need some hardware:
A smarthphone to make the connection. A second mobile phone is one way to solve things. But actually that only complices things as you have two phones then.
A surfstick, in which you can insert the simcard. The disadvantage of the surf stick is usually the fact that it can only be connected to the laptop. However, since Internet use with the mobile phone is extremely popular, this possibility is unfortunately not the best. Nevertheless, it is a low cost solution, because a surfstick does not cost much.
a mobile wireless router. This solution is useful if you travel a lot and want to be online on your trips, walks and other activities. Such a mobile wireless router costs a little bit of money and you should buy one before you come to Sardinia However, those who travel more often on Sardinia or in Italy will not want to miss this solution anymore. It's handy, because it helps you to quickly find out which attraction is nearby or the road network can be accessed with Google Maps. A mobile wireless router is a small "box" - about the size of a cigarette box, in which the SIM card is inserted. Mobile phones and / or laptops are then connected to this router, which also works with multiple devices. This solution is also the safest, since you bring your own network, so to speak. Some car rentals also offer those boxes and a data tariff. Their daily charges are not acceptable if you stay for a longer time. But if you are around for only a few days it might be a great idea to make use of it.
One last hint: if you travel via Switzerland to Sardinia, you should to be careful. The EU data and telephone tariffs are generally not applicable to Switzerland. In case of doubt: Call your own provider first and ask.