Huawei MIFI (portable wifi modems) with TIM or Vodafone Italia

03/05/2013 - 13:03

Can anyone see any reason whether an unlocked Huawei E586 MIFI modem device won't work in Italy with an Italian data SIM inserted? I can get internet on my UK unlocked Smartfone when i put my Italian TIM sim in it so assumed it would be the same for a modem. I was looking online at the TIM and VODAFONE IT packages and they don't seem to have very good portable modems on offer so I thought about simply buying an unlocked one which I could use in different European countries if need be. It also means I could try out a few networks if reception/connectivity is a problem. Am I being naive?



... we've used the E585 bought from "Three" on a UK monthly deal, then on expiry we had it unlocked and have used it here in Italy for over 2 years now (mainly WIND, but TIM sim as well). The battery is cr@p, but I in any case found it performed much better when connected to my netbook. If you have poor reception, being near a power point would be a good alternative. You can get a bigger battery for it if needed.... We use the same unit when we go back to the UK with a "Three" PAYG sim. We might just be lucky here or unlucky in the UK with reception, but here we are getting almost full HSPA. One last thing, for the £15 quid "Three" charge as a one off to unlock it I think it's not worth the risk of getting it done on the cheap...

The notion of locked and unlocked, or voice or data SIM, don't seem to be issues here in Italy. The only thing about these mifis (most of them are Huwawei) is that in my experience they don't pick up a weak cell signal at all well, so it's important to be using the operator who has the best coverage where you are. I've been in places where my Smartphone gets a perfectly decent signal and data trasfer speeds, but the mifi on the same operator is struggling.

Many modem types work fine for me, but I found the ISP was the biggest problem.  In my location, Northern Calabria, TIM rarely connects - and I hang the modem in a USB power converter on the kitchen wall - and Vodafone works fine.   I'm also aware that THREE is good.   So much depends on where you are.

Take care when checking reception as we have found connections to be very, very erratic. If you get an excellent signal, then fine, likely you will be able to repeat that often. However if you don't at first get a good signal (or none), don't assume this is always the case. If you have a mobile with 3g then check with that at a few different times to see what ISP has the best signal. Best of all would be to talk to anyone in your area who has used mobile internet for some time... Love the idea of hanging the dongle on the kitchen wall... !!! cheeky A signal booster might be a good idea...