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Indonesian SIM Card, Guide to Buy, Register & Top Up

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Indonesian SIM Card
Top 3 Indonesian SIM Card Internet Provider.

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Staying connected is an important thing when traveling in Indonesia. Buying the Indonesian SIM Card should become an option. It’s no longer enough to rely on the hotel’s WiFi only. Especially since people can’t wait too long to post something on Instagram right away.

Social media aside. Having a reliable internet connection is also helpful to take advantage of the growing Indonesian online service. The transportation apps such as the uber-like Grab and Gojek. It will provide great help getting around the big cities, like Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali.

How the Indonesian SIM Card Works

It might take some time to understand how it works in the telecommunication business in Indonesia. There are loads of providers offering a plethora of mobile products. Government regulation can be confusing too as 2018 marks several changes when it comes to SIM card registration.

Most Indonesian use prepaid SIM cards. Customers buy a certain amount of balance called “pulsa”. Which later can be used to call, send SMS, and browse the internet. Users can also use the balance to buy packages. A package can be a data package, a call package, and a text packages. There are also packages with a combination of all three.

Indonesian SIM Card Price & Coverage

Buying a prepaid SIM card is very cheap in Indonesia. An empty Indonesian SIM card without any credits or data packages usually costs as cheap as Rp10.000. Many kiosks sell SIM cards with a pre-loaded data package. Prices vary depending on how much GB of data customers will get.

But in general, it’s super cheap by western standards. Tourists can get an Indonesian SIM card with 10GB of data for less than Rp100.000. Coverage has been improving significantly in the past few years. Customers in big cities can enjoy the fast 4G LTE network. For the rest of the country, unless it’s a remote place, there’s always almost at least 3G coverage.

Top 3 Indonesian SIM Card Providers To Choose

Telkomsel, the biggest mobile operator in Indonesia has the best coverage, especially in the outer islands. Telkomsel is a safe bet for tourists planning to go to remote destinations.

Telkomsel’s most popular SIM Card is called SimPATI. Their price is the most expensive compared to other operators. The starter pack cost Rp10.000 and is also available at Grapari, the official Telkomsel store.

Telkomsel Prepaid Internet Package 

Telkomsel Stater Pack
Telkomsel starter pack, Simpati sim card cost Rp10,000 available at the official kiosk Grapari.

The prepaid internet package 10 GB for 14 days is perfect for a short stay in Indonesia. Best value-for-money Telkomsel data packages.

Indonesian SIM Card Telkomsel Prepaid Package
Simpati Tourist Card 10GB/14 daysRp100.000
Combo Sakti 17GB/30 daysRp73.000
Internet 25GB/30 daysRp98.000
Internet 32GB/30 daysRp118.000
OMG 7GBRp57.000

See: Bali Airport Guide, Facilities, Public Transport To Downtown.

Indosat Oreedo Internet Data Price

Indosat Oreedo Sim Card
IM3 Ooredo starter pack offer free call credit to all operator.

Indosat is the second-largest mobile operator in Indonesia. Their most popular SIM card IM3 is cheaper than Telkomsel and the coverage is pretty good. Their LTE network is fast in big cities. Sometimes they also have good network strength in remote villages.

Best value-for-money IM3 Ooredo data packages:

Indonesian SIM Card Indosat IM3 Internet Package
Freedom Internet 5 GBRp25.000
Internet 13GBRp50.000
Freedom Combo 32GB (free 60 minutes call to all operators)Rp100.000

Read: Yogyakarta Airport Facilities, Guide & Public Transport To City & Borobudur Temple. 

XL Internet Package

XL Indonesian Sim Card
SIM card starter pack, internet data package also available for a day, week or monthly plan.

XL mobile providers offer decent coverage. Although their 4G network is often faster than Telkomsel in some cities, XL struggle in remote places, sometimes the signal is non-existing. XL’s price range is similar to Indosat’s. Tourists can pick this provider if planning to stay mainly in big cities.

Best value-for-money XL data packages.

Indonesian SIM Card XL Internet Package
Xtra Combo 10 GB (10 GB+ 10 GB YouTube + 30 minutes calls)Rp89.000
Hotrod 3 GBRp60.000
Hotrod 6 GBRp100.000
Hotrod 8 GBRp130.000

See: Jakarta Airport Guide & Public Transport To Downtown.

Where To Buy & Register Indonesian SIM Card

Indomaret convenience store
Indomaret convenience store. Ask the cashier to top up the credit.

Some companies have official stores at airports. They usually offer tourists traveler packages instead of regular ones. Buying at airports is convenient if tourists don’t mind paying a more expensive price. However, avoid unofficial sellers at all costs. Selling tourists shady SIM cards is a common airport scam.

Going to kiosks is the most popular way to buy the Indonesian SIM Card here. These small shops are scattered all over the corner in any of the Indonesian cities. They have plenty of options for Indonesian SIM cards and data packages. Prices are definitely cheaper than buying at airports.

Tourists can easily spot a kiosk by noticing a signboard. Usually located in front of the shop, with a list of data packages in GB and their respective prices. Getting an Indonesian SIM card here will require tourists to register.

Registration can be done at the kiosks when buying. After choosing which SIM card to buy. Hand the passport to the seller for registration purposes. Ask them to register it and the whole process takes only several minutes. Sometimes they even register it with their own ID to make it super fast.

See: Jakarta To Bandung Transportation Guide, Train, Bus & Travel Shuttle.

Checking Balance & Buy Credit

Nowadays it’s easy to check how much balance a SIM card has. Almost every major operators have an app to help customers track balance and data usage.

Tourists can download the app on App Store or Google Play Store. Telkomsel has MyTelkomsel app, Indosat has MyIM3, and XL has myXL.

Customers can also buy packages from these apps. To make everything more convenient, most apps have an option for an English menu. The “traditional” non-app way to check the balance and buy packages is by dialing *888# for Telkomsel’s SimPATI, *123# for XL, and *363# for Indosat’s IM3. However, the dial menu comes only in Bahasa Indonesia.

Checking Credit Balance in Indonesian SIM Card
Telkomsel*888#
XL*123#
Indosat IM3*363#

See: Top Must Visit Events & Performance in Indonesia.

Top Up Credit

Alfamart convenience store
Another convenience store, Alfamart also offers a sim card top-up service.

Buying credit for an Indonesian prepaid SIM card can be done in many ways. Apart from kiosks, popular minimarket chains such as Indomaret and Alfamart also sell phone credits. Denominations usually come in Rp10.000, 25.000, 50.000, and 100.000 value.

Prepare to pay Rp2.000 – Rp3.000 more in addition to the balance value, this is how sellers make a profit. After buying, make sure to get a notification message from the operator informing that credit has been successfully added.

IMEI Registration To Use Indonesian SIM Card

Following on new regulation in Indonesia. In this case to control illegal mobile phones and electronic devices entering Indonesia without paying taxes. Tourists will have to register upon arriving to be able to use Indonesian SIM cards.

In brief, there is 2 option to register it. The first one is to buy an Indonesian SIM card at the provider stall at the airport. Then provide identity detail such as name, passport number, and boarding pass. At this point, the provider will register the IMEI. The first option is suitable for short visit periods, maximum of 90 days.

After that, the SIM card is ready to use. While to top up the credit, customers could easily purchase it at a convenience store. Meanwhile, for tourists that chose to buy SIM cards elsewhere besides at the airport. Make sure to ask the seller to help with the IMEI registration.

Following the registration, to see whether the phone Imei has been registered in the operator database. Telkomsel sim card user could dial *337# then press 1. There will be text notifications from the provider confirming the IMEI is registered.

Check IMEI Registration Status
TelkomselDial *337# then press 1
XLPress *123*817# choose option 1

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, if I would like to continue to use the prepaid card with the Indonesian number when I return to my home country, how do I activate roaming with such cards? Thanks!

    • Hi Kedeb, If you use Simpati by Telkomsel, you can activate the roaming package through their app Mytelkomsel. Click “buy package”, then click roaming and choose roaming country destination and duration. The price starts from Rp150.000. It depends on the duration, country, and the data quota. Make sure your SIM Card has enough balance. For IM3 you can download their app MYIM3 and for XL, you can search MyXL in the Appstore/Playstore. And activate roaming packages through their app.

  2. I want recharge mobile data of my Indonesia friend paying by my credit card. Friend lives in Jakarta.

    • Hello, You can download the provider apps. For instance, Telkomsel has Mytelkomsel app, it can be download in playstore and appstore. There is a lot of payment option to top up internet data and credit card is one of them. For telkomsel you can download mytelkomsel app on playstore or appstore.

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