Traveling to Indonesia soon? Planning your trip to this amazing country and trying to avoid high roaming costs? Getting a local sim card in Indonesia is the best way. Don't let those slow overseas data roaming packages fool you as they reduce the internet speed. An Indonesia sim card is cheap, it gets you a lot of data and you will get the best network. So what is the best prepaid sim card in Indonesia? Keep on reading...
In this article I tell you who has the best network in 2021, all the up to date prices and where to buy a sim card for Indonesia.
Why buying a sim card for Indonesia?
First of all because it makes traveling easier! What about ordering an Uber, checking Google Maps to not get lost, finding a good restaurant around you? Second I just would NOT rely on your hotel's WiFi. Trust me a 4G connections is often much faster than the WiFi of a hotel in Indonesia.
Therefore I recommend you buying an Indonesia tourist sim card on arrival. The last years I have been to Indonesia multiple times on adventures in West Papua, Sumatra, Java, Lombok, Sulawesi and of course Bali.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Telkomsel prepaid sim card for Indonesia. A so called simPATI sim card deal gets you 25 GB data for $11 and the Telkomsel network is the best by far!
If you are considering buying an international sim card with global coverage, I strongly recommend you to read the article in the link. I made a comparison when I reviewed these travel sim cards one by one and came to the conclusion that most of them are outrageously expensive. NOT WORTH IT!
When traveling to more countries in Asia there are some options that are worth considering. Have a look at my comparison of the best sim cards for Asia. However, buying a local sim card is ALWAYS the best option.
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Travel around Indonesia
The easiest way to travel in Indonesia? Use the below search engine for boat tickets from for example Bali to Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Nusa Penida and more. get your mobile ticket, no need to print, convenient, safe, reliable and easy. Check here al the routes available.
Buy a sim card for Indonesia online
Save yourself the hassle of buying an Indonesia sim card on arrival and get one online. Order a sim card online, get it shipped to your home address and you are online as soon as your plane touches the ground. Although local Indonesian sim cards are much cheaper, click here to find the best online deals.
Mobile internet operators in Indonesia
There are 5 different mobile internet providers in Indonesia and there is a lot of competition. Don't forget that Indonesia is one of the world's biggest countries by population: 270 million. You can buy a prepaid sim card in Indonesia from the following operators:
- Indosat Ooredoo
- 3 (Tri)
- XL Axiata
The first 4 operators are the main ones with an extensive network in Indonesia, however there is one that has by far the best network in Indonesia, but more about that later. Smartfren is a fairly new mobile internet provider in Indonesia and their network is not yet the biggest, especially if you are going off the beaten path in Indonesia I would not recommend a Smartfren prepaid sim card.
Where to buy an Indonesia sim card
It is easy to buy a local sim card in Indonesia as they are sold basically on every street corner. Convenience stores, gas stations, mobile phone shops, official retail stores, electronic shops and so on.
Of course you can also buy a sim card at Jakarta or Bali Airport on arrival or any other International Airport in Indonesia. Be aware that buying a sim card at an airport is always much more expensive and try not to get ripped off! :)
Also when getting a sim card for tourists expect to find different prices everywhere. To get the best sim card deal you have to shop around and even haggling about the price is worth it. Buying a sim card in Indonesia is like a jungle walk. Good thing is that prices for sim cards are cheap in Indonesia.
Indonesia sim card prices in 2021
The following prices for prepaid sim cards in Indonesia are up date as per June 2021, for the latest sim card deals I refer to the official website as stated below per provider. These are the official prices that you can expect more or less in stores around Indonesia. At tourist hotspots like Bali expect sim cards to be more expensive than official prices. Also the same prepaid sim card could be priced differently in every other shop, gas station, etc.
Oh one more thing: mobile internet in Indonesia is CHEAP! These prices are NO JOKES! ;) But internet speed in Indonesia is NOT what it is like in your home country, so have low expectations about 4G and 5G. More about the best network in Indonesia below.
At XL Axiata they have 3 great prepaid starter sim card packages called Unlimited Turbo:
- 21,000 INR ($1,50) = 3 GB data + free Whatsapp + 5 minutes of calls.
- 46,000 INR ($3,50) = 11 GB data + free Social Media + 5 minutes of calls.
- 68,000 INR ($4,80) = 21 GB data + free Social Media & YouTube + 5 minutes of calls.
For the latest prepaid sim card offers check the XL Axiata website.
Tri 3 Indonesia
The 3 Indonesia sim card prices are not only in real life hard to figure out, also online on their website. But Tri Indonesia offers the Paket Happy prepaid sim card:
- 50,000 INR ($3,50) = 12 GB data valid for 30 days.
- 70,000 INR ($5) = 18 GB data valid for 30 days.
- 95,000 INR ($7) = 25 GB data valid for 30 days.
As far as I could figure out there is no calling time included to other networks. Calling is free to other Tri 3 Indonesia numbers. For more info see the Tri 3 Indonesia website, but unfortunately it is a bit of a maze, it does NOT work properly and does NOT translate.
A Telkomsel prepaid sim card cost 10,000 INR ($0,70) and comes with 300 MB data and 5,000 INR credit. These are the most common packages for simPATI:
- 102,000 INR ($7,25) = 12 GB data + 2 GB social media apps - valid for 30 days.
- 152,000 INR ($10,75) = 25 GB data + 2 GB social media apps - valid for 30 days.
- 191,000 INR ($13,50) = 50 GB data + 2 GB social media apps - valid for 30 days.
These are the prices for simPATI packages that you can expect in stores around Indonesia. Check the latest Telkomsel prepaid sim card offers on their website.
Indosat Ooredoo has the Freedom Combo package for prepaid sim cards for tourists with unlimited calls/text to other Indosat Ooredoo numbers:
- 49,000 ($3,50) = 2 GB data
- 99,000 ($7) = 6 GB data + 30 minutes calling time
- 199,000 ($14) = 16 GB data + 60 minutes calling time + 60 sms
- 299,000 ($21) = 30 GB data + 120 minutes calling time + 120 sms
Find the latest Indosat prepaid sim card offers on their website in the link.
Smartfren is fairly new on the market and they have great prices for Indonesia prepaid sim cards. All prepaid packages
- 60,000 ($4,25) = 30 GB - valid for 30 days.
- 80,000 ($5,75) = Unlimited with restrictions (see below) - valid for 28 days.
These are the up to date prices for Smartfren prepaid sim cards for tourists as per January 2021. For the latest offers check their website in the link.
Looking for transportation while traveling in Indonesia? Check out all the bus and boat routes, schedules and prices as well as domestic flights in Indonesia below in the search engine from 12Go Asia.
Boats to Gili Trawangan or Lombok from Bali?
Best mobile network coverage in Indonesia in 2021
The mobile network coverage is quite important when traveling to Indonesia as you don't want to get stuck on an island with no network coverage. Some islands only have specific networks. The best example is East Indonesia. From Flores east there is basically only a Telkomsel signal available.
If you are traveling somewhere specific I would recommend you to have a look at the Indonesia network coverage data collected by nperf.
Is there 5G in Indonesia?
No, as of June 2021 there is still NO 5G network in Indonesia available. As of the latest news 5G in Indonesia is set to roll out most probably only in 2023.
4G coverage Telkomsel Indonesia
4G coverage XL Axiata Indonesia
4G coverage Tri 3 Indoensia
4G Coverage Indosat Ooredoo Indonesia
4G coverage Smartfren Indonesia
From the above Indonesia coverage maps we can clearly see that one providers stick out. Telkomsel has by far the best mobile internet network in Indonesia. Without a doubt!
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Best Indonesia tourist sim card in 2021
Prices for Indonesia sim cards are VERY CHEAP and therefore personally I recommend investing a couple more dollars in one of the providers with the best network.
Based on the network strength and prices: Telkomsel is the best prepaid sim card for tourists in 2021.
If you are traveling off the beaten path in Indonesia there is only one recommendation anyway and that is Telkomsel. But are you going on a Bali holiday and have no intension leaving the island a Smartfren sim card is a great idea as well as XL Axiata.
If you are looking for the cheapest data sim cards for Indonesia then we are definitely looking at a Smartfren sim card. Indosat Ooredoo is much more expensive than the other operators and therefore I would not recommend you buying their Indonesia prepaid sim card.
My personal recommendation would be the simPATI prepaid sim card for Indonesia from Telkomsel with 25 GB data for $11.
Buy a sim card for Indonesia online
There are a a couple sim cards for Indonesia that you can buy online. I found some on the Simoptions website, specialized in sim cards for travelers. They don't give you the value for money and big data bundles local sim cards in Indonesia give you, but you save yourself the hassle of buying a sim card on arrival in Indonesia.
These are the 3 best international sim cards for Indonesia worth recommending:
- 10 GB data
- Valid 30 days
- 12 GB data
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data
- Valid 14 days
All of the above prepaid sim cards are working within Indonesia at no extra costs and will be activated automatically from its first use. Personally I would go for the first option: Three PAYG AIO15 as its gives you 10 GB data for less than $30. Click one of the links above for more info.
Indonesia travel blogs
In total I traveled almost 9 months in Indonesia over the last few years. I wrote numerous travel blogs from meeting the King of Bali to the Walking Dead of Toraja. Have a look at more than 25 blogs about traveling in Indonesia in this link.
If you have any further questions about buying a sim card in Indonesia or want some extra travel tips or recommendations please leave me a message below and happy to help you.
Also if this was article was helpful for you would you like to help me in return? If you could share the link of this article somewhere on the internet that would be awesome. Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest, post in a Facebook Group or share on reddit would be extremely helpful to me. A small thing for you to do, which can make a big difference for me.
Enjoy your trip to Indonesia!