Heading to Indonesia soon? Not sure how you will stay connected? Get prepaid Indonesia SIM cards with a data plan! It will help you get online to share your great experiences wherever you go at an affordable price. This guide will go over Indonesia SIM card types, costs, details on data plans, and where to buy.
I. Should You Get a SIM Card in Indonesia?
When it comes to staying connected in Indonesia, SIM cards, free Wifi, and roaming are the most common options. Each has its pros and cons. Here is a table comparing different connectivity options in Indonesia:
|Indonesia SIM card
|High – Internet access from your phone anywhere
|Low – Need to find and stay near hotspots (unavailable when traveling to remote areas)
|High – Use existing number
|Low – Just a few dollars for a lot of GB valid for many days
|Very High – High fees for calls, texts, data usage
|High – Reliable coverage even in remote areas
|Low – Available at limited hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc.
|High – When within network coverage
As you can see, while free Wifi has no upfront cost, you cannot depend on finding spots everywhere you go. Roaming is quite expensive, especially for a long trip in Indonesia.
With a local SIM card, you will have private Internet access right on your phone anywhere and anytime. Packages include plenty of data at affordable rates. You will be able to save money on international roaming charges.
In addition, reliable connectivity is key when traveling abroad. Indonesia SIM cards ensure you are never without online maps, translations, messages, calls to your family and friends, etc. Getting a SIM card is the way to go for a relaxing and smooth trip in Indonesia.
- Make sure your phone is unlocked to use SIM card for Indonesia. In case your device is locked, contact the network provider to unlock it or use your local network provider's roaming plan at a high cost.
- With Indonesian SIM card, you may continue to use apps like Whatsapp without extra data charges. This way, you may stay in touch with your family and friends.
II. Types of Indonesia SIM Card for Tourists – Which One is the Best?
Physical prepaid Indonesia SIM cards and prepaid eSIM for Indonesia are the two forms of Indonesia tourist SIM cards.
1. Prepaid physical SIM card in Indonesia
Physical prepaid Indonesia SIM card (also known as micro SIM, mini SIM, or nano SIM) is a chip installed or removed physically with traveler carrier’s plan. Tourists can buy it at physical stores. This SIM card types include two major plan sort:
- Data-only plan: NO PHONE NUMBER OFFERED. Tourists are unable to make phone calls or send text messages. This type is for those who primarily need to check maps, browse the Internet, and access apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.
- Data + voice and text plan: PHONE NUMBER OFFERED. It is best for those who want Internet access to make phone calls and texts as well as browse the web.
2. Prepaid Tourist Indonesia eSIM
A virtual SIM card that is embedded into a mobile phone is known as an eSIM. When switching providers or plans, tourists are not required to insert or remove a real SIM card. This type is online and also has two main variations (data + voice and text plan and data-only plan) like the physical one.
Follow the below comparison table to have a better understanding of the two types of Indonesian SIM cards for tourists:
|Physical prepaid Indonesia SIM
|Prepaid Indonesia eSIM
Widely available, all carriers in Indonesia
|Available anywhere and anytime, no need to buy at SIM store
Easy online activation
No risk of SIM loss
|Need to purchase or wait for SIM delivery before use
Reusable on other devices
Main SIM might get lost when uninstalled
|eSIM requires compatible device
Need to unlock mobile device to use eSIM
Tied to single activating device
When traveling to Indonesia, you should:
- Select PREPAID PHYSICAL TOURIST SIM CARD if you want to buy a SIM card at the store, browse the web, contact your friends and family via apps in a traditional way at the cheapest cost.
- Select PREPAID TOURIST eSIM if you already have a supported eSIM phone. This may be the most convenient way to stay connected during your trip to Indonesia in 2024.
III. Best Indonesia SIM Card Packages for Tourists and Price
Four (04) main mobile network operators in Indonesia provide SIM card plans for travelers: XL, Indosat, and Telkomsel.
Good to know:
$1 USD = 15,500 IDR; 10,000 IDR = $0.65 USD (as of December 2023)
1. Best Indonesia XL Axiata SIM Card Plans and Price
- 30 GB for 30 days: $4;
- 65 GB for 30 days: $8;
- 147 GB for 30 days: $13.2;
- 260 GB for 30 days: $20.7.
Insight: XL SIM card provide competitive data-centric options at affordable prices. It has plans suitable for light, medium, and heavy data users. The network is appropriate for most destination areas.
2. Best Indonesia Indosat SIM Card Plans and Price
- 2 GB for 30 days: $2.9;
- 6 GB + 30 minutes of calls for 30 days: $6.4;
- 16 GB + 60 minutes of talk + 60 SMS for 30 days: $12.8;
- 30 GB + 120 minutes of talk + 120 SMS for 30 days: $19.3.
Insight: Indosat has attractive mobile internet tariffs with unlimited calls and messages within the network. This is an ideal option if you travel to Indonesia with a large group of friends or relatives.
3. Best Indonesia Telkomsel SIM Card Plans and Price
- 11 GB for 30 days: $2.7
- 18 GB for 30 days: $5.4;
- 35 GB for 30 days: $7.4;
- 51 GB for 30 days: $2.7;
- 70 GB for 30 days: $8.9.
Insight: Telkomsel provides SIM cards on three main islands: Bali, Sumatra, and Java. The data plans are thus quite confusing to understand. You should define the type of prepaid SIM card you get before buying it.
Note: Data packs and prices are subject to change now and then.
XL and Indosat cover Indonesia reliably. XL might be better in data-only packages and Indosat presents an excellent beginner plan and calling perks. They both make for viable connectivity options, depending on needs.
IV. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Indonesia?
Now that you know the best Indonesia SIM card plans and their prices. Let us explore where to purchase Indonesian tourist SIM.
You have 4 ways to buy a tourist SIM card for Indonesia:
1. Buy prepaid Indonesia eSIM card online before traveling
You can purchase prepaid eSIM card for Indonesia online from providers like Gigago before your trip. Setting up is easy as you can activate it on your eSIM-compatible phone right away.
Pros: No need to visit stores, can activate before trip. Start utilizing great data plans as soon as you land.
Cons: Higher price than physical SIM. Limited to eSIM-compatible phones only.
2. Buy physical Indonesia SIM at Indonesian airports
Get prepaid Indonesia SIM cards from counters of reliable providers at international airports in Indonesia like Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta, Bali Ngurah Rai, and so on. You may buy from counters of XL, Telkomsel that are located near the baggage claim area and outside the arrival halls.
Pros: Convenient to activate upon arrival.
Cons: More expensive than stores outside airports. Limited plan options.
3. Buy physical Indonesia SIM online
Tourists can order prepaid SIM cards online from XL, Indosat, Telkomsel, and have them delivered. Ensure it supports international delivery.
Pros: Convenient without needing an Indonesian address.
Cons: Delivery timing, higher price than local stores.
4. Buy physical Indonesia SIM in the cities
It is easiest to find physical Indonesian SIM card at Telkomsel, Indosat Ooredoo, XL Axiata stores across cities in Indonesia. Buy them at convenience stores like Indomaret, Alfamart. Check coverage if outside major cities.
Pros: Cheapest option, widely available.
Cons: Need to find stores upon arrival. Language barriers may exist.
The best option for tourists in Indonesia will depend on individual preferences and priorities:
- For immediate activation: Buying at an Indonesian airport is a good choice.
- For price-conscious tourists with time freedom: Buying in cities gives you the best rates and diverse packages but requires registration and a store visit.
- For preparedness and cost-effectiveness: Buying online may be a suitable choice.
- For tourists with eSIM-compatible devices: Purchasing eSIM may save time waiting for delivery, queuing in line, and avoiding the trouble of exchanging SIM cards. Check our full list of eSIM compatible devices.
V. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Indonesia?
It is helpful to understand how far 1GB of data can go when doing regular activities. 1GB is generally enough for tourists to
- Browse social media for 2-3 hours
- Send/ receive 100-150 photos or messages via Whatsapp
- Use Google Maps for navigation for around 5 hours
- Stream low-quality music or videos for 30-60 minutes
Now for amount of data needed based on user types:
- Light user (emails, maps, messaging): 2-3 days in cities (1-2GB), 1 week on an island (2-5GB).
- Medium users (occasional photos/ videos, navigation): 1 week on an island (5GB), 2 weeks on multiple islands (8-10GB).
- Heavy users (HD videos, downloads, navigation): 2 weeks on multi-islands (10-15GB), 3+ weeks all around Indonesia (15GB++).
Most tourists traveling to major destinations in Indonesia for up to 2 weeks should be covered with 5-10GB of prepaid data. Choose the package that aligns with your needs to avoid waste or shortage of data.
VI. Indonesia eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet
Tourists to Indonesia can get an Internet connection via many different options such as accessing free Wifi, roaming with their home network, or buying a prepaid physical SIM card. While each of these choices has merits, purchasing a prepaid eSIM offers various advantages:
- Affordability: Indonesian eSIM plans from providers offer great value, starting from as low as $5 for data packages. This is much more affordable than daily roaming charges.
- Convenience: An eSIM allows you to set up mobile internet with just a couple of clicks from anywhere, without having to hunt for a physical SIM card or WiFi hotspots.
- Reliability: Prepaid eSIM provides a guaranteed continuous mobile data cover through the whole trip instead of using patchy public Wifi.
- Wide coverage and fast speed: Indonesia has wide coverage by major operators like Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata which offers high-speed data.
- Diverse options of plans: For short and long travels, you can either select data-only plans or combine them with call credits.
Alternatively, a prepaid Indonesia eSIM is the best solution for visitors who want to get quick and affordable data access without hassling about inserting traditional SIM cards.
If you are in Indonesia, Gigago is a front-runner for eSIM within the country. Unlike most others, this provider offers both data-only plans and call-inclusive options with their service packages.
The provider offers multiple data plan options for Indonesia, starting from a 5-day plan with 1GB per day for $5 as their most minimal plan. They also have 7-day, 15-day, and 30-day plans ranging from 1GB to 50GB of total data, or 1GB to 3GB per day, with prices from $5 up to $89.50.
Getting an Indonesia eSIM from Gigago ensures reliable Internet access throughout your trip without any hassles.
VII. Best Indonesia Mobile Networks for Tourists
There are 03 major mobile network operators in Indonesia: Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata. All three providers deliver tourist SIM card plans that are reasonable and offer data, sms, minutes for travelers to use during their stay.
Here is a summary table comparing these three providers:
See more details about each prominent Indonesian cellular network operator:
Telkomsel has the broadest coverage with extensive 4G network across Singapore. Its network availability covers the majority of Indonesian cities and towns as well as islands such as Sumatra, Java, Bali, parts of Kalimantan and Sulawesi. It generally has the most competitive prices and supports eSIM plans.
2. XL Axiata
XL Axiata is a close second with extensive 4G coverage across major cities and regions of Indonesia. It has fast speed and offers affordable prepaid plans starting from Rp50,000 with large data allocations. Also, this operator supports eSIM packages.
While Indosat has great coverage, it has slightly less coverage, particularly in remote areas. It offers unlimited calls and messages within the network with attractive mobile internet tariffs. eSIM is also supported.
► Our recommendation:
We summarize several highlights about each network operator to help you choose the suitable one when traveling to Indonesia:
- For reliable coverage during travel, you may choose Telkomsel.
- XL with the most competitive plans will be the top pick for those who want to stay online anytime.
- For unlimited calls and messages within the network with appealing prices, you may opt for Indosat.
VIII. How to Use Indonesia Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM
You need to know the steps of using Indonesia prepaid SIM cards and eSIM. Here is how:
1. Using prepaid Indonesia tourist SIM Cards
Once you have bought an Indonesia SIM card, follow these steps to utilize it:
- Turn off your device, put the Indonesia SIM card into the designated slot;
- Configure APN settings given by the SIM card provider (if necessary);
- Now you can make calls, send text messages, and stay connected with the Internet.
2. Setting up and activating Indonesia eSIM
Follow these steps to use a prepaid eSIM in Indonesia:
- Ensure your phone is unlocked and supports eSIM activation;
- Access the eSIM settings of your phone to add an eSIM, scan the QR code or enter the activation key;
- Follow the on-screen instructions to download and activate the eSIM profile;
- Restart your mobile phone and start getting online.
IX. FAQs about Indonesia SIM Cards
What is the best Indonesian SIM card for tourists?
If you want a physical SIM card, you must adhere to the purchase terms and conditions as well as comprehend the rates of local providers. A virtual eSIM card will save you time and avoid all of these difficulties.
Can I buy a prepaid SIM card at Bali airport?
Definitely. One of the best places to get a prepaid SIM card is on arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport – DPS (or Denpasar International Airport/ Bali International Airport).
How can I preserve my phone number if I lose my Indonesia SIM card?
Inform your provider immediately. They might even replace your credit balance on a new SIM within 24 hours.
In conclusion, prepaid Indonesia SIM cards and eSIM will keep you connected while you travel in the country. The major three carriers which are Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata offer widespread coverage, so going online will be quick and simple. Then you may begin exploring and experiencing new things! Simply choose the SIM card that best meets your needs.