Indosat SIM Cards & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024

For travelers who plan a trip to Indonesia, having convenient access to communication and Internet services is essential. In the country, Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata are the major mobile network providers. To get a stable Internet access, tourists can obtain affordable prepaid Indosat SIM cards or opt for an Indosat eSIM plan.

This article aims to provide details on where and how to acquire these services, and guidance on choosing the ideal package for your trip in Indonesia.

I. Quick Facts about Indosat Indonesia

Indosat is Indonesia’s world-class internet and telecommunications business, formed by merging Indosat Ooredoo and Hutchison 3 Indonesia.

  • Founded: in 1967
  • Full company name: Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison
  • Types of services: cellular/ mobile, broadband Internet, Multimedia Data Internet services.
  • Coverage: Indosat’s network covers most areas of Indonesia through agreements with partners
  • Number of users:  Indonesia’s second-largest carrier, with over 58 million subscribers as of late 2018
  • Distribution: Shops and dealers selling Indosat SIM cards can be found all over Indonesia, from cities to small towns
  • Customer support: 24/7 support line
  • Language: Indonesian, English
Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison is one of the leading mobile carriers in Indonesia
Indosat is one of the leading mobile carriers in Indonesia

II. Why Indosat When Visiting Indonesia? Coverage and Speed

Indosat boasts great 4G coverage across Indonesia and has good data speeds.

1. Indosat Coverage in Indonesia

Indosat boasts extensive coverage in Indonesia
Indosat coverage map. Source: nPerf
  • Indosat’s 4G network currently covers over 70% of the population across the country.
  • Coverage includes all major cities and provinces like Jakarta, Bali, Sumatra, etc.
  • The network covers highways and ferry routes.
  • Indosat has slightly less coverage in remote areas than Telkomsel (1st) and XL Axiata (2nd).

2. Indosat Speed

Indosat upload and download speed in Indonesia
Indosat speeds in Indonesia. Source: Opensignal
  • Average download speed: 18.2Mbps (Opensignal, Dec 2023)
  • Average upload speed: 9.3Mbps
  • Consistent quality: 64.8% (highest, ahead of Telkomsel 61.7% and XL 58.7%

► So in summary, Indosat is a reliable option for most tourists to Indonesia. Indosat offers reasonably good coverage throughout Indonesia and great consistent quality. Its download and upload speeds are enough for tasks like maps, messaging, and social media.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Indosat for Tourists to Indonesia?

Indosat provides three major connectivity choices for tourists to stay connected:

Indosat SIM cards:

  • Pros: affordable plan options for call, text, and data
  • Cons: unlocked mobile phone needed

Indosat Pocket Wifi:

  • Pros: suitable for tourists traveling in group
  • Cons: things to carry, rather expensive rental prices

Indosat roaming:

  • Pros: no SIM swap, familiar home carrier/number/ plan
  • Cons: extremely pricey, network coverage depends on agreements between your carrier and Indosat

► Our Recommendation:

Indosat SIM cards are the best choice for smooth and budget-friendly internet access in Indonesia. 

If you are looking for hassle-free connectivity, they are your best bet. For shorter trip with discounted roaming option, roaming services can be a good alternative (its rate is high if not being discounted).

If you are traveling in a group with multiple devices, a pocket WiFi is the perfect solution to stay connected effortlessly.

IV. Best Indosat SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Here are some of the prepaid tourist SIM card options offered by Indosat:

Travel On 30GB30GB & 10 call minutes (domestic & to 50 countries)30 daysIDR 100,000 – USD 6.4
Travel On 80GB80GB & 30 call minutes (domestic & to 50 countries)30 daysIDR 200,000 – USD 12.8

Important Note: 

  • The plans above have a bonus quota of 1GB roaming in India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, UAE, USA
  • After bonus-free calls are fully used, the next call will be charged at retail tariff.
  • Regularly visit the Indosat website for the latest tourist SIM plans.

V. Does Indosat Support eSIM in Indonesia?

Yes. Definitely! Indosat offers eSIM for compatible phones. Indosat eSIM allows tourists to access the Indosat network on their phones without needing a physical SIM. 

Advantages of eSIM:

  • Flexibility: You are not tied to a single physical SIM. You can have multiple carrier profiles on your phone and switch between them seamlessly.
  • Easy and practical as it optimizes the dual SIM (physical SIM & eSIM) on your phone
  • Travel-friendly: If you travel abroad, an eSIM makes it simple to purchase short-term data plans in foreign countries right from your phone settings.

VI. Where to Buy Indosat SIM Cards and eSIM?

Tourists can purchase Indosat SIM cards and eSIM at the following locations:

1. Where to Buy Indosat SIM cards for Indonesia:

When you land at Indonesia airports

Pros: convenient, immediate Internet connection upon arrival 

Cons: rates are a bit higher than in the cities and towns

Location: buy Indosat SIM cards at Denpasar (Bali) – I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport – Indosat Ooredoo kiosk in the international arrival hall.

Indosat stores and authorized retailers:

Indosat has a variety of stores and retailers across cities and towns so it is easy for you to buy Indosat SIM cards. These shops offer a full range of SIM card plan options with reasonable pricing. 

Pros: widely accessible across Indonesia, budget-friendly rates

Cons: need to locate and commute to the stores.

Indosat store in Blok M Plaza in Jakarta, Indonesia
Indosat store in Blok M Plaza in Jakarta, Indonesia

Pro Tip:

  • Only unlocked mobile devices can work with the Indosat network in Indonesia, so ensure your phone is unlocked.
  • Use Google Maps or ask locals for the most accurate Indosat store locations.
  • Passport and cash/credit card are needed for Indosat SIM card purchase.

2. Where to Buy Indosat eSIM for Indonesia?

2.1 Directly from Indosat

Tourists can get Indosat eSIM through:

  • Online service on Indosat official website
  • MyIM3 application
  • Commute to the nearest Indosat outlet

This way is straightforward; however, requires you to bring your passport or ID document for verification and SIM card registration.

2.2 Trusted third-party providers like GIGAGO

Gigago offers Indosat eSIM plan options for tourists without identity check. Tourists using eSIM services from Gigago can connect to Indosat’s widespread networks and enjoy 4G speed data at the most budget-friendly price. Gigago’s eSIM plans for Indonesia start at 1GB a day for 5 days with just $5.00 and range between $5.00$89.50 . No matter how long your Indonesia trip is and how much GB of data you use, Gigago always has the best eSIM option for you.

Gigago offers Indosat eSIM plans for Indonesia
Gigago eSIM plans for Indonesia

Pro Tip:

VII. How to Activate Indosat SIM/eSIM in Indonesia?

It is straightforward to activate Indosat SIM cards or eSIM. If this is your very first time, just take the following steps:

1. How to Activate Indosat SIM cards in Indonesia?

If you decide to use an Indosat physical SIM card, you need to:

  • Put your Indosat SIM into the SIM slot and then turn on your cell phone
  • Activate the SIM card. Normally, Indosat SIM will be pre-activated
  • Enter the setup prompts to configure APN settings if you cannot use the SIM card
  • Load a web page to check if cellular data is working
  • You can now enjoy Indosat services, including phone calls, messages, and cellular data.

2. How to Activate Indosat eSIM in Indonesia?

Here are the steps to activate your Indosat eSIM:

  • Check if your device supports eSIM
  • Purchase an eSIM plan online
  • Receive the eSIM profile via email 
  • Open the email and find the QR code
  • Scan the QR code and continue installing
  • Check for the Indosat signal on your device
  • Once the Indosat eSIM is ready, you can start enjoying its services.

Important Note:

Please follow the detailed instructions:

VIII. How to Top-up Indosat SIM/eSIM

You can top up your Indosat prepaid SIM/eSIM via the following channels:

Online Top-up

Access the “Top-up” section on the Indosat website or MyIM3 app to top up your SIM. Use credit/ debit card for payment.

Physical Top-up

  • Get to the Indosat shops or retailers to top up your account
  • Select an amount and provide the phone number you want to top up. Store staff will help you top up
  • Choose payment method (cash/credit/debit card)

IX. FAQs about Indosat SIM Cards and eSIM in Indonesia

Can I purchase an Indosat SIM card upon arrival in Indonesia?

Yes, Indosat SIM cards are readily available at airports across Indonesia as well as shops in major cities. This makes them very convenient to obtain when you land.

Can I use my Indosat SIM card in tourist destinations like Bali, Lombok or Yogyakarta?

Yes, Indosat SIM cards include national roaming so you can use the same card throughout Indonesia as you travel between islands and provinces.

Which airports/cities in Indonesia can I easily buy Indosat SIM cards and eSIM?

Major airports like Jakarta, Bali have Indosat kiosks or SIM card counters. SIM cards are also widely sold in stores throughout popular tourist areas for hassle-free access everywhere you travel.

X. Conclusion

To sum up, Indosat SIM cards and eSIM offer tourists a cost-effective and easy Internet connection when traveling throughout Indonesia. Indosat’s broad coverage and consistency prove invaluable for everything from navigation, communication, and travel updates to sharing adventures on social media. Remember to choose the connectivity option and data plan that best suit your needs and trip duration.