Buying a SIM Card at Jakarta Airport (Soekarno-Hatta – CGK) 2024: Travelers Guide

Planning your trip to Indonesia and landing at Jakarta Airport? Forget about slow and pricey overseas data roaming plans, all you need is a local prepaid SIM card or eSIM. Find out where to get an Indonesian tourist SIM card, the best packages, and up-to-date prices. Let’s dive into our guide on buying a SIM card at Jakarta Airport (Soekarno-Hatta – CGK)!

Guide to buy a sim card at Jakarta Airport
Guide to buy a sim card at Jakarta Airport

Need to know: Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, has 02 primary airports:

  • Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK): this is the larger and main international airport in the city. It is also the busiest airport in Indonesia and serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights.
  • Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (HLP): this airport serves mainly for domestic flights, VIP/Presidential flights, and also works as a military airbase As a secondary airport, it is an alternative to the crowded Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Hence, in this guide, when we mention Jakarta airport, it means Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK). 

I. Why buy a SIM Card in Jakarta?

When it comes to getting online in Indonesia, a local SIM card may be the most convenient and affordable way. With just a few dollars for numerous GB valid for many days, you have the Internet on your phone anytime, anywhere even in remote areas. Getting connected to WhatsApp, Google Maps, and so on is very useful when exploring a new city like Jakarta. 

There are also options like free WiFi and pocket WiFi, but these have certain drawbacks. For example, pocket WiFi is more costly than a SIM card for your whole trip. Also, you always have to bring it along. It also has limits of data so you may pay more in the long run.

► Our recommendation:  We are sure you will appreciate the freedom and savings that an Indonesia SIM card provides over other more pricey options.

Which type of SIM card to buy for Jarkarta?

You should get a physical data SIM card if you want to connect to the Internet while also staying in touch with friends and family using chat apps.

You may also utilize eSIM if your phone is compatible with it. eSIM offers many benefits such as easy purchase at any time, anywhere, simple online activation without disassembly, and no risk of loss.  

► See a detailed list of eSIM-supported devices to check if your phone works with eSIM or not.

II. Where to buy a SIM card for Jakarta?

There are 03 basic ways to buy a SIM card in Jakarta.

1. Buy Jakarta SIM & eSIM Online Before Departure

The first way to get Jakarta SIM card is buying via websites of trusted providers
The first way to get Jakarta SIM card is buying via websites of trusted providers
  • How to buy: Order from trusted providers. They will deliver SIM card to your home. 
  • What to prepare: email, delivery address, payment method.
  • Price: Similar to buying at the airport. May cost a bit more with shipping fees.
  • Pros: Ready before travel, no airport or city visit needed, no need to verify personal information (if you buy from a third-party provider).
  • Cons: Additional shipping fees, risk for delays or damage in delivery.

2. Buy at Jakarta airport – Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK)

Jakarta airport map (Soekarnohatta airport - CGK)
Jakarta airport map (Soekarnohatta airport – CGK)
  • How to buy: Visit booths at Jakarta’s Soekarno–Hatta airport (CGK) arrival hall.
  • What to prepare: Passport as ID proof, IDR cash.
  • Price: High price. Rates may differ by provider.
  • Pros: Quickest option upon arrival. Staff speak English. You can ask counters for advice.
  • Cons: Limited options versus buying in the city. Lines at peak times.

Where to buy a SIM Card at Jakarta Airport – Soekarno–Hatta International Airport?

At this airport, you can buy SIM card both in the arrival hall (Terminal 3) and outside the arrival hall.

In the Arrival Hall: There are 03 different SIM card shops: Data Cellular, Backbone Cellular (phone stores that sell SIM cards, in the middle of the Arrival Hall), and XL Axiata store (official store of XL Axiata operator, toward the end of the hall).

  • Opening hours: 24 hours
  • Payment method: Cash, credit card
Data Cellular and Backbone Cellular are also reliable spots in Jakarta airport that sell SIM card for tourists
Data Cellular and Backbone Cellular are also reliable spots in Jakarta airport that sell SIM card for tourists

Outside the Arrival Hall: There are 03 other stores: Data Cellular, Backbone Cellular (in front of you when you exit the arrival hall), and Telkomsel shop (official store of Telkomsel operator, on your left-hand side).

  • Opening hours: Data Cellular (7:00 am – 03:00 am), Telkomsel store (7:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Payment method: Cash, credit card
Telkomsel shop is located outside the Arrival Hall Terminal 3
Telkomsel shop is located outside the Arrival Hall Terminal 3

 3. In Jakarta center

  • How to buy: Buy at official stores, convenience stores like Alfamart. 
  • What to prepare: Passport, IDR cash, know store locations.
  • Price: Similar to airport but bundles offer more data/validity.
  • Pros: Widest selection, can compare easily. Staff speak English.
  • Cons: Need to commute after landing, stores may be busy.
Convenience stores like Alfamart provides prepaid tourist SIM cards
Convenience stores like Alfamart provides prepaid tourist SIM cards

III. Registration Process to Get a SIM Card at Jakarta Airport

Here are what to prepare and steps to take to get a SIM card at Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK), Indonesia:

  • Passport: You need to show your passport for registration and validation when buying a SIM card.  
  • Unlocked phone: Make sure your phone is unlocked to use a local SIM card. Contact your carrier if unsure about the phone’s locking status. 
  • Data plan budget: Decide how much mobile data you need and your budget. SIM cards offer different data allowances at varied price points.
  • Payment method: Stores accept cash and cards. Carry both if possible for flexibility at the payment counter.
  • Registration form: Fill a basic form online with your name, passport number, and so on. 
  • SIM card activation: Then the SIM card will be turned on. After 2-5 minutes, it will be ready to use.
  • SIM card installation: Insert it into your phone. Make sure that there is mobile data on your phone.
  • Network selection: If it is necessary, consider taking a provider such as XL or Telkomsel.
  • WiFi usage: You can switch on WiFi at the airport to see whether or not SIM is activated.

Pro Tip: You do not need to worry about the language barrier, as the staff at the SIM card shops at the airport can speak English. Besides, they will support the SIM card set-up process.

► Our Recommendation: If you want instant connectivity on arrival, you may buy SIM card at Jakarta airport. Nevertheless, consider cheaper options like buying online before departure or purchasing at trusted stores in Jakarta city center for more data and better deals. Besides, you may buy eSIM for the best flexibility, value, and convenience. 

IV. Best Tourist Soekarno–Hatta International Airport SIM Cards Deals and Prices

Three main mobile network providers in Jakarta: Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat
Three main mobile network providers in Jakarta: Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat
Good to know: $1 USD = 15,500 IDR;  10,000 IDR = $0.65 USD (updated in November 2023) 

Indonesia has three main mobile network carriers: Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata. Here are some popular SIM card options available for tourists at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport:

OperatorData/ ValidityPrice (IDR/USD)
Telkomsel8GB/ 30 daysIDR 200,000/ USD 13
Telkomsel14GB/ 30 daysIDR 260,000/ USD 17
Telkomsel25GB/ 30 daysIDR 450,000/ USD 30
Indosat9GB/ 30 daysIDR 230,000/ USD 15
Indosat25GB/ 30 daysIDR 350,000/ USD 23
XL Axiata 9GB/ 30 daysIDR 150,000/ USD 10
XL Axiata 15GB/ 30 daysIDR 250,000/ USD 17

All of these operators, especially Telkomsel provide great coverage across Indonesia. XL has an edge in data-only plans while Indosat offers great calling perks. You may select the SIM card options based on your needs and preferences.

V. Best mobile network in Jakarta – Coverage & Speed

Now that you know the best tourist Soekarno–Hatta International Airport SIM Card deals and prices. Let us delve into the best mobile network in Jakarta and their coverage and speeds:

1. Coverage in Jakarta

Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat have extensive coverage in Jakarta, Indonesia (source: nperf)
Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat have extensive coverage in Jakarta, Indonesia (source: nperf)

As we can see, all three main network operators have great coverage in Jakarta, the largest city as well as the capital of Indonesia. The signal is generally strong, so you may use a SIM card from them. 5G is now available in parts of Jakarta.

In addition, eSIM options from Gigago could be convenient for international tourists visiting Indonesia. They offer service on both 4G and 5G networks in Jakarta without needing a physical SIM card.

2. Data speed Jakarta

Data speeds of three main network carriers in Jakarta, Indonesia
Data speeds of three main network carriers in Jakarta, Indonesia

We can see that Telkomsel has the highest download speed of 26.1 Mbps and the highest upload speed of 11.1 Mbps. XL Axiata and Indosat ranked second and third, respectively, in terms of upload speed and download speed.  

Note: Tri 3 fully merged with Indosat in 2022.

Our conclusion + recommendation: Based on coverage and speed performance, Telkomsel has the most robust network across Jakarta. For tourists, Telkomsel would be the best choice to have internet access during their trip. An eSIM could also be a good backup if you want convenient and affordable connectivity.  

VI. Indonesia eSIM for Jakarta – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card Jakarta

Using an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card when traveling to Jakarta may be a great option. eSIM offers several benefits:

  • No need to hunt for a physical SIM at the airport or stores. Everything can be activated online from your phone.
  • Quick and hassle-free setup 
  • Flexible plans that work seamlessly across Indonesia’s major networks like Telkomsel and Indosat.
  • Easily switch plans or add data packages without having to swap SIM cards.
  • Support for both 4G and 5G networks everywhere.

By getting eSIM for Jakarta Indonesia from a trusted provider like Gigago, you will have:

  • Wide selection of both data-only and call-inclusive plans.
  • 24/7 online support if any issues come up.
  • Various packages with generous data allocations so you can stream, work, and travel hassle-free.

For Indonesia, Gigago offers multiple plans starting from a 5-day plan with 1GB per day for $5 with $5.00 . 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.

VII. FAQs

Should I get a SIM card before flying to Jakarta?

Yes! This helps you connect to the Internet as soon as you land at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. You can choose:
Prepaid SIM cards: Purchase a SIM card online and have it delivered to your house.
eSIMs: Ensure your device is eSIM-compatible.

What payment methods are accepted at SIM card booths at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport?

SIM card stalls typically only accept cash (IDR). Major cards may be accepted at Telkomsel and XL Axiata stores.

What is the best network for coverage in Jakarta?

Telkomsel typically has the widest and most reliable 4G coverage across the city. Indosat and XL Axiata are also good.

Should I buy a Jakarta SIM card at the airport or in the city?

It is often convenient to buy SIM card at Jakarta airport. Buying in Jakarta may offer better value if you do not need urgent connectivity.

VIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, getting a SIM card at Jakarta airport can be a convenient way for travelers to get online soon after landing in Jakarta. SIM card shops are located near the terminals for easy access. You may buy it in SIM card shops in the city for the best deals. We recommend buying from major operators like Telkomsel or Indosat. Their wide coverage networks ensure you stay connected wherever you travel in Indonesia. An eSIM is also a great reliable choice if you want to forgo the trouble of activating a physical card.

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