How to Use Cell Phone in Indonesia: Traveler’s Guide to Stay Connected

If your next trip is to Indonesia, you are undoubtedly wondering if you can use your cell phone there. While mobile service in Indonesia is generally decent, it may differ from what you use in your home country. This article will explore the best ways to use cell phone in Indonesia for travelers and the greatest options for staying connected while traveling in this country.

Use cell phone in Indonesia

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies and Networks in Indonesia

To access the Internet in Indonesia smoothly, you need to acknowledge the phone compatibility and frequencies as well as networks in Indonesia.

Phone compatibility: Indonesia primarily uses GSM (2G) and 3G networks, with the widespread adoption of 4G/LTE in urban areas.

  • 3G phones: Compatible with 3G networks, providing basic call and data services.
  • 4G phones: Ideal for faster data speeds and better coverage in urban areas.
  • Dual-SIM phones: Useful for using both a local SIM and your home SIM simultaneously.

Frequencies:

  • 2G (GSM): 900 MHz and 1800 MHz.
  • 3G (UMTS/WCDMA): 2100 MHz (B1).
  • 4G (LTE): Bands 3 (1800 MHz), 5 (850 MHz), 8 (900 MHz), 40 (2300 MHz).

Networks:

  • Major Indonesian mobile networks: Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata which have great coverage in cities and most tourist areas.
  • Tourists can purchase an Indonesian SIM card at arrival airports, stores in cities, or online from trusted suppliers.

Pro Tips:

  • To use Indonesian SIM cards, make sure your cell phone is unlocked.
  • Wifi is widely available in hotels, cafes, and public spaces. It is useful for data-heavy activities to save on data costs.
  • Dial 112 for general emergencies. English-speaking operators may be limited outside major cities.

II. Use Cell Phone In Indonesia – Will My Phone Work?

Your cell phone will work in Indonesia
Your cell phone will work in Indonesia

Yes. You are still able to use cell phone in Indonesia and connect to mobile internet while traveling in Indonesia. Before your trip, it is essential to:

  • Check to see whether your device has open bands. Your phone can only connect to other networks if it has open bands. Otherwise, you will have to use expensive abroad roaming service from your home carrier.
  • Compare the frequencies on your cellular network to those used in Indonesia. This way, you know how fast your Internet will be in Indonesia.

The table below displays the bands and frequencies used by Indonesian network carriers:

TechnologyBands
Bands 5Gn1 (2100MHz), n3 (1800MHz), n40 (2300MHz)
Bands 4GB3 (1800MHz), B5 (850MHz), B8 (900MHz), B40 (TDD 2300MHz)
Bands 3GB1 (2100MHz), B8(900MHz)
Bands 2GB3 (1800MHz), B8 (900MHz), CDMA BC0 (800MHz), CDMA BC1 (1900MHz)

III. Do I Need an International Plan in Indonesia?

Getting an international plan before travelling Indonesia
Getting an international plan before travelling Indonesia

Definitely! An international plan in Indonesia will help you access the Internet smoothly. Nevertheless, it is a costly option. If you use the overseas roaming service of your home carrier, you can incur pricey rates.

There are still lots of options that allow you to get online at budget-friendly rates such as prepaid SIM card, eSIM, pocket Wifi, etc. In addition, free Wifi is also a good option to access the Internet. Connecting to free Wifi sounds quite convenient, however, it is insecure and you will not able to hunt for hotels, cafes, restaurants, etc. to find free Wifi.

IV. What are Options to Use Cell Phone in Indonesia for Tourists?

Prepaid eSIM, international SIM card, and pocket Wifi are cell services that provide tourists with plans to use cellular data, make phone calls, or send messages while you travel in Indonesia. Let’s dive into the features and where to buy each of these services. 

1. eSIM plan for Indonesia

eSIM plans for tourists in Indonesia
eSIM plans for tourists in Indonesia

eSIMs for Indonesia is a great option with various innovative features compared to traditional physical SIM cards in Indonesia. All you need to have is a smartphone that supports eSIM technology. Then you can order, activate, and use it online effortlessly.

Suitable for: eSIM-compatible cell phones

Where to buy eSIM for Indonesia: order online from trusted providers

Pros: no store visit required, no risk of physical SIM loss, simple online activation

Cons: compatible phones required

Important Note: You may only utilize eSIM when your mobile phone is unlocked and supports eSIM. See our latest list of eSIM supported phones.

2. International SIM card for Indonesia

Prepaid sim card for traveler to Indonesia
Prepaid sim card for traveler to Indonesia

Prepaid international SIM cards should be a more popular option among travelers. They function similarly to the ones you use in your home country. You need to put the SIM in your phone’s designated slot.

Suitable for: any unlocked phone

Where to get a SIM card for Indonesia: kiosks at Indonesian airports, main operator stores, online before your trip.

Pros: budget-friendly rates, a wide selection of plans, all local networks available

Cons: SIM slot needed, risk of SIM loss when uninstalled

3. Pocket Wifi

Pocket Wifi for Indonesia - way to use cell phone in Indonesia
Pocket Wifi for Indonesia – way to use cell phone in Indonesia

Pocket Wifi is a small portable wireless hotspot where you can share the Internet with devices. This is also a popular alternative to get online while traveling in Indonesia. When you choose pocket Wifi, you will have to pay for the plan you get, the device rental, accessories, and delivery.

Suitable for: sharing data among a group traveling together

Where to get pocket Wifi for Indonesia: rent from airports or online before your trip

Pros: fast speeds; the whole family can connect

Cons: expensive rental price, extra things to carry

V. Will My Local Network Work in Indonesia?

Most likely possible!

Your local network from back home may work in Indonesia, however, using it can get very expensive. The roaming charges for calling, texting, and using data while overseas are much higher than at home.

You should know if your local network works in Indonesia
You should know if your local network works in Indonesia

If you don’t watch your usage closely, you could end up with a big phone bill at the end of your trip. Calls, texts, and apps seem normal while you’re using your phone, but the cost on your bill could shock you later!

Pro Tip: A cheaper option is to buy an Indonesian SIM card or an eSIM online before your trip. You can pay as you go at much lower rates than roaming charges.

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative to Get Internet in Indonesia with your Cell Phone

Gigago – A reliable eSIM provider offering diverse eSIM plans at reasonable prices
Gigago – A reliable eSIM provider offering diverse eSIM plans at reasonable prices

eSIM is the finest alternative to getting online while traveling in Indonesia. You just need a cell phone that supports eSIM technology, then purchase an eSIM plan online before your trip. The eSIM will be activated by scanning a QR code – no need to find a local SIM card store once you reach Indonesia. Best of all, you only pay for the data you use and you can easily extend your eSIM if your travel lasts longer than planned.

When choosing the eSIM provider for your Indonesia trip, consider Gigago – one of top eSIM providers in the world. Gigago offers multiple data plan options for Indonesia, 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.

eSIM Indonesia from Gigago are supported by robust networks across Indonesia like Indosat, XL Axiata, etc. You will be able to connect to the Internet wherever you go within the country. Gigago offers a diverse selection of eSIM plans at budget-friendly rates, and instant support via hotline, email in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, and so on.

Important Note: Remember to choose the Indonesia data package that best meets your needs and usage habits.

VII. Extra Tips to Use Cell Phone in Indonesia

If you prepare in advance and keep the following tips in mind, you will be able to use cell phone in Indonesia properly:

  • Check your cell phone compatibility with Indonesian frequencies and networks before traveling to this country.
  • Buying an Indonesian SIM card or an eSIM for better deals.
  • Download maps and translation apps before your trip.
  • Learn how to dial emergency numbers in Indonesia (112 for ambulances and 110 for police). Store these numbers on your cell phone just in case.
  • Turn off data when not in use to avoid going over the limit of your data plan.

VIII. Conclusion

To sum up, tourists can completely use cell phone in Indonesia. It is advisable to utilize a prepaid SIM card or an eSIM for Indonesia rather than abroad roaming for the best deals. Gigago eSIM for Indonesia will be a wise choice. Remember to opt for the package that suits your priorities and usage habits.