One of the most frustrating when you travel full time is bad Wi-Fi connection, worse still, or no Wi-Fi connect. While the inner in nowadays person can’t deal without being connected.
In our home countries we have convince of having internet access whenever we are, but when travel aboard this change completely.
Instead we become slaves to free Wi-Fi which often slow, unsecure, hard to find or non-existent.
So, how do you stay online when you travel especially in Bali Indonesia? No worries!! We’ve got you covered!
BEFORE GETTING SIM CARD
- Check whether your phone is unlocked or not
If you are from US, Canada or Japan, make sure you check with your carrier before travelling to Indonesia, if your phone device is locked you won’t be able to use Indonesia’s SIM CARD
- Make sure your devices support GSM network frequencies
WHERE TO BUY A SIM CARD
The first thing you need to do is find a place that sells SIM Card. The most obvious place to find a SIM card in Bali is at a major airport. A number of cell phone companies will have little booths as you are making your way out and it’s easy to pick up cards here. They might be slightly more expensive than typical, but no more than a few dozen rupiah, and it’s certainly convenient.
If you forget buy the SIM cards when you are in airport, don’t be worry, then look for shops that sell mobile phones. Many little neighbourhood warungs or the local call it with ‘counter’ stores also sell them. Or if you having hard time to finding one, ask a
local ‘counter paling dekat dimana? Saya mau membeli kartu SIM untuk handphone saya’ (where is the counter nearest? I want to bay a SIM cards for my phone’. And the local will help you find it.
CHOOSING MOBILE PHONE PROVIDER
While considered slightly more expensive, TELKOMSEL has by far the best coverage across Indonesia, and generally the fastest speeds. This can vary slightly by region or the exact spot you are in, but in general Telkomsel’s your best bet.
The second most popular provider would be XL (which could be a good second choice, if you have a dual SIM phone). There also Smartfren, 3/Tri, Axis, Indosat, and few others. If you plan on setting down in one spot for a while, ask the local what’s best, or check out coverage maps by clicking the links of each providers.
BUYING A PREPAID SIM CARD IN BALI, INDONESIA
No matter the provider, a SIM card Indonesia is generally pretty cheap, sometime starting as low as 10.000 IDR. Price can vary depending on how much data is preloaded onto them, where you are buying them.
If you in doubt about the data, you have to asking to the seller, because some many data just for a single area. It’s important to make sure the advertised data is useful to you. Or, you can just buy a cheap card and top it up. And don’t forget to make note of your phone’s new number.
REGISTERING THE INDONESIAN SIM CARD
As of 1 May, 2018, a new regulation has fully come into effect, requiring all foreigners to register their cards with either their Passport, or KITAS, or KITAP (the last two being long-term visas which the regular visitor doesn’t need to worry about). Unfortunately, this registration can only be done at an official Telkomsel or Grapari office (if you choose Telkomsel SIM cards), and not at the point of sale! It’s quite inconvenient to say the least! Thankfully, these Grapari offices are never too far of a drive away, so between driving and waiting in line, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours, hopefully much less. All you need to do it bring your passport to the office, tell the greeter at the door that you want to registrasi kartu, then wait for your turn. They’ll take down your info, punch it in to the computer, and you should be good to go. There are varying reports about the length of time it takes to get the SMS confirmation that you’ve successfully registered – sometimes pretty much instantly (as it was for me), sometimes a few hours, and sometimes as long as a day. Anything more than that, then it’s likely that for some reason it wasn’t successful, and you’ll have to return to the office and try again.
If you choose XL you can go to XL Axiata, and if you choose the other SIM cards just finds the office on google by type the name of your SIM.
INITIAL TOP UP
When buying the card, if you like you can also ask them to add more data or pulsa (phone credit) onto the phone at this time. Generally, pulsa is purchased in sizes of 5,000 IDR up to 100,000 IDR. Sometimes in smaller shops and warungs, 100,000 IDR packets will be kosong, or all used up, so try for 50,000 or 25,000 instead if that’s the case. Most shops will charge around 2,000 IDR in addition to the amount of pulsa you’re loading on.
If your phone requires a nano or micro SIM, either snap out the appropriate size of the card, or ask the shop owner to cut it with their tool. Make sure it all works, and check your pulsa and data amount before you leave the store. If you confused how to check your pulsa, you can asking to the seller how to checking the pulsa, generally if you use Telkomsel just dial *888# and if you choose XL you can dial *123#
- Like when purchasing the SIM card, find a cell phone shop or small warung advertising that it can isi (fill up) pulsa, or pulsa dijual (pulsa is sold here). Look for banners with logos of the various mobile phone providers as well.
- Walk up to the attendant and request to “isi pulsa.” If there isn’t already a notebook filled with numbers on the counter, they’ll pull it out.
- Write down your number in the notebook, plus how much pulsa you want (minimum 5000, if you will get internet packet data you should buy at least 50000)
- Write down your number, and the amount of pulsa you want to buy. The attendant will type your number into their phone, and add the requested amount. You should almost immediately get a notification message from your provider on your phone informing that you successfully added pulsa, although this can sometimes take a few minutes.
- Expect to pay the attendant around 2,000 IDR on top of the amount of pulsa you purchased.
***Another way to top up credits on a prepaid SIM card in Indonesia is through the Traveloka app or website. This is especially nice when you’ve run out in the middle of the night, when you’re out of the country, when you need to pay by credit card for some reason, or if you just like contributing to modern society’s continued obsession with automation and human isolation (ok, I’ll stop ranting now). The app is pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t go into detail. Just download it and open Top-Up & Data Packages and follow the steps.***
TOPPING UP YOUR DATA
This process is pretty complicated. You should know Indonesia language then. If you use Telkomsel and you understand Bahasa, yau can register your data by yourself by dial *863# and then will show –paket internet terbaik- there are 3 packet you can choose 1. Flash bulanan (which last a month, unless you use all your data before that) 2. Flash mingguan (good for a week) or 3. Flash Harian (just one day)
For example you wil choose flash mingguan,
You can replay with 3 and then send it, after that, there will show the message like this. This is also where you can see the price of the chosen package.
Make sure you still have that amount of the pulsa left on your phone, otherwise it won’t work. Choose 2 sekali beli (one time purchase).
You’ll receive the confirmation SMS below from Telkomsel, telling you that your data package is active, and the date your data expires. Now you’re good to go. FYI – if you haven’t already used up your purchased data, and you buy a new data package before that expiration date, then the data will stack and you’ll be able to continue using your previously purchased data.
If you are in doubt or you are not choose Telkomsel you can asking for help to the seller to top up your data ☺