When planning a visit to Indonesia, having a reliable means of communication is essential. Nowadays, being able to access the internet while traveling is incredibly convenient, as it allows you to easily navigate new cities, discover the best restaurants, find directions to your accommodation, book a taxi, and even share moments with your loved ones through photos.
While roaming is an option, the costs can quickly accumulate when traveling internationally. That’s why we highly recommend either getting an eSim or a local sim card to take advantage of local phone rates. Thankfully, obtaining either option in Indonesia is a breeze, but it’s useful to know which one is the most suitable for your needs.
This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a sim card in Indonesia, including the latest prices and the absolute best sim card for you.
The best local sim card in Indonesia is the Telkomsel InternetMax or Tourist prepaid sim card. Telkomsel has the widest data coverage across the country making it a much better option than their competitors. The price and package will vary depending where you are travelling to in Indonesia.
By far the most expensive island in Indonesia to purchase a sim card is Bali. However, this is also where most international tourists arrive so you are most likely going to have to purchase your sim card here as well. Seek out a Telkomsel sim card when you get into town. It should cost around 250K IDR and come with 18GB of local data.
If you’re visiting a different region such as Jakarta then you can expect to pay significantly less. Telkomsel sim cards are usually around 70 – 80K IDR outside of Bali.
Regardless of where you purchase your sim card, there will be two different amounts of internet / data offered. ‘Internet’ refers to data that can be used across the entire country, whilst ‘local quota’ refers to the data that can be used in the region / island you purchased your sim card. IF you’re planning to visit multiple islands then you may need to ration your internet or purchase multiple local sim cards.
This is all undoubtedly very confusing and that’s because it is. You don’t really know what you’re going to end up paying until you get to Indonesia and you don’t know whether it will work when you travel to other islands.
For this reason, I recommend all travellers to Indonesia to consider purchasing an Airalo eSim instead. This way you can purchase exactly the amount of data you require and don’t have to worry about all the issues that can arise when you buy a local sim card. Airalo even uses the Telkomsel network so you get the same coverage and reliability.
And if you’re planning to visit multiple islands you don’t need to worry about local data vs national data – Airalo just works everywhere. It’s really the best option if you’re arriving in Bali. We’d only recommend a local sim card if you don’t plan to visit Bali at all.
A Tourist Sim Card in Indonesia costs between 70k and 300k IDR in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Indonesia will cost between $5.50 USD and $40 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.
I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Indonesia which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $16.50 USD.
In Indonesia, there are three main sim card providers that dominate the mobile telecommunications industry. Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Smartfren are widely recognized names in the country.
As the largest provider, Telkomsel offers reliable coverage nationwide and boasts a vast customer base. XL Axiata is known for its competitive pricing and extensive network coverage, making it a popular choice among users. Smartfren, on the other hand, is known for its internet services, offering fast and affordable data packages to cater to the growing demand for mobile data.
These providers offer a variety of plans and services, including prepaid and postpaid options, internet data packs, and international calling packages. With their strong market presence, these sim card providers continue to play a crucial role in connecting Indonesians to the digital world.
Telkomsel is a leading telecommunications provider in Indonesia, offering tourist SIM cards for travelers. Their tourist SIM cards provide convenient and affordable access to reliable internet and communication services, allowing tourists to stay connected throughout their journey. With extensive coverage across the country, Telkomsel ensures a seamless experience for tourists, enabling them to navigate, share their experiences, and communicate easily.
The price of a Telkomsel tourist sim card in Indonesia is 250K IDR.
The plan offered by Telkomsel stores includes 18GB data valid for 30 days.
XL Axiata is a leading telecommunications company in Indonesia. Known for its reliable network coverage, they offer tourist SIM cards for visitors to Indonesia. These SIM cards provide affordable data packages, allowing tourists to stay connected and navigate the country easily. With XL Axiata’s SIM cards, visitors can enjoy fast internet speeds, make local calls, and send text messages without worry. They are a trusted choice for tourists seeking convenience and connectivity during their stay in Indonesia.
The price of a XL Axiata tourist sim card in Indonesia is 250k IDR.
The plan offered by XL Axiata stores offers 18GB valid for 30 days.
Smartfren is a renowned telecommunications provider in Indonesia offering reliable tourist sim cards to visitors. Their sim cards come with affordable data plans allowing tourists to stay connected throughout their visit. With widespread coverage across the country, travelers can enjoy uninterrupted internet access, making it easier to navigate and explore Indonesia. Smartfren’s excellent customer service ensures that tourists have a hassle-free experience and can make the most of their trip.
The price of a Smartfren tourist sim card in Indonesia is 250K IDR.
The plan offered by Smartfren stores includes 20GB data valid for 30 days.
Identify mobile providers: Telkomsel, XL Axiata and Smartfren are your best options in Indonesia.
Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.
Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.
Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.
Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.
Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Indonesia at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.
However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.
In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.
If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Indonesia then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Indonesia have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.
If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.
I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Telkomsel, XL Axiata and Smartfren. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Indonesia are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.
Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Indonesia with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.
The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.
The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!
An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.
We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Indonesia. The Airalo Indonesia eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.
In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $16.50 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Indonesia without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Indonesia is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Indonesia and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.
Airalo’s Indonesia eSim uses the Telkomsel network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Telkomsel networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Indonesia.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Indonesia eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $5.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $8 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $11 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $16.50 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $24.75 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $40 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $16.50 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.
An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.
Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Indonesia eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Indonesia eSim uses the Hutchison 3 Indonesia/Telekomunikasi Selularnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Indonesia
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Indonesia eSim:
Unlimited data valid for 5 days – Price: $19 USD
Unlimited data valid for 7 days – Price: $27 USD
Unlimited data valid for 10 days – Price: $34 USD
Unlimited data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
Unlimited data valid for 20 days – Price: $54 USD
Unlimited data valid for 30 days – Price: $64 USD
Unlimited data valid for 60 days – Price: $84 USD
Unlimited data valid for 90 days – Price: $99 USD
An eSIM, which stands for embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is incorporated within a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike the traditional physical SIM cards, the eSIM does not require any physical insertion or removal from the device.
Instead, the eSIM is an integrated part of the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This feature enables users to effortlessly switch between different mobile networks or plans without the need to physically switch SIM cards.
The eSIM technology offers users convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, particularly for those who frequently change mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the hassle of buying and inserting physical SIM cards, making it more convenient to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services just like with a traditional SIM card.
There are several benefits of using an eSIM:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans.
– Dual SIM functionality: Have two active mobile numbers on one device.
– Space-saving: No need for a physical SIM card slot, freeing up space within the device.
– Remote provisioning: Activate or switch to a new mobile plan without a physical SIM card.
– Future-proofing: Ensure compatibility with new services and offerings as eSIM technology advances.
In summary, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity.
eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:
Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.
Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.
Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.
OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.
Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.
These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.
Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!
Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:
Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.
Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.
Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.
Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.
Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.
Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is.