Indonesia has 4 GSM network operators:
- IM3 Ooredoo (a.k.a. Indosat)
- 3 (= Tri)
- XL Axiata
All others like Bakrie Telecom or Smartfren used to be CDMA providers incompatible with GSM devices. However Smartfren has started 4G/LTE on own frequencies and reaches 25 towns by LTE Advanced already. Bolt! started a LTE network based on TD-LTE in Jakarta and Medan. Both are not recommended for traveling. That's why they are included at the end of the list.
2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE has been started on Telkomsel, XL Axiata and IM3 on 900 MHz in Jakarta, Bali and other cities and from summer 2015 on all networks on 1800 MHz too.
Telkomsel is market leader with the best coverage reaching 98% of Indonesia. XL Axiata and Indosat give good speeds on the main islands while Tri is only covering some centers of the main islands.
So Telkomsel is the right choice for going to remote places, but it has the highest prices. XL Axiata and IM3 offer good alternatives on the main spots like Java, Sumatra, Bali or Lombok at lower prices. While Tri offers very good prices in the limited area where it has coverage.
Registration and availability Edit
All SIM cards need to be registered in Indonesia to be activated. This is done through a menu when you put in the SIM for the first time in your device. Sometimes, they come pre-registered on someone's name. There are no apparent problems so far with these fake activations. That's why often you don't need to show a passport. Let the seller activate the SIM for you and don't leave until it's connected.
Stay away from their airports stores especially in Bali airport. They will only sell you huge packages with a steep surcharge there. In town in many stores, you will get a SIM much cheaper, though tourists will aways pay a small surcharge and prices for start-up packages can be higher in tourist places. But the surcharge of 2-5% for loading credit (called pulsa) on your SIM in many minimarkets all over the country is paid by locals too.
Telkomsel (SimPATI, Kartu As, Loop) Edit
Telkomsel has a market share of about 40% in Indonesia and is the only operator which is active in all provinces. It caters for around 163 million users in 2016 making it the 6th largest cellular provider in the world. It is 2/3 owned by the state through Telekom Indonesia and 1/3 by SingTel from Singapore.
Telkomsel has the best coverage especially on the outer islands, but can be slow on the main places. 4G/LTE has started on 900 and 1800 MHz in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Medan, Surabaya, Makassar, Lombok and Manando: 4G Coverage Map. In 2016 they announced that their LTE network is now live in 100 cities in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, as well as Papua, thanks to the deployment of more than 4,500 eNode B base transceiver stations (BTS). Access is only possible with a special 4G SIM card sold in stores where they have 4G coverage.
Their prepaid SIM cards are called SimPATI, Kartu As or Loop while Kartu Halo is postpaid.
Their SIM cards are available at many stores and outlets at very variable prices. It can be as low as 2,000 IDR in special promotions, but normally start at 4,000-7,500 IDR. For tourists often prices of 15,000-25,000 IDR are charged and "businessmen" are reported to charge a multiple of it for an "all inclusive" service of setting it up. Kartu As and Loop are most often sold cheaper than SimPATI, but have higher rates for calls and texts and slower data. That's why SimPATI is recommended by most. For their 4G coverage, be sure to get a 4G-enabled SIM.
Top-ups can be made at the same places all over town where you see their sign. In Indonesia, every outlet charges a small surcharge of 1-3% for a top-up of 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 IDR. This is usual in the country and no rip-off, as the top-ups don't include a margin for the merchant. You may also top-up your balance through supermarkets and minimarkets.
Default data rate Edit
Telkomsel has one of the most complicated price structures for data in the world. Therefore only a part of their complex pricing can be shown. Three different product lines for prepaid are sold:
- SimPATI (the most popular and cheapest line)
- Kartu As
- Loop (their "youth line")
Default rate on all cards for data is free up to 100 MB/month, then 60 IDR per 2 kB up to a max. of 25,000 IDR. Beyond, data is shut off and you need to buy packages.
Now things get really complicated as Telkomsel data rates differ between regions and various places and ways to top-up. Generally you have two choices of loading data to your SIM: Pulsa or Flash.
Pulsa is data credit that can be topped up directly in an outlet of the provider. So every IDR converts directly into MBs. There are three different kinds of Pulsas:
- Pulsa 777: is national credit. This means you get the same amount of credit all over Indonesia, no matter where you are.
- Pulsa 369: is local credit. This means you will get a variable amount of credit depending where you top-up in Indonesia and a part of your data allowance can only be consumed locally.
- Pulsa sold in mini- and supermarkets: This is the most common and a mixture of both above: all given data is valid nationwide like Pulsa 777, but it's given out in local quantities like Pulsa 369 depending where you top-up. Add a 2-5% fee.
It sounds confusing and it is. All Pulsa doesn't auto-renew. It must be loaded again. It can be added to all three product lines Kartu As, Simpati and Loop for the same rate.
Pulsa 777 with national credit has these denominations sold and valid all over the country:
|5,000 IDR||7 days||10 MB|
|10,000 IDR||7 days||30 MB|
|20,000 IDR||7 days||80 MB|
|25,000 IDR||30 days||150 MB|
|50,000 IDR||30 days||450 MB|
|100,000 IDR||30 days||1.5 GB|
Pulsa 369 has a multidude of internet quotas that vary depending on the location of the purchase. Pulsa 369 is generally cheaper than Pulsa 777, but less flexible, when you are travelling.
For this Telkomsel divides the country into 12 different zones. Sumatra and Java are the cheapest, followed by Bali. The further outlying the islands are, the higher the rate will be. The Maluku Islands and West Papua are the most expensive. That's why we display here a price range for Pulsa 369:
|Top-up||Time||National data||Local data||Bonuses|
|5,000 IDR||7 days||20-40 MB|
|10,000 IDR||7 days||50-110 MB|
|20,000 IDR||7 days||200-420 MB|
|25,000 IDR||30 days||360 MB||0-440 MB|
|50,000 IDR||30 days||800-1000 MB||0-500 MB||2 GB for 4G, 1 GB at night|
|100,000 IDR||30 days||2.5 GB||0-2 GB||5 GB for 4G, 3 GB at night|
The 4G bonus is only given out where there is 4G coverage and is only valid for 15 days. The night bonus is only valid midnight to 7am.
To make things even more complicated, most supermarkets and minimarkets sell Pulsa that are a kind of mixture between both Pulsas 369 and 777. This means, that on their Pulsa the total data allowance is valid nationwide, but top-up quota differs according to region of purchase.
These Pulsas are sold in markets like 7-Eleven, Food Hall, Alfamart, Alfa MIDI, Indomaret, Circle K, Carrefour, Yogya Mart, Minimart, Yomart, Pepito, Griyamart, Cocomart, POS Indonesia, Maju Bersama, Kredit Plus, Multimart, Pegadaian, Superindo and others:
|20,000 IDR||7 days||200-420 MB|
|25,000 IDR||30 days||360-800 MB|
|50,000 IDR||30 days||800-1500 MB||2 GB for 4G, 1 GB at night|
|100,000 IDR||30 days||2.5-4.5 GB||5 GB for 4G, 3 GB at night|
|150,000 IDR||30 days||4.5-6.5 GB||5 GB for 4G, 3 GB at night|
|200,000 IDR||30 days||7-9 GB||5 GB for 4G, 3 GB at night|
|300,000 IDR||30 days||11-14 GB||5 GB for 4G, 3 GB at night|
Then there is Flash. These are usual internet packages that are taken from you pre-loaded general credit in IDR. Again, these packages differ according to region. Here they are given for the Bali tourist region. You can activate a package by dialling *363# after you have loaded enough rupiahs.
|20 MB||1 day||3,500 IDR||15 MB||1 day||2,000 IDR|
|40 MB||2 days||4,500 IDR||25 MB||1 day||3,000 IDR|
|50 MB||7 days||9,000 IDR||60 MB||7 days||9,000 IDR|
|100 MB||7 days||14,000 IDR||200 MB||7 days||12,000 IDR|
|300 MB||7 days||25,000 IDR||500 MB||7 days||30,000 IDR|
|600 MB||30 days||45,000 IDR||900 MB||30 days||50,000 IDR|
|1 GB||30 days||55,000 IDR||1.3 GB||30 days||70,000 IDR|
|2 GB+||30 days||88,000 IDR||2 GB+||30 days||90,000 IDR|
|4 GB+||30 days||140,000 IDR||3.5 GB+||30 days||135,000 IDR|
|6 GB+||30 days||199,000 IDR||8 GB+||30 days||270,000 IDR|
|8 GB+||30 days||270,000 IDR||14 GB+||30 days||450,000 IDR|
|14 GB+||30 days||480,000 IDR|
Activation is by USSD code *363# or on your account on www.telkomsel.com/infoflash. If you choose option 1 ("opsi 1") your bundle will be once-off, option 2 ("opsi 2"), your bundle will be recurrent. Big packages marked with (+) in the table contain 5 GB 4G/LTE-only data in 4G coverage areas for 15 days as a bonus.
The indicated prices are charged similar on Java and Bali, on outlying islands it can be higher, up to 20% in West Papua. For the exact prices in your region refer to this site (which can be quite buggy).
Summing up Edit
Pulsa 777 packages are the most expensive, but they are the only ones, that are valid with the same quota all over the country. Using Flash is about the same than Pulsa 369 or those bought in supermarkets, but Pulsa 369 contains data that can only be used locally, where Flash and supermarket Pulsa use local quotas for top-ups, but these data can be used nationwide. The advantage of Flash vs. Pulsa is that Flash can be booked anytime by USSD code if you have enough IDR balance, while for topping-up Pulsa, you need to go to an outlet or minimarket. If you travel a lot, you should try to buy your Pulsa or Flash in a central island, avoid Pulsa 369 and bring it along to a more remote place.
More info Edit
- Check balance by *888# and data balance by *889#
- APN: telkomsel /or/ internet
- Website: http://www.telkomsel.com/
IM3 Ooredoo (Indosat Oooredoo) Edit
IM3 Ooredoo, a.k.a. Indosat, has become the 2rd operator in Indonesia. It's focusing on triple play and mostly owned by Ooredoo, which rebranded it in 2015. It has a good coverage on the main islands of Java, Bali, Kalimatan, Sulawesi and Sumatra: Indosat coverage map at low prices. 4G/LTE has started in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali and is available in about 94 cities at the end of 2016 on 900 and 1800 MHz with speeds up to 185 Mbps: 4G coverage map
Their prepaid product line is now called Freedom Max. Former Mentari or IM product lines have been faded out.
Their Freedom Max SIM cards are available at many stores and outlets where you see their logo. They offer starter packs, which are often sold with a small merchant's surcharge at around 4,000 IDR plus the surcharge. It has only a very limited data od 25 MB included. Facebook use is zero-rated and not debited from your allowance.
Data feature packages Edit
You can add these data packs in up to 4G speed or 185 Mbps, available in 42 cities:
|24 hours||5 MB||2,000 IDR||Harian1k|
|24 hours||15 MB||3,500 IDR||Internet3k|
|24 hours||50 MB||5,500 IDR||Internet5k|
|7 days||100 MB||10,000 IDR||Internet10k|
|30 days||1 GB||2 GB||40,000 IDR||Internet40k|
|30 days||2 GB||3 GB||60,000 IDR||Internet60k|
|30 days||3 GB||5 GB||80,000 IDR||Internet80k|
|30 days||5 GB||8 GB||130,000 IDR||Internet130k|
|30 days||8 GB||10 GB||160,000 IDR||Internet160k|
To activate, text code to 363 or type *123#. The 4G bonus comes on top of the regular quota, if you have 4G coverage. Standard rate outside of packages is 1.5 IDR per KB. Check package volume by typing *123# or text 'USAGE' to 343. Some areas will get more data bonuses. All packages auto-renew.
You can upsize these packages above by these add-ons valid for the running time of the original pack:
- 200 MB: 15,000 IDR, activation: Extra<blank>15k
- 600 MB: 25,000 IDR, activation: Extra<blank>25k
- 2 GB: 40,000 IDR , activation: Extra<blank>40k
- 4 GB: 60,000 IDR, activation: Extra<blank>60k
- 6 GB: 80,000 IDR, activation: Extra<blank>80k
To activate type *123# and select Super Internet > Extra package or text code to 363. Or extra night packages are offered only valid 1am-6am:
- 600 MB: 7,900 IDR, activation: Extramalam<blank>7900
- 2 GB: 20,000 IDR, Extramalam<blank>20K
More Info Edit
- APN: indosatgprs
- More info in English: http://indosat.com/id/personal
3 (= Tri)Edit
3 called Tri in Indonesia is now the 3rd provider with the lowest coverage, but the cheapest rates. It is owned by Hutchison Whampoa. It has a limited coverage only in some main islands. If you want to travel through the archipelago or to remote places, look elsewhere. Before you buy their SIM, check coverage here for 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE: http://tri.co.id/coverage .
Up to now 3 has been focusing its efforts on its 3G network rollout, deploying access to the 2,820 sub-districts, 307 municipalities/regencies in 25 provinces in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Bali and Lombok. As of 2015, the cellco had extended its national footprint to 86% of the Indonesian population.
In 2015 Tri started 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (Band 3) in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan and is going to launch in Jakarta, Bandung, Batam, Pontianak and Makassar in 2016.
Their different prepaid SIM card are available in a some stores (locator) where they have coverage for around 5,000 IDR. It comes with the same credit. Top-ups called Pulsa can be bought from 1000 to 100,000 IDR as vouchers or e-top-ups.
Data feature packages Edit
Data is on default is low 1 IDR per KB.
You can add data credit, called Kuota++. This can be bought be topping up with voucher *111*<Voucher PIN># or online:
- 2,000 IDR: 20 MB
- 3,000 IDR: 35 MB
- 5,000 IDR: 80 MB
- 7,000 IDR: 135 MB
- 10,000 IDR: 300 MB
- 20,000 IDR: 650 MB
- 33,000 IDR: 1.25 GB
- 45,000 IDR: 2 GB
- 85,000 IDR: 4.25 GB
- 150,000 IDR: 9 GB
Internet validity period follows the card’s validity period that can be more than 30 days. Credit top-up will automatically extend the validity period of the Internet and the card (IDR 1,000 = 1 day validity).
For the night hours (midnight-6am), these packages are sold:
- 7,500 IDR: 500 MB
- 20,000 IDR: 2.5 GB
- 65,000 IDR: 10 GB
Alternatively, you can add these regular monthly data packs by typing *123# and choose Paket Internet or Packet Data:
- 500 MB: 35,000 IDR
- 1 GB: 50,000 IDR
- 2 GB: 75,000 IDR
- 5 GB: 125,000 IDR
More info Edit
- APN: 3gprs
- Website in Indonesian only: http://tri.co.id/
XL Axiata (includes former Axis) Edit
XL Axiata is the 4th provider in Indonesia. It is owned by Axiata Ltd. and has about a 90% coverage on these islands: Java, Bali and Lombok. Furthermore, it covers cities on Sumatra, Kalimatan, Sulawesi and a very limited coverage on Papua. Where it has 3G, speeds are often faster then Telkomsel. 4G/LTE has started in Jakarta, Medan, Yogyakarta and is spread to other regions like Bali, Lombok and Surabaya on 900 and 1800 MHz: 4G Coverage Map covering 86 districts in 2016, which is expected to rise to 100 by the end of the year with speeds up to 100 Mbps.
Their SIM cards are available at many stores and outlets where you see their logo. They offer two starter packs, which are often sold with a small merchant's surcharge: Kartu Perdana XL for 5,000 IDR: including 2 MB 3G or 4G/LTE data
Top-ups can be made at the same places all over town where you see their sign. In Indonesia, the merchands charge a small surcharge of 1-2% for a top-up of 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 IDR or more or you buy one of their internet vouchers (see below). Validity is 7 to 360 days depending of the amount. To top up type *123*<voucher PIN># <call>.
Data feature packages Edit
Default data rate differs according to plan and region but is 1 IDR per KB. They offer different types of packages:
- classical packs on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE called Hotrod
- Combo Xtra packages with a 2G/3G/4G allowance and a 4G bonus plus some voice
For 3G and 4G data up to 100 Mbps, they have these packages available.
- Daily packs:
- 15 MB: 1,500 IDR
- 60 MB: 3,000 IDR
- 100 MB: 4,500 IDR
- Weekly pack:
- 120 MB: 6,000 IDR
- 350 MB; 12,000 IDR
- Monthly packs:
- 800 MB: 30,000 IDR
- 1.5 GB: 50,000 IDR
- 3 GB: 60,000 IDR,
- 6 GB: 100,000 IDR
- 8 GB: 130,000 IDR,
- 12 GB: 180,000 IDR
- 16 GB: 230,000 IDR
All Packages are on 2G, 3G and 4G and can be activated via *123#. Automatic renewal applies automatically at midnight. You can check your quota and active period via *123#.
These combo packages called Combo Xtra are sold all valid for 30 days:
|1 GB||500 MB||30 mins||39,000 IDR|
|2 GB||10 GB||50 mins||59.000 IDR|
|4 GB||15 GB||75 mins||89,000 IDR|
|6 GB||20 GB||100 mins||129,000 IDR|
|10 GB||30 GB||125 mins||179,000 IDR|
|16 GB||40 GB||150 mins||239,000 IDR|
Activation is by *123#. The 4G/LTE bonus comes on top of the regular data allowance. All packages auto-renew after 30 days. When internet quota has been used up, there will be a display of notification page or you will be charged IDR 1 per KB.
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website: partly in English: http://www.xl.co.id/en/home
Smartfren (only 4G/LTE) Edit
Smartfren by Indonesian PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk is a major player in the country. It has about 13 million customers in 2016. It hasn't been listed before as it uses GSM-incompatible CDMA and EVDO rev.2 instead of GSM 2G/3G, but this has faded out.
In 2016 Smartfren started the most widespread and fastest LTE in the country so far. It employs LTE Advanced that reaches higher speeds through carrier aggregation. But two rare frequencies are used: 850 MHz FDD (Band 5) and 2300 MHz HDD (Band 40).
Smartfren's coverage is on the islands of Java and Bali, parts of Sumatra, Sulawesi, Lombok and Kalimantan. It started 4G/LTE in 25 centers so far (coverage map: for 4G untick EVDO) and reached 188 cities in 2016.
They launched 4G/LTE SIM cards in 2015. Be aware that you don't have any coverage outside of 4G/LTE on a GSM device. Without VoLTE offered, there will be no voice for GSM users, only VoIP option possible. Furthermore, you need to check if your device covers at least one of their LTE bands. Alternatively, you can think of buying a Mifi router. You can get a basic SIM card for 20,000 IDR with the same credit.
4G/LTE offer Edit
Their SIM card for 4G/LTE is sold on the street or in their service centers (list). The 4G/LTE product line is called "Smartplan Galaxy" and comes as a promotion in these packages:
- for a week: 20,000 IDR: 300 MB
- for a month:
- 50,000 IDR: 1 GB
- 75,000 IDR: 2 GB
- 100,000 IDR: 4 GB
- 150,000 IDR: 8 GB
All the packages have small voice and text allowances too, that you can't use on 4G or use their VoLTE app. You can purchases bundles through their app or online . All packages auto-renew after one month. You can add 50 MB in one day for 3,000 IDR or 300 MB in one week for 20,000 IDR for extra data.
Router offer Edit
If you don't have a capable device, you can buy a cheap MiFi router. They sell in their stores the Andromax M2S mobile Wi-Fi router for IDR 299,000 covering all of their frequencies in CDMA and LTE (link). Starter set comes with 1.5 GB data and 3 GB night data for 30 days and some refill bonuses.
More info Edit
- APN: smartfren4g
- Username and password: smatfren
- 4G Website in Indonesian: http://www.smartfren.com
Bolt! (only 4G/TD-LTE) Edit
Bolt! by Internux is an Indonesian wireless broadband provider based on TD-LTE. It started in 2014 and has already 2 mio. customers. It uses the rare 2300 MHz TD-LTE band 40 that is not normally covered by usual devices. That's why you are likely to buy new hardware for them. It only operates so far in the cities of Jakarta and Medan (coverage maps). It's more like a substitute for a landline ADSL-provider than a travel option.
As most devices don't carry TD-LTE band 40, Bolt! offers an array of WiFi hotpots (from IDR 299,000), Smartphones (from IDR 599,000) or routers (from IDR 799,000). Some Samsung Galaxy phones actually include this band. For new phones Bolt! gives out SIM cards only called Thunder Bolt!
You get the SIM card and hardware in Bolt! shops (locator) and some partner shops. There and in many chain stores you can top-up credit (= Pulsa). Top-ups of IDR 25,000-500,000 are possible.
Data rates Edit
These data packages can be booked online:
|1.5 GB||30 days||29,000 IDR|
|3 GB||49,000 IDR|
|8 GB||99,000 IDR|
|13 GB||149,000 IDR|
|17 GB||199,000 IDR|
|55 GB||180 days||600,000 IDR|
|110 GB||365 days||1,200,000 IDR|
|Night packages (1am - 8am only):|
|3 GB||30 days||25,000 IDR|
|9 GB||70,000 IDR|
|13 GB||100,000 IDR|
|18 GB||150,000 IDR|
|26 GB||200,000 IDR|
|40 GB||180 days||300,000 IDR|
|80 GB||600,000 IDR|
|160 GB||365 days||1,200,000 IDR|
More info Edit
- For voice calls Bolt! offers a special app for Android and iOS called Bolt Talk.
- SIM card and plan management is done through another app called MyBolt!
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://www.bolt.id