Communication and Internet in Indonesia

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

To communicate with relatives and friends at home while staying in Indonesia, it is best to use a cellular connection, but not a home operator. You can purchase a local SIM card, or use special tourist SIM cards. It is very expensive to use landlines in hotels to call home. And now more about each type of communication:

Mobile phone service in Indonesia

Mobile voice communication in Indonesia is no worse developed than in other countries. The coverage area covers all popular tourist resorts and major cities, there is no signal only on small islands and in remote areas of Papua province.

There are three main operators in the country, and if you purchase a SIM card, it is best to buy one of them:

  • Telkomsel
  • XL Axiatra (Excelcomindo)
  • Indosat

Calls to the Russian Federation should be made using the code 01017 + number in the Russian Federation without 8, i.e. for example, if you need to call the number in FR 8999**1212, you need to dial 01017 999**1212 . In this case, a minute of conversation will cost from 10 rubles, SMS – 2 rubles.

Calls to local phones will cost 3-6 rubles, billing per second. The first minute is more expensive, after the first minute it is much cheaper, i.e. the longer one conversation lasts, the cheaper the tariff. Tariffs will be valid throughout the country, there is no roaming by region. In the evening and at night, the cost of calls is slightly lower.

For calls from the Russian Federation and other countries to local cell numbers, you need to replace the first 0 in the number with +62 (Indonesia's phone code).

Internet in Indonesia

It is better not to use the SIM card of your home operator to access the Internet in Indonesia, it is too expensive. Expenses can reach tens of thousands of rubles. You can connect special options from Russian operators, this will allow you not to go broke, but it will still be much more expensive than special tourist SIM cards or local cards.

Unlike most countries in Southeast Asia, where Wi-Fi is the norm in every hotel, it's worse in Indonesia so far. Wireless Internet is not available in all hotels, even in popular tourist destinations. If you absolutely need the Internet in the hotel for work, then it is better to take this feature into account when searching for a hotel. If access to the network is needed only to maintain communication, then it will be enough to purchase a SIM card with mobile Internet, and not be tied to the search for hotels with Wi-Fi. Also, Wi-Fi can be "caught" in cafes and restaurants, large shopping centers, in Internet cafes for a fee.

Mobile Internet is less developed here than in the Russian Federation. 3G networks, although in fact the speed is even lower. 4G is just beginning to develop. When buying a SIM card for using the Internet, do not strive to purchase cards with supposedly high access speeds, in fact it will still be small. But the good thing is that, though slow, but true: the network works smoothly, the signal is good.

To connect to the network, it is best to purchase SIM cards from one of the major operators:

  • Telkomsel
  • XL Axiatra (Excelcomindo)
  • Indosat

It is most economical to use packages. Many options of different duration and volume are offered. One of the most popular among tourists is SimPATI from Telkomsel. Here are the rates for packages using the example of SimPATI:

  • 5GB for 3 days – 28,000 rupees (120 rubles)
  • 5GB for 7 days – 36,000 rupees (150 rubles)
  • 10GB for 7 days – 45,000 rupees (190 rubles)
  • 6GB for 30 days – 60,000 rupees (250 rubles)
  • 9GB for 30 days – 90,000 rupees (380 rubles)
  • 16GB for 30 days – 140,000 rupees (600 rubles)

Please note that on some tariffs, the traffic volume is divided into day and night. I.e., for example, you can use 2GB only during the day, and 3GB only at night. This is all indicated in the tariff descriptions, you can find more details here -

In order not to waste a lot of time and not to study a bunch of information about packages, you can immediately focus on the SimPATI package, or when buying, simply indicate to the sellers the conditions (how much volume and validity period you need), and you will be offered options to choose from.

Where to buy SIM cards

No passport is required to purchase a SIM card. You can buy cards in communication salons on the street, in salons in shops, at the airport. There are a lot of them in tourist areas and large cities, you will find them without any problems. If the situation tolerates, it is better not to rush and not buy a card at the airport. The cheapest cards are in shopping malls.

It is better to ask the seller to activate the card and connect the Internet immediately upon purchase.

Cards are sold at a price of 20,000 rupees (from 80 rubles), while there will be a symbolic amount on the account, which will be enough for 1-2 calls. If you need more, including the Internet, immediately top up when buying for the required amount. If you deposit later, a commission may be charged.

Where to top up your SIM card account

You can top up at any store that sells cards. Payment is made in cash to the seller. You can also top up via the Internet with electronic money (PayPal, Webmoney, etc.), but a commission is charged for this, and it takes too long to figure it out, it's easier to do it in the salon.

Useful codes and phone numbers for mobile

  • The code for calling in the Russian Federation is 01017 and the number in the Russian Federation without 8
  • Indonesia's phone code is +62
  • 118 – ambulance service
  • 110 – police
  • 113 – fire station

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