Planning your trip to Indonesia and trying to avoid high roaming costs? Getting an e-sim card for Indonesia or a local prepaid sim card in Indonesia are among the best ways to stay connected. In this guide you will find everything you need to know on how to stay connected when traveling to Indonesia in 2023. Find out where to buy a sim card for Indonesia, the best e-sim cards, a comparison of the 4G/5G network in Indonesia, up to date prices as per November 2023, my recommendation and even information about international sim cards for Indonesia.
Getting connected is the first thing I do when I get to a new country. In most cases that is buying a prepaid sim card on arrival or getting an e-sim card. As a full time nomadic travel blogger who is also aiming to visit every country in the world I constantly get to new countries. That is how you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangkok, Vietnam, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kenya, USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, UK, Turkey and many more.
Also when traveling to Bali I have a dedicated guide for staying connected in Bali. Check out my article about the best sim card for Bali in 2023.
So when planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next destination. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card for Indonesia?
Don't let those slow overseas data roaming packages fool you. They reduce the internet speed and you will end up with terribly slow data connection on your phone. You want the fastest data speed in Indonesia? Then buy a local prepaid sim card.
First of all we want to avoid high roaming costs! Overseas data plans cost a minimum of $5 per day and even more. With an e-sim card or an Indonesia prepaid sim card you might not spend more than $10 for the whole month.
Staying connected while traveling to Indonesia makes life so much traveling easier! Think about ordering an Uber/Grab, checking Google Maps for directions and making sure you don't get lost, finding a good nearby restaurant or finding your nearby friends via Live Location or WhatsApp. So many reasons for staying connected when traveling to Indonesia.
Don't rely on free public WiFi, although widespread in Indonesia there is no guarantee and trust me a 4G/5G data connections is much faster than your hotels crappy free WiFi. Also another reminder that public WiFi is on an UNSECURED network connection. The use of a VPN is recommended.
Traveltomtom recommends a Telkomsel sim card for Indonesia. You can already get a Telkomsel prepaid sim card for tourists with 18 GB data for less than $5 USD and Telkomsel has the best 4G/5G network in Indonesia.
These are the prices you can find in local Telkomsel stores. On arrival at the airports in Indonesia they sell the same sim cards for tourist prices. Read more about it in my guides for buying a sim card at Jakarta Airport and Bali Denpasar Airport.
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Indonesia in 2023 is an e-sim card as you arrange everything online within just a couple clicks and it starts already from $5.5 USD for 1 GB data.
Another great alternative is a world travel sim card with data and global coverage. Check out my guide for buying an international sim card with global coverage in 2023 and find a comparison of the best sim cards for travelers. Pick the one that suits your trip the best!
When traveling to more countries in Asia on your trip then have a look at my comparison of the best (e)-sim cards for Asia in 2023.
Although buying a local prepaid sim card is the cheapest way to stay connected for those who don't need much data I strongly recommend buying an e-sim card for Indonesia.
Best e-sim cards for Indonesia
No more visiting a sim card store and swapping sim cards. When you get yourself an e-sim card for Indonesia you arrange everything online and get connected in just 2 minutes.
E-sim cards are the easiest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Indonesia in 2023. Order online, receive a QR-code, follow the instructions and you are connected to a data network instantly.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Indonesia. Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide with everything you need to know about using e-sim cards when traveling to Indonesia.
Check out the following Airalo e-sim card plans for Indonesia:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $16.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.75 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $40 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Indonesia via Airalo or find more info.
The above e-sim cards from Indotel operate on the Telkomsel 4G/LTE network, the best mobile data network in Indonesia.
SimOptions is another reliable e-sim card providers that has e-sim plans for Indonesia. Unfortunately these e-sim cards are also data-only and calling and texting is not supported.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 15 days = $12.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 15 days = $16.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $49.90 USD
Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide for Indonesia e-sim cards with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Indonesia in 2023.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible there are physical prepaid sim cards for Indonesia as well. You order them online and they get it delivered to your home address before your trip
For $29.90 USD you get 12 GB data, so great value even comparing them with international e-sim cards. Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Indonesia and find more info.
Need some Indonesia travel inspiration? Chasing waterfalls in North Bali, climbing mount Rinjani in Lombok, exploring secret beaches in Nusa Penida, finding the walking Dead in Tana Toraja. I have traveled to Indonesia more than 10 times and I am happy to help.
The easiest way to travel in Indonesia? Use the below search engine for boat tickets from for example Bali to Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Nusa Penida and more. get your mobile ticket, no need to print, convenient, safe, reliable and easy. Check here al the routes available.
Mobile internet operators in Indonesia
There are 5 different mobile internet providers in Indonesia. Don't forget that Indonesia is one of the world's biggest countries by population: 275 million already as of 2023. All mobile internet providers sell prepaid sim cards for tourists:
- Indosat Ooredoo
- 3 (Tri)
- XL Axiata
Smartfren is a fairly new mobile internet provider in Indonesia and their network is not yet the biggest, especially if you are going off the beaten path in Indonesia I would not recommend a Smartfren prepaid sim card. There is a big difference in mobile network coverage, so keep reading before you are stuck on an island without phone signal.
Where to buy a sim card for Indonesia
It is easy to buy a local sim card in Indonesia as they are sold on basically every street corner. Convenience stores, gas stations, mobile phone shops, official retail stores, electronic shops and so on.
International Airport on arrival
If you decide to buy a local prepaid sim card in Indonesia then the easiest place is at the international airport on arrival. Most probably your trip to Indonesia starts in either Jakarta or Bali. Both International Airports have multiple phone stores that sell prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Flying to Denpasar? Check out my guide for buying a sim card at Bali Airport in 2023.
Flying to Jakarta? Check out my guide for buying a sim card at Jakarta Airport in 2023.
Reminder that you pay tourist prices for Indonesia prepaid sim cards on airports. Expect to pay about 50% more for prepaid sim card plans on Bali or Jakarta Airport. On the contrary, it is very convenient to get connected instantly on arrival.
Official retail store mobile internet providers
The best place to buy a local prepaid sim card in Indonesia is at an official mobile internet provider retail store. Here you will get the best service, proper registration, instant activation and the best sim card plans. Go where the locals go and find the cheapest sim card deals.
Random phone stores
When looking for tourist sim cards in Indonesia you can find them in every phone store. But also expect to find different prices everywhere. To get the best sim card deal you have to shop around and even haggling about the price could be worth it. It is like a jungle walk. Good thing is that prices for sim cards are cheap in Indonesia and most probably you don't care paying $1-2 USD more for your prepaid package.
If buying a sim card on arrival in Indonesia already sounds like too much hassle then get your prepaid sim card or Indonesia e-sim card online. I already explained you that ordering an e-sim card for Indonesia is the easiest way to stay connected, but make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. If not then you can also buy an international prepaid sim card for Indonesia online.
Indonesia prepaid sim card prices in 2023
The following prices for prepaid sim card plans in Indonesia are updated as per November 2023. These are the official prices that you can expect more or less in stores around Indonesia.
However, at tourist hotspots like Bali expect sim cards to be more expensive than official prices. Also the same prepaid sim card could be priced differently in every other phone shop, convenience store, etc.
Mobile internet in Indonesia is CHEAP, but internet data speed in Indonesia is NOT what it is like in your home country, so have low expectations about 4G and 5G. More about the best 4G/5G network in Indonesia below.
In Indonesia they use the Indonesian Rupiah and as of November 2023: $1 USD = 15,500 IDR and 10,000 IDR = $0.65 USD.
At XL Axiata they have 4 prepaid sim card plans valid for 30 days:
- 30 GB data = 62,000 IDR - $4 USD
- 65 GB data = 125,000 IDR - $8 USD
- 147 GB data = 205,000 IDR - $13.2 USD
- 260 GB data = 320,000 IDR - $20.7 USD
For the latest prepaid sim card offers check the XL Axiata website.
Tri 3 Indonesia
The 3 Indonesia prepaid sim card packages are called: Happy. There are a ton of plans available: daily, weekly, monthly. Here is an example:
- 1 GB data per day for 30 days = 77,000 IND - $5 USD
For more info see the Tri 3 Indonesia website.
A Telkomsel prepaid sim card comes with three different data quotas: social media, internet and local quota. The local quota is pretty much for the region/island where you buy your prepaid sim card like: Bali, Java, Sumatra. Confusing a bit to be honest! All prepaid plans are valid for 30 days:
- Maximum 11 GB data = 42,000 IDR - $2.7 USD
- Maximum 18 GB data = 66,000 IDR - $4.3 USD
- Maximum 35 GB data = 83,000 IDR - $5.4 USD
- Maximum 51 GB data = 115,000 IDR - $7.4 USD
- Maximum 70 GB data = 138,000 IDR - $8.9 USD
These are the prices for simPATI packages the prepaid sim cards that you can expect in Telkomsel stores around Indonesia. For more info check the Telkomsel website.
Indosat Ooredoo has the Freedom Combo package for tourist prepaid sim cards with unlimited calls/text to other Indosat Ooredoo numbers:
- 2 GB data = 45,000 IDR - $2.9 USD
- 6 GB data + 30 minutes calling time = 99,000 IDR - $6.4 USD
- 16 GB data + 60 minutes calling time + 60 sms = 199,000 IDR - $12.8 USD
- 30 GB data + 120 minutes calling time + 120 sms = 299,000 - $19.3 USD
For more info check the Indosat website.
Smartfren has very competitive prepaid sim card deals as it is a fairly new provider and has one of the smallest 3G/4G mobile networks in Indoneisa. The Smartfren prepaid plans come with unlimited social media apps and are valid for 28 days:
- 1 GB data per day = 45,000 IND - $2.9 USD
- 2 GB data per day = 80,000 IND - $5.2 USD
- 3 GB data per day = 100,000 IND - $6.4 USD
Check the Smartfren website for more info.
Best 4G/5G network in Indonesia in 2023
Mobile internet network coverage is quite important for finding the best sim card for traveling in Indonesia. You don't want to get stuck on an island with no phone signal. In some islands you only find a signal of specific providers and others not at all. The best example is East Indonesia. From Flores towards the far East in Papua there is basically only a Telkomsel signal available.
If you are traveling somewhere specific I would recommend you to have a look at the Indonesia 4G/5G network coverage maps.
Is there 5G in Indonesia?
Yes there is 5G in Indonesia, but I would not get too excited! As per 2023 there is only 5G in places like Jakarta, Badung and Denpasar. When traveling around Indonesia you will not find 5G elsewhere. In some places you can actually be happy that there is a phone signal at all.
XL Axiata 4G/5G network coverage map
Tri 3 Indosat Ooredoo 4G/5G network coverage map
Smartfren 4G/5G network coverage map
Telkomsel 4G/5G network coverage map
From the above 4G/5G coverage maps for Indonesia we can clearly see that one providers sticks out. After comparing all the 4G/5G network coverage maps it is clear that Telkomsel has by far the best mobile internet network in Indonesia in 2023. Without a doubt!
Best prepaid sim card for Indonesia in 2023
Prices for prepaid sim cards in Indonesia are very cheap and therefore Traveltomtom actually recommends buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Indonesia rather than an e-sim card or an international prepaid sim card.
Based on the network strength and prices for prepaid tourist sim cards Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that Telkomsel is the best prepaid sim card in Indonesia in 2023. Telkomsel has by far the best mobile data 4G/5G network coverage.
However, I also understand completely the convenience of an e-sim card for Indonesia and lately on my trip to Bali I also bought an e-sim card for Bali. I simply could not be bothered with the hassle of buying a physical prepaid sim card on arrival. Unfortunately as of November 2023 Telkomsel does only sell physical prepaid sim cards, they don't offer e-sim cards for tourists.
The e-sim cards for Indonesia that you buy on the internet also work perfectly fine, they are just a little more expensive.
If you are traveling off the beaten path in Indonesia there is only one recommendation and that is a Telkomsel prepaid sim card. Are you going on a Bali holiday and have no intension leaving the island then a Smartfren, XL or Tri prepaid sim card will also do the job.
However, on my recent trip to Bali I tried out an XL sim card to review it and I was not happy at all. I compared them to a Telkomsel sim card and the network strength and data speed on a Telkomsel sim card was much better.
If you are looking for the cheapest data sim cards for Indonesia then we are definitely looking at a Smartfren sim card. Indosat Ooredoo is much more expensive than the other operators and therefore I would not recommend you buying an Ooredoo prepaid sim card for Indonesia.
My personal recommendation would be the Telkomsel prepaid sim card for Indonesia with 18 GB data for just $4.5 USD. Although, in tourists hotspots this same package will be sold for at least $14 USD.
A local prepaid sim card is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Indonesia in 2023, but you have to go to a local sim card store.
Order a prepaid sim card for Indonesia online
SimOptions also offers physical prepaid sim cards for those who don't have an e-sim compatible phone. If buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Indonesia sounds like too much effort then get order one online.
Have a look at the following pre-activated international sim cards that will be shipped to your home address before your trip:
- Three Data Pack 10 GB - $24.90 = 10 GB data for 30 days
- Orange Holiday World - $49.90 = 10 GB data for 14 days
Click here to order one of the above international sim cards for Indonesia directly online or have a look for more info. Personally I would go for the first option: Three Data Pack 12 GB as its gives you 12 GB data for less than $30.
Also another reminder that if you have an e-sim compatible phone you can order an e-sim card for Indonesia with very competitive prices. You can already get 1 GB data for just $5.5 USD and 20 GB data for $40 USD and you arrange everything online within just 2 minutes.
Indonesia travel tips
In total I traveled more than 10 months in Indonesia over the last few years. I wrote numerous travel blogs from meeting the King of Bali to the Walking Dead of Toraja in Sulawesi. Have a look at my Indonesia Traveltomtom landing page and find more than 25 blogs with travel tips for Indonesia.
Most valuable and related article is my guide for buying a prepaid tourist sim card for Bali in 2023.
If you have any further questions about getting connected in Indonesia or want some extra travel tips or recommendations please leave me a message below and happy to help you.
Looking for transportation while traveling in Indonesia? Check out all the bus and boat routes, schedules and prices as well as domestic flights in Indonesia below in the transportation search engine.
Boats to Gili Trawangan or Lombok from Bali? From Bali to Gili Trawangan: 3h 30min - $25 USD. From Bali to Lombok: 3h 30min - $28 USD.
Also if this was article was helpful for you would you like to help me in return? If you could share the link of this article somewhere on the internet that would be awesome. Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest, post in a Facebook Group or share on reddit would be extremely helpful to me. A small thing for you to do, which can make a big difference for me.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of November 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Indonesia!