Whether you come to Bali for leisure or business. Staying connected to to the internet and being able to use all the great communication tools that come with it, is for many travelers a must - a basic need. Staying in touch with friends, booking a flight, villa, hotel, rental car, activity, checking out the restaurants around you, navigating your way around with maps, all can be done online with your smartphone or laptop, and makes your life as a traveler on Bali so much easier.
Although you can not expect everywhere a super fast internet connection, the infrastructure, coverage, and service has improved greatly over the years, and it is nowadays very easy to stay online. A 3G network is available in most areas, if it's not too remote.
Unless you are planning to move to Bali, getting a Prepaid local SIM Card will be your best option. SIM cards on Bali are very affordable. No need anymore to pay a crazy amount of money for roaming. For 10USD you can be online for 30 days with a package of 4 GB. Local SIM cards can be used as long as you have an unlocked phone.
Simjek.com is probably the most trusted Prepaid SIM card reseller company in Bali. If you would like the comfort of a SimCard delivered to you, you can order a SIM card
directly on simjek.com before or on arrival.
The Simjek team will deliver you a ready-to-use SIM card (with 3G) directly at your Hotel or at the Airport exit gate.
Get online right away!
You will find a booth usually at the airport, just after exiting the airport building. Unless you need internet connection quickly you might want to wait as rates here can be significantly higher here.
Mobile phone shops that sell SIM cards can be found in the main tourist streets, but if you are willing to step into a less touristy street you will find the best prices at small open shops easily recognized by the logo and big banner of the provider.
If you are on your way to more remote areas or the smaller islands around Bali, then we advise you to get your SIM card sorted before going there.
Unlike in many other Asian countries, you do not need to register yourself with your ID or passport when buying a prepaid Sim Card. The process is very easy. Many Balinese do also only use prepaid cards, so the whole infrastructure around prepaid SIM cards, the availability, affordability, top-up services, and pricing is great.
How it works:
You buy a SIM Card at a dealer or SIM card booth (see below), which comes with your new local phone number. He/she will help you to cut the SIM card into the fitting size for your phone and also activate the card. Let them do it, they know how it works. The dealer will offer you a package or simply ask you how much money you want to deposit. The deposit is called PULSA.
What package to get
There are so many internet packages and special offers depending on the season and the provider. Because Whatsapp, Facetime, and Skype are mostly used for communication instead of normal phone calls, they do use much more internet quota than emails and text messages. It might therefore make more sense to buy a 1 month internet access "flash"-packages for around 10 USD which gives you enough GB to do all that you need.
You buy a card for Rp. 50,000
You add Rp. 130,000 pulsa
You buy a 30days 4GB package for Rp. 100,000
You pay Rp. 170,000 (ca 13USD or 17AUD)
The remaining Rp. 30,000 can be used for calling or sending sms, which comes in handy, when you travel with friends, who also take a prepaid card. Calling or sending SMS abroad, will quickly deplete the pulsa - it's expensive.
Once your GB internet quota is used up, but you keep on surfing, then your remaining pulsa which you could use for calling and sending SMS will deplete rapidly!
Indonesia has a mind boggling amount of providers you can choose from; each offers prepaid packages at different prices and features (which can be confusing even for Indonesians themselves). Like in your home country, the prices for those packages do change
quite frequently and to understand the pricing policies of
telecommunication companies is as hard as building a space rocket.
Below we have listed the two most popular providers:
Telkomsel’s most popular SIM card is called simPATI and although slightly more expensive than SIM cards from other providers, it is currently said to offer the most highest internet speed. Other SIM cards from Telkomsel are called Kartu As and Kartu Halo, and Loop. SsimPati Flash is the name for the prepaid internet packages. A 4 GB quota package starts at 7 USD, a 8 GB package is 12 USD. Telkomsel can provide 4G LTE and 3G connections, But of course not everywhere.
XL most popular SIM card is called ‘XL Baru’. It provides cheap domestic calls combined with internet access. The prepaid internet package called Kartu Perdana Super Hot Rod 4G is the latest and most popular package and starts at 8 USD for a quota at 4 GB. XL also offers a 8 GB quota for around 16 USD.
Telkomsel is considered the most-stable and widest signal coverage provider. XL is a bit limited in areas as Ubud etc. but is stronger in the Denpasar and Badung area.
Internet coverage is not the same as your old-fashioned phone calls coverage. 3G internet is available in the more populated areas but can drop to the slower GPRS or even Edge in remote areas.
Once you run out of your deposit or you have used up all your GB from your internet package, you will have to buy more PULSA. Usually you will get an SMS before you run out, so you won't be too surprised.
Most of the 24h convenience stores that line the streets of Bali (Indomaret, Alphamart. Circle-K, M-Mart etc) offer that service. Some fo them don't even charge for it.You can buy pulsa also at the same shops, and kiosks, where you get the SIM Cards. The convenience stores do not sell the SIM Cards.
Just give the seller your number and the amount you wish to load. Keep in mind that they will charge a small fee of 1, 000,- to 3,000,- Rupiah for that service.
After the sales person has topped up the pulsa, you should receive an SMS right away on your phone, that confirms the purchase. Make sure the amount shown is what you pay for. Don't leave the place, before you have received the confirmation SMS.
You may not feel the need to buy a prepaid SIM card as most hotels, restaurants and cafés offer free WiFi access. Do not expect superfast internet as you will be sharing access with all the other customers but it will be good enough to keep family and friends updated.
Some mini markets offer free WiFi to their customers. They are easy to recognize by the table and chairs placed outside and filled with people glued to their mobile phones.
When booking your accommodation you might want to make sure your hotel provides free WiFi in your room as some only provide access in common areas as the lobby or the restaurant.
Don't expect that to handle large files or use the streaming services. Even youtube can be at times very slow. The quality of wifi in hotels and restaurants is not standardised. Some 5 star hotels provide worse connection than a 3 start property next door.
Digital nomads or people looking for a daily dose of good internet connection will be happy to know that Bali offers a growing number of co working spaces. The professional co-working spaced provide probably the best internet infrastructure on the island, as they cater to the clientele that make a living by working online. The rates are usually based on a day pass package or a fixed amount of hours and sometimes include printing and photo copy services.