Our first day in Kuta, Bali and our mission is to get a pre-paid SIM card that will work all over Indonesia (Bali, Lombok and Flores). We’re looking for something that is pay as you go for emergencies and contacting hostels, if it has some cheap data for Facebook, Foursquare, G-mail and *coughs* Clash of Clans, then even better!
Chatting to the people in our hostel we discovered a very informative receptionist who had been travelling around all of Indonesia, she gave us our answer for our mobiles, simPATI.
How much to pay for a SIMPati SIM Card?
We’re told to pay around 10,000 Indonesia Rupiah to get a simPATI SIM, which includes them registering with simPATI on our behalf. We visited a few shops and they wanted around 60,000 Indonesia Rupiah – which we thought was a lot!
After a bit of searching we found a nice gentleman who charged us 20,000 Rupiah each – more than we were advised to pay, but it was hot and we were tired of walking around.
You’ve got your simPATI SIM Card, how do I add credit?
Next question we wanted to find out was how to add credit to our simPATI SIM and how to top it up. Which was actually quite simple – once your simPATI SIM is registered (you need an unlocked phone to use) you add credit in blocks of 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 Rupiah to your mobile number.
And that’s it, now you can call or text. To add 3G data you simply convert (see instructions below) some or all of your call credit to data credit – you lose that amount of call credit when converted to data.
If you’ve 50,000 Rupiah added to your number, you can convert 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 to data (see MB allowance under instructions), this deducts from your available call credit i.e. top up your phone with 50,000 and you convert 20,000 to data you have 30,000 left for calling and texting.
Great I’m up and running! Now how do I get more simPATI credit?
Getting extra phone credit is very easy, while you’re adventuring look for any shops that say simPATI or have their logo. Ask them to top up your number with 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000 Rupiah, they will charge you 1,000-2,000 Rupiah to do the top-up.
If they don’t speak your language then write down your mobile number, the provider simPATI (or point to the logo) and how much you want added, they’ll understand and add on your credit. You’ll get a text message straight away to confirm your phone has been topped up with the amount.
What was simPATI coverage like around Indonesia?
It was very good and I was pleasantly surprised. I had no issues with coverage unless I was somewhere remote (even then it worked sometimes), which was to be expected. Any towns or villages you should get a signal – all in all it was very good and handy to look up hostels on the go and check in to Foursquare.
With constant Facebook, Gmail, Foursquare, Clash of Clans and Web usage 600mb lasted me around 3 weeks.
How much simPATI data do you get?
While we were travelling Indonesia in February & March 2014 you got 600MB for 50,000 (block I used), 20,000 was around 250MB and 10,000 was 50MB from recollection.
Finally to set-up and add data to your simPATI mobile
Here are the steps to activate your simPATI data:
1/ Text 3636 with “3G’’ this turns 3G on your phone;
2/ Purchase a block of data by texting “flash on 10K” to 3636 to get 50MB, or “flash on 20k” to buy 250MB, or “flash on 50K” to get 600Mb of usable bandwidth;
3/ A confirmation text will arrive from 3636; reply with “flash ya” to confirm the purchase;
4/ If you run out of data, repeat steps 2 and 3 to keep adding “flash” blocks as you go along.
Website – www.telkomsel.com/product/simpati
Useful simPATI Phone Codes
Dial the following codes from your phone to get information:
- *888# shows you how much credit you’ve got left. Run this after topping up credit if you don’t get a text message before leaving the shop to ensure everything’s Ok
- *889# tells you how much data you’ve got remaining
- 01017 followed by your international number. This is the cheapest way to phone home from your mobile – ensure you put this code in first or your credit will go fast
And that’s it, hopefully you’ll find this information useful and save you any hassle of getting mobile while travelling around Indonesia. Feel free to ask any questions or add to the information in the comments below.