Indonesia – known for its many active volcanoes, for being the largest archipelago in the world & its many paradises.
The country is also popular with Digital Nomads, who love to flock and live in Bali (Denpasar) because it is just too beautiful.
Perhaps I should live there for a while too 😏.
Being part of Southeast Asia, Indonesia is one of the cheaper travel destinations out there.
And also within the region.
While there are many things you can do in the country, such as soaking up all the sun at the beach to exploring mosques, there is certainly one thing you will do…
Sharing your experience online 🤳🏿.
What you should not do, in many cases, is roam internationally in Indonesia.
International roaming can be expensive, which is why using local and travel eSIMs is recommended to save money.
And if you get a travel eSIM, you do not have to deal with the SIM card registration bureaucracy and skip the queues in Indonesia.
How much will a local or travel eSIM for Indonesia cost you?
You can get an eSIM for Indonesia for as little as 5 USD, with 1 GB of data for 7 days, up to 99 USD, with unlimited data for 90 days, from Smartfren, Airalo (Indotel), Holafly & Nomad.
Those are some generous data allowances, right?
And you can even get unlimited data if you want.
See how much it would cost you to use 10 GB while roaming – much more than what Holafly would charge you for unlimited data for 90 days!
In this guide, I will go over the eSIM options offered by the Indonesian mobile operators (Smartfren), Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's do this.
Original publication: 8th of August 2022. Last updated: 26th of August 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Indonesian Mobile Operators
To get the best service available, in terms of reception and speeds, you want to go with the local mobile operators directly instead of with a travel eSIM.
That is because you will have a higher priority on the network in case of network congestion.
However, that does not mean travel eSIMs will always be slow.
In fact, some mobile operators throttle (prepaid) on select plans or all plans for “optimization” reasons (read: we cannot be bothered to invest in our network).
Anyway, which Indonesian mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
Currently, only Smartfren offers eSIMs to prepaid customers.
Telkomsel, IM3 Ooredoo (soon Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison) & XL Axiata have no eSIMs at all – not even for postpaid customers.
Luckily, you have options for getting an eSIM for your trip to Indonesia: travel eSIMs from Airalo (with Indotel), Holafly & Nomad.
Not only can you set up these eSIMs before arriving in Indonesia and activate them upon landing, but you can also avoid Indonesia's SIM card registration scheme, which is mandatory for anyone using Indonesian SIM cards and eSIMs.
While mobile data is already affordable in Indonesia, getting a travel eSIM will not break the bank – not at all.
Plus, I have plenty of experience with Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, and I can assure you they work well – and other Phone Travel Wiz readers also had pleasant experiences with them.
So let's see what these travel eSIM providers have to offer in Indonesia, right?
Airalo eSIMs for Indonesia (Indotel)
If I could only get a travel eSIM during my trip because I do not have the time or opportunity to buy a local SIM card or eSIM, then I would always get an eSIM from Airalo.
Airalo has eSIMs for around 190 countries, offers eSIMs at the lowest prices (on average compared to the competition) & has good service.
Airalo usually partners with the local mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, or both.
And if it needs to partner up with multiple mobile operators, it does so, allowing you to have the best reception at all times.
Anyway, you can get an Indotel eSIM for as low as 5.50 USD, with 1 GB of data, up to 24.75 USD, with 10 GB of data.
Those prices and data allowances are not too bad, right?
Especially knowing that the Indotel eSIM uses the Telkomsel network – the best network in Indonesia with the best coverage and the fastest speeds.
So you do not have to worry about reception and speeds with the Indotel eSIM, even in remote areas.
The following four Indonesian Intodel eSIM options are available:
- Indonesia/Indotel 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5.50 USD
- Indonesia/Indotel 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11 USD (very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
- Indonesia/Indotel 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 16.50 USD (most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
- Indonesia/Indotel 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 24.75 USD (most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers)
What do I mean by very popular and most popular?
38.5% of Phone Travel Readers get the 5 GB Indotel eSIM. Another 38.5% get the 10 GB version.
The rest (23%) get the 3 GB Indotel eSIM.
The 1 GB eSIM gets no love because you can barely do anything with 1 GB of data 🤪.
For Airalo eSIMs, the links above will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Overall, the Indotel eSIM gives you fantastic value for your money.
Airalo Indotel eSIM Pros
Are there any other reasons why you should get the Indotel eSIM for your trip? For sure:
- You can activate your Indotel eSIM as soon as you land in Indonesia
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Indonesia's best mobile operator – Telkomsel
- Indotel eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
There are many other small pros, but these are the major ones.
It would be disingenuous not to mention some cons, so here we go.
Airalo Indotel eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Indotel eSIM?
- The Indonesian mobile operators, including Telkomsel itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Telkomsel's network, the best in Telkomsel, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Telkomsel itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Indotel eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Indotel eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Indotel eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Indotel eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Indotel eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Indonesia's best network, Telkomsel, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Indotel eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Nomad eSIMs for Indonesia
Another travel eSIM provider I recommend is Nomad.
In fact, I have been in close contact with Nomad as soon as I partnered up with them.
For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.
Yes, I really try to get the best offers and deals for you 🥰.
Another thing I have been pushing Nomad for, and Airalo and Holafly (to be discussed next) for that matter, is lowering its prices or increasing its data allowances.
In June, Nomad started offering a 2 GB eSIM variant upon my request for Indonesia and various other Asian countries (because Phone Travel Wiz readers asked for such an eSIM) at competitive prices.
In August, Nomad dropped its prices again for its China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand & Vietnam eSIMs (which are even cheaper than Airalo – that is remarkable on its own!).
So yes, Nomad is looking out for you 👁👁.
Anyway, in Indonesia, it uses the Truphone network, which uses a combination of local networks (Telkomsel, IM3 Ooredoo (soon Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, XL Axiata & Smartfren), allowing your eSIM to switch to the network with the best reception automatically.
This way, you will always be connected!
You have the following four options with Nomad for Indonesia:
- Indonesia 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD/5 EUR/4.50 GBP/6.50 CAD
- Indonesia 2 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 10 USD/10 EUR/8.50 GBP/13 CAD
- Indonesia 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD/13 EUR/11 GBP/17 CAD
- Indonesia 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 15 USD/15 EUR/12.50 GBP/19.50 CAD
Even though Nomad dropped its prices for Indonesia eSIMs, you can still get 3 USD off your first Nomad purchase by using code ADU123!
- Check out my Nomad eSIM reviews
Of course, going with Nomad has some pros and cons, so let's go over them.
Nomad Indonesia eSIM Pros
So, why should you get a Nomad eSIM? Because:
- You can activate your Nomad Indonesia eSIM as soon as you land in Indonesia
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on all Indonesian networks, allowing you to have the best reception at all times
- Nomad Indonesia eSIMs are the cheapest eSIMs offered in this guide
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Nomad website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Indonesia eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get the Nomad Indonesia eSIM?
- The Indonesian mobile operators have much more generous data allowances and cheaper plans
- While you get access to four networks, your speeds will not be as fast as going with the Indonesian mobile operators themselves because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Indonesia eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Indonesia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Nomad Indonedia eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad Indonesia eSIM is a great premium eSIM offering with the lowest prices in this guide.
You will always have the best reception because the Nomad Indonesia eSIM automatically switches to the best network at your location.
However, just like the other travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide, you do not get a (local) phone number with the Nomad Indonesia eSIM.
Moreover, you can only get up to 5 GB of data.
Luckily, you can top up your Nomad Indonesia eSIM with more data if you want.
Holafly eSIMs for Indonesia
The last travel eSIM provider I recommend is Holafly.
In June 2022, Holafly introduced something that no other travel eSIM provider had done by that time.
You can now get unlimited data plans for Indonesia, several other Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
And that is super exciting!
Now, I have to say that the unlimited data plans offered by Holafly are more expensive than the Airalo Indonesia eSIM or the eSIMs sold by Nomad.
But if you do not want to worry about data allowances, Holafly is the one to go for.
The Holafly eSIMs use the Tri (3) Indonesia network.
You have the following seven Indonesia eSIM options with Holafly:
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 5 days, costing 19 USD/19 EUR/19 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 10 days, costing 34 USD/34 EUR/29 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 15 days, costing 47 USD/47 EUR/44 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 20 days, costing 54 USD/57 EUR/49 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 30 days, costing 64 USD/69 EUR/59 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 60 days, costing 84 USD/87 EUR/77 GBP
- Indonesia unlimited data eSIM for 90 days, costing 99 USD/99 EUR/87 GBP
Based on the emails I have received, the 20-, 30- & 60-day plans are popular because those who buy Holafly eSIMs tend to stay in Indonesia for a prolonged period to explore the country.
As I recently started my collaboration with Holafly, you can get 5% off each purchase whenever you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – awesome, right?
- Check out my Holafly eSIM reviews
Of course, there are some pros and cons with going with Holafly, so let's go over them.
Holafly Indonesia eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly eSIMs? Well, because of the following:
- You can purchase and set up your Holafly Indonesia eSIM before arriving in Indonesia (and activate it upon landing)
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration, saving you time
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access on the Tri (3) Indonesia network
- You do not have to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data (75 GB – here I come!)
- You can avoid expensive international roaming fees
But it is not all good news with Holafly though – there are some disadvantages.
Holafly Indonesia eSIM eSIM Cons
So, why should you not get a Holafly Indonesia eSIM?
- While the Indonesian mobile operators do not offer unlimited data plans (yet), their plans are much cheaper than Holafly
- While you get access to the Tri (3) Indonesia network, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Tri Indonesia itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly eSIM
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Holafly is the most expensive travel eSIM provider in this guide
Holafly Indonesia eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Holafly Indonesia eSIM is an excellent eSIM for those who do not want to deal with data caps because you get unlimited data.
Even then, you will still get fast speeds and 4G/LTE reception.
However, Holafly is the most expensive option in this guide and may not be the best for budget travelers.
Best eSIMs for in Asia (not just Indonesia)
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Airalo Indonet, Holafly Indonesia, or Nomad Indonesia eSIMs in any country than Indonesia.
However, the three eSIM providers have eSIMs covering several East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
I highly recommend these Asia/APAC eSIMs if you plan to visit multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries to save money!
Airalo recently heavily improved its Asia eSIM, which used to offer a meager 4 GB of high-speed data before allowing for unlimited data at snail speeds, following the popular Eurolink eSIM for 39 European countries.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular eSIM for Phone Travel readers, and I have no doubt that the Asialink eSIM will be popular too.
Just like in Europe, many readers tend to visit multiple Asian countries, so they would rather have a travel eSIM covering multiple countries than just one (like Indonesia).
The Asialink eSIM can be used in the following 14 countries:
Below is an overview of how much each Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 1 day, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Holafly & Nomad eSIMs for Asia
Because of Airalo's previous Asia eSIM, I used to recommend Nomad's APAC eSIMs instead (to be used in 8 countries).
This eSIM can be used in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore & Thailand (1 GB/7 days/15 USD – 20 GB/30 days/69 USD).
As you can see, this eSIM cannot be used in Indonesia, so it would be useless here but useful in the aforementioned countries.
The Holafly Asia eSIM has only one variant: 8 GB for 30 days, costing 47 USD/49 EUR/34 GBP.
This eSIM can be used in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
Basically, the same countries as the Airalo Asialink eSIM with just fewer options (1 variant (8 GB) vs. 6 variants (1 GB/3 GB/5 GB/10 GB/50 GB/100 GB)) and much more expensive.
So yeah, the Asialink eSIM is superior, I would say.
Remember, the Airalo links above will automatically offer you the best deals.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Indonesia (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
Smartfren is the only Indonesian mobile operator offering eSIMs to prepaid customers.
But you still have to deal with SIM card registration regulations when you get its eSIMs.
Luckily, the travel eSIMs mentioned in this guide allow you to circumvent these laws (legally, of course!).
In terms of the travel eSIMs, this would be my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Indonesia Indonet eSIM (best value for money)
- Airalo's Asia Asialink eSIM (best value for money when also visiting other East- and Southeast Asian countries)
- Nomad Indonesia eSIM (cheapest and excellent performance)
- Holafly Indonesia eSIM (truly unlimited data plans at premium prices)
- Holafly Asia eSIM (to be used in 13 countries)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Indonesia
Want to just use a SIM card but not your current one because roaming will be criminally expensive?
Consider getting an Indonesian SIM card instead – local SIM cards are the cheapest way to stay connected abroad.
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