Yogyakarta (Jogja) backpacker's guide



In Indonesia you will found 4 main mobile operators (“Telkomsel”, “XL”, “Indosat”, “Smart”) with different prepaid cards – for example “Loop”, “IM3” and etc.  One of them is more expensive but covers mostly all Indonesia area and you will be reachable while hiking in some volcano or camping somewhere further from civilization. Others will be cheaper but sometimes with delay SMS delivery and etc. Most probably the local people are using the cheapest one and has good connection in their exact area.


I recommend for backpacker using “Telkomsel” operator. It has wide area coverage in Indonesia, better than others. You can sms, call or internet browsing, but the signal depend on location, if it’s far away from transmitter tower, you can not doing internet, just call and sms only.


After you choose mobile operator, sometime you will need to put money to prepaid cards (“pulsa”) each time when you will finish your limits. The “pulsa” amount depends on how much you want to put to prepaid cards. Usually its fixed amount – Rp. 5 000, 10 000, 15 000, 25 000, 50 000 or 100 000 Not in all places you can put bigger amount like 50 000 or 100 000 Rp. As well the “pulsa” validation depends on mobile operator – one suggest validation of 1 month, others – to use till you will finish it (no matter if it will be even couple of months).

*) Today (12/30/2016) i browse ebay.com using Telkomsel internet data, i found pop up ads for a few seconds. Oh, i hate that. World already full of advertisement. I heard it won’t happened if you live in Europe or USA. In here the consumer seems no rights to avoid ads.

**) Today the ads come through SMS. You will accept some SMS as advertisement when you open it. Could be from Restaurant, ‘Donut’, ‘Pizza’ or ‘Cinema’. Much of travelers not love this things. At least you won’t surprised if it happened to you.

28 thoughts on “MOBILE OPERATORS

  1. Gabin Song

    I have a question that i an going to buy Indonesian sim card, and whixh one do you recommand and the price information? Thank you for tips in Jokja!

    1. kunzyogya Post author

      I recommend Telkomsel cause wide area coverage in Indonesia. But, sometime depend on location. Your cell phone are far or close to transmitter tower. And don’t access video or your internet credit will loose rapidly. Here the SIM Card price:
      Internet Quote 1.5GB IDR35000.
      Internet Quote 4GB IDR57000.

      It’s enough for internet (Facebook, BBM, Whatsapp, Browsing) for 1 month on your mobile phone. Just don’t access video format. Better you access video when you have Wifi signal.

  2. Naquiah Mohamed

    Hi. i have question regarding Indonesian simcard.
    Im planning to go to Lombok this coming October and am planning to buy the simcard.
    My question is, can I still use my simcard by next January 2017 because i will visiting Yogyakarta.


    1. kunzyogya Post author


      Usually Indonesia SIM card has active period for 1 month.
      After that, it has 1 month as grace period.
      So, if you buy on October. It won’t be able to use in January next year.
      Except, you pay ‘pulsa’ every month.

      1. kunzyogya Post author


        Thank you for update the info.
        I think it will be useful for other travelers.

        Yes, today SIM Card business so competitive.
        That’s why many telecommunication operator offering more as attraction.
        Could be as low price, bigger internet data package or long active period.

    1. kunzyogya Post author


      You can repair your iPhone at Ambarukmo Plaza (Amplas) mall at jalan Solo.
      Find the shop with Apple logo.
      You can ask the security in front of the mall if you confused.
      Here the map:

      Last time my old brother brought the traveler to here after her iPhone fall down at Jomblang cave.
      In the next day, her iPhone fixed.


  3. Vova

    Today I was going through jogja, and i could not buy a sim card. All people said that it is to far to buy a card both for internet and calls. I can buy a sim card only for internet on the street((( could you give the address of telkomsel office in order to buy a simcard both with internet and calls?

    Much thanks!

  4. Hema

    Hi, I will be visiting Yogjakarta this week. Currently I am in Bali. What is the best sim card operator that you would reccommend for me to use in jogyakarta mainly foe whatsapp, fb and calls. Can I buy the particular sim in bali and use it in Yogjakarta?

    Thank you.

    1. kunzyogya Post author

      Hi Hema,

      I recommend you to use “Telkomsel” SIM card.
      Well, i’m not promoting this brand.
      But, it has wide coverage area and good signal.
      So, you can buy in Bali and use it in Bali and Yogyakarta.

      You’re welcome.

  5. Kelsey Herglotz

    I know it’s been a while since anyone posted on this feed, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have been in Indonesia for almost a month now, and been having SIM card issues.

    I’m with Telkomsel. I got the SIM in Jogja, it worked well for one day, and stopped. I took it back, the guy working told me he fixed it. The data then was working just fine for about 2 weeks and then all of a sudden stopped.

    After the first time it stopped working, I tried a friend’s SIM who lives in Jogja, and his worked in my phone and mine did not work in his.

    It comes up as full bars and 4G at the top of my phone, but then that’s it. I try to load a webpage and nothing. Not sure if it’s a faulty SIM card or what’s going on. I can buy a SIM card again, but I’ll be leaving soon and back in April and I just don’t want to keep having the same issues.


    1. kunzyogya Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experience using Telkomsel SIM card.

      Well, seems weird if a new SIM card has problem after one day you bought it.
      For the problem after 2 weeks used, there are some reason or possibilities why you can not use it for internet browsing:
      1. Internet quote is over.
      You can check your internet quote spare by call this number: *889#
      Then you will know that your card is able for internet browsing or not.
      Sometimes travelers use it to access video on youtube or etc.
      It will makes your internet quote is over.
      Sometime it don’t need take 2 weeks to make your internet quote is over.
      Only a few days, then your internet quote finished.
      It happened to me when my niece borrow my phone and access youtube for cartoon/animation video.
      2. ‘Pulsa’ Prepaid card is over.
      If your ‘pulsa’ prepaid card over, it means you can not make a calling or SMS.
      to check your Pulsa’ Prepaid card spare, just call this number: *888#
      You will found that your card is able for call/SMS or not,
      or able convert to internet data quote or not.
      To convert your ‘pulsa’ prepaid card to internet data quote,
      you can call this number: *363#,
      then choose the internet data package and follow the instruction.
      3. Prepaid card is expired validation.
      Well, before you buy it you should check the validation of the SIM card.
      You can call this number: *888#
      4. SIM card faulty/damage.
      This could be happened.
      But, it’s very rare.
      My neighbor has a SIM card shops.
      He said this issues is very rare.

      I hope my reply can help you to fix the issues.

  6. Stef

    Im am also in yogya and looking to buy a SIM card for browsing and sms/calling. Do you maybe know a place where they sell the telkomsel SIM cards near benteng vredeburg? We will be near there, so would be very nice :). And prices are about 50000 IRP?

    1. kunzyogya Post author


      You can check it on Nanda cell on Jl KH. Ahmad Dahlan No. 6 or
      Loop Station Yk (belong Telkomsel) in the south of Yogyakarta Main post office.
      You can check it on Google map by write “Loop station Jogja”.
      Good luck.

  7. Saras


    I will be visiting Yogyakarta in Julai 2017 and thinking of have combine motorbike and car.Can you suggest which places I can use motorbike and which places i might need travel by car.I will be staying in Olympic Hotel.


  8. joyce siah

    hi.. i will visit yogyakarta on this 07/07. and i want to buy a simcard with phone call and internet browsing. can i know where to buy the sim card? is it airport in yogyakarta can buy the sim card at airport? how much is the card and the total internet usage. thansk.

    1. kunzyogya Post author


      Well, it’s not hard to find a SIM card shop in Yogyakarta.
      I can say that almost every street in Jogja has a SIM card shop.

      Yes, you can buy a SIM card in the airport.
      But, the price will be expensive.

      Here the update price that i just checked in a SIM card shop:
      1 GB internet quote (3G) = IDR 30K
      2 GB internet quote (3G) = IDR 45K
      4 GB internet quote (4G) = IDR 70K
      10 GB internet quote (4G) = IDR 75K

      I think you just need 2GB only for short trip in Yogyakarta or Indonesia.

    1. kunzyogya Post author

      Yes, the price include a new SIM card and phone call.
      But, for the phone call usually only small money or short calling.
      Then you have to buy “pulsa” for that reason.
      Start from IDR 5K, IDR 10K, IDR 25K, IDR 50K and IDR 100K.

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