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.

**) Seems today they already remove the pop up advertisement.

***) 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.

****) The telecommunication ministry release a new policy on 2018 for SIM card. It must be registered by the buyer, not the SIM card seller. I recommend you buy a Telkomsel SIM card at official shop and then you register it on the official shop. Don’t forget to bring your Passport. Here i provide the maps of Telkomsel SIM card official shops:

*) If your hotel around Malioboro area or Sosrowijayan area or Prawirotaman area better you choose the Telkomsel official shops on the 2nd map above. It’s relative closer from your hotel.

**) On December 2018, if you browsing use a Telkomsel SIM Card, you will see a pop up advertisement. This is another way how they make a money. It’s really annoying.

***) There is no good telecommunication operator in Indonesia. The option are bad and worse! I recommend you to use this operator because they have a lot of BTS (Base Transceiver Station). It means they have wide coverage area in Indonesia (good signal). But, it doesn’t mean their services satisfying (high speed internet).

38 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. Aileen

        He Roni , You write before that validity of pulsa depend of operator , that with some operator you can use till finish , doesn’t matter even coyple of month ? witch operator do you mean for that ? Tmks

        1. kunzyogya Post author

          Oh, i find it was promo from the operator.
          Today that kind of promo not existed anymore.
          Now, the new SIM card will valid for 1.5 months.

      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.

  9. aileen

    Hello Roni , I hear there is some new rule for Simcard in 2018 : it must be register.
    So could it be done on a street Simcard seller , if you buy there a new Simcard ? What informations you need do get the simcard register ?

    1. kunzyogya Post author

      Hello Aileen,

      The new rule that released by telecommunication ministry reaping protest and big demo from the SIM card seller in all over Indonesia.
      Thousands SIM card seller claimed bankrupt caused by this policy.
      The SIMcard seller can’t register for the unsold SIM card and being expired.
      They can’t extend the validation period since the rules limit the number for registration process.
      Today telecommunication ministry revised the rules.
      So, the SIM card seller able to do registration and extend the age of unsold SIM card.
      So, it could be done on the street SIM card seller.

      Usually the SIM card already registered by the SIM card seller.
      Otherwise, just give your ID card,
      they will help you for the registration.

        1. kunzyogya Post author

          I just checked & found that some street SIM card shop selling the SIM card registered already.
          I don’t know how they can do it.
          So, it could be done in the street SIM card shop.
          No need SIM card official shop.
          You just buy it and use it without register.
          But, some street SIM card shop selling unregistered SIM card.
          They will recommend you to register at Telecommunication operator office.
          So, before you buy SIM card,
          you need to ask the SIM card seller first.
          Make sure that SIM card already registered.
          So, it will be easy for you.
          Otherwise, you can go to the official shop or cell phone operator office.
          So, you can buy and register the SIM card in the same time.
          Here i provide the map of cell phone operator office:

          1. Eliane Auvray

            Hello again Roni ; can you explain diferences between using application Telkomsel or buying kredit by *363 ?
            If having SIM kartu as , is it possible to use Telmomsel application or not ?
            Tmks 🙂

          2. kunzyogya Post author


            If you use TCASH wallet application rather than *363#,
            you will get a lot of bonus.
            This bonus available to buy ‘pulsa’ and internet quote.

            If you have SIM ‘Kartu As’ you can use Telkomsel application.

  10. May

    Hello, Roni. Can i still use the same sim card i bought in Yogyakarta in Bali? or do i need to buy a new one when i arrive in Bali?

    1. kunzyogya Post author

      Hello, May.

      You can use the same SIM card.
      But, make sure you don’t buy the SIM card with the college package or Vaganza internet package.
      Their internet package work for local area (regency) only.
      You can’t use the internet when you go out of the regency.
      Just buy it with the internet package (Flash) only.
      It will work when you arrive in Bali.

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