Mobile phones

The mobile plans available and how to choose

Mobile phones

Most telecom companies in Indonesia are mobile operators, illustrating the extent to which mobiles, or ‘hand phones’, are preferred over landlines.

The mobile market in Indonesia is a competitive one, meaning there’s plenty for you to research when looking for the handset and plan suited to you. As well as Telkom, providers include Axis, Indosat, Smartfren and XL Axiata.


The main types of mobile tariff available are prepaid and postpaid. Prepaid is perhaps a good option if you don’t plan on using your phone a lot i.e. for business etc. You simply buy a card, and reload it with money as and when you need. Reloads can be made at banks, certain shops, and sometimes online.

Different companies have different offers regarding their prepaid tariffs. There are deals or ‘packages’ in which you pay a certain amount and receive an SMS allowance for a certain number of days, for example. Some deals offer cheaper rates when calling chosen friends or family, and some prepaid packages are specifically for international calls.

Phone deals and tariffs will change regularly, and as there are so many options, spend some time researching what’s available on all the different providers, and which one best suits your phone usage. Different packages and deals will offer different tariffs, but to give an example of prices, a basic tariff could give you a rate of 100Rp per SMS, which equates to roughly 0.0083 euro.

Postpaid works like a contract, whereby you are billed a flat rate every month for a specified number of minutes, messages and internet data usage. Again, the options are often endless, so try and research on the providers’ websites so that you know what you are after before going to the phone shops.

Signing up to a postpaid tariff involves filling in an application form, and depending on the option you choose, you will have to provide copies of your passport, debit card, credit card bills and residency documentation. Check beforehand exactly what you need to provide proof of.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: