Keeping in contact with the outside world from Indonesia is very rarely a hassle, especially if you’re somewhere off the beaten path.
Phone calls in Indonesia
As a landline is still an unaffordable luxury for many Indonesians, the wartel (short for warung telekomunikasi or telecommunications booth) is hard to find these days, as many Indonesians can now afford mobile phones.
Indonesian phone numbers have the form +62 12 000 0000, in which ” 62 ” is the country code for Indonesia, which is followed by the area code without the prefix ” 0 ” and the telephone number. If you omit the +62 area code, you will need to add the prefix “0” when calling to another area code. Cell phone numbers in Indonesia have to be dialed with all digits, regardless of where they are called from. Omit the prefix “0” when calling with an area code of +62.
Make local calls
Dial (phone number)
Making long distance calls
Dial 0-(area code)–(phone number)
Making international calls
Dial 017-(country code)–(area code, if available)–(phone number). You can use the area code “001”, “007” or “008” (real landline), but the rates are 3 times higher if you use the area code 017 (via the internet).
You can make international calls via the switchboard
Select 101 or 102.
Making collect calls for long distance
Dial 0871-(area code)
Connecting to the Internet
Dial 0809899 (from your modem), it will cost you Rp 150/minute [www].
Telkom Calling Card access number
Mobile phones in Indonesia
The Indonesian mobile phone market is highly competitive and prices are low: you can get a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp10,000 and calls to some other countries with certain carriers cost as little as Rp300 per minute (subject to the usual numerous restrictions). SMS (text messaging) is also very cheap, with local SMS for only Rp150-189 and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world’s biggest market for second-hand phones, basic models with dual-SIM slots start at Rp 120,000, and second-hand ones are even cheaper.
The country has several service providers, in order of largest coverage, Telkomsel, Indosat Ooredoo, XL Axiata and 3. Each has sub-brands that are either a prepaid or postpaid service. In Java and Bali, each will actually work just fine.
If you have a Global System Mobile (GSM) phone, ask your local GSM operator for a “roaming agreement” so you can use your own mobile phone and GSM SIM card in Indonesia. Most GSM operators in Indonesia have roaming agreements with GSM operators worldwide. [www]. But of course, this means you pay many times more than if you use a local SIM card. Some operators require a substantial deposit (hundreds of dollars) to use certain of their cards abroad.
Most Indonesian operators use GSM. Some operators offer services over the country’s CDMA networks: They are slightly cheaper, but some operators have poor coverage outside larger population areas. Before buying a mobile phone, make sure you know which network it works on; the same goes for USB modem dongles.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) tariffs are available from mobile phone providers, each provider has a different prefix to access these services. These prefixes offer much lower international ring rates, but do not use them for SMS, they do not work.
Internet in Indonesia
The modern version of the Wartel is the Warnet. Many have evolved into internet cafes, with PCs connected to the internet, some offering WiFi connections, but nowadays some have closed down as many Indonesians nowadays have at least one mobile phone to take advantage of cheaper rates from the same provider. Rates varies considerably, and of course as usual you get what you pay for, however in general you should expect to pay approximately Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour, with faster access compared to your cell phone. In big cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, in some restaurants, bars and in many parks or public facilities in big cities. Some hotels offer free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms, but sometimes you should pay for WiFi in your room.
In case you own GSM/WCDMA cell phones, most of the prepaid cards of the major operators will allow you to use them for Internet connections without any problems. Both package-based and unlimited monthly/weekly/daily packages are available (the latter are becoming more popular), and the available offers and combinations are constantly changing. The best way to find out about current offers is to visit the operators’ websites (usually in Indonesian only) or ask the dealers who sell SIM cards. 3G is almost available in the main cities and tourist destinations, but due to users exceeds the capacity of bandwidth, so sometimes you receive 3G, 2.75G, 2.5G and 2G in the same place, while the 4G LTE network has emerged and is generally available almost in all major cities in Indonesia, but only in the business area. Despite the claims of various dodgy airport shops, you don‘t need to buy a modem bundle to use these packages with your phone. Also, bundle prices at the airport are often significantly inflated – it’s a good idea to buy them later in town, or visit the local (official) office of a selected operator, or simply at the many impulse/voucher vendors with no queue (the distance between stalls is often less than 100 metres) and prices are usually cheaper than at the operator’s office.
Unfortunately, you may not have network coverage in many remote areas, and even if you do, only painfully slow GPRS/EDGE (not 3G) is available. For long-term visitors/residents of big cities, CDMA may be the better choice as CDMA uses two channels for voice and data separately, so no dropped calls/connections, but nowadays only SmartFren is the choice with limited coverage as the other CDMA operators migrate to GSM. Most of the SmartFren network is EVDO Rev-A with a maximum speed of 3.1 Mbit/s (average download about 20 kbit/s), while EVDO Rev-B with up to 14.7 Mbit/s is only offered in the business area. The EVDO Rev-A is sufficient for Whats-Up, Facebook, moderate surfing, but cannot watch movies. The modem bundle costs Rp 169,000 and various types of subscriptions, Rp 50,000/month is sufficient with only 1.75 GB of data. For those visiting remote areas (outside Java, Bali and the main cities or tourist areas) but still want to get online, GSM operator Telkomsel seems to be the best, although it is not that cheap for both calls and internet. About Rp 70,000/4GB internet data quota. Almost everywhere in major cities, Telkomsel can offer 3.75G speed up to 21.6 Mbps and can deliver movie at 14.35 Mbps. The cheapest is Three Rp 25,000/GB but relatively cannot watch the movie because most of the signal is only 2G and 3G. The new cheapest smartphone up to 3.75G with dual SIM slots is less than Rp 400,000. You don’t need an expensive 4G LTE phone because the high frequency of 4G LTE is only common near the transmission tower. Some operators sell a card with 3G and 4G LTE data quota together, but the data quota for 3G may only be one-tenth of the 4G LTE data quota. Be sure to buy a card with 3G data quota that should only be used for 24 hours, as there are some cards with data quota for 24 hours and no more at all after half the time.
Telephone directories and information services in Indonesia
Information about Telkom services
Phone book in other cities
(code range) 108
Hello Yellow Phone Book
+62 21 7917 8108
Online Yellow Pages
Code area of major cities in Indonesia
Balikpapan (0542), Banda Aceh (0651), Bandung (022), Batam (0778), Betung (022), Bintan (0770), Bogor (025), Cirebon (023), Demak (029), Denpasar (0361), Jakarta (021),Jember (033), Jogyakarta (0274), Kupang (0380), Makassar (0411), Malang (034), Manado (0431), Mataram (0370), Medan (061), Palembang (0711), Pekanbaru (0761), Semarang (024), Solo (0271), Surabaya (031)
Postal service in Indonesia
The postal service is provided by the state-owned Pos Indonesia, which delivers to even the most remote areas. JNE and Tiki are also reliable enough to send parcels to anywhere in Indonesia for less than $15 in up to 10 working days, depending on origin and destination. FedEx, DHL and UPS ship parcels internationally, and both FedEx and its local subsidiary RPX have drop box offices. For immediate/fast delivery in a big city, it is better to use GO-Send from the Go-Jek application, as the ojek (courier) driver will pick up the goods up to 5 kilograms and send them to the recipient. The rate depends on the distance.
Centre for Tourism Promotion in Indonesia
- Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.17, 9th floor, Jakarta, +62 21 383 8303.
- Indonesia Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI), Wisma Nugraha Santana 9th flr. Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 8, Jakarta. +62 21 570 4879.
Emergency numbers in Indonesia
Here is a list of emergency numbers in Indonesia (please note that while these numbers are available free of charge from all landline phones, they may not be available from mobile phones, if in doubt call the international emergency number112]):
- Police : 110
- Fire brigade : 113
- Outpatient clinic : 118
- Search and rescue team: 115
- Red Cross HQ (Jakarta) : +62 21 3843582
- Headquarters of the Indonesian Police. Jl. Trunojoyo 3, South Jakarta. +62 21 7218144.
- National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS): Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No.5, Jakarta. +62 21 348-32881, ( +62 21 348-32908, +62 21 348-32869, Fax:+62 21 348-32884, +62 21 348-32885. website: Basarnas [www] .
Note, however, that English-speaking operators are not available even in major cities, as the operators usually speak Indonesian as their main language. Moreover, they do not usually answer the numbers, even in emergencies, and their reliability is rudimentary at best. The best thing to do is to call the police on the very accessible number 112 from any phone and describe the nature of the emergency so that they can arrange help for you. But don’t play with this number, because the police have taken down the call and can initiate proceedings.
Media in Indonesia
English publications in Indonesia have been springing up recently, albeit very slowly. The Jakarta Post is Indonesia’s largest-circulation English newspaper; you can buy a copy in some of Indonesia’s biggest cities. The Jakarta Globe has a tabloid format and usually offers more extensive content. Both newspapers also offer good online content.
Tempo Media maintains an online presence in English and even publishes its own English weekly magazine, but it is mostly filled with hard news.
The state television channel TVRI has its own English news service daily at 18.00 WIB (18.00 West Indonesian time). The Indonesia’s news channel, MetroTV, has an English news program at 01.00 WIB (1 a.m. Western Indonesian Time) from Tuesdays to Saturdays as well. Berita Satu World is an English news channel available on selected cable TV providers.