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I'm worried about 3G coverage because I am traveling all over Indonesia.

That is: Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi & Komodo.

  • Indonesia is huge. Do you have a list of specific regions in mind? It's possible that "best" varies depending on your list of destinations. – JonathanReez Aug 23 '15 at 12:05
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If you're particularly worried about a specific area, for comparison, I managed to find some coverage maps on Sensorly:

Coverage map for Telkomsel 2G-3G

Coverage map for Three - 2G-3G

Note that on either of those, you can change the drop down on the right for (at time of writing) five providers, to see their coverage.

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    Interesting to visualize how bad the coverage of Three is even in Bali ! – Adrien Be Aug 26 '15 at 3:17
  • I just came across OpenSignal.com, it also provides info on mobile network coverage (2G, 3G & 4G) on many countries for all the networks available. – Adrien Be Feb 27 '16 at 14:40
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I have tried them all over the past years and finally I chose Three for the following reasons:

  1. Prices are acceptable and there are wide variety of packages.
  2. You can check the credit and data balance by visiting a webpage (http://internet.tri.co.id) without any password, no need for SMS or some *???# commands.
  3. Inactivity period is 1 year, while with other providers it is a month or so. This saved from buying a new SIM card every time I visit Indonesia. The credit also stays longer if you do not use it.
  4. Credit is available in any store (Alfa Medi, Alpha mart, etc.)
  5. Coverage was good in Jakarta, not sure about rural areas.

I used to use Smartfren before that, but it is not GSM and I had to buy a special router for that, credit was hard to find but the prices are less than Three and other providers.

  • What about the coverage? Have you tried using three in many regions of Indonesia? I heard it's only good in cities. – Adrien Be Aug 26 '15 at 1:14
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    I added one more point.. i didnt really go to rural areas to know how is the coverage.. but I am pretty sure it is bad.. I know people who live in remote areas and when I chat with them they always complain about the coverag, not sure which provider they use but in indonesia it is common for remote areas to be ignored in services... – Nean Der Thal Aug 26 '15 at 1:16
  • yes, I heard three is terrible outside big cities. – Adrien Be Aug 26 '15 at 1:26
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I only have experience of 3G coverage in Indonesia with Indosat & Telkomsel. So I will only discuss those mobile providers.

I tried those providers in remote areas (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Flores) and also in big cities. Long story short: Telkomsel wins.


Indosat

Basically, Indosat is "ok" but I found it to be very unreliable in many places. Going from perfect signal to no service in a short distance (a few hundred meters maybe).

Another funny thing is that sometimes I was next to my friend who also had Indosat, and often I had good signal when she had none! It just didn't make much sense.

After a month of many frustrations I gave up & decided to change.


Telkomsel

Telkomsel has the best coverage in Indonesia as far as I know. This is my personal experience and also many locals telling me that whenever I'm outside a city.

I've been to some places where I would not even dare hoping for a signal, but Telkomsel had one somehow. A tiny signal, but a signal.

The only downside is that you will pay a bit more for this. However, many resellers have special data deals cutting the prices as much as 50%, just ask. I always find one after asking two or three resellers. However, make sure the data is valid nationally & valid for any time of the day (not partly for night and other part for the day).


Other mobile networks

As far as I have been told, 3 is only good in big cities. And the biggest advantage is that, probably because of this big city only coverage, this provider is cheaper. But you won't get a coverage in much places, even the Gili's..!

Not sure about the other providers. If there are any, they must not be wonderful (coverage or price wise) as I haven't heard of them in 3 months in Indonesia.

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