Be sure to secure your iPhone or Android Smartphone whenever you travel. Precautions will help prevent disaster.
The iPhone or any Android Smartphone is an essential tool when traveling to Bali, Indonesia for tourists of any country. Google maps, travel guides, language translation, and many other apps are extremely useful. We used them all the time. Using our American AT&T iPhone in Bali was tricky. Most Verizon iPhones from the USA do not work internationally, since they use CDMA technology. Verizon does carry several “World Phones” which work with SIM Cards. We have done the research on our last trip and are sharing the findings with you.
We also have articles on using prepaid SIM cards in other countries:
- Using iPhones in Hong Kong
- Using iPhones in China
- Using iPhones in France
- Using iPhones in the UK
- Using iPhones in Japan
Here are some tips on using your iPhone in Bali
You can only use foreign SIM cards in an unlocked iPhone or Android Smartphone. A locked smartphone only works on the original cell phone carrier. Most cell phone carriers in the US, including AT&T, allow you to unlock Smartphones after your 2 year contract has been fulfilled. T-Mobile requires 18 months of payments before they will unlock a cell phone under contract. You can alternately purchase an unlocked Smartphone from Amazon, eBay, etc.
If you prefer to unlock your iPhone, you can try jailbreaking it. Jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones are not easy tasks. One slip and you may have bricked your expensive smartphone. You can buy a pre-jailbroken/unlocked used iPhone from eBay or Craigslist. iPhone 4’s typically cost around $150.
This article also applies to using prepaid SIM Cards in the iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4, 3gs, and iPad with 3G or LTE. Android Smartphones utilizing GSM technology are also supported.
Different Smartphones use different sized SIM cards. Most foreign cell phone carriers sell smaller micro-SIM (iPhone 4, 4S, iPad) and nano-SIM (iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, iPad mini) for use in a variety of Smartphones. You should remove the SIM card from your phone before you attempt to purchase a prepaid SIM card in another country.
simPATI SIM card package
Main cellphone carriers in Bali
simPATI (Telkomsel) Some of these carriers support GSM900/1800/2100 network frequencies.
Suggested Wireless Carrier
We chose to go with simPATI Freedom Prepaid Sim Card due to its lower cost and 3G GSM Compatibility. There is an expiration date on the front of the packaging. As of 2013, no provider in Bali sold prepaid LTE SIM Cards.
Where to Buy
A booth outside in the area where passengers walk through on their way to transportation sells these SIM Cards, within the Denspar International Airport (DPS).
Prepaid SIM card plan
When we purchased the simPATI Prepaid SIM Card from the store, they took a picture of our passport.
- SIM Card with xxMB Data costs 10,000 Rp – it comes with 5000 Rp of credit
- Add 50,000 Rp when you purchase the card. This will give us 2 weeks and 300MB of Internet data
- If you need more, add 200,000 Rp to get 2.5GB of data for 30 days
- Standard or Micro SIM Card are available
- Local Voice calls cost 300 Rp/minute
- Text messages cost 100 Rp, International SMS costs 500 Rp
- To call the US for 3 cents a minute, dial 01017 then the number
- The SIM Card lasts 90 days and can be added onto (topped up) and extended in lengths in 30 day increments
Prepaid SIM card Activation
This is how we set up our iPhone on this prepaid SIM Card.
- Turn off your smartphone
- Insert the Prepaid SIM Card
- Turn on your smartphone
- Carrier settings were configured automatically
- Text to 3636 the following: UL ON 50k
- If you get a text message back asking you to confirm, simply reply: 1
- You now have 384kbps, 300MB for 2weeks
If you are activating the 30 day plan, 200,000 Rp plan dial: *363*
Choose 2. Paket Internetan, choose 2. Flash Unlimited, choose 3
Prepaid SIM card Top Up
Here is how you can add money to your account.
Enter *888# to get your card’s balance.
Enter *808# to get your phone number
Enter *889# to get your package information
Dial *116# to contact customer service
- Visit a convenience store and purchase a top up also known as Pulsa
- You will receive a receipt with a PIN number
- Have the store enter the top up code for you or follow the instructions on the card
- You should receive a text message or SMS confirmation with new balance
These instructions should work for other smartphones including Android smartphones that support American GSM networks from AT&T and T-Mobile.