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 SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?

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StanleyCup
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PostSubject: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:40 am

I will be in Indonesia for 2 weeks, and will travel to Gili and also Bali. I know there are a few different companies that have pre-paid SIM cards. Can someone tell me which is the best to buy for use in Lombok and Bali?

The most important consideration is COVERAGE and RELIABILITY.

Also, will I be able to have semi-reliable GPRS service in Gili and Bali? Which SIM card?

Thanks in advance.
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:57 am

Bali & Lombok are two different places that experience varying coverage with mobile phones. Which one to chose depends on exactly where you will be. If you are in the major tourist areas, just about any sim will work fine. Check with the local seller, they will tell you which one to chose. It is not expensive owning more than one sim - so if you find you have to change over to another one for better reception in certain areas it is not a problem.
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Gemma
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:18 am

As freo says coverage depends on where you are going to be travelling. Xl is one of the most popular but it it the one we use for business and all our staff use it too and there have been problems with the service lately and I also read on a Bali forum that the cheaper access code for international calls wasnt working.

In Bali I use Mentari which seems to have cover wherever I go however there is no cover in Kuta (Lombok).

If covaerage and reliability are important I would do as Freo suggests and have a couple that you can swap in/out of your phone. You can buy a SIM for as little as Rp20,000 including 10,000 credit.
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Josi
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PostSubject: Buying SIM cards in Bali   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:26 pm

Are there any requirements I have to meet to buy a SIM card in Indonesia?

Where are these cards sold in Denpasar? Any in Sanur area?

I have a Nokia phone manufactured in India with a three pin plug for the charger. This may not be compatible with the outlets in Indonesia. Do the shops sell a charger separately?

Josi
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Gemma
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:56 pm

Hi Josi

There will be plenty of places for you to buy a SIM in Sanur. If you look around you will see the Phone counters are all over the place. Nokia rechargers are easy to find too in most of these counters. Other brands are a bit harder to come by. If you cant find a recharge and probably cheaper than one would be a socket adaptor that you can get for about Rp10,000-15,000.
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StanleyCup
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:50 am

OK, thanks for the good replies. We start in Gili so that was my main concern. I'll pick up something to start at the DPS airport and then when I get to Gili, I will find out what SIM card works there and buy that one.

Any experiences with GPRS service on any of the SIMs?
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Gemma
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:55 pm

Quote :
Any experiences with GPRS service on any of the SIMs?

I dont really know what you mean by this.. sorry Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:23 pm

I think he wants to know if he can access internet via his mobile phone, or perhaps a wireless internet modem (USB stick style). GPRS enhanced 2G to make it a bit faster.

3G is available in both Bali and maybe Lombok, but is more prevelant in Bali. I'm not sure if GPRS was even rolled out much - the thing with Indonesia is that they often leap-frog with technology as they don't have existing infrastructure to piggyback. So, for example, most Indonesians have gone from not having access to a telephone, to owning a mobile phone. They can't get a landline as there is no infrastructure.

Perhaps try balipod.com and ask a more specific question about exactly what you want to do - access internet via a mobile, or access via a wireless modem - and where.

I haven't tried any of these - sorry.
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Josi
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PostSubject: What is GPRS?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:35 pm

This is what I found as a result of Googling. If this is available in Indonesia, how will it help me with my cell phone and my laptop?

Josi

General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and complements existing services such circuit-switched cellular phone connections and the Short Message Service (SMS).
In theory, GPRS packet-based services cost users less than circuit-switched services since communication channels are being used on a shared-use, as-packets-are-needed basis rather than dedicated to only one user at a time. It is also easier to make applications available to mobile users because the faster data rate means that middleware currently needed to adapt applications to the slower speed of wireless systems are no longer be needed. As GPRS has become more widely available, along with other 2.5G and 3G services, mobile users of virtual private networks (VPNs) have been able to access the private network continuously over wireless rather than through a rooted dial-up connection.

GPRS also complements Bluetooth, a standard for replacing wired connections between devices with wireless radio connections. In addition to the Internet Protocol (IP), GPRS supports X.25, a packet-based protocol that is used mainly in Europe. GPRS is an evolutionary step toward Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE) and Universal Mobile Telephone Service (UMTS
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StanleyCup
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:24 pm

Freogirl wrote:
I think he wants to know if he can access internet via his mobile phone, or perhaps a wireless internet modem (USB stick style).
Yes, that was the intent. To access the Internet and email using my phone that has data capability (Nokia or iPhone).

For example, in Thailand, I have a mobile phone with a web browser and an email application. I retrieve my email and can browse the web wherever I have a phone signal. Cost is extra but very cheap. There are three services to do this (in increasing order of speed) ... GPRS, EDGE and 3G. Inn Thailand, GPRS is everywhere, EDGE is in any populated area and 3G is only in parts of Bangkok. I have also uses GPRS and EDGE in the Philippines and USA.

This is what I was asking about for Gili and Bali ... if anyone had done this. Perhaps this is one of those things that I need to just try when I get there.
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:57 pm

Well I am sure the answer on the mainland is yes then. I used to acces the net in Bali via a usb modem plugged into my laptop and had a good signal in most areas in the south. In Lombok I know most of the internet cafes in Kuta use a mobile phone connection to connect to the net but it is slow and expensive. In the cafes anyway!

good luck
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Josi
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PostSubject: Sharing your experiences   Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:58 am

[/quote]
[font=Times New Roman]Yes, that was the intent. To access the Internet and email using my phone that has data capability (Nokia or iPhone).

For example, in Thailand, I have a mobile phone with a web browser and an email application. I retrieve my email and can browse the web wherever I have a phone signal. Cost is extra but very cheap. There are three services to do this (in increasing order of speed) ... GPRS, EDGE and 3G. Inn Thailand, GPRS is everywhere, EDGE is in any populated area and 3G is only in parts of Bangkok. I have also uses GPRS and EDGE in the Philippines and USA.

This is what I was asking about for Gili and Bali ... if anyone had done this. Perhaps this is one of those things that I need to just try when I get there.[/
font][/quote]

I will be very interested in learning your experiences during your planned two weeks trip to Lombok.

If you use Nokia brand, can you share information on the model that has the capabilities to meet your requirement?

Josi
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:45 am

Hi Josi, surely you have 3G in the States? I am wondering now, because I know that it took years for the US to catch up with the rest of the world with sms texting. No, you MUST have it - the iPhone works on 3G. Most mobile phones have the functionality to work on GPRS and EGPRS (Edge), but that system is really slow, and I suspect expensive in Indonesia.. You will probably already own at least a phone that can do GPRS and probably 3G. The issue is whether the mobile phone service providers in Bali & Lombok can supply 3G services, the coverage areas, and the cost.

3G was introduced to Jakarta back in 2006. Bali got it in early 2007. Last time I was in Lombok I noticed a fair bit of HSPDA internet around. So all of these places have 3G. I was excited in a recent post when it appears that Green Valley now has wireless internet, which is likely going to be HSPDA.

HSPDA is the system used when you buy one of those USB stick that you plug in and get wireless internet. They have a mobile sim inside and use the 3G (and 3.5G) mobile network

If I was in Bali & Lombok I would be looking at Telkomsel first, and XL second for 3G internet access.

Here is a review written by nomad4ever back in early 2007 about his test for 3G in Bali. http://www.nomad4ever.com/2007/07/12/3g-wireless-finally-affordable-internet-for-the-island-of-the-gods/
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PostSubject: Third Generation (3G) phones in USA   Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:44 pm

Karen,

We do have 3G phones in USA. However, my cell phone uses CDMA. It will work in Asia but at a hefty cost i.e., Activation fees of $36, plus $6/month fees and on top $1 to 5/minute for roaming charges. I am able to send and receive SMS to Singapore but not to Indonesia using my CDMA cell phone. USA telephone rates are reasonable - I pay about 6 cents/minute for India and Indonesia and for calls to UK, Europe and Australia, about 3 cents.

This is why when I travel east, I have to switch to my GSM phone that works in UK, India and Indonesia. I was pleasantly surprised when my Telekomsel SIM card with may be about Rps.10,000 worth of pulsa left worked when I landed in Singaproe from Bali during my last visit. I believe SingTel owns a large share in one of the telephone companies in Indonesia.

For my next visit I will use the GSM phone and buy the SIM cards in Bali. For my laptop I would like to buy a "data card" so that I can use Internet during day time. I typically go to the cafes in the evenings when the weather is tolerable - Sengiggi cafes do not have airconditioning. I am also happy the Beach Club has WiFi.

Overall, there is tremendous improvement in Indonesia. I remember the days when I went to the Kantor Pos in Medan that had two desktops with 50 kb speed for checking emails. I was happy with that because a overseas call at that time was more than $5/minute. Now the Nursing students we support get assignments to do research using websites. The only things I miss during my Lombok visits are the high speed and uninterrupted connections but I am hopeful these too will arrive in Indonesia soon.

Josi
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:19 pm

Hi Josi
I would be interested also to hear how you go.
Sounds like you need something like a Nokia N95 which switches back and forth from CDMA and GSM.

In Australia we must have both systems. In my limited understanding of all this, my mobile (which is only EDGE) is GSM, but my USB stick for mobile internet (HSDPA) is WCDMA. But I'm pretty sure if you are just making phone calls here you are only using GSM.

A friend who lives in Canguu said he bought a Huweii USB modem in Bali and is getting pretty good internet on Telkomsel on his laptop at a reasonable price.
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PostSubject: Any of these available in Bali for use in Lombok?   Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:20 am

Karen,

I am posting this to inform everyone about what is advertised in Jakarta. I wonder if this is sold by a reseller of Telekomsel services. I am wondering if these products have reached Bali or Lombok. Will this work for internet access in Lombok? The cost seems to be reasonable.

Josi

Hallo Friend


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StanleyCup
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PostSubject: Re: SIM card - what is the best for Bali and Gili?   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:46 am

Here is a progress report from Gili Trawangan.

Bought a XL SIM in DPS airport, registered for GPRS service, and I was surfing on the phone within a few minutes. It seems that the cost is about 600 per minute. Connected to a flight to Mataram and asked my driver about XL service, he said no, that Telekomsel's Simpati is the best on Gili Trawangan. Asked around when I got her and it seems that it is 100% , I was told that when there is power problems, that XL service is disrupted. Sure enough, a few times the first day I looked at the phone and "no service."

Bought a Simpati SIM (by Telekomsel) here, and I always have 100% signal. Registered for GPRS using the instructions. I have used GPRS on the phone, and also with it plugged into the computer. It is slow, and frequently loses it's connection, but it does the job for just getting email on outlook or the email application on the phone.

We are staying at Scallywag's which has wifi for guests, and it is OK (not too fast, but it works). Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs in streaming video would be out of the question.

FYI, here on Trawangan, I have only seen a GPRS signal, not a EDGE or 3G signal. My phones are Nokia 6131 and iphone 3G. But any phone that supports GPRS should work.

Rolling Eyes
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