Smartfren is one of the best SIM card providers to stay connected in Bali. Smartfren offers a unique and convenient option for travellers through its Tourist Pack and Tourist Pack Unlimited. The Tourist Pack provides a generous 30 GB of data to be consumed within a 14-day period at $10 AUD. Meanwhile, the Tourist Pack Unlimited ($20 AUD) offers unlimited data with a daily limit of 1.5 GB before experiencing a reduction in speed. Both packages come with an added perk of 15 minutes of calls to local numbers, and here's the kicker – when you use WhatsApp, it doesn’t use up your data limit.
However, what makes Smartfren one of the best SIM card providers in Bali is that they are the sole brand offering e-sim cards for tourists. While other providers offer physical SIM cards, Smartfren's e-sim option adds an extra layer of convenience for travellers who prefer a digital solution during their stay in Bali.
Should I use Data Roaming instead of a SIM Card in Bali?
Whether or not data roaming is suitable for your Bali trip depends on your individual needs. Generally, it's more expensive to use data roaming compared to a Prepaid SIM card, but the upside is that you don't have to change phone number. In recent years, data roaming has become less expensive, costing around $2-10 AUD per day on average.
The main advantage of using data roaming for travel in Bali is that you don't have to change your phone number. In fact, in most cases you don't need to do anything - data roaming activates automatically. This is very convenient when you are travelling, especially if there are other countries on your itinerary.
However, the downside is the overall cost of data roaming. Some mobile providers charge exorbitant international roaming rates, which quickly accumulate and result in high expenses for data usage, calls, and text messages. Additionally, while data roaming provides connectivity, the coverage and quality of service is not always as reliable or robust as using a local SIM card, especially in more remote areas of Bali. Finally, many data roaming plans come with data limits, and exceeding them often leads to even higher charges.
The choice between Prepaid SIMs and data roaming depends your individual needs. Choose data roaming if convenience is more important than cost. For those who want an affordable option and don't mind using a new phone number in Bali, then Prepaid is the best option. Prepaid SIMs are available at airports and local shops, or otherwise e-SIMs bought online allow you to get data without using a physical SIM at all!
How to Recharge SIM Cards in Bali
There are multiple ways to recharge your SIM card in Bali once your data package has been used or has expired. The easiest way to recharge a SIM for travellers in Bali is to head to the store of an official provider and ask them to recharge your SIM for you. This is because the staff at the actual stores usually speak Indonesian and English and are experienced with helping tourists to recharge.
Below are three different methods for recharging a SIM Card in Bali: At the store of an official provider, by telephone or by mobile app.
- At an Official Provider’s Store:
- Visit a nearby store or authorised agent of your trusted SIM card provider.
- Inform the staff that you wish to recharge your Bali SIM card.
- Specify the desired recharge amount, and provide your phone number or SIM card details.
- Complete the payment, and you'll receive a confirmation once the recharge is processed.
- Dial the provider's customer support number, typically indicated in the instructions that came with your SIM card.
- Follow the automated prompts to select your recharge amount and payment method.
- Enter the necessary details, such as your SIM card number and preferred payment method, and confirm the transaction.
- Download the official app of your SIM card provider from the app store on your device.
- Open the app and log in with your account details or create a new account if required.
- Navigate to the recharge or top-up section within the app.
- Select your preferred recharge amount and payment method.
- Confirm the transaction and the app will update your balance accordingly.
Tips for Using SIM Cards in Bali
When using a SIM card in Bali, the practical tips below will enhance your experience and help you stay connected at all times:
- Check your phone's compatibility: Before purchasing a SIM card in Bali, make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network. This ensures that the SIM card purchased in Bali works seamlessly with your device.
- Verify coverage: While Bali generally has good network coverage, there are a few remote areas where connectivity is weaker. Before visiting remote areas in Bali, inquire about the coverage of your chosen SIM card provider to avoid connectivity issues.
- Registration process: Register your Bali SIM card promptly after purchase. Failure to register within a specific time frame can result in disconnection.
- Data monitoring: Keep an eye on your data usage to avoid unexpected charges while you are in Bali. Most SIM card providers offer ways to check your data balance via SMS or a mobile app.
- Explore data packages: Check the different data packages offered by your chosen SIM card provider in Bali. Choose the one that best fits your needs best on how long you plan to stay in Bali and how much data you think you need.
Is the Wifi good in Bali?
The Wifi in Bali is of mixed quality, with some hotels and restaurants offering better Wifi than others. The availability and quality of Wi-Fi internet in Bali has improved significantly in recent years, especially in popular tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud. To access reliable Wi-Fi, we recommend checking ahead at restaurants or your accommodation to ensure they have a good Wi-Fi connection. It's also a good idea to read online reviews from other travellers, as they often include information about the quality of Wi-Fi services in various establishments. Many places that claim to offer Wi-Fi still may have connectivity issues, so it's wise to have a contingency plan if you intend to be online consistently during your Bali visit.
Additionally, Bali has become a hub for digital nomads, and the need for reliable Wi-Fi is evident in the emergence of excellent co-working spaces like Outpost and Biliq. Co-working spaces are known for providing reliable high-speed Wi-Fi, making them the best place to go to ensure good wifi connectivity in Bali.