Jul 12

XL's 3G LogoSince my recent review of private Internet Access Options in Bali from January 2007, things have changed quite a bit. Telkom Speedy (a DSL variant) is heavily promoted everywhere for land lines with analogue connections. And a few months ago, a few operators started to roll out 3G, that is 3rd Generation for Mobile Networks.

3G or UMTS, as it’s widely called, is basically an extension to regular GSM mobile networks, allowing them for higher bandwidth (throughput) and lower latency (less delay) for Data and Voice Connections.

While we evaluated the Telkom Speedy DSL Service already here, 3G is something new for Bali. As it’s fairly novel, it’s quite hard to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

3G Operators

XL's 3G Coverage in BaliSo far, at least 4 operators are planning or are in the process of rolling out 3G services in Bali. Those are XL (a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia), Telkomsel (the biggest local mobile operator), Indosat (another local operator) and Hutchison Whampoa (an operator from Hong Kong, run by Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong richest man). He is so rich, that his name even made it as a sound for money -“Ka-Shingggg!” (Okay I made that one up) ;-)

XL's 3G HSDPA Coverage in the most populated regions of BaliHutchison with their ‘3‘ brand and Indosat have no 3G coverage in Bali yet, though in other parts of Indonesia (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya). GPRS works okay (I tried Indosat M3 prepaid a while ago), but is too slow and too expensive for longer surfing session.

So we are mainly left with XL and Telkomsel. The coverage for 3G is improving rapidly and even HSDPA (an even faster version of 3G/UMTS up to 3.6 Mbps download) is possible in certain areas. At least XL is providing coverage maps, an updated version can be found here.

While Telkomsel is showing plenty of advertisements island-wide but no real Data Tariff & Pricing Information, it seems they also want to cash in extra on Videocalls and other 3G Value Added services. There is a fee of Rp 1.200 per minute advertised for Videocalls as you can see here, which for me is a paradox, as it makes the use of Skype and other Call and Conferencing Programs more expensive or even obsoletes them, as the access and use of those 3rd-party-programs might be barred. I couldn’t find out more information on that so far.

So I restrict myself here to XL’s prices, which are volume-based:

Pricing Information

You can basically subscribe for one of 3 packages – 250 Mbyte, 1 Gbyte or 4 Gbyte, here the pricing info off their website:

250 Mbyte per month cost Rp 99.000 (around USD 11)

1 Gbyte per months costs Rp 279.000 (around USD 31)

4 Gbyte per months costs Rp 499.000 (around USD 55)

10% taxes apply. You will pay around Rp 4 for every 10 Kbyte exceeding your package.

What equipment do you need?

That depends how you want to surf. If you just want to check some websites, e-mail or weather information – a 3G mobile phone and the respective SIM card of one of the providers is all you need. Connect it to your Laptop via USB cable and you can surf with your favorite browser as usual and use all your applications, bookmarks, etc.

Sony Ericsson K610i - 3G phoneLast time I checked, the cheapest phone without contract here in Bali is the very slim and light Sony Ericsson K610 which costs only around Rp 1.800.000, something around USD 200.

Please note that most cheaper 3G phones up to date support only the basic 3G functions, faster standards or protocols like 3.5G/HSDPA are mainly supported by more expensive models.

So if you mainly want to surf with your Laptop or Notebook, be future-proof and want to use the full speed available, you better make use of a PCMCIA card for your Notebook, which are cheaper and offer even better performance.

While XL is offering their own PCMCIA card for Computer Users (for Rp. 2.200.000 with a 15% discount, if you sign up for at least a 1 GByte package); you don’t have to buy it to use their 3G services (and probably shouldn’t, as it’s more expensive and probably SIM locked to their network only, so not to interesting for travelers who might want to use 3G in other countries, like Singapore or the Philippines).

Cingular Aircard 875 for 3G/HSDPAInstead buy an independent 3G PCMCIA card, like the Sierra Wireless Aircard 875, which is cheaper and not SIM-locked, thus you can use it with either 3G operator in Indonesia, or as well with 3G Globe in the Philippines or Mobile-1 in Singapore or T-Mobile in Europe or the US or wherever.

I was able to get the above mentioned card here in Bali for Rp 1.450.000 (around USD 160) as a Cingular-branded but not SIM-locked version. This card has good reviews and they offer Windows Vista drivers already.

If you look at EBay, these card are even selling for as low as USD 119 net at the moment, although you have to add shipping, handling and possibly insurance; as standard mail often gets lost when sent to Indonesia and usually takes weeks or even months to reach here.

So how is the performance?

I the corner where I live in Bali, at the edge of Seminyak/Kerobokan, I only get 2 bars out of 5 coverage for XL’s 3G service, but these 2 bars are steady or very constant.

I can use Skype Voice and Videocall; Videoconferencing with Singapore or Germany is very clear and without delay.

The speed increase compared to my Indosat Dial-up is sooooo dramatic, that I was jumping around my room laughing and celebrating! It’s subjective at least 5 times faster to surf regular international websites and download speeds pull everything from 15 kbps to 50 kbps currently – with only 2 bars out of 5! With increasing coverage this would even improve in the next couple of months.

Compared to Dial-ups 2-8 kbps download speeds, there is no doubt about the Internet Access I will use in the future. I’m currently using XL’s 3G for the last 10 days, where I didn’t notice any interruption of service or serious delays in internet access speed.

This is of course very subjective, as I don’t have full coverage and didn’t use any tools to measure the constancy of the download speed and latency yet.

To subscribe for XL’s 3G services, simply pop by their XL Center in Sunset Road, don’t forget your passport and a Credit Card. You can sign up or cancel their service monthly, which is convenient enough.

The installation of the Datacard and the application is all rather uncomplicated, it comes with instructions and driver disk for Windows PCs (including Windows Vista) – I had it all up and running within 15-20 minutes, which included a firmware update for the Datacard. If someone is interested, I can post the address of the shop in Denpasar where I ordered and bought the Datacard. Delivery takes 2-3 days.

3G Dunia Telkomsel LogoI would like to find out more about Telkomsel’s 3G coverage and network, as they are the biggest provider of GSM services in Indonesia and should even have a better 3G coverage than XL. Their 3G portal can be found here, although their pricing plans remain currently a mystery to me.

I’m interested as well in a competitive pre-paid 3G service, as it makes matters even more convenient and you are less dependant on a contract with a certain provider.

Maybe someone of you has more experience already? Please share here!

(Disclaimer: I’m in no way affiliated with XL, Sony Ericsson, Cingular, Sierra Wireless or any other mobile vendor; neither was I paid or asked to write this post. This is just to inform other long-term residents in Bali about new, faster and more affordable ways of connecting to the Internet.)

Technorati : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

or save article to your Facebook with 1 simple click:


written by Chris

92 Responses to “3G Wireless – finally affordable Internet for the Island of the Gods?”

  1. BertNo Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Thanks. Interesting. Looks like even the North of Bali has coverage now.

  2. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    This is an interesting read, Chris. I could have done some review about wireless connection here in the Philippines as well. Wired communication is getting less complicated by the day…

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    That would be great Dodong! I would happily add your additions in a new post or link back to your website, Dodong. I’m very interested in 3G in the Philippines as well, as it probably is one of my next longer-term destinations…

  4. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    There is a thread ongoing at the Bali Expat Forum regarding 3G XL/Indosat and CentrinOnline, which uses the XL 3G network for internet access.


    Curious about that offer, I had to check it out. Coming back from the CentrinOnline Office in Jl. Kaliasem in Denpasar, this is what I found out:

    – the special offer of Unlimited Volume via 3G XL Network for Rp. 245.000 plus tax is still valid until 31/7/2007, one-time fee is Rp. 39.500, the monthly fee will remain the same for 6 months
    – you will get a ‘special’ XL SIM card, where the Speed is artificially restricted to 6 kbps both upload/download
    – The XL (Centrin) network shows only 3 bar out of 5 coverage even at the Centrin Office (2-3 bar at my location Seminyak/Kerobokan)

    I brought my laptop and XL SIM card and ran both connections after each other using the same 3G PCMCIA Laptop Card (Cingular).

    3G XL is definitely *much* faster (app. 5-10 times), subjectively felt when surfing heavy-load websites. Download speeds there where between 10-50kbps with 3G XL, Centrin about 5.7-5.8 kbps constant. Centrin speed seems to be pretty stable (probably due to the artificial limitation), but only *slightly* faster than Dial-up.

    The price is for sure attractive, but would mean a huge step backwards for me considering speed, so I will stick with the XL 3G for now.

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Another 3G addition: the LG Mobile KU 250 is a slim 3G phone with up to 384 kbps 3G speed. It has all modern features like MP3, expandable Card Slot. No support for HSDPA though, but you’ll rarely reach those speeds anyway.

    Guess it’s probably a good choice for people, who want to buy a new phone anyway and want to use it as well for accessing internet either via the built-in browser or by connecting it to a desktop or notebook computer.

    Just saw today in the ‘Bali Post’ that it’s currently on a country-wide promotion at affiliated shops, complete with USB cable for Rp 1.488.000.

    In Bali that would be the ‘Handphone Shop’ in Jl. Teuku Umar 134 and BTC Shop in Jl. Teuku Umar 77.

  6. ArryoNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I was surfing looking for any experience so far with XL 3G when I found your blog-web.Nice.

    Just signed up for 3G XL three days ago, paid Rp. 1.85 mio for the USB 3G-HSDPA modem and was tied up to a contract of 12 month subscription.

    I live in Sentul-Bogor, and only get a constant and stable downstream 60-64 kbps while XL stated that the area in in their 3G coverage.
    Then, I connect to internet on my way to the office, and..and..I got 5 bar constant 3G signal…the downstream speed stays on 300-330 kbps….what a speed!!!

    So, now I am awaiting their response to my email regarding downstream speed in my residence area.

  7. Computers can be a Royal Pain…sometimes | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Related Posts 3G Wireless – finally affordable Internet for the Island of the Gods?Is a Nomadic Lifestyle for you?Google Earth for TravelersUsing Mobile Phones when traveling abroadWhat does Yahoo want with MyBlogLog?Sex, Lust and Foolishness in Asia (Part 1) […]

  8. jermNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hey man, i was just in bali a week and a half ago and i used indosat’s time based 3g at rp100 per minute. it was fast in the beginning but it began to falter towards the end (hotel reception?). anyway this xl shit looks good. do you know if it could work on a mac? i’m gonna try with my z610i phone first but if it works out i might want to look into buying a usb modem or something. any ideas? oh and i’m moving to bali semi-permanently in jan/feb, maybe you could point me out to some cool hotspots?

  9. Angela McCardellNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Dear Chris

    Thanks for all that information. I have a Mac with an Australian Telstra Sierra Turbo-7 USB modem. I am coming to Ubud to teach for six months from February. Have you any information on whether or not I can use that modem in Bali? I think the modem is locked into Telstra at the moment, but if I got it unlocked before I come to Bali in January would i be able to use it there? Thanks for your very informative website. and it is great that internet is coming of age in Indonesia. It is very expensive here in Australia.

    Do you know of any hotspots in Ubud?

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    jerm and Angela McCardell, Hotspots in Bali are notoriously unreliable and slow, especially when used by more than a few people. If there is a good one, it soon is swamped by too many users. Therefore I wouldn’t completely rely on them.

    It’s better to subscribe to one of the modern 3G services, as they truly show the speedy way and will soon replace the fixed-line dependent offers or the overpriced bullies like Blueline or GlobaleXtreme.

    There are 3G offers now by XL, Indosat and Telkomsel Flash, both volume and time-based. Based on your requirements and area of coverage I would check out one of those 3 and go for it. It might be necessary though to find an Indonesian friend who can borrow his/her telephone bill to get the contract set up for you.

    If I’m not wrong, XL offers a prepaid package for 3G too, but the conditions may vary and are adjusted all the time.

  11. steve5000No Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    is there any hdspa coverage in ubud? i’ve heard traditional net access there is bad. thanks

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    steve5000, as far as I know there isn’t HSDPA coverage in Ubud yet, but 3G should work at least with XL, maybe Indosat and Telkom Flash also. I’m rarely in Ubud and when, then without my laptop to check it out. Maybe some other reader knows more about the current situation? You could as well check with the providers.

    In general – despite its popularity – Ubud has worse Internet Access than other touristy areas in Bali.

  13. celesteNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hey Chris,
    it is 21 january and 3G service has been maddening. In fact, it is down to 2G and even though all the bars are showing, I can’t even open up google.. or any other site. Any idea of what might be causing this? Getting an answer from the folks at the sunset road office is tough.
    The service is unstable at the best of times (even with 3G/all bars, I sometimes get “connection was reset” error messages because it just isn’t fast enough to load before the connection fails or hiccups).

  14. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    celeste, it’s sometimes hard to tell why it won’t work. I had similar troubles a few times, but couldn’t reproduce the case or find the reason.

    Sometimes when it’s heavily raining, you will surely have some outage. Currently it’s rainy season, so depending on your location, it could be well it. But it works quite well most of the time for me now.

    One thing happened to me once that it didn’t work from one day to the other. It connected with full bars but no data came through. After trying everything for 2 full days I went to Sunset Road and they told me that they had troubles billing for a month and therefore I was over the agreed limit per month. Their problem actually. So instead of sending me a SMS they simply capped the data flow and I was left clueless without connection.

    Welcome to Indonesia! ;-)

  15. OlivierNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Glad you’re keeping this updated as I have left Bali for a few month, and had to drop my Centrinonline subscription and was looking at other options since, as you mentioned earlier, Centrin has now limited the download speed to ridiculous levels.
    XL does seem to be the way to go these days but I’m not quite sure what a data packet gets you in real time usage. Assuming one doesn’t download anything but just surfs the net for a couple hours each day how long will it be before your 1Giga package is gone and what do they charge you (and how) after that??
    Also you mentioned some 3G modems -I guess PCMCIA card is the right word but it’s really too much for me- can be sim locked. How does one find out if it is, I got mine from Centrinonline when I subscribed, an O2 card at about a $100 which i thought was a fairly good deal at the time but wouldn’t be if it’s locked. But I imagine if they found a way to unlock an iphone, unlocking a 3G modem should be a piece of cake…..???
    I look forward to your answers, TX

  16. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Olivier, you could bring your card to the provider (XL/Telkomsel/Indosat) you are planning to sign up with for your area and let them try to get it to work. That’s what I did. ;-)

    The XL card they offered at that time (as a bundle) only allowed plain vanilla 3G, but no HSDPA, so I bought an unlocked one (the one mentioned above in the article) and it works quite well.

    Good luck for your 3G trials! :-B

  17. OlivierNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanx for the tip Chris though I’m still wondering about how long my 1 giga packet would last me???

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Olivier, it really depends on your usage.

    I can only talk from my experience, mainly casual surfing, maintaining my website/uploading few pictures and downloading the usual patches and tools. I can fairly survive on 1 GB, had a few months with less (when I was busy otherwise) and exceeded it 2 months out of 12 so far.

    You can forget of course online gaming or video download, as well as latency intensive applications; although stock brokerage/online banking should work fine.

    The excess charges are not that bad and you can change your package to 3GB or more easily. So I would suggest to maybe subscribe to the 1 GB package first and see how you get along with it.

    Check out their price plan here, excess volume costs Rp. 0.4/kb or Rp 10 for 10 kb, which isn’t that bad.

  19. sjbaliNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris…

    i have about 1GB traffic a day :P.. i would die i guess, if i had to use 3G with 1GB a month lah!!! >:)

    Even Globalxtreme has now god cheap packages starting from 700.000Rp unlimited… of course the install cost one time.. 2,5mill Rupiah.

    The 3G is not bad if you in a good coverage area, but then a fast line makes you might surfing more.. watching some youtube videos etc.. guess you must have a lot self control hehe :-?

  20. Angela McCardellNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Any idea if XL supports Mac if i get a Sierra aircard?

  21. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    sjbali, you are definitely right. I’m quite disciplined in that regard. I just don’t want to spend that much money for internet only. :D

    Of course it would be nice to surf more, but then I also would spend a lot more time in front of the computer, while Bali has soooo much more to offer.

    So I condition myself and think that it’s a good thing for me. Haha!

    As well – I don’t dig Global Extreme. The few times I had to do with them (inquiring for internet access in my area) they were rather arrogant and didn’t show any effort. And the prices are quite hefty for what they offer, but yeah, that’s maybe only my humble opinion. :-?

    Angela, although I’m not familiar with Apple systems, I guess it’s more a matter, if the 3G card supports your Mac. What I found on the Sierra Website is that they do. Click here to download drivers, Macintosh is one option.

    A few months back, AT&T took over the further support for those Sierra cards, you might want to check on their site for drivers as well. Although I’m still using the Sierra Drivers on Vista and never had a problem with them, I tried but de-installed the AT&T drivers, which came with more system clutter.

    You don’t even have to necessarily get the Sierra Card anyway, meanwhile there should be plenty of 3G cards (even cheaper) on the market. Just make sure that they are not SIM-locked, support HSDPA and come with Macintosh drivers and you should be fine. Or get an USB device, which you could even use for desktop computers without that PCMCIA slot. :-B ;-)

  22. GabrielleNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Well, a few of us are madly weighing 3G services and collecting info – and it’s coming down to Indosat or XL.

    Anyone know where to find a USB 3G modem for Macs here in Bali? Found one in Denpasar, quoted for 3 million (!). Are there better (cheaper) ones available?

  23. RHDNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    XL is realy good at this moment for its 3G/3.5G service. I just suscribed it few days ago. Much better than Matrix familiy he he he. I’m living in Teuku Umar DPS, very fast from there. from Mocca Cafe Canggu also fine :)

  24. angelaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yes I have a Telstra Wireless Sierra Aircard modem in Australia which works fine on my Mac. There is no problem connecting to it – you just have to go to the SIerra Website and find the type of modem you have bought and just follow the instructions there – it was very simple for me and I am looking to get one here in Bali as that modem was locked into Telstra in Australia. Does anyone know about the reception of wireless in Ubud Kelod, near the Tchampuan bridge?

  25. francoisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi congratulations for your website !
    Do you know if XL offers a prepaid 3G service ?

  26. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    francois – currently there isn’t a prepaid 3G service in Bali, as far as I know. All providers only offer postpaid, although the minimum contract period is usually as low as 3 months.

    Gabrielle, usually there isn’t any specific Mac equipment regarding 3G/UMTS. You have to buy a generic one and make sure that it comes with Macintosh drivers.

  27. Cost of Living Chart - Bali (in Rupiah, Dollar and Euro) | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Electricity Costs and Internet Costs (not in this chart – but more details here or for 3G internet here) falling into that […]

  28. SarahNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:


    I will be going to the eastern side of Flores Island and was wondering if anyone can tell me what service to use for high speed internet. Will be leaving from Bali. Don’t mind paying for it.


  29. Maxime RoyNo Gravatar CANADA Says:


    Wow — thanks for the great site and infos Chris ! I bookmarked and follow-it through RSS too.

    As a Internet-worker-traveler coming in Asia in May 2008 for 7 months with wife and kid, with the follwing itinerary:

    – Indonedia/Bali (60+30 days, beach house renting)
    – Thailand/Koh Samui (60+30 days, beach house renting)

    (And some small trip to Malaysia, VietNam, Singapore and China)

    I was wondering what is the best Mobile-Internet solution for me.

    Having bought the Sierrra “unlocked-card” on eBay yesterday.

    My current concerns are:

    – Speed, availability and extra bandwith costs, since I am an Internet Developper working 24h / day ;-)

    – Do I have to sign-up with each 3G provider 1 by 1 of the countries I’ll visit or there is a Global Southeast Asia 3G Provider ? So my acccess will be Southeast Asia-wide ?

    Thanks in advance for the precisions.


  30. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sarah – I’m sorry, I don’t have any idea regarding internet in Flores. Please keep in mind that Flores is even less developed than Lombok or other, much smaller islands in Indonesia. It would be tough to get “high-speed” internet there. Even in Bali most people consider something around 128 kbps as high speed. ;-)

    Maxime Roy – I would recommend you buying a separate SIM card for every country you are in. Of course you could use a provider who has roaming agreements with all other countries, but you would end up paying double, triple or even more for that privilege not to change your SIM card when traveling.

    South East Area is a vast and diverse area, the countries you mentioned are simply too different and although there are roaming agreements between providers, these are more meant for a quick-call or some SMS only – but for constant internet access via Roaming you will probably pay with an arm and a leg. :-o

  31. Maxime RoyNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi all,

    I think this link is really interesting for people looking for a 3G, HSPA providers anywhere in the world, you can also sort by continent, country.


    Looks like Thailand is late implementing HSPA compare to others countries.


  32. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks Maxime Roy – that is really a great find! Very good for a check when traveling to another country and in need to know which providers to contact for that 3G SIM card. =D>

  33. Scott LambertNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    My partner and I are located just behind the Ultimo sign in Oberoi – does anyone use XL’s 3G internet in that area with success?

  34. AlexNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I got this link from a friend of my customer.
    It will be too long to write here what I’ve been through to have good internet connection in Bali since years ago. I haven’t had the time to build my website nor starting a blog thus unable to share my thoughts & knowledge.

    Specifically for 3G HSDPA system under GSM network, it is currently the best solution for those who are mobile or in remote area. I’ve been selling some different model and brand of modems as well as supporting the Macintosh users scattered all over Bali. I’ve put an advertisement at Bali Advertiser since last year and got so many inquiries. I work closely with XL office on Sunset Road, Kuta too far before Telkomsel launched their high speed HSDPA ‘Flash’. Don’t expect any good help from any of these operators for your connection problems if you don’t know anyone working inside.

    Feel free to call, +623617437138, +62818548095, +6281558834560. Try other number if one fails.

  35. feritNo Gravatar TURKEY Says:

    ı heve got a lecture which about 3g…ıf you help me,ı will be happy….thanks

  36. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    ferit, I sent you an e-mail, but please bear in mind that I’m no expert in 3G, only a happy user. :-B

  37. Maxime RoyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks to this BLOG , I am now using XL Xplor 3G post-paid service for 3G/data/month in Nosa Dua, Bali.

    2 bars / 5 signal in HSPA.

    Quite fast for Mobile Internet.

  38. PhilipNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    there’s a new package that you might find interesting:

    Especially considering XL will kill all their unlimited offer by July.

  39. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Maxime Roy, glad you like it. In my area I have now constantly 4-5 out of 5 bars and speed is just great. I’m currently using the 3 GB package.

    Wow Philip, I just checked the link and those prices really look interesting! I’m not so sure about the coverage of Telkomsel Flash, a few months back it was just a few spots mainly around Kuta. Maybe I should give it a try now.

    What do you mean with the unlimited XL offers getting killed in July? I wasn’t even aware they offer some. You are talking about unlimited bandwidth, aren’t you? :-?

  40. PhilipNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    On XL:
    they do have unlimited volume package, but not unlimited bandwith. Those package was retailed via Centrin, Quasar, CBN, and several other ISP. Those package are limited to 64 kbps.
    Even the Telkomsel Flash new package are not fully unlimited, as there are bandwith limitation and volume limitation (after 3 GB you can only get 64 kbps)
    Here in Ubud, I used Centrin package, but the performance is not to high, as most BTS in Ubud still stuck in GPRS speed.

  41. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Nevertheless it sounds like an interesting package, Philip. Will check them out in about 10 days. Currently have a visitor and am mainly on the road.

  42. AndyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Does any of you know if there is at least a GPRS provider working in Labuanbajo, Flores?

    Thanks a lot!
    Cheers Andy

  43. makooNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hallo chris..i’m new in your blog!
    i’d skimm your blog before… its quite complete
    I just install Bali Medianet in my house (128kbps ratio 1:10) unlimited for 490rb/month.. its still in trial time
    i’m about to cancel it and use telkomflash unlimited..
    what i’m asking here is what is your experience on telkomflash unlimited…
    thank you

  44. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    makoo, as mentioned before, I’m very much interested in that Telkomsel Flash offer, due to the flat fee. I will check it out in the coming weeks, at least for a month in parallel to my current XL 3G. If they have good coverage in my area and the service is stable, I will probably switch due to the lower costs.

    I’m just a bit busy currently with visitors and it will take a few more weeks. You will probably have it then earlier than me. ;-)

  45. celesteNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    hello and thanks again for keeping up this blog! just want to share some of my recent experience with Indosat and XL “customer service” regarding canceling package subscriptions – both companies make it very difficult! I won’t even bore blog readers with the details of the XL transaction (i’ll never use them again) and I am still furious with Indosat. Called their office to cancel, was sent an email with instructions (send form, copy of passport, etc). I complied with these instructions, got a note that my cancellation had been processed. End of story, I thought. 3 WEEKS later I get a call from an Indosat rep, informing me that I have to come into the office, sign a form and return my card in order for the cancellation to go through. So…Indosat was able to bill me for that extra month even though I thought I’d cancelled. There’s a massive disconnect between the Jakarta and Bali offices; there are no supervisors/managers in Bali and there’s absolutely no recourse. What if I hadn’t been on the island and able to come into the office? I think that Indosat and XL are using slightly deceptive practices and I’m going to avoid both of them wherever and whenever possible. Did I mention that I was referred to Indosat by a customer service rep at XL??!
    The more choices that become available on Bali, the better…so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s up with this new Telkomsel service.

  46. AndyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I’m back from Labuan Bajo, Flores because I found no usable internet access.

    First I tried indosat: With them I had a 0.4 – 1kb/s GPRS connection which was disconnected every 5 to 10 minutes. No signal! After 10 to 15 minutes the signal reappears and I was able to connect again. Honestly saying: A pain in the arse.

    Then I tried a/the local internet cafe. They didn’t allowed me to use my personal notebook.

    Next I tried a simPati sim card: No luck either.

    My last attempt was to use the internet connection of a newly build luxury hotel. They were very friendly, they would let me use their connection for 4’000’000 (four million!) Rupiahs a month, but they had the same problem with disconnects and slowleyness.

    The bottom line is that I’m back in Bali and finish my work here before I can go back to Flores :(

  47. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    celeste and Andy – many thanks for sharing your experiences with Indosat, XL and simPati here! I agree with you that the more options and competition we have, the better. Flores will probably need another few months, as it’s pretty remote and not so densely populated.

    Some update regarding Telkomsel Flash 3G:

    Just coming back from the Telkomsel HQ in Denpasar, where I tried to speed-test their Flash 3G service following the attractiveness of above mentioned unlimited 3G Promo. Although the HSDPA sign was shown all the time with 5/5 bars, it was pretty inconclusive. The surfing speed looked quite promising at first, but some websites didn’t connect at all. Trying http://www.speedtest.net, ping times were >999 ms to Jakarta and Brisbane, with disconnects when measuring DL and UL speeds. One time the download speed ran through with 552 kbps to Brisbane, a second time with 80 kbps only, but overall plenty of timeouts, pretty unstable. Speedtest at 2wire.com showed around 80-90 kbps. That was around 2pm.

    They mentioned administrative problems to cover the area south-west of Denpasar (Kerobokan) where I live, but recommended to give it a try anyway with a prepaid starter package of simpati (Rp. 10.000) and activated 3G (SMS 3G to 3636).

    I did that when back home, but unfortunately couldn’t get a 3G signal here at all. Phone signal is 4 out of 5 only as well.

    With XL’s 3G I have 3-4 bars, but steady downloads of 40-60 kbps, although the upload is lacking throughput. I will stick with them for now and wait and see for another few months, if Telkomsel improve their coverage area and stability. It might work better in other areas – anyone who is interested should give it a try with that starter package and a 3G phone or card. Nothing much to lose.

  48. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris and all,

    I have subscribed to Telkomsel Flash Unlimited, Pro package. I too live same area as you Chris, Seminyak / Kerobokan. I get full signal in both Seminyak and Kerobokan areas.

    To date, so far 2 weeks usage, I’m not that impressed with the service, I do get better speeds with Telkom Speedy ADSL. For people who have no alternative I guess it’s a good deal, to have the convenience of a 3G mobile connection.

    In their advertisement you will notice the phrase speeds “up to”, and that’s the key. If I’m paying for the Pro package for speeds “up to” 3.6Mbps I do expect a far better connection speed than what I’ve been getting. As Chris mentioned the speed tests @ http://www.speedtest.net are very unstable. The highest speed I’ve got was 800kbps, but that was only once, usually it’s always below 400kbps, that’s when it doesn’t time out.

    Perhaps in time their coverage and service will improve, I hope so. If it was more reliable I would consider using it as my sole internet connection.

    One thing, if you want to use a mobile phone, to achieve better speeds on a 3G network you will need a mobile phone with HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access). This gives speed up to 14.4Mbps, depending on network. Telkomsel state 3.6Mbps which is actually 3.5G network. Otherwise normal 3G will only give you speeds up to 384kbps.

    No point in getting the Pro package if your 3G mobile phone can’t achieve the higher download speeds, go with the “Basic” (up to 256kbps) or “Advance” (up to 512kbps) packages.

  49. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    A follow up on my previous post.

    Since yesterday, so 2 days now, I cannot connect to Telkomsel Flash. I called customer service who reported the problem and stated “up to” 3 days to fix the problem. Here we go with the “up to” statement again.

    3 days to fix an IT problem is outrageous and unacceptable I think. The customer service operator did say many people in Kerobokan area were having problems.

    I believe if they don’t drastically improve the reliability of service and speed I will perhaps cancel my 3G service with Telkomsel, or perhaps try the “Basic” plan, Rp125,000 for 1 month, just for convenience?

    I’d be very interested in any other alternatives anyone can suggest?


  50. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    OK, this will be my last post regarding Telkomsel Flash Unlimited.

    Today, being the 3rd day without being able to connect, I once again called customer service. I am not exaggerating here as I looked in my phone’s call log, but I had to call customer service 18 times to get connected to an operator.

    Once you go through the menus and press 1 for Indonesian or 2 for English, then next choices, etc, it begins to ring but as soon as an operator answers it gets disconnected. My guess is they do this when busy (or lazy), disconnect you on purpose as it happened too many times to be a mistake.

    On a few occasions an operator would answer, “hello, hello, blah blah, I’m sorry I cannot hear you, thank you for calling Telkomsel customer service” and then they disconnect the call. On my Nokia phone I can record conversations, so I went back and listened to those calls. Well… It was the exact same voice, exact same wording. My guess it’s a recording and they again do this when busy or lazy so they can delay your call or just hope you don’t call back.

    On the 18th call when I got connected I explained the problem, they put me on hold for 16 minutes. Yes, 16 minutes! The hold music and promotional ads are very annoying. If I could reach through the phone and slap them into silence I would be very happy.

    When the operator comes back on the phone the operator spoke English like a retarded person, I mean she would pause 3 or 4 seconds between words, then repeat the same thing 3 or 4 times. Why have the “press 2 for English” choice if your staff cannot speak English correctly? I asked what the problem was, she said the problem is fixed, please try connect to Flash. I again asked what was the problem, so in the future I could perhaps know if it was the same problem. Anyway, she repeated again and again, problem fixed, blah blah, so there was no way for me to learn what exactly the problem was?

    After I hung up I tried to connect, but no, no, no, it was not fixed. I tried again for the next few hours but still could not connect. I again called customer service, it only took 6 times to connect this time, thank you so much Telkomsel. I once again described my problem and stated I was interested in knowing what the problem was but instead just wanted to cancel my Flash Unlimited service. Oh no, can’t do that, have to go into their office to do that.

    Ahhh… So frustrating. What a waste of time and money. I will cancel the service this week. Enough is enough, terrible service!

  51. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Mike, based on your experiences, I decided to give it another try with Flash. First there wasn’t any signal again, but I just left it searching and after 20 minutes it picked a 3G signal up and later even switched to HSDPA! I could surf for about 30 minutes at respectable speeds, although downloads never completed and weren’t able to resume. I could run a speedtest once, which showed DL speed of 614K and UL of 259K, which is quite impressive. Unfortunately I had a few disconnects in between and after half an hour the signal was lost again completely.

    So, when reading through your odyssey, I guess Telkomsel Flash is just what it is: not properly rolled out yet in our area and even in Denpasar/their HQ. Seems we still have to wait a few more months, until they get their act together and stabilize their service.

    As you live in my area, I can only recommend trying out XL’s 3G, which worked the last 12 months quite good for me. Not that fast like Flash during its best times, but sufficient and stable without the odd disconnects. UL speed is lower, but manageable. They offer 3 GB volume for Rp. 499.999 plus tax, which is alright, if you use netmeter or similar to monitor your usage. Their phone service sucks as well, though. So, if you run into any problems, it’s better to drop by their office in Sunset Road, the tekkies there were capable to fix anything, the 2 times I had serious problems.

    All the best for your next trials! ;-)

  52. IdrusNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi chris and all,
    currently I life in Yogyakarta. I’d like to know, is there HSDPA(not only 3g/umts) coverage in both Seminyak and Kerobokan areas?. And have you tried IM2 HSDPA package in your areas?. I think IM2 is better than the other Provider. :D

    Kulo Nuwun, and Nyuwun Pangapunten for your experiment

  53. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I checked with Indosat once a few months back and they didn’t have coverage for any other area except Kuta in Bali. But maybe that changed now, you are probably right – it should be a good time to check out their offers as well…

  54. Goodbye Asus Eee PC! The Uber Gadget for Travelers is something else | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] one of the reasons, why 3G internet is very popular these days in Asia and other regions as well. It took off here with a big bang and much more attention than in Western […]

  55. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I have cancelled my Telkomsel Flash service. It has been a very bad experience. Telkomsel are terrible at customer service, they are basically liars!

    My Flash service has been so slow, and now I have NO 3G signal at all in my area. It has been almost 2 weeks with no 3G signal, I have to connect with GPRS which gives me speeds the same as dial-up modem. I don’t pay for 3G service to be only able to connect with GPRS!!!

    I advise everyone to NOT use Telkomsel Flash 3G service until they have fixed all their problems, improved customer service and have a far better coverage area with strong 3G signal.

  56. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Mike, thats really too bad. Let’s give them another few months and hopefully the increasing competition will show them the right path. If not – there are thankfully other alternatives. ;-)

  57. Update: XL’s 3G Internet Problems - it’s seriously broken in Indonesia | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] a glowing supporter of XL’s 3G service in Indonesia. Check out my promoting detailed report here. Not only did it work neatly fast for the last 12 months, it had good stability, decent coverage […]

  58. PeteNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I am coming to Bali (in Sept) and hoping to have some 3G connection for my HP 2133 Mini Notebook > but the only slot on mine an Expresscard/54 – so that might not be an option.
    Do the have a USB 3G modem available (unlocked) for around 1.5m IRP..??

  59. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I bet they have those, Pete. But you might better want to check your home area for a similar modem, as Bali is not famous for selling the cheapest electronics. And buying computer parts will take you less time at home than during your well-deserved holiday, right? ;-)

    Anyway, the best place in Bali is probably RIMO, the 4-story electronic store in Denpasar.

  60. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Our villa in Kerobokan has got a Indosat Hotspot connection, but it is painfully slow during the daytime. We will try the Medianet 512kbs shared among 10 ppl to see if it is any faster. Anyone have experiences on their services? Are their dedicated lines a better choice?

    Telkomsel Flash here in Kerobokan is only GPRS, and thus VERY slow, and I can barely read my emails with it.

    Any suggestions on what connection we should choose? We’ll be here for 3+ weeks more and require a stable connection. Download speed doesnt have to be huge as long as it doesnt disconnect all the time

  61. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Mike, for 3 weeks you might only have the chance of using what you got. All providers (XL, Telkomsel Flash, Indosat 3.5G) offer prepaid services as well, so maybe you want to buy the cheap starter packs and try in your area if one works better than the other. I wouldn’t even think of getting a post-paid service for 3 weeks only. Other options are Internet Cafes of course, which can offer reliable and faster connection, for instance Chat Cafe (Jalan Sunset/Jalan Kunti) isn’t too shabby.

  62. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks for your reply.

    The Medianet 512kbs / 10 users shared is an OK option, works fast in the night time, but is quite slow but reliable in the day time. It costs somewhat though, like 1.5 rupiah per month.

    Telkomsel Flashes are pretty useless here, only GPRs speed and totally unrelliable.

  63. Living the Good Life in Bali - a Wrap up after 2 Years | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] cream baths or wellness programs. Drink a ice-cold Bintang beer or that colorful cocktail, while surfing the internet to get into the right mood. Swim with dolphins or visit sunken wrecks on the bottom of the ocean. […]

  64. johnNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    I’m one of those suffering from bandwidth quota problems. Browsing the web on 1GB per month feels like a big crimp on my freedom.

    I’m trying out this new HematNet.com and so far, it’s decent. I get anywhere from 10 to 40% savings on my quota usage.

  65. RobCNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I will need permanent 3G/3.5G access in Canggu starting 10-Dec-2008. I have read every line in this blog and concluded XL is the way to go. We are about 1km inland from Echo Beach.

    The XL www site does not show coverage maps. Can anyone confirm if they can get 3G or HSDPA near Echo Beach?



  66. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    RobC, don’t bet on it in Canggu! Try to check the coverage beforehand by buying a prepaid card from any Wartel before investing in the post-paid contract. You might want to read this article as well.

    Don’t worry too much though – it will be still better than less-than-dial-up speed via Tata Indicom CDMA in India. ;-)

  67. AlexNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Hey guys,

    I am visiting Bali from April to August this year (2009) and thought about getting Internet via 3G/UMTS.

    Does anyone of you have a recent status which provider makes sense at the moment? I heard that the 3G internet works very crappy on Bali at this time…

  68. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Alex, prepaid is usually a way more expensive option in Bali for 3G. Best thing would be maybe to drop by the provider showrooms (XL just opposite from Carrefour on Jalan Sunset, Indosat highway near the airport, Telkomsel/Simpati in Denpasar) and check their latest promos. Just watch your volume/timing and be aware that prepaid can probably can cost you an arm and a leg, as there isn’t any flat rate yet as far as I know.

    Another (cheaper) option is probably to go to an internet cafe with your laptop and let them hook you up.

  69. PerNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Last winter in Bali I bought a 3G USB modem to my laptop and bought credit from easia (?) as you buy credit for your mobile telephone. It worked ok in Kerobokan. The 3G USB modem of course contains a sim card, and I suppose this could be changed with a XL data sim card. Now I come back to Bali next month, but I cannot finde esia on the internet. Anyone know of it?

  70. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Per, to my understanding, easia is a budget mobile phone provider in Indonesia. I didn’t even know that they provide 3G services also, as I thought they were on CDMA frequency. Anyway, check them out when you are back in Bali, worst case you might have to buy a new 3G card (GSM/UMTS) for your laptop or use your 3G phone as a modem when connecting to your computer.

  71. SamNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Chris – great website. Thanks for the service you provide. We’re returning to Bali in Nov. Our Bali daughter building a small house in Kerobokan, sounds like fairly near you. The Lenovo S10-2 netbook I’m bringing has built-in mobile broadband … takes a SIM card. I work with a fully online graduate school so need to be online a lot. Any suggestions on approach to take getting mobile broadband? We’ll be there a month, but probably will leave the laptop with our daughter. We travel there several times a year.

  72. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Sam, I’m currently not up2date with the best mobile broadband options in Bali, as I left about a year ago. But basically it means 3G for you. Prepaid or Postpaid makes little difference, although you might get postpaid only with a valid residential address and some utility bills in your name. Prepaid should be possible also, but surely dependent on your location. Don’t expect speed and reliability of western countries though. Your Netbook sounds like a neat gadget to access the internet and definitely safer than Internet Cafes. Good luck! ;-)

  73. TomNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I have to say– a guy left Bali a year ago and is still nice enough to reply to requests for information about Bali on his blog: here’s to you Chris, hopefully we cross paths when you make it back to Bali.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue my quest to find a better solution than Blueline soho. Very good customer support, speed good too, but when I have to be online during weekdays the cost gets crazy!

    I might as well go to drink champagne on the beach, at a place with free wi-fi!!! Good luck Chris and thanks for the info—Tom

  74. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hey Tom, what a nice statement – thanks! *blush*

    Meanwhile I’m even back in Bali; that was everything from clear when I wrote that last comment. Just arrived 3 days ago and so far things seem to look a bit more interesting. XL can be used now prepaid easily, just let the XL Center set up the settings for you.

    There seems also new option for mobile broadband advertised by Smart (not related with the Philippine company) for 999.000 Rupiah/month unlimited. It seems to be CDMA based and available in the tourist areas (Kuta/Legian/seminyak) via USB dongle. I stay with friends now near Jl. Bypass (near Makro Market) and here, both Global Xtreme and XL seem to be very unreliable, although fast when working. But a few outages daily. As I’m planning to move somewhere around Seminyak/Kerobokan again, I will post an update when I checked all options then. ;-)

  75. RobNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:


    My 2 cents worth: I have been using pre-paid Telkomsel Flash very successfully in Canggu. What I really like about FLASH is that you get to see a ‘Login’ WWW page (like a Hotspot) before you actually start paying. And you get to see on the Login page:
    – How much credit (Pulsa) you have left on your prepaid SIM
    – How much time credit you have paid for but not used yet
    – A box where you can type-in a 16 digit recharge voucher. That is you can recharge via the www page (!) Nice.

    6am on a Holiday = 1 Mbps or better
    Business Hours: 170 kbps is typical.

    About 2 days/month it does not work – sometimes for 24 hrs. (So I whip out my Indosat Starone CDMA dongle – slower but ALWAYS works)

    I use the time-based option (there is also a data based option) – and typically use the Rp100,000 for 24 hours of usage (within 12 days)..which works out at Rp8,000/day if I use it for 2hrs or less on average daily.

    Signal is OK where I am in Canggu – but I have actually mounted the dongle on a 3G router in my roof (nice and high) and then connect the laptop via WiFi to the router.

  76. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rob, great info – thanks! As I will move somewhere near Canggu/Seminyak/Kerobokan also most likely, this is very valuable and for sure I will consider Telkomsel Flash. XL doesn’t seem to have made much progress, so it’s always good to have some alternatives.

  77. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hey Chris, welcome back to Bali! Let’s finally meet in person and have a couple of beers! I’m staying in Jl. Double Six, so give me a call when you’re around the area.

  78. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rob, which 3G router are you using and where did you buy it? At RIMO?

  79. RobNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I am using a Billion 7402GXL 3G Router that I purchased in Australia. I am using an E220 USB dongle.

  80. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Telkomsel really sucks. Wanted to top-up my prepaid-SIM today at Telkomsel Office Seminyak. Didn’t bring my SIM card though, as it was in the laptop at home. Big mistake.

    When I switched the laptop on, hours later – the Topup (Pulsa) never arrived! So I went back back to their office; I didn’t even get my money back. “Our system is down. Come back tomo!” Discussing almost 1 hour, no flexibility there. Asked for supervisor/manager – same result. “Today we can’t do anything, come back tomorrow.”

    Yeah, but you took my money today! What business practice is that?

    So today: No Money, No Pulsa, No Internet. Great Customer Service! :(

  81. sangmaneNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    XL 3G in Bali is even more cheaper in 2010. You can get a SIM Card for Internet Unlimited only for Rp 250,000 per month ( about US $ 27 per month ).

    You can buy the card at the XL Center Gallery.

  82. RoseNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:


    I am moving to Bali on a Fulbright Fellowship for a year, but work a great deal online. I’m not terribly familiar with all the computer lingo, but would you suggest purchasing any items in advance in the United States that will make 3G more accessible?



  83. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    An unlocked 3G modem for GSM network is all you would need. And definitely look into the other carrier’s options, as XL for me would now be the last choice. They are now more expensive and unreliable than ever, compared to the competition. :(

  84. MaximNo Gravatar UKRAINE Says:

    Hi Chris,
    What could you advice then instead of XL 3G?

    Thank you in advance,

  85. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    These days it’s hard to predict and to give a general recommendation, Maxim. Telkomsel (Flash), Indosat (IM2/IM3), Axxis, Smart (CDMA-based) all offer besides XL so-called 3G or wireless ‘broadband’ services in Bali. But reliability, network coverage, speed and throughput can be completely different in the area you are in. The cheapest way before committing to any service provider should be to buy a small prepaid SIM card for 5-15K Rupiah and give it a test drive in your unlocked modem in your area.

  86. SergeyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Currenly – the smart with EVDO is winner in bali. Stick cost 976k and gives 3 months for free, after that – 400k per month.
    Speed are 0.5- 3 mbs, not limited traffic. No need any documents to buy it.

    If you go and buy i would recomend buying not usb dongle but Evdo router from them – it has much better reception range.

  87. RobNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Interesting info about Smart service in Bali.

    This page:

    … akses berkecepatan tinggi (EVDO) di daerah JABODETABEK. Diluar JABODETABEK kecepatan yang didapat hanya CDMA 2000 1x.

    JABODETABEK does not include Bali – so SMART say they only runa CDMA 1x speeds. And Wikipedia says: “The 1X standard supports packet data speeds of up to 153 kbps”

    But it is quite possible the SMART www site is simply incorrect or has not been updated.

    Sergey: Have you personally seen speeds above 150 kbps in Bali?


  88. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rob, the text on SMART’s Website is obviously outdated. You can find the EVDO coverage for Bali here: http://www.smart-telecom.co.id/data/jangkauan_smart.php
    I personally tested their services using their 3G-Wifi-Router in Seminyak area with full EVDO signal strength and had results of 200-350 kBit/s. A bit disappointing regarding to their offer. Positive thing about SMART is that you don’t have to buy their package blindfoldly. You just tell them where you live and they send a representative with all the equipment over to your place. In this way you can try out before you buy

  89. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sergey, Rob and Jurgen, nice info about that Smart Service. Doesn’t look too bad after all, if it works in your area and you are happy with the speed. And if it’s really unlimited and un-capped (dropping to much lower speeds after reach cap, like Indosat or Telkomsel ‘Unlimited’ offers), then it really sounds like a good deal for one average monthly charge.

  90. AlexNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    woww, this page gets longer since last time I comment on May 14th 2009. Long input below from me as professional internet setup here in Bali.

    Telkomsel is a government-owned telco, so expect inefficient and incompetent service. Visit their central office on Jalan Diponogoro, next to Rimo, then you’ll queue for at least one hour before greeted by a nice and pretty lady that only smile without able to solve any problem nor answer any query. Sorry to say, but those ladies are more like baby doll to hang out on Sat night :)

    As alternative of 3G / HSDPA system of GSM network, I’ve been working closely and sell Smart modem and router since they arrive in Bali here. Their website and coverage page is not updated regularly, so you just need to borrow a modem and try it at your place before deciding to purchase one. Or simply pay a computer service for a site visit and survey any internet possibility on the establishment. Save so much time, money, and energy throughout the process. Smart office has only two competent customer service standing by, so bear the queueing for 1.5 hour just for queueing.

    End of 2009, Smart introduced the 7.2Mbps technology and recorded in Indonesia Record Museum as the fastest internet technology over cellular based network. I was one of the invitation at Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel. However until now, there is no supporting device (modem) capable of this speed. In fact, Smart’s speed and quality of service has dropped so much until this moment due to very high user.

    FYI, the best speed I could record on Smart router is 2.8Mbps for their CDMA EVDO technology. It was tested on November 7th 2009, by Mimpi Resort next to Four Season Hotel Jimbaran. I sold the router straight away ;)
    Streaming TV, Youtube, and Skype at the same time was unbelievably capable in Bali.

    Reached 1.5Mbps at Jalan Dewi Sri, Sunset Road, some time early 2010. It was 1Mbps stable speed and reliability on Yamaha motor centre on Jalan Diponogoro. Average speed for Denpasar area is in hundreds kbps.

    Again,… different area means different speed. Canggu area beyond Canggu Club is only 100kbps average. At Canggu Deli itself, reached 600kbps. Meaning their antenna tower must be somewhere south of Canggu Club. I’ve got many call-out for internet possibility in Canggu area and no connection any better than this unless you have a phone line compatible for ADSL.

    XL has now have a special card for unlimited-time based internet use. It comes pre-set ready for internet so saving the pain of calling their no-brainer operator for activation. Speed is limited to 256kbps or 512kbps if you pay more.

    Indosat? Well, the truth about Indosat 3G / HSDPA network is they have very strong and valid support and infrastructure in Sumatra and Java islands but definitely not outside these two island of Indonesia. It is related to the history background of the company which was originally a government-owned telco, Java-centered marketing. If you are amongst the very rare happy customer of Indosat 3G, then carry on and keep silent.

    +62 8311 819 816, +62 361 7437138, +62 818 548 095.
    Try other number if one fail.

  91. MarcNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi all,

    Great posts, I basically read them all but after I noticed the time frame being between 2008 and 2010.

    I’ll be in Bali for a month between January and February, initially I though for vacations but I renewed a contract and I’ll have to work from there, I’ll require VPN (back in Canada) and use my VM.

    Since things appears to change quite fast in Bali, what would you guys recommend now for my needs?

    Note that since I really have to deliver some work, I don’t really care about the price, I need something reliable, I plan to stay in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak area, perhaps Ubud as well but don’t mind staying at 1 location for reliable connectivity.

    Thanks for any feedback,

    Cheers, Happy New Year 2011 :)


  92. Serge GluhovNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    1) you need to live different places in bali? then you should buy something mobile – like few simcards and activate 3g on them. If you will not buy any 3g discounter package you will spend more than 100 bucks a month but your traffic will be prioritized. You can “pulsa” add money on them anywhere in bali – all you need to know is just number.
    2) if you have few hours you can get modem from smart – it is cheaper and faster than 3g.
    3) most of wireless operators are non reliable at all in bali, expect minimum 1 day downtime per month.
    4) VPN – you can do it be youself- that is easy. Nobody will shape it. They dont shape torrents also.

Leave a Reply

Hey, if you want a picture to show by your comment, why not get a gravatar?

;-) :twisted: :roll: :oops: :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :evil: :cry: :arrow: :?: :-| :-x :-o :-P :-D :-? :) :( :!: 8-O 8)