Cell phones in Bali

Tourists and expats in Bali can pick up a cell phone very easily. Around town you will see streetside places selling phones, which,includes new and used phones.

Buying a cell phone in Seminyak:
Diamond is located next to Bread Station in the parking lot of Bintang supermarket. Open from 9.30am-10.00pm. I talked to the manager about new phones. They sell new Nokia, Samsung, Erickson, Motorola, Siemen phones. Diamond, Jl. Raya Seminyak #71, (0361) 736779.

If you take your Bali phone to USA, you need a 3 band phone. They sell 3 band phones at Diamond. Indonesia uses 220 volts and a 2 prong plug adaptor.

The manager of Diamond told me that used phones are half the price of the new one. He said while the newer models are loaded with features like photo and video, most tourists just need a simple phone for a short peroid of time. Nokia’s basic model, is cheap and easy to use and costs 600,000rp new.




SIM cards:
Indonesia uses the GSM system – which means you can use your phone anywhere with a new SIM card.

Buying a SIM card:
You can pick up a SIM card from the stall directly outside the entrance of Bintang supermarket, for as little as 25,000rp, which includes 20,000rp of pulsa. You can choose from a selection of numbers available at the desk.

Simpati and Pro Excel allow users to use their phones all over Indonesia, unlike other companies. Simpati has the best coverage in Indonesia. ProExcel is the cheapest and has the best coverage for calling overseas ( 25 cents a minute). Simpati costs 50 cents a minute for overseas calls.

Buying ‘pulsa’:
Cell phones in Indonesia use the pre-paid system, that is you buy pre-paid minutes (pulsa), which you can check by dialing a number. On my phone the SIM card had ‘Cek pulsa'(check pulsa) already listed in the address book. There are many providers of service, the 2 biggest companies are Simpati and ProExcel.

Buying a battery:
A new phone comes with a battery, but if you need a replacement, you can pick one up at the same place you buy pulsa / SIM cards. A new Nokia battery cost me 80,000rp the other day, although I could of bought a non-brand battery (not as good) for 25,000rp.

Indonesian cell phones have 2 dictionaries, English and Bahasa Indonesia. SMSing (short message service) is very popular in Bali. People know how to use templates, predictive text and abbreviations. When you start getting your address book filled up with local contacts, you’ll notice the high percentage of text messages compared with calls.