Connectivity in Bali: Insiders Guide To Wifi, SIM Cards & Phone Calls

Connectivity: Where can you buy a SIM card in Bali, how can you make phone calls home and what’s the WiFi like on the island? Read on for our complete guide to connectivity in Bali!

Connectivity is key wherever you go and being able to get online can remove a lot of the hassle from travel. So what’s the WiFi situation in Bali, how easy is it to get a local SIM card and how do you go about making phone calls home?

Read on for our complete guide to connectivity in Bali, so you can easily access all the information you need during your stay!

How easy is it to get online in Bali? https://unsplash.com/photos/X0EtNWqMnq8
How easy is it to get online in Bali?

SIM Cards

Where can you buy a local SIM card in Bali?

If your phone is unlocked, buying a SIM card in Bali is the best way to ensure you stay connected. However, new laws in Indonesia have made it more difficult and expensive for foreigners to buy a SIM card in Bali. As of April 2018, all SIM cards have to be registered at one of the service provider’s official stores. This means that, whereas before you could buy a SIM card from any local convenience store or roadside kiosk, you now have to go to an official store to register your SIM.

But don’t worry, buying a SIM card in Bali is still pretty easy!

Buy a SIM card in Bali to connect wherever, whenever!
Buy a SIM card in Bali to connect wherever, whenever!
Buying a SIM card at the airport

Buying a SIM at the airport is probably the easiest way to go. The Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar has vendors from all of the major service providers in Bali and will be able to register your SIM on the spot.

However, the price of this convenience is pretty hefty and you’ll probably end up paying around 3 times more. Fortunately, there’s free WiFi at the airport and, if you can hold out until you get into town, you’ll get a much better deal!

Stay connected in Bali!
Stay connected in Bali!
Buying a SIM card in town

Buying a SIM card in any of Bali’s popular tourist spots is very easy, with vendors on almost every street. Simply choose any of the official service providers (more on that later) and visit their shop to discuss data plans and prices.

How much does it cost to buy a SIM card in Bali?

Prices vary depending on who you buy your SIM card from and on what kind of data package you choose.

Buying a data package

If you plan to use your SIM for internet access, buying a monthly data package is good value for money. The prices for these vary depending on how much data you buy, but you can expect to pay between $10 – 20 USD for 10GB of data.

Buying credit (topping up)

Topping up your SIM card is easy in Bali and there’s no shortage of places to do so on the island – just look for a sign that says ‘pulsa’. If you only plan to use your SIM for texts and phone calls, this is your most inexpensive option. 100,000 IDR (around $7.50) should be enough to last you a few weeks, including an international call home. However, top-ups can be bought for as little as 10,000 IDR.

Who are the best service providers in Bali?

The service provider with the best coverage in Bali is Telkomsel. Their service covers most of Indonesia and connectivity is usually good. However, they are the most expensive service providers in Indonesia. If you want to cut your connectivity costs in Bali, consider one of the following companies instead:

Wifi

What’s the WiFi like in Bali?

Finding free WiFi in Bali isn’t a problem, especially in the south of the island. Pretty much every hotel, restaurant, cafe, and bar will have a decent connection and, while it may not be as fast as back home, it generally works well.

If you don’t have a SIM and need to get online, buy a beer and connect to the local WiFi!

Free WiFi is widely available in Bali.
Free WiFi is widely available in Bali.

Phone Calls

How to make a phone call in Bali

Calling your loved ones from abroad can be tricky, but connecting with people from back home is important, especially if you’re travelling for a long time! So how can you get in touch with your friends and family while you’re in Bali?

Domestic phone calls

To make a domestic phone call in Bali, you will need to add calling credit to your SIM card. This can be bought easily and inexpensively as a top-up – just look for a sign that reads ‘pulsa’. Domestic phone calls in Bali and very inexpensive and 20,000 IDR (around $1.40 USD) should be more than enough.

International phone calls in Bali

Making a call online

The best things in life are free! Contact your loved ones from overseas without paying a penny by using a free calling service like Skype, Whatsapp, or Facebook messenger. These allow you to make calls online and are completely free!

However, these services are dependent on you having a decent WiFi connection. If you’re travelling outside of Bali’s main tourist areas, this may be a problem. So what are your other options for making an international phone call from Bali?

Making a call using a local SIM card

To stay connected wherever you go in Bali, your best option is to buy a local SIM card. The coverage in Bali is generally good and data can be bought cheaply. Alternatively, you can make an international call using calling credit, which can be bought easily as a top-up. Making an international phone call from Indonesia can be expensive, but most vendors will have a special access code that you can use to get cheap rates.