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Which prepaid SIM to get for Malaysia and Indonesia?

Getting a travel eSIM is more convenient!

· 3 min read

Embarking on a journey to Indonesia and Malaysia promises a rich tapestry of cultural wonders, pristine landscapes, and vibrant cities. While you're busy planning your itinerary and packing your bags, don't forget to ensure that you stay seamlessly connected throughout your travels. A reliable travel SIM card or eSIM can be your ticket to hassle-free communication, navigation, and social sharing. Let's explore the options for staying connected on your trip to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Which telco to use in Indonesia?

Bali Indonesia

Indonesia boasts several telecom operators, but the most popular ones for tourists are Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat (IM3). Of the three operators, Telkomsel has the best coverage and speeds, and is the preferred choice for most travelers.

All three operators provide tourist SIM cards which you can pick up from the airport or in stores across the nation. However, eSIM support is not available for tourist plans.

Telkomsel offers prepaid tourist SIM cards which include 25 GB of local data and 25 minutes of calls to local numbers at RP 150,000 (~9.50 USD), and the SIM card is valid for a period of 30 days. It is important to note that after the period of 30 days is over, the plan will be invalidated and you will no longer be able to use it. You will not be able to extend or renew the plan. However, you can choose to purchase another variant of their plans from their app, by dealing *363#, or visiting one of their physical stores.

Which telco to use in Malaysia?


The major operators in Malaysia are Celcom, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, and Time dotCom. Of which, Celcom and Digi are generally regarded as the top two telcos, with Maxis following as a close third place. Celcom is known to have the best coverage, whereas Digi is said to have the best speed.

One of the most popular options for a Malaysian tourist SIM is to get one from Hotlink, the prepaid brand under Maxis. Hotlink has one of the most competitive prices for for its prepaid data, while also offering relatively good coverage across Malaysia. Their prepaid option is available from as low as RM12 for 7 days.

You can pick up a SIM card from the international airports, convenience stores, or local telco stores in the city. However, all telcos currently do not offer eSIMs for prepaid or tourist plans.

Can I roam with a Malaysia or Indonesia tourist SIM card?

If you are looking for a single tourist SIM card that you can use in both Malaysia and Indonesia, you will need to get a SIM card that supports roaming.

The Indonesian tourist SIM card only supports local data and can only be used in Indonesia. Hotlink prepaid allows you to purchase add-ons for roaming packs via their app, and they also offer plans that allow you to use the internet in neighbouring countries like Indonesia. But these plans might not always be available at the airport and you might need to head to the local stores to get it — make sure to double check with the counter staff at the airport before purchasing.

Alternatively, getting a travel SIM card or travel eSIM could be a more convenient option. Providers of travel SIM cards and travel eSIMs typically also offer regional plans which include coverage in multiple destinations in the same region. With a travel SIM card or travel eSIM that includes coverage in both Indonesia and Malaysia, you do not need to worry about having to get multiple SIM cards at the different locations — you can stay connected seamlessly as you travel across the borders.

Choosing the right SIM card or eSIM

To help you choose the right SIM card or eSIM plan, there are a few factors that you should consider:

  1. How much data do you need: Consider your data usage needs and choose a SIM card with an appropriate data plan.
  2. Coverage: Ensure that the SIM card provides reliable coverage in both urban and remote areas of the countries you plan to visit.
  3. Validity Period: Check the validity period of the SIM card and choose one that aligns with the duration of your trip.
  4. Top-Up Options: Look for SIM cards with easy and convenient top-up options, either online or at local retailers. This will ensure that you have the option of extending your SIM card's validity or adding more data in case you run out of data.

Get a Nomad eSIM for Malaysia and Indonesia

If you have an eSIM-enabled device, Nomad's Regional Plans for SEA-plus or the regional plans for APAC are great options for your next trip to Indonesia and Malaysia. With Nomad's Regional Plan for SEA-plus, you would have the benefits of a regional SIM, and more!

Nomad's regional plans include coverage for Malaysia and Indonesia, among other destinations in the region. And while the rates are slightly more expensive than if you were to get a local SIM card at the destinations, the prices are still fairly affordable from as low as $1.45 per GB on an APAC plan.

On the APAC plan, Nomad's regional plans use the Telkomsel network in Indonesia and Maxis network in Malaysia; and on the SEA-plus plans, you also have the option of using the Smartfren network in Indonesia and DiGi network in Malaysia. Travel with a peace of mind with the confidence that you will get stable and good connectivity as you explore.

Simply head to the Shop page and select a plan that is suitable for your trip duration and data usage habits. Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email with a QR code and instructions on how to install and activate your data plan.