When I discovered this “paket” (package), I felt a mixture of joy and resentment. Joy because I would be getting reasonably fast (by my standards) internet and generous voice/SMS for only IDR 120,000 per month, and resentment because I didn’t know about it earlier! A year had gone by of “top-up” rates, which are ridiculously expensive, relatively speaking. If you just buy a SIM card and pop it into your phone, you are automatically signed up for the default “top-up” (i.e. pay-per-use) rates. You don’t want that.
To sign up for the Telkomsel’s monthly package, which gives you (as of August 2015) 100 minutes of talk, 400 SMS (of course, iMessages don’t count), 2GB Data (@3G speeds) and 2GB Data (at Edge speeds), follow the steps below–screenshots are shown after the step-by-step section.
- Before you begin, make sure you have at least 120,000 rupiah on your account. This can most easily be done at the ATM machine (in the Panin ATM, make sure you pick “Bill pay” then “Mobile phone”–it is tempting to pick Telkomsel right from the start, but this is not the correct path). Buying credit (“pulsa”) at corner-stores works too.
- Once you have at least 120,000 rupiah on your account: Dial (not text!): *363#
- In a moment, you will get a screen giving you options. Hit reply, then enter the number 3 (Smartphone/TAU)
- At the next screen, reply option 4 (if you have an iPhone). I haven’t tried it myself, but I assume that a Samsung would pick #3?
- In the next screen, select whether you are using an iPhone or iPad by entering the corresponding number.
- Then reply option 2, “Bulanan” (monthly). I’m not sure what the daily (“Harian”) rates are, but I doubt they are cheaper!
- The next menu is asking for confirmation that you want to buy the paket (and then gives details about the paket), select option 1, “ya”.
- That’s it! You can dismiss the next message telling you the changes are being processed.
- I can’t remember if another message comes up telling you your new balance (it should be 120,000 less than what had previously), or if you have to again check your balance using *888#.
Note: I am not 100% sure about this, but I believe that you must keep your credit (“Pulsa”) above 120,000 IDR at all times, otherwise you will be automatically kicked off the “paket” that you just signed up for. It’s not a big deal, but it does mean you have to go through these steps again. Before leaving for the summer, you may want to save yourself the hassle by topping up well above 240,000 IDR so that you don’t lose your package over the summer. This does mean that you are paying for coverage while you aren’t here, so if that really bugs you–go ahead and let it expire!
I would recommend you put a whole bunch of money (at one point I had over 1 million rupiah) onto your account, to prevent lapsing back into pay-as-you-go mode. The worst part about going below 120,000IDR is that you won’t know that you’re back onto pay-as-you-go until, suddenly, you’re out of pulsa! So do yourself a favor and load up several months worth of pulsa, perhaps with calendar reminder to check your balance several months from now.
See screenshots below: