Travelling Abroad with unlimited Internet flat rate

Having Internet access during traveling is almost mandatory for me as I have to regularly check business emails as well as responding to customers inquiries. Many hotels offers free wifi or Internet connection during your stay. We can find free hotspot in restaurant and cafe as well.

But for those who wants to get connected all the time, whether using Blackberry, iPhone, or other mobile devices, finding free hotspot means you can't be mobile as you have to sit on free hotspot location to get connected. The solution is clear, you have to pay for data plan. This will also eliminate your necessity to choose lousy hotel because they offer free Internet service.

First option is you have to buy local GSM SIM card, but you will loose ability to be contacted with your Indonesian number. This may also more expensive for Internet usage only, but for cheap local calls you must choose this option.

The other option is to bring your own Indonesian number and activate roaming service. You can be reached using your own number, but beware of expensive roaming rate. Apparently there is another plus point of bringing your own country GSM: Unlimited Internet with flat rate.

XL

XL offers affordable Internet connection while you are abroad on their network partner (or Axiata subsidiaries). For those who don't know this, XL Indonesia is actually owned by Axiata Company, supposed to be Malaysian company. Axiata owns one GSM provider on ASEAN company, or at least has shares on them.

Axiata is the new brand of TM (Telecom Malaysia). The Group’s mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘AKTEL’ in Bangladesh, ‘HELLO’ in Cambodia, ‘Idea’ and ‘Spice’ in India, ‘M1’ in Singapore and ‘MTCE’ in Iran (Esfahan).

For data roaming, XL get partner woth other operators on the region. The countries are Malaysia (through Celcom operator), Singapore (M1), Cambodia (Hello), Bangladesh (Aktel), Sri Lanka (Dialog), Hongkong (SmartTone) and Japan (Softbank).

Back to Internet roaming, XL offers IDR 25,000 per day of flat tariff for unlimited Internet gprs/3Gusage. If you want to activate Blackberry push service, you can activate prior yout departure, post paid customer pays 25K rupiah while prepaid pays 50K per day.

My experience using XL with M1 Singapore, speed is fast and reliable, 3G is virtually everywhere including MRT Trains (of course .. considering the size of Singapore island).

Indosat

Indosat offers unlimited gprs/3G data roaming also in flat rate: IDR 25,000 per day in 10 countries: Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Macao.

Not sure the GSM partner in each country, so you need to google a bit before leaving for this country. But the method is still the same, you have to manually set GSM network to Indosat partner (to avoid you are switched to non-partner and would be charged in retail rate) and still set your phone to use Indosatgprs APN. This flat rate is also applicable for Indosat Blackberry Internet Service users.

Usage below 1 MB will be charged in retail rate (IDR 25/kB), hence 1MB = IDR 25,000.

Telkomsel

Sorry, not a fan of this telco company, so I won't cover it. Readers: you may put your experience and comment for it.

Airbnb
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