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International SMS Messaging To/from Indonesia

In response to questions to the webmaster, we've asked members of the Expat Forum to help us answer this question ...

How can I send SMS messages to Indonesia from overseas?

Try the website of the recipients service provider .. perhaps they allow it on their website:



Phone Prefix

Indosat - IM3 GSM 0815-
Indosat CDMA depends on area code
Telkomsel GSM 0811-
XL GSM 0817-
3 GSM 0896-
Smart Fren CDMA

depends on area code

Bakrie Telecom
CDMA depends on area code
Telkom CDMA depends on area code

I use Satelindo here in Indonesia and use it (roaming) while overseas for calls (expensive) and SMS. My average SMS costs around Rp 4000 per send.

Where I work in Cameroun, of the two servers there, only one has agreements with Indonesia. For whoever needs the service, have them check the server options in the country they are living. Perhaps one or two have agreements with Indonesian servers. As long as the receiving person has a SIM card for the compatible user (ie: Mentari) then all should be fine.

Check with your cellular provider and see if they have "roaming partners" in Indonesia. If they do, then a cheaper SMS messaging service may be a part of that agreement between the two providers.

One example: Just get your loved ones in Indonesia to switch to Telkomsel service, then the US-based family member can get Cingular service and your SMS to Indonesia is USD 0.25 (and IDR 600 from Indonesia to USA). Easy, no dial up, and no walking from the couch to computer desk.

SMS Handphone to Handphone

I have been quite puzzled by this post and some of the responses, Indonesia is plugged into the international GSM network and it is possible to send sms text messages across the international GSM network from most parts of the world. I understand that even North America has now joined us.

I travel quite frequently and can normally communicate successfully by sms with my friends in Indonesia. I have used Satelindo, Telkomsel (even the Telkomsel cheap prepay have international roaming these days) and several UK operators with equal success.

Ref J. Sprat’s comments about ProXL, I have communicated successfully from several different countries to XL users in Jakarta, (both voice and SMS), but I have never attempted international roaming on an XL account.

SMS - Internet to Handphone

Some of the posts appear to raise the issue of sending text messages over the internet. There are several web sites that offer this, however the free ones are supported by advertising and generally do not deliver to Indonesia, even when they claim to. I have tried several services but have never seen a message successfully delivered to Indonesia.

There are several pay services available, however I have never tested any of them and would be very interested if anybody has tried one.

SMS - Handphone to Internet

There are several sites offering this service free of charge, supported by advertising again, I have successfully used this type of service in the UK with a Telkomsel account as well as UK operator accounts.

There are also pay services, but again I have never tested any of them, but I would be very interested if anybody has tried one.

Download the ICQ chat Program ... it has a reliable SMS function that allows you to text message any country in the world.

For several months I've been using Chikka, a service headquartered in the Philippines, to send free SMSes from my computer to the USA. According to their web site, Chikka means chat in Tagalog. The Chikka website says that Chikka lets you send SMS for free:

  • Enables two-way PC-to-mobile messaging
  • The Chikka Messenger lets you send a message from PC to PC, from a PC to a mobile phone, from a mobile phone to a PC
  • Wherever you are in the world, you can use the Chikka Messenger to send text messages directly to cell phones in the Philippines, the U.S., Japan, or Thailand at no cost. Your recipients can easily text back to your PC with no need for additional downloads or procedures.

To SMS people in those four countries you go to the Chikka website, register, and then download their large (8 MB) software program to your computer. Then you configure the software with your own information and you're set to go. The configuration process isn't exactly transparent, but it works.

To send a message you type your message into the Chikka Text Messenger window and click a send icon. The single message limit is 320 characters/spaces. Interestingly, I don't know if there is a limit on the number of messages you can send in one day,.but no limit is mentioned in Chikka's online documentation. Chikka has a paid phone service with more complete facilities, too.

I've only used Chikka to send SMSes to the USA. It's seemingly reliable in that I've received email responses back to all the SMSes I've sent via Chikka. I use Chikka because I can't SMS directly from my hand phone. My service provider - ProXL - doesn't have any international phone agreements. Lame.

NOTE: this service looks similar to IPIPI, (see below). While IPIPI's interface does look user friendly, Chikki's service is free to four countries. If you're SMSing to any of those four countries, Chikki's price can't be beat.

To add to J's note, sending text messages to the USA can be a lot easier. Customers in the US enjoy this free service that comes with their subscription. You can send text messages (for free) from Indonesia to US wireless subscribers according to who their wireless provider is:

  • Verizon - http://www.vtext.com (web based text messaging)
  • Cingular - email to: your number@cingularME.com (your email will be converted to text message)

I think those are all the major US wireless service providers. Tell me if I'm missing something. Also, I'd be interested to know if European wireless providers do these things for free too. I doubt it but I could be wrong.

While Chikka will give you a transparent layer (one software does it all), I am sure some people (including me personally) will like to do it right at the provider's site. No need to tinker with any third party software.

Yahoo Mobile

IPIPI.com allows SMS messaging to most countries in the world ... to send an SMS from your computer to an Indonesia cellular number (XL, IM3, and Telkomsel only) it's 11-15 cents/SMS message - depending on how many you buy.

Services we haven't tried but which surfaced in our research are:

Does anyone have experience using any of these methods .. or have others to recommend? If, so, please contact the webmaster and we'll add that information to this article.

Partially updated March 24, 2015