Tuesday, 10 May 2016

4G Jakarta

Jakarta for all its faults and there are more than a few has recently started to improve its WiFi and telecommunications  because pretty much every person over 10 has a phone and accesses the Internet from it (if that's a slight exaggeration I am sure I am not that far from the truth). Internet access to homes is not available everywhere and the providers of Internet are limited and their quality of service is not guaranteed. 
When I arrived in Jakarta 2G and CDMA networks were big, then came 3G which is pretty good throughout the city and since around the middle of last year the bigger network providers have been pushing 4G. I use BOLT at home which is a 4G provider and you buy a modem and connect your phone to that. At times it is really fast and at others, no. It isn't that expensive and is fairly reliable but it is not good enough for working on a lap top so just phones and tabs for You Tube and photos and chatting really. Still it is welcome in my house because 3G is often not available or very good.
Using Telkomsel, I have to buy a package which includes 4G allowance which is great but my sim card is not a 4G one so I have been paying for something I haven't been able to use. This has been annoying me for a while, so much so that recently I went to the local Telkomsel store in Gandaria to see if I could change my sim for a 4G one, but with Jeremy in tow and the queue at epic numbers it was not really possible.
However, having just had 4 days off I took the opportunity to try again (without Jeremy) and went back to the same store and this time I was directed to a machine that created a 4G card for you free of charge whilst keeping the same number. This procedure took about 5 minutes. 

SIM card making machine (http://blog.telkomsel.com/corporate)

So I swapped old for new and then to my surprise no signal. Nothing. WiFi was working but there was nothing I could find on Google to tell me what was wrong so I turned off my phone. Upon switching it back on I had a full LTE (4G) signal and super fast speeds and everything was alright in the world once more.

I am getting around 12mps download speeds and 3mps upload with 4G compared with 4.2mps 3G download and 2.5mps upload. With WiFi I am getting 2.3mps downloads and 830kbps which is not good.

The signal at home is faster than BOLT which is great and there has been no issue across the city. At work it seems to switch between 3 and 4G as the signal is not so strong but that's OK. However, 4G does seem to kill the battery when the phone is being used for certain apps although I still working that out. Unlike 3G the 4G signal is constant (so far) so the phone does not appear to be searching for a signal all the time which is reducing power loss but still the battery lasts less than 10 hours now because of that which means the phone is nearly always being charged. My phone is 2 years old now and heavily used so the battery has taken a beating but the phone is still good enough to cope with everything I use it for.

Coverage of 4G in Jakarta (overall)



Current pricing 


 Switching up to 4G has so far been a good experience and with Telkomsel no problem even if the packages are a little pricey.

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