PHONE RENTAL before leaving for Asia

May 18th, 2014, 07:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 182
PHONE RENTAL before leaving for Asia

I will be leaving for Indonesia in about a week and I need to stay in touch with the States. The pople I need to stay in touch with don't Skype.

I am ultimately heading for Raja Ampat - there is no cell service there. However, I will be in Jakarta on long layovers, Bali for a couple of days and then Tokyo for another long layover. I want to communicate back home during those times.

My iphone 5 is locked and I don't want to go through the hassle of unlocking it. Also, I didn't want to take any vacation time dealing with finding phones/sim cards.

There is a company called Cellular Abroad that rents iphones and sim cards - do they cover Asia and has anyone used them before?

Does anyone know of a company that is reputable and I can rent a phone and get a sim card before I leave?

snorkelcat is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,757
The people you are calling do not themselves have to be on Skype for you to use Skype.

I don't know about renting, but you can buy a quad-band from for $40. You can also check ebay or craigslist for cheap unlocked quad band-phones. I buy SIMs from and, but with your own phone you can buy in-country, probably for less.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 18th, 2014, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Do people need to be able to call you, or will it mostly be you calling them?
If it's you contacting them, then thursdaysd is right, they don't need to use Skype. As long as you have a wifi signal, you can use skype on your phone to call any number, you'll just need to buy some Skype credit. It won't be free because skype charges you to call cell phone and land lines as opposed to skype to skype calls, but it's cheap.

That said, if you need a phone you can be called on at any time, then Cellular Abroad is a respectable company, albeit expensive.
Kristina is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,759
I don't have personal experience with Celluar Abroad, but according to their website they do offer phones for use in Indonesia. The rental rates look reasonable, but be prepared for expensive call costs.

Phones and SIM cards are very cheap in Indonesia. You should have no problem picking up a phone and a card at the airport when you arrive or you could go to an electronics store like Electronic City in Bali or Jakarta.

A bare bones model that you could use for both telephone and internet would cost around US$85-90. A SIM card for a month would be about $US25.

With both celluar (3G) and internet (wifi) you could either make telephone calls or Skype calls. As others have noted, you can use Skype to call landline telephones and mobile phones. The person receiving the call doesn't need to use Skype.

From Indonesia Skype is considerably cheaper than making long distance calls by telephone.

Cell service and wifi is pretty widespread in Indonesia -- even in Papua. If it's not available at they place where you're staying, you should be able to find it nearby.
marmot is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 182
Thank you guys so much! You are the best!
snorkelcat is offline  

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