Raja Ampat electricity, telephone and internet

The lights of Mansuar's Yenbuba village by night. Electricity, phone and internet in Raja Ampat
  • Electricity: Electricity supply grids don’t exist outside Sorong and Waisai. Accommodation places and villages with an electrical supply have their own generators.
  • Telephone: For a remote archipelago of scattered islands, Raja Ampat has fairly good mobile phone coverage.
  • Internet Access: Internet capable devices will work over the cell phone network (signal strength and connection plan permitting). Free WiFi is available at many cafes and hotels in Sorong and Waisai, but is extremely rare out in the islands.

Electricity supply in Raja Ampat

As elsewhere in Indonesia, electricity is 220-240Volt 50Hertz, using type C (CEE 7/16&17 Euro 2 pin) and F (CEE 7/4 “Schuko”) plugs and sockets.

Type C CEE 7/17 Euro 2 pin (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Type F CEE 7/4 "Schuko" (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

You’ll need an adaptor if your devices don’t have one of these plug styles, and a step-down transformer if your devices will only handle a 110-120V US style supply.

Electricity in Raja Ampat’s island villages and at homestays is  supplied by generator and in many places is only available from sunset until around midnight to conserve fuel. Some homestays have backup solar lighting available.

Charging batteries and mobile devices: If you’re staying in a village or at a homestay with a generator, you’ll be able to charge batteries and equipment at night while the generator is running. If you’re at accommodation without a suitable power source you’ll need to arrange an evening visit to the nearest village or ask your host to take your equipment for charging and return the next morning.

Raja Ampat cell phone service

Telkomsel is currently the only network provider in Raja Ampat, so if you want to use the mobile network without roaming charges, you’ll need a Telkomsel SIM for your phone. Telkomsel markets a variety of SIMs, but the most common prepaid ones are branded SIMPATI and HALO. HALO is data only. Signal strength is excellent in the areas around Sorong and Waisai. As a general rule, if you’re near a village you should be able to receive some kind of signal, but there are wide areas with no coverage at all.

Cell phone towers in Raja Ampat regularly go offline. Sometimes service will be restored in an hour or two, sometimes it can take weeks or even months. There’s one tower that we know of on Gam that hasn’t worked in over two years!

If 24/7 guaranteed telephone and internet connectivity in all areas is a must for you, then your only option is to travel with a satellite phone.

Internet access in Raja Ampat

Both Sorong and Waisai have internet cafes and accommodation providers offering internet connections. Connection speeds are low by world standards. Speeds are highest in Sorong although improvements are being made in Waisai.

The only internet connection available out in the islands is via Telkomsel’s cell phone service as above, but connections are unreliable and speeds vary widely, depending on tower location and network load.

Areas currently serviced by 4G signals are:

Don’t expect standard 4G speeds though: Data transmission rates are usually ridiculously low for a 4G network. Dropouts are also common. Sometimes internet connections will be impossible for a time, despite receiving full bars of signal.

Here’s a link to Telkomsel’s FAQ page for its Flash network packet service. (Page loads in Bahasa Indonesia but can be switched to English.)

There are a few homestays that provide free WiFi connections to Telkomsel’s network. Koranu Fyak, Raja Ampat Diva and Yenkoranu are among those.

Raja Ampat electricity, telephone and internet service availability at homestays can be found on each homestay’s detail page.

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  1. Javier on

    Hello,
    Will a SIM card bought in Makassar, Sulawesi work in Raja Ampat? Or do I need to get a new one ? Can we buy them in Waisai or just in Sorong?
    Regards
    Javiet

    1. Hi Javier

      Telkomsel is the only network operator in Raja Ampat, so as long as your SIM a Telkomsel one (Simpati, Halo etc – usually red and white coloured) it will work. SIMs from other service providers like XL etc don’t work in Raja Ampat. You can buy SIMs in both Sorong and Waisai.

  2. Nelly on

    Just to clarify, if I buy appropriate sim for a smartphone that supports HSDPA/3G/EDGE/GPRS I should be able to use it in islands for emails and other data services?
    Is it possible to use skype even without video in the islands
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Nelly –

      It depends which island you’re at, but the area around Waisai, Gam, Kri, Mansuar has a serviceable data connection. If a homestay page advises “good phone signal” then a data connection is usually available. Don’t expect a fast and stable connection though!

      Chat utilities usually work fine. Skype without video works OK in Waisai and Sorong, but we haven’t tried using it out in the islands, so can’t say for sure.

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