For those that may be studying abroad in Seoul, a sim card can be very helpful during your stay. Having data to use everywhere you go, along with a Korean phone number, will allow your time in Korea to go more smoothly!
BEFORE GETTING A SIM CARD
Make sure your phone is unlocked.
- You can do this by calling your cell carrier. They will unlock it for you as long as your phone is fully paid off.
- Instead of having to unlock your phone from home, you have the option to purchase a cell phone while abroad.
Check your phone carrier compatibility.
- There are some phone carriers that may not work with specific phone companies (for example, some LG phones are not compatible with specific carriers in Korea). Before actually buying a sim card, double check to make sure that it is compatible with your phone type.
- ALL Apple and Samsung phones work with Korean cell carriers, as long as the phone is unlocked.
Make sure the sim card fits.
- First, be sure to check if your phone has a sim card slot (some don’t).
- The most common sim card size is the nano one, but some phones may have micro or normal sized sim card slots. Make sure to let your carrier know that your sim card is a certain size!
SIM CARD PLANS
There are many different options you can choose from, including: prepaid services, wifi routers/eggs, and monthly plans. Wifi routers/egg are portable devices that can give you wifi anywhere you go. It is typical to pay for renting the wifi router/egg, along with the daily wifi, and a deposit that would be given back to you once you return the device.
South Korea has three main mobile carriers: KT Olleh, SK Telecom, and LG U+. All of these have 3G and 4G, networks which include call, text, and data services.
The prepaid option from KT allows you to pay beforehand for a certain amount of days. You can choose between: 1) unlimited data only, or 2) unlimited data with rechargeable cell and text service (extra fee).
As mentioned before, when renting these devices there is a deposit fee. You can get your deposit fee back when you return the device.
KT allows you to rent a wifi egg with a deposit of ₩200,000. You would have to pay for the usage of wifi (either daily or monthly) along with the deposit fee. The options and prices are shown below:
The prepaid LTE data option from LG U+ allows unlimited data with free incoming texts and calls. It is cheaper to reserve it online.
LG U+ allows a wifi router/egg without having to pay a deposit, but the rental fee is charged daily. If you do the reservation option, the prices go down, as shown below:
SKT has an option for prepaid data tickets, which is charged by daily use. This gives you unlimited data with no option for text or calling.
The wifi router is charged daily with a deposit of ₩100,000.
There are many different options to choose from, so you should choose the one you find to the best of your liking! If you want to see what other type of plans they may have for you, you can visit a store.
For example, I went to T-world near the front gate and was given a plan of 80 minutes of calling, unlimited texting, with 5GB of rechargeable data for ₩53,000. It may be better to physically go to the store and ask them to write down the options they have.
Good luck and hope this information comes in handy!