Traveling to another country is fun and exciting; however for folks like myself who like to stay “connected”, we often wonder how we should go about in terms of phone and data/internet service while traveling abroad. Roaming charges are always ridiculous and setting up contracts with foreign carriers…add language barriers to the mix and everything can go down south extremely fast.
If you’re traveling to South Korea, you may be in luck, however.
“s4yunkim“, a long-time member of the Macrumors forums has been helping out other members pick the perfect plan and carrier during their trip(s) to Korea. I suppose it’s better to quote from one of his posts on the forums:
Hello all. I originally started browsing and posting on this forum almost 3 years ago because of the frustration of not being able to use my iPhone in Korea. Well, wouldn’t you know, fate would have it that I now work at Korea Telecom (aka KT), the first carrier in Korea to carry the iPhone.
Partly because of this whole frustrating ordeal, I pushed to get a guide in English, written to help foreigners get cell phones in Korea, as well as guides on how to use non-Korean whitelisted phones in Korea (which only became available as of a few years ago).
Well, I pushed for the project and here it is. It’s a continual work in progress and it’s always being updated, so if you have comments or suggestions, let me know.
The site is the “KT Expat Blog” http://expatblog.kt.com/
and comments, suggestions, are always welcome via twitter at: @olleh_expats
I sincerely hope that it prevents the head scratching and frustration that I had to go through when I first got to Korea.
I hope that helps
There are recommendations for both Short-Term and Long-Term stays and it also has a Comprehensive GuideBook for all the services offered by KT, curated for foreign nationals.
The blog is updated regularly and being that I’m currently living in Korea, I could vouch for the services that KT provides.
Here are some facts that you should know beforehand, however:
- South Korea currently operates under a IMEI Whitelist policy, unlike pretty much any other country in the world, so you would need to go through a procedure to enlist your phone in the IMEI Whitelist database. The representatives at KT Global Stores would be able to assist you with this.
- South Korea plans on implementing the IMEI Blacklist policy where registering the IMEI to the Whitelist database would then be no longer necessary. The policy is expected to be effective from May 2012.
- Unlocked phones with the proper frequencies, after setting up the service with the carrier, will work fine with Korean carriers. I personally set up an account with SKT previously with my unlocked AT&T iPhone 3G and iPhone 4. I’m currently using the unlocked iPhone 4S with SKT and everything works flawlessly.
Best of luck with your travels and for those of you who are reading from Korea, Welcome to Korea!
Also, check out this video by Michael 마익홀 Aronson (@hdefined)
- KT launches 4G LTE network in South Korea, targets 4 million subscribers (thenextweb.com)
- Korea’s KT launches LTE, makes Korea all-4G (electronista.com)