HOW TO GET A KOREAN SIM CARD
Visitors or foreigners coming to Korea can purchase eSIM or a physical SIM card online prior to their arrival. If you have eSIM compatible phone, you don’t have to visit an offline counter in the airport but just download a plan by scanning a QR code. You can keep your own phone number as well since you don’t have to remove your original SIM card. If you prefer a physical SIM card, you can purchase it online in prior to arrival or after arrival at telecom company counters in airports.
BEFORE BUYING A SIM CARD
- Make sure your phone is unlocked.
If the device you are willing to use is restricted to a specific telecom company or a specific country, you cannot use the device with a Korean local SIM. You can unlock your phone by calling your cell carrier. They will unlock it for you as long as your phone is fully paid off.
- Make sure the sim card fits(for SIM cards only).
Firstly, make sure to check if your phone has a sim card slot (some don’t). The most common sim card size is the nano one. However, some phones may have micro or normal-sized sim card slots. You can pick the size your device allows. In case you do not have a sim card slot on your device, eSIM would be a good choice for you.
- eSIM/SIM CARD Products and plans
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.
WHERE TO BUY
It is strongly suggested and the cheapest way to purchase an eSIM or a SIM card online prior to your arrival. For SIM cards, you can purchase them online in advance and simply pick them up at the airport counter after arrival. Before you make a purchase, please consider your travel period and usage and choose the one that fits your needs.
The most reliable and commonly used online eSIM/SIM shopping malls are LG U+ Website(roaming.lguplus.com) and KT Website(https://roaming.kt.com ) now. Especially, eSIM is highly recommended since you do not have to visit an offline counter in the airport.
- Offline Store
If you haven’t purchased the eSIM/SIM card online in advance, getting one from the airport convenience store is another great way to get. You may refer to the below convenience stores located inside the airport.
– Incheon International Airport: 1F Arrival Floor CU 1,2,3
– Gimpo International Airport: 3F 7-Eleven (You can also get from Domestic Terminal or Subway Station “Gimpo Airport”)
Separate from purchase, you can activate the SIM card by yourself whenever you need. You just need to follow the written description on the SIM card package and upload your information to register and it will usually be activated within 15 minutes.
- Airport Roaming Desk
Likewise, if you urgently need a SIM card upon arrival at the airport, it is also recommended to visit the telecom roaming desk. There are different roaming desks from different telecom companies, and SKT, KT, and LG U+ are the biggest providers in Korea. The followings are eSIM/SIM Card Plans for each telecom company.
- LG U+ (LG Uplus)
LG U+ (roaming.lguplus.com) provides an unlimited data-only plan and an unlimited data+voice plan for both eSIM and SIM cards. All plans allow free incoming calls and texts. You can choose from 5 days to 60 days and get a FREE T-money card by visiting an LG U+ counter in Korean airports. Freely extend the period of plan and top-up for voice while staying in Korea.
The prepaid option from KT allows you to pay beforehand for a certain amount of days. You can choose between: unlimited data only, or 2) unlimited data with rechargeable cell and text service (extra fee).
SKT has an option for prepaid data tickets, which are charged for daily use. This gives you unlimited data with no option for text or call.
There are various sim card plans to choose from. Thus, you should pick one that best fits your stay in Korea. Enjoy your stay in Korea!