Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Renting a cell phone in Korea

Any SK Telecom provider will rent you a cell phone.
    Whether you are having family members or friends come visit you in Korea, or you are taking a vacation to Korea, it is always nice to have a cell phone. Because Korea's cell phone companies are so strict here (there are only about 4 servers), it is almost impossible to bring a phone from a foreign country while using your service from home. Yes, this means that your cell phone probably will not work if you bring it to Korea, even if you plan to pay international fees. Believe me, I called my server T-mobile back in 2009 before I came on a 2 week trip here. They told me that the fee was 99 cents a minute and that I could get service in the city of Seoul just fine. However, upon arriving in Korea this was not true. Don't learn the hard way, and plan ahead to rent a cell phone. The only two companies to rent cell phones from are SK Telecom and KTF.
    One of the easiest ways to rent a phone is by getting one in the airport. The following airports in Korea will rent you a cell phone: Incheon International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Jeju International Airport, and the Gwangju International Airport. The fees vary by location, but they are about 3,000 won per day with a charge of 100 won per minute (about 10 cents a minute). The company will give you a cell phone and charger, and you must return the phone in order for your payment to be stopped. Otherwise they will charge you in full for the phone. Visit Dynamic-Korea to see specific directions and numbers for each phone rental location in the airport. You can also reserve the cell phone in advance by following their booking instructions, however it might just be easier to pick one up in airport if you have time.
    If you landed too early in the morning or late at night to rent a phone from the airport, another option is to find a private cell phone vendor in the city and rent from them. I found one conveniently located across from the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon. The store name is called IDEA and they have SK Telecom serviced phones that you can rent. You must give them a 50,000 won deposit for the cell phone, and you will receive the deposit back when you return the phone. A 20 day rental will cost you 40,000 won, and you can pay as you go at any SK Telecom location. The lowest amount you can put on the phone is 13,000 won which will be more than enough money for 20 days in Korea.
   Once you have your cell phone rented you should take advantage of the free Korean translation service. Simply dial your area code plus 1330 and you will be connected to a free bilingual translator who can help guide you to tourist sites, or direct your cab driver. Visit the 1330 website to learn more about this service.

If you have any questions or comments about "Renting a cell phone in Korea" please leave them in the comment box below or email them to goneseoulsearching@gmail.com

Creative Commons License  Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at goneseoulsearching@gmail.com.

12 개의 λŒ“κΈ€:

Breda said...

Thanks so much for this info! I'm sure I'll get some use out of it.

Emma said...

Yes, awesome article... I didn't even realise this was possible!

Marie W said...

renting a cell phone in Korea is so easy! You can simply rent a cell phone in the Incheon Airport from one of the many kiosks upon landing. Just make sure to return it on time, or the fees will be huge. And don't forget! You probably won't have any use for your Korean cell phone rental back in America! : )

ChrisImports1 said...

Renting a cellphone is probably a good idea, it would minimize the number of people buying and will lower cellphone prices. I am a home business owner selling import and export goods online, I mainly trade cellphones and mp3 players.

phillipguy said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I LOVE IT! Kamsagamsa for all your hard work!!

Diana said...

As far as i know, upon visiting SKT roaming center at airport, you can rent a phone and you can find the location of airports on the homepage. Passport and credit card are required and fees will be charged when returning the rented phone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this info! It was very helpful.

Anonymous said...

question: if you a buy a cellphone in korea will you be able to use it in north america (specifically canada?) and if your buy your own phone there and use it while in korea how much would the charge be per minute?

anonymous2012pinoy said...

Hi, how much does it cost you if i rent a mobile phone for 10 days? Can I rent 2 mobile phones (for me and my cousin) as well? Cos I dunno how much is it cost me...

What I thought is about renting mobile phone will cost me $220 to $350 or am I wrong? I dont really know anything about renting mobile phones in anywhere in the world...

Anonymous said...

The person said 3k each day so 30k won of course. So about 33usd don't remember conversation last time I went it was 900 to 1. But shit economy doesn't help

mia said...

Great post.Very informative.Learning different languages is hard but fun.We were able to grasps the culture of every languages we translate.A lost in Korean translation or any translation should not hinder us to know exactly about one's history and culture.I could say that translators really play a big role in our society.I can't see machines taking over the jobs of human translators in the near future, as they have done with so many other professions.

Kelsey Phillips said...

The best way to rent a phone in Korea is through The Arrival Store's service: http://www.thearrivalstore.com/tas-cell-phone-rental.html
They can ship it to you wherever, including the airport if you want it immediately upon arrival. Plus they have the best rates around and are geared toward expats.

Every time I have used them I have been really happy. Plus they are run by Korean-savvy foreigners so it is easy to get questions answered and make changes if necessary. Kind of like the mom and pop shop of rental phones.

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Creative Commons License
Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at goneseoulsearching@gmail.com.
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