Saturday, September 18, 2021

Internet & Communications in South Korea

AsiaSouth KoreaInternet & Communications in South Korea

By phone

In South Korea, international calling prefixes differ per operator, and there is no standard prefix. Consult your operator for the appropriate prefixes. The country code for calls to South Korea is 82.

Because South Korea only utilizes the CDMA standard and does not have a GSM network, most 2G (GSM) phones from other countries will not operate. Even GSM phones with four bands are worthless. If you have a 3G phone with a 3G SIM card, you should be able to roam on KT or SK Telecom’s UMTS/W-CDMA 2100 networks; verify with your home operator to make sure. In Korea, 4G LTE has recently been available; check with your carrier for more information.

KT, SK Telecom, and LG U+ are the three service providers in the nation. In South Korea, they provide prepaid mobile phone services (pre-paid service, PPS). Incoming calls are completely free. Prepaid phones and services may be purchased at any retail store on any street (for Koreans). At Seoul, used phones may be found in a few shops.

With the exception of certain isolated mountainous regions, mobile phone service is usually good. The best coverage is provided by SK Telecom, followed by olleh (KT) and LG U+.

You should be able to acquire a prepaid SIM card from one of the olleh expat outlets if you wish to buy one. You must, however, have been in Korea for at least three days and present your passport. The cost of a prepaid SIM card is 5,500, with a minimum charge of 10,000 required on the spot. You’ll also need a phone that’s compatible. All current iPhones (3GS and later) should be compatible. 

Mobile phone rental is available from all carriers, and certain phones additionally allow GSM SIM roaming. They have shops at Incheon, Seoul (Gimpo), and Busan’s international airports (Gimhae). Service facilities for KT SHOW and SK Telecom can also be found at Jeju Airport. Charges start at 2,000 won per day if you book ahead of time on the visitkorea website for a discount and assured availability.

Rentals for a 4G WiBro device go from 5,000 to 10,000 a day for unlimited access, but service is not always available outside of big cities and in enclosed areas.


South Korea is the world’s most connected nation, with PC bang (PC, pron. BAH-ng) Internet cafés strewn throughout the country. The majority of clients are there to play video games, although you are allowed to sit and write e-mails as well. Typical hourly rates range from 1,000 to 2,000, but more “luxurious” establishments may charge more. Snacks and beverages may be purchased in most PC bangs. Smoke is prohibited in PC bangs, however many shops, while expressly saying contrary, will grant implicit permission to smoking if requested (for legal reasons). The majority of PC bangs are cash-only.

In addition, there is a lot of free wifi accessible in South Korea. Simply look for an unencrypted signal, but be aware that utilizing unsecured wifi hotspots anywhere in the globe poses a security risk, so be cautious about what you use it for.

The majority of South Korean homes have internet connections with wifi, and the majority of them are encrypted by default.

ollehWiFi is a paid WiFi hotspot that is one of the most widely used. The service is fast (30Mbps+) and inexpensive, costing 1100 per hour or 3300 per day. You may pay for the service using a credit card on your smartphone, or at most convenience shops with cash or a credit card. In the Seoul Metropolitan Area, ollehWiFi is accessible in most convenience stores, coffee shops, some marts, restaurants, intercity buses, and all subways and metro stations.

Wifi is also available at Starbucks Coffee, but you’ll need a South Korean residency card to access it. Many additional coffee shops provide free internet that does not need registration. ollehWiFi should be accessible at every Starbucks location.

South Korean websites, particularly those requiring online payment, often need Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Many services are becoming accessible mainly for mobile phones, as they are everywhere in Asia, with Kakao Talk being the most popular.

By mail

Korea Post is a quick, dependable, and cost-effective service. A postcard costs 660 to send anywhere in the globe, while letters and parcels cost 480. If you want conventional stamps, you must specifically request them; otherwise, you will get a printed label. On request, elegant “tourist” cancellations (Gwangwang Tongsin Ilbuin) for your stamps are available for no extra fee at selected post offices. For transactions above 1,000, Korea Post accepts Visa and MasterCard.

Most post offices are only open from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. on weekdays. Larger post offices are also open on Saturday mornings, while central offices in major cities are open late and on Sundays.