I recently travelled to South Korea, staying 6 weeks. In this time I had to get my work done online and the problem of getting a mobile connection arose. In this article I will talk about how I solved my problem of getting mobile data in South Korea during my stay.
How I got Mobile Data in South Korea
As is the case in Italy, getting a sim card without a long term subscription and a tax id is a bit of a problem. All of the big telecom companies (KT, SK) will require you to have one of these in order to get a sim card.
What I found to be the best solution for myself is what LGU+ offers foreigners visiting Korea. With LGU+ you can rent a sim card o portable WiFi router.
The procedure to get it is quite simple and straight forward. If you have an eSim compatible device you don’t even need to collect the physical card. You can instead just install the data plan on your phone and it will be active until your subscription runs out.
The eSim was what I opted for. In a matter of a couple of hours from purchasing the plan I could access the internet.
How Much Does it Cost?
The plans aren’t exactly cheap by Italian standards. I activated the plan only for the second half of my stay in South Korea, which means that I chose the 20 day plan.
That particular eSim plan will cost 55.000 Won, which translates to roughly 41 Euros, or 42 USD. In Italy that would buy me almost 4 months of data.
The shortest plan will last 5 days and will cost 25.000 Won, about 19 USD or Euros. The longest plan will last 60 days and cost you 130.000 Won, or about 97 Euro or 100 USD.
As you can see the longer the plan the cheaper the daily cost of the Sim or eSim rental.
What You Should Know Before Buying
Keep in mind though that both the physical Sim and the eSim are data Sim cards. This means that you won’t be able to make phone calls on it. Also it means that this plan won’t be of use if you plan to use Coupang or other delivery services in South Korea. They all tend to need an active phone number.
Also if you get an eSim, don’t forget to activate your subscription. For this you’ll have to provide necessary documents in order to get access to the internet. These will be passport details and image.