Rent USIM card rather than roaming
Using your smart phone in Korea is easy if you just rent a USIM card. In Korea, there are 3 network providers; SK Telecome, Olleh KT and LG U+. All three providers have different options, so let’s take a look and see what suits you the best!
1. SK telecom (SK)
If you deposit 10,000 (US$10), you may rent USIM from rental shop at airport. They have 2 data plans; 3G flat rate plan and Wi-fi zone flat rate plan.
3G flat rate plan allow you to use up to 1GB at 6,000 (US$6), which seems very reasonable price. If you are heavy date user, I recommend you to use 3G flat plan.
Wifi only flat rate plan allow you to use unlimited data at SK wifi zone at 2,000 (US$2). If you just need to check your email or search web at wifi zone is enough, I recommend you to use this plan. In Korea, there are many wifi zones, most of coffee shops or subway. However, speed may little slow if you are at the place where many people trying to use free wifi.
Making call cost extra fee. 10/sec, which is 600/min (local only). If you make international call, there will be extra charge for it. So, if you want to make a call to your country, just use 3G data flat plan and make a call by skype will be cheaper.
2. Olleh KT (KT)
Deposit is 10,000 just same as SK telecom. However Olleh KT has different rate plan. You may charge amount either 30,000 or 60,000. In domestic base, voice call cost 4.8/sec and SMS cost 22/text. Data charge is .28/0.5KB. So, if you just need to receive incoming call and doing little bit of everything, this might be better plan. Since data charge is expensive, don’t forget to block application update at app market.
Also, there USIM renting service is allowed only up to 30 days. So, if you plan to stay longer than 30 days, visit KT olleh and let them give you another option.
3. LG U+
Sadly, they do not have USIM renting service. So, if you want to use smart phone in Korea with U plus, only option is renting the smart phone, which requires deposit of 700,000 (US$700). Actually, renting smart phone condition is all same throughout SK, KT and U plus, deposit of 700,000. So, if you just want to renting USIM and use your smart phone, use SK or KT service.
Let me wrap this up with chart, so you can compare it easily.
|Name of company||SK Telecom||Olleh KT||LG U+|
|Fee||3G data (1GB) : 6,000/day
Wi-fi zone only: 2,000/day
|Pre-paid30,000 or 60,000(only allowed to rent up to 30 days)||N/A|