Cell Phones


Some advice on getting cell phones in Korea (for foreigners)

Mobile Woes Over for Foreigners

By Kim Min-jung

As many of you I’m sure already know, the prospect of integrating in to an entirely new culture can be a somewhat daunting experience. Such fears can be further widened when one is without certain basic necessities.

One of those necessities is a cell phone. As phone booths in Korea have become nearly obsolete, the need for cell phones has grown exponentially. With this in mind, I want to shed some light on the services LG Telecom provides that are tailored exclusively to the needs of foreigners in Korea.

Gone are the days when one needs to be accompanied by a Korean to activate a mobile phone. One need no longer worry about what’s in the fine print nor how to benefit from the most cost-efficient cell phone plans available in the Korean market.

Furthermore, unlike other telecommunication providers, foreign customers are not required to provide a deposit nor submit credit card information to activate their cell phone plan. Instead, LG Telecom has a much lower activation fee and only asks for one’s alien registration card and Korean bank account information.

When one visits the Seoul Global Center, I will do everything I can to ensure peace of mind when setting up a cell phone plan for new users.

For those opening new accounts, I will provide a thorough breakdown of the necessary steps involved, making sure customers know what they’re signing ― every little detail. Before, such procedures often left foreigners flustered, as language barriers prevented them from taking advantage of the best rates Korea had available at the time.

Korean cell phone functions, rates and services are different from other countries. I feel that the majority of complaints from foreigners stem from such issues. To alleviate such concerns, I try to make my customers feel as comfortable as possible before I have them sign a contract.

I receive all kinds of clients at the Seoul Global Center: teachers, students, government officials, and corporate employees. Naturally, those clients have a varying degree of needs. I make it a priority to customize such needs, matching them up with the most cost effective package.

A popular option is the Korean Dream Phone Service and can be simply added to your existing plan at any time. In an exclusive partnership with KEB Bank, our clients benefit from competitive overseas calling rates and 24-hour wire transfer capabilities any day of the week directly via one’s mobile phone.

Another strategy I came up with was to put customers on a carefully selected plan and have them monitor their usage to get a clearer idea of how much time they use. I give them the option of coming back afterwards if need be so that I can better assess their plans more carefully and make appropriate changes.

Although I rarely have customers return, just having the option available to them is comforting. I also handle all matters of follow-up services such as after-service or the closing down of an account.

As the foreign community grows, there is an ever-growing need for a solid support system. The lack of convenience in activating mobile phones as of late has left many foreigners in a state of bewilderment and extreme frustration.

LG has abolished all of the frustrations that have been plaguing foreigners for so long. Those wishing to activate a cellular phone no longer need to be accompanied by a Korean translator to decipher what the fine print in the contract means.

What’s more, non-natives can now reap the benefits of exclusive features that were once elusive to them.

Essentially, the string of new services keeps clients in good hands and one step closer to Korea. Reducing all this hassle frees up valuable time that should be spent exploring and getting the most out of one’s time here.

Contact Info:

You may forward all your inquiries to me either through email or phone, or simply stop by the Seoul Global Center on the 3rd floor of the Seoul Press Center.

Mobile : 010-5740-5556
Work : (02) 2075-4134
Email : mj2925@kdpmembers.com


Public phones
Many Koreans carry cellular phones nowadays, eliminating the need for public telephone booths. Though many public telephone booths have now been removed, they still exist on streets where there are many pedestrians, near bus stops, inside subway stations, and in most public transportation facilities. Public telephones in Korea not only provide domestic call services, but services for international calls as well.Korea’s public telephones are separated into two main types: those that accept coins and those that accept only cards. The public coin telephone booths can generally take both credit cards and coins. Telephone cards can usually be purchased at convenience stands or stores near the telephone booths, and cannot be exchanged for cash. The cards are valid for a period of three years and can be purchased at 3000, 5000, or 10,000 won denominations. The cards can also be kept as a souvenir, as many cards are printed with a variety of popular Korean tourist sights and beautiful scenery.

[Public Phone Rates]
– Local: 70 won/3 minutes(within 30km)
– Domestic Long – Distance(over 31km):
08:00-21:00 70 won/43 seconds21:00-08:00 70 won/61 seconds
– Cellular phone: 70 won per 38 seconds
* Note : Coin phones return coins that are not charged, but do not return change for partially used 100 won coins.

[How to make a phone call with telephone cards]

1. Pick up the receiver and insert the card into slot.
2. Listen for a dial tone and dial the phone number.
3. After you finish your phone call, hang up the receiver and your card will be ejected.

[How to make a phone call with coins]
1. Pick up the receiver and insert coins (70 won for local calls).
2. Listen for a dial tone and dial the phone number.
3. Hang up the receiver. Though you may have change leftover, change will not be given for partially used 100 won amounts.

[Domestic Long- distance Calls (Area Codes)]
Metropolitan Cities
Seoul (02), Incheon (032), Gwangju (062), Busan (051), Daegu (053), Daejeon (042), Ulsan (052)

Gyeonggi-do (031), Gangwon-do (033), Chungcheongbuk-do (043), Chungcheongnam-do (041), Jeollabuk-do (063), Jeollanam-do (061), Gyeongsangbuk-do (054), Gyeongsangnam-do (055), Jeju-do (064).

International Calls
[How to make an international call from overseas]
When you make a phone call to Korea from abroad, first dial 82 (Country Code for Korea), then Area Code (except for the first number 0) , finally, dial the Phone Number you wish to call.
For example: Calling Seoul (Area Code 02) with 777-7777 as the phone number, dial +82-2-777-7777.[How to make an international call from Korea]
* First dial any of the following international call company numbers and then the country code, area code and finally the number you are calling.* International Phone Call Carriers: 001, 002, 005, 008, 00365, 00700, 00770

* Pre-paid Phone Cards: Generally, since it is almost impossible to find budget mobile phone rentals, pre-paid phone cards are available at any convenience stores or news stands.

International Phone Call Carriers

Carrier`s Number








Charge per minute

























* Last updated: May 2011
* These numbers may be used from a landline as well.

Cell-phone Rental Service
Mobile rental services are available at the Incheon International Airport. Online reservations are accepted through each service provider’s website. Additional discounts (etc.) may be offered to those making reservations online. However, reservations are not required in order to use cell phone rental services.Online Resrevations
☞ Click here for Cell-phone Rental Services
* This page includes information on cell-phone fees, rental locations, and online reservations.SIM Card Purchase
You can purchase a prepaid SIM Card that can be used in Korea and most foreign countries.
Location: GS Books, 1st Floor of Incheon International Airport
Hours: 07:00 – 21:00
Tel: +82-32-743-5654
Help Desk: +82-505-648-7000 (English, Japanese)
E-mail: kimjin@simcardkorea.com (English, Japanese)
Internet service is offered in public places such as airports, train stations, and bus terminals in Korea. PC rooms and internet cafes are also great places to get internet service and easy to find throughout the country. Many PC rooms are open 24 hours and some have snack bars with beverages, noodles, and other snacks available.
We also recoomend this service:




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