links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Saturday, March 10, 2007

cell phone in korea

update 2011: call home for local rates, click here.
update 10/2008 i got a cell phone at global village, they have so much foreigner help, it's awesome. the office to get a cell phone is in seoul, off the blue line 4 City hall Station ext 10. they have plans specifically for foreigners. You'll need your arc card, passport, bank book (your bank must have your arc card info on file, not just your passport), and you have to buy one of their phones. the one i bought was 90,000 won. the company is LG. Plans can be as long as three months to X years, and different plans available depending on where youre calling (if you call abroad a lot, or just locally, etc).

you can get a cell phone as soon as you arrive in korea by renting one at the airport. i really wish i had done that. anyway, a few days ago i got a cell phone with the help of a coworker. here, a cell phone or mobile phone is referred to as a "hand-phone."

i had the phone before i arrived; i bought it from a girl on the buy/sell/trade forum on daves.

my friend took me to itaewon to the guy that helped her with her phone, some korean man who spoke english. the phone i have is an LG phone, and i think would've been able to go to any LG to have the phone activated. but i went w/my friend b/c it's all she knew.
i dont have plan, only phone cards. i didnt pay a deposit... i think i DID pay a hook up fee, 20K won maybe? incoming calls are free. my coworker advised that if i make a call that im sure will be under a minute, then just dial the number straight. if it'll be longer than a minute, i should use my phone card. i forgot who wrote this, but below is information from a davester about cellphones here in korea.
  • you have to buy your phone. You do NOT return it when you leave (unless it is a loaner from your hakwon).
  • You CAN get a cellphone new or used in just about any shop but you may need a translator to help you.
  • You CAN get monthly service billing or a "CARD PHONE" that uses prepaid time.
  • IF you get a card phone (read prepaid time cell phone here) there is NO hookup fee and no deposit and no monthly fee. You simply buy the phone and buy time as you need it. Card phones are about 4x more expensive per minute of talk time than monthly ones.
  • If you get a phone from SK or KTF then you need your ARC, possibly your passport and a DEPOSIT of 200k-250k won PLUS the cost of the phone.
  • If you get a phone from LG you do NOT need to make a deposit. You DO need your ARC, PASSPORT, BANKBOOK that has been open for more than 3 months and the cost of the phone.
  • If you get a card phone there is NO CHARGE for the hookup fee. If you get a monthly plan there is a 55k won hookup fee.
  • If you want a phone shop that is willing to assist a foreigner then the shop at Yeongdongpo-gu office (Purple or Green line) subway stop (out exit 3, walk straight ahead, cross the first light and it is the right hand one of the 2 on the corner. Ask for InSook) can help you. She speaks English and is willing to assist a foreigner to get a phone. This is 2 stops away from the Seoul Immigration office.
update 10/2008
here's my cell phone bill, in won and that month's convertion rate. my bill is steadily on the rise, b/c im on it a LOT.
04/09i haveno idea
05/09where these


Forlaniz3 said...

WOW! I loved this! You go Black woman in Korea! I'll be there, God willing, in April in Changnyeong! I was wondering about the cell phone stuff, and this just puts me at ease. ;)

eMCee said...

TREMENDOUSLY helpful! Thanks much!

Deborah said...

This is so helpful-thanks. Did you have some kind of monthly rate or did you just pay for the minutes you used? Also, how much $ per minute?

Daughter of God said...

I'll be in korea in 2 months! headed to china in 1 month then hoping to find a job in korea but i have a backup job in korea..your blog helps...maybe we'll meet! 2 black girls in korea!! haha