How to get a Prepaid SIM card(with voice and data) in South Korea

Purchasing a sim card as a foreigner in South Korea is probably one of the most confusing processes you’ll ever come across. To make it even more complex, carriers such as Olleh will not accept your application for a pre-paid sim card until three days after you arrive in Seoul (only counting weekdays). Fortunately for us, a company called EG mobile (using KT as its hosted carrier) launched an affordable, user-friendly sim card for tourists, or anyone unwilling to enter into a long-term mobile contract.

EG SIM Card Pic

Visit http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/main/index.asp to register for an account if you wish to purchase a pre-paid sim card. Services are offered in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

There is, however, one thing you should note before purchasing an EG prepaid sim.

*Depending on where you purchased your phone, the sim card may NOT work. So do make sure to unlock your phone before you arrive. Call your home country’s service provider and ask them to do this for you.

 

Where and How?

After unlocking your phone, you can choose to either purchase the sim card “online” (order and pay for the sim card through the website above) or “offline” (visit a store).

1. Online (recommended if you are reading this guide in your home country):

If you decide to purchase the prepaid sim card online, you have the option of having the sim card mailed to you, or picking it up yourself from Incheon Airport or other locations. You can pick it up from “K Books” on the first floor (beside KFC) in Incheon Airport when you arrive. Simply show the clerk your passport and your order information will show up in their system.

2. Offline (if you’re already in Seoul and in need of a sim card ASAP)

If you decide to purchase a sim card in an EG store, make sure to bring your passport, a photocopy of your passport, and your phone specifications – IMEI and Wi-Fi MAC address (you can usually find this information under “settings” in your phone). There are 10 locations in Seoul where you can purchase the sim card in person. I recommend going to the Myeongdong EG mobile store in the KT building. Take the subway to Myeongdong Station (blue line) and come out exit 5. Continue walking straight, past the “IBK bank” and a tall “HANJIN” building. Turn right when you see the post office go straight until you reach the KT building with a large OLLEH sign. You’ll EG mobile store is on the first floor.

Map to Myeongdong EG store

Myeongdong Exit 5

Prepaid Sim EG picture

How much?

The EG sim card’s biggest advantage is that you can recharge your balance depending on your use. If you find yourself calling or texting more often, you have the option of purchasing more “voice” balance on the website.

http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/about-eg-sim-card/charges.asp

  1. There is a 20,000 KRW activation fee
  2. Then an extra 5,500 or 9,900KRW depending on the type of sim your phone uses

*Standard sim 5,500

*Micro sim 5,500

*Nano sim 9,900

  1. To purchase data:

100MB – 5,000 KRW

500MB – 10,000 KRW

1GB – 15,000 KRW

If you purchase 500MB or more worth of data, you can use olleh wifi for free in most places in Seoul.

For more information on international calls and text messages, visit http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/about-eg-sim-card/charges.asp

 

After receiving your Sim Card…

Once you purchase the sim card, you’ll receive a small instruction’s manual in English/Chinese/Japanese with your cell phone number on the back. Follow the manual to activate your phone’s data service.

The sim card will expire after 60 days if you don’t recharge the balance. You can top up through the EG website or the phone application (EG MOBILE) in Google store.

If you have any problems with activating your data or the olleh wifi, contact the company at:

Evergreen EG mobile

Phone: +82-1899-6120 (Hour: Monday – Sunday 9am ~ 6pm)

Email: egsim@egmobile.co.kr

 

By Sharon from Canada  

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Tim Fischer says:

    For international shipping you should visit http://www.egsimcard.com cause the korean website has only limited shipping destinations.

  2. Can you use your phone as a hotspot when you get an EG SIM card?

  3. No. My 1GB 30,000 won doesn’t allow phone to be used as Hotspot.

  4. Jan Piet Hein says:

    I would not recommend EGSIM. When you enter the country you need to go through a whole identification process, when you leave the country they know and will immediately disable the sim. Your cash balance will be gone. Aside from the point, it is way more expensive and a hassle. It is just spooky that they track when you leave the country. Also be aware that without a wifi you are not able to activate the card. You also need to provide them a photocopy of your passport. So a whole hassle, better ask your local telco for a datapackage for Korea. That was at least my experience.

  5. I would recommend EG SIM. Aside from their iOS app (for checking balance, etc…) kind of sucking, the service itself is fine.

    I got it for the first time last November. I ordered it online in October and the SIM card was waiting for me when I arrived at Incheon in November. I used it for three weeks and before I left, I made sure to have a balance (they require a minimum balance if you want to use it again when you come back; I don’t remember the exact amount, but it wasn’t a crazy amount) since if you have above a certain minimum balance, the credit stays for a year. I called their customer service to make sure that the balance would be available and they said it would be.

    Fast forward to now; I am back in Korea 5 months later, and sure enough, I got off the plane, turned on my phone with the EG SIM card in it, and it just works! I was able to make calls and send texts as soon as my plane landed. All my money from November was still in the account and I was able to transfer money from my voice balance to my data so I would have a 1GB allowance.

    If you’re going to be in Korea for more than a month, there might be more economical options, but if you’re in Korea for less than 3 weeks, I’d highly recommend considering EG SIM.

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