Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki



The Republic of Korea (= South Korea) has 3 mobile network operators:

  • KT
  • SK Telecom
  • LG U+

supplemented by many MVNOs on the three networks.

In South Korea there never have been any GSM networks and their only 2G service is in CDMA, so 3G or 4G/LTE capable device must be used. It's unlikely you will have any luck with CDMA service as phones are rarely sold outside Korea and very few other countries (like the US). The only real options for visitors are 3G/UMTS on 2100 MHz or 4G/LTE phones. If you are travelling from North America make sure your phone supports 2100 MHz on 3G as many US phones only support 850 or 1900 MHz.

SIM cards of the major providers are sold in the operators' stores, SIMs of the MVNOs rather in convenience stores like CU, 7-Eleven and GS25 like in airports.


The 2G network of KT and SK Telecom based on CDMA has been switched off in 2012 and July 2020 respectively, LG U+ 2G/3G CDMA network been switched off in Jun. 2021. There is a very good coverage on 3G up to HSPA+ speed with SK Telecom and KT on 2100 MHz and on 4G/LTE with all operators added by many WI-Fi hotspots in the country. Following table contains frequencies on both standards CDMA and GSM used by each carriers:

Networks 2G (CDMA) 3G/HSDPA 4G/LTE in MHz (bands) 5G*
SK Telecom - 2100 MHz 850 (B5), 1800 (B3), 2100 (B1), 2600 (B7) 3500 (B22)
KT (olleh) - 2100 MHz 1800 (B3), 900 (B8), 2100 (B1) 3500 (B22)
LG U+ - - 850 (B5), 2100 (B1), 2600 (B7) 3500 (B22)

5G was launched in April 2019 as one of the first countries. It's not available for prepaid so far.

The primary LTE frequencies are in bold. Frequencies in italics are CDMA-only and not compatible with usual GSM devices sold outside Korea.

SK Telecom and KT both work on 3G and 4G/LTE in the cities on frequencies used all over Asia, Australia and Europe. Forget about using CDMA with a foreign device: SK Telecom requires a lengthy process even for Koreans while LG U+ uses the 1800 MHz band as only carrier in the world for CDMA. Both carriers now sell own branded phones without CDMA. So you can expect good coverage with a GSM phone on any carrier. You may still use CDMA roaming, if your phone/operator supports it (e.g. Sprint or Verizon devices from the US). Remember, 2G-only GSM phones as well as pre-OS10 BlackBerrys without 3G support don't work in S. Korea. On the other hand, if your device supports 4G, this country will have the best 4G coverage at almost 100%. Furthermore, Korea has an excellent network of open and commercial WiFis and networks based on Mobile WIMAX technology, they call WiBro.


Not so long ago South Korea had severe legal restrictions in place which hampered your internet access if you were not aware of them. Up to 2012 it used to run a whitelist scheme of accepting only certain certified devices to their networks based on their IMEI numbers and no foreign phones could be used in the country on a local SIM card without official approval. Until 2015 you were allowed to buy a SIM card at arrival in the country, but immigration law mandated that your personal data needs to be entered into the system first which could take up to 3 working days.

Luckily things have changed now for the better and you can buy a SIM card like in any other country. Since 2015 all foreigners visiting Korea can open a mobile prepaid account on the day they arrive in the country as authorities have improved the foreigner identification system. Nowadays, you still have to send a request to add your device to the network. This is done at the point of purchase. It can take 20 to 60 minutes before your connection will be activated. That's why you should choose a designated device for your SIM card and tether from it instead of changing the SIM from one device to the other.

Market for visitors[]

The most accessible network for foreigners is kt olleh by Korea Telecom. SK Telekom is only slowly opening up and LG U+ remains closed due their market policy and frequences. Kt olleh SIM cards can most easily be purchased in their "global stores" where staff speaks some English or at the airport. So offers can also be bought or ordered before your arrival online sent to you or to be picked up in the country. Some smaller resellers of kt olleh and rental companies complete the picture. Finding a SIM card and an English-speaking agent in town, can be a much harder task to do.

kt olleh (by KT - Korea Telecom)[]

Kt olleh.jpg

Olleh or KT (Korea Telecom) is the public provider and 2nd network in the country with a good coverage (see above). It's a formerly public enterprise, is relatively cheaper than SK Telecom with the largest WiFi coverage in Korea and a well-organized prepaid plan available. Remember, there is no 2G anymore, just 3G, 4G/LTE and now 5G NR.

Most visitors go for the tourist SIM sold online, at CVS like 7-11 or CU, airports or the rental of a device with a SIM card. Their regular olleh Simple prepaid plan is much harder to get and maintain for a foreigner and geared more to long-time visitors.

There are two types of SIM cards for travelers available and you can compare them in this article at a glance:

  • BLUE Korea SIM card with unlimited high-speed LTE data for 5-30 days and a voice and text allowance. Olleh Wifi available (extensive carrier Wifi hotspot network in many many places around Korea).
  • RED Korea SIM card with 1 or 2 GB high-speed LTE data or the equivalent of voice or text for 30 days

Korea SIM Blue[]

This latest product also dubbed as "ultimate Korean SIM" card comes with unlimited data for a period of time(5, 7, 10, 15 and 30 day). In fact, 10GB data provided at 4G LTE full speed of max. 150 Mbps for that period and throttled unlimited data at 400kbps. It's sold to foreigners and locals alike and you get a local Korean number starting 010-. Furthermore, it has 100 minutes outgoing local voice calls and 100 texts included. Receiving calls and messages are unlimitedly for free including overseas calls. All devices using SIM can be serviced with and Tethering(internet sharing) is available. Instructions to activate Olleh Wifi are in the package. Basically you might have to let the customer service know your MAC address.

It is highly recommended to buy it on their online website and pick it up at the pick up desk in airport on arrival. You can also purchase it in the convenience stores of CU and 7-Eleven chains (and some Mini Stop and other various places) around Korean major international airports (Incheon Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Gimpo, Jeju and Gimhae) and Myeong-dong, Hongdae, Gangnam, Dongdaemun, Jongno or Haeundae. Here's a list from the official site with the lcoations. But it is much more expensive than online site (about 18%) and you must choose among limited day option(mostly 7 days and 15 days).

The registration is finished automatically at the moment you try registration by online. It works 24/7. So it is possible to choose when to start to use it after getting the SIM. Specific date to begin to use it can be designated in advance when registration, too. Activation will be finished on the application and the 'kt' or 'olleh' logo will appear on the screen. Koreans can be served if they have additional foreign identification cards in activation.

Extention is also possible only once up to additional 30 days by using mobile app.

  • for 5 days: US$ 22.90
  • for 7 days: US$ 27.90 (At convenience store, KRW 34,900)
  • for 10 days: US$ 31.90
  • for 15 days: US$ 40.30 (At convenience store, KRW 49,900)
  • for 30 days: US$ 58.90

kt olleh Mobile Rental and data-only SIM purchase[]

Mobile rental.png

The same olleh stores airport stores also rent SIM cards, smartphones and WiFi routers too at their airport branches and flagship stores called "Global stores". Available phone types are iPhone5, Galaxy Note1(SHV-E160), Galaxy R Style (SHV-E170K). You should make a pre-order online, if you want to be sure to get a certain device. They also sell data-only SIMs with the same data price.

SIM card rental and purchase[]

They have special stores called "global stores" at airports and key city points where they support English-speaking service especially to foreigners. They have the broadest service in the country to foreigners: They sell prepaid SIM cards, do phone rentals with SIM cards, do "egg" rentals (see below) and sell WiFi vouchers for their WiFi hotspots. At Incheon airport, KT has several service desks in the arrivals hall where you are likely to find signs advertising SIM cards (as do the other mobile network operators - SK and LG+).

They sell a data-only prepaid SIM and rent out a general prepaid SIM with voice and data. Both SIMs include "unrestricted" data use during the rental period at a max. of 5 Mbps. For rent you need to link your credit card and in case of loss ₩ 10,000 will be charged. Remember, you need to give or sent back their voice SIM. Rates for both SIM cards are:

  • for 5 days: ₩ 27,500
  • for 10 days: ₩ 38,500
  • for 30 days: ₩ 71,500

Smartphone and WiFi router rentals[]

They rent out different smartphones with SIM cards to use rightaway. The rental fees for phones or WiFi routers are:

  • 1-10 days: ₩ 3,000 per day
  • 11-20 days: ₩ 2,000 per day
  • 21-30 days: ₩ 1,000 per day
  • over 30 days: free

Data is an expensive ₩ 1.5 per 0.5 KB. But you can book unlimited data on 3G and 4G for 5,000 won per day. Speed is limited to 5 Mbps.

Furthermore, they rent out "eggs". These are Mifi routers to build a local hotsport running on WiMAX (or LTE) technology. The rental fee is the the same as for smartphones with the same data pack. Be prepared to pay around ₩ 200,000 deposit for the rental or have it blocked on your credit card.

Olleh simple.jpg

kt olleh prepaid SIM card (olleh SIMple)[]


KT's regular prepaid product (olleh 선불) can be loaded with data packs from ₩ 4,000 to 50,000 called olleh SIMple at all of their stores. Each top-up amount involves a validity period. Purchase and booking of packages is easiest in their global stores (list of locations). However, note that this SIM can't be purchased at Incheon International Airport, but there are other SIMs you can get on the KT network at the airport (see below). If you are unable to visit a global store, then their English-speaking hotline can act as a translator for you. Also, as of February 3, 2017 prepaid SIM cards are sold only between 10am and 6pm on business days only despite that stores works longer. Same restriction applies to recharging SIM cards with cash in "Global Stores" (if you have a Korean bank card, you can also recharge on Saturday from 10am to 6pm), see below for the option of recharging in convenience stores.

You have to buy the prepaid card itself and it comes without any credit. Default data rate is ₩ 0.28 per 0.5 KB. It's on 3G/HSPA+ and/or 4G/LTE. If you have a smartphone that supports the LTE bands that KT olleh supports (essential is band 3 on 1800 MHz) then you can sign up for "olleh simple LTE". The SIM card costs ₩ 5,500 for 3G (Olleh simple) or ₩ 8,800 for 4G (olleh simple LTE). Nano SIM cards are available only with the 4G option.

One thing to keep in mind is SIM card validity, currently they are offering a plan with minimum 180 days validity (no shorter periods on first time purchase) for ₩ 30,000. However, you can extend the validity an en existing SIM card for shorter durations than 180 days. So for first time visitors staying in Korea for a month, you will spend ₩ 30,000 for validity + ₩ 8,800 for the SIM card + data pack charges (another ₩ 8800 for 500 MB on 4G).

Data feature packages[]

These monthly packages can be booked on the SIMple card (for 4G/LTE) link:

  • 100 MB: ₩ 5,500
  • 300 MB: ₩ 8,800
  • 500 MB: ₩ 11,000
  • 1 GB: ₩ 16,500
  • 2 GB: ₩ 22,500
  • 4 GB: ₩ 38,500

These monthly packages can be booked on the SIMple card (for 3G and 4G) link:

  • 500 MB: ₩ 8,800
  • 1 GB: ₩ 14,300
  • 2 GB: ₩ 19,800

Also note that you must have some (greater than 0) amount of credit on your card, or else your data package will not work (and customer service may not know why!).

Olleh's extensive WI-FI network (see below) is added unlimited for free on the packages of 300 MB or more. You will need to connect to the secure olleh Wi-Fi network. It will ask you for authentication - choose SIM authentication.

kt olleh WiFi voucher[]

IMG 4627.jpg

Olleh runs the biggest WiFi network with more than 100,000 WiFis in the country, which is a very good alternative to mobile internet in the cities, but quite limited on the countryside ( You can buy codes at many 7-Eleven, By the Way, GS25 or Mini Stop stores :

  • 1 hour: ₩ 1,100
  • 24 hours: ₩ 3,300

A detailed guide how to log on in English is given here:

From summer of 2017 many kt olleh WiFi hotspots have been opened for free use by the public. So check, if you can access it for free, before you buy a voucher.

Technical Settings (for all kt olleh products)[]

Many phones pick up the correct carrier settings automatically. If internet doesn't work properly, these additional manual settings are required:

More info (for the different sections)[]

SK Telecom[]

Sk telecom-0.png

SK Telecom is the biggest mobile provider in South Korea. It has recently added prepaid plans for short term tourists, Korea SIM Gold and Purple. Like KT, SK also has counters at Incheon airport and online shop where SIM cards can be bought.

SK operates 3G on the usual 2100 MHz, but 4G/LTE on the rather unusual 850 MHz (band 5) as primary frequency that is rarely covered by devices from overseas (except those capable of AT&T's LTE in the US). The more usual 1800 MHz (band 3) is only employed for back-up. But the coverage is reported to be better than that of kt, by press every year. 2G has been switched off in 2020.

Korea SIM Gold[]

This SIM card contains 4G LTE internet data. It offers unlimited data at 10 Mbps.

It's valid for 1, 5, 10 or 30 days and can not be extended. It is the only SIM in South Korea that requires no activation or registration to use if ordered for delivery. So, It's possible to be sold to locals as well as foreigners. If picked up at a SK Roaming counter, registration is required, but you will be able to receive calls and SMS only (no outgoing). And also, you can choose when to start to use it by inserting the SIM into your device when you want to use it (each day of validity is a full 24 hours).

It can be bought from online shop and be picked up at SK Telecom official roaming desks in the all the major international airports in Korea including Jeju. That's the best way to get it. If you visit there without pre-purchase, it will be more expensive. For reference, in Jeju international airport, SK Telecom booth is the only telecom desk you can find about SIM.

  • for 1 day : US$ 4.70 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 6,600)
  • for 3 days : US$ 12 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 18,000)
  • for 5 days: US$ 20.60 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 27,500)
  • for 10 days: US$ 27.40 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 38,500)
  • for 20 days : US$ 48.70 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 60,500)
  • for 30 days: US$ 51.60 (In airport without pre-purchase : KRW 71,500)

PPS Smartphone plan[]

PPS prepaid SIMs can be subscribed only at SK Telecom branch offices (T-world 지점; not at T-World franchise stores and not at roaming centers, so as of 3/2019 not at Incheon Airport). The store in Hongdae/Hapjeong (105, Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul; second floor, Mon-Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is known to work; other stores can be found on Naver Maps. The process will take about 30-45 minutes and you will need to bring a passport or Alien Registration Card.

The Smartphone plans allow for calling and texting. You will need to choose a base plan, with PPS Smartphone General having no daily charge and other plans like PPS Smartphone Lite (₩ 166 / day) lowering the voice rates. On activation, which will cost ₩ 8,800 for the SIM card, you have to load a minimum balance of ₩ 5,000 giving the SIM a validity of 30 days. Top-ups are available and will extend the validity of the phone number and at the same time increase the call credit, with each 30 days costing ₩ 5,000 and and a total of ₩ 50,000 being the flat-out fee for 1 year. The phone number remains valid for another 10 days after expiration of the credit. SIM cards do not need to be returned, and accounts will be closed automatically after 12 months; so no need to return to the stores.

For their Smartphone plan the following data bundles can be added, all with a maximum validity of one year or the expiry of the SIM, whichever comes sooner. The data allowance is maintained as a separate account; you cannot convert the call/validity credit into data allowances. Access to the extensive T-Zone WiFi-network is included on all plans and does not impact you data credit.

  • 100 MB: ₩ 2,000
  • 500 MB: ₩ 10,000
  • 1 GB : ₩ 15,000
  • 2 GB: ₩ 19,000
  • 5 GB: ₩ 33,000

SKT PPS Smartphone is a good choice for medium-long stays (above 30 days) with medium-intense data usage; 3 months with a total of 5 GB of data will cost ₩ 56,800 total (₩ 8,800 SIM card + ₩ 15,000 for 90 days of validity + ₩ 33,000 for 5 GB of data) and include about an hour of domestic calls or 680 SMS. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways for enabling calling (compared to opening a post-paid line). However, the need to visit a SK Telecom branch office will make this less easy than picking up a SIM card right at the airport and will probably make it unpractical for short-term and first-time visitors.

SK Telink - 7mobile[]

SK Telink is their usual consumer brand. But prepaid services are only offered by its MVNO 7mobile. Their prepaid plan T-Money has a base charge of 202 won per day and these monthly data packages to be added:

  • 100 MB: 5,000 won
  • 500 MB: 10,000 won
  • 1 GB: 20,000 won
  • 2 GB: 40,000 won

For 110 won per day, access to WIFI of T-Zone ( can be added.

SK Telecom prepaid SIM for travellers from Hong Kong Airport[]

5 day or 8 day SIM cards are being offered by Klook Travel Technologies for pick-up at Hong Kong airport for travellers who may be travelling from Hong Kong or transiting through the HKG airport.

  • 2.8 GB (at 4G speeds) for 5 days: ₩ 20,086 / HK$ 128
  • 5 GB (at 3G speeds) for 8 days: ₩ 23,225 / HK$ 148

These cards must be pre-ordered and then picked up at HKG International Airport on this website.

SK Telecom Roaming[]

Similar to olleh roaming, SK Telecom rents out smartphones and MIFI routers. Unlike olleh they focus more on the internet than some special stores to foreigners. The rentals can be booked online through here.

A smartphone rental is for ₩ 3,000 per day and ₩ 6,000 per day for 3G data up to 1 GB (overuse: ₩ 5 per 0.5 KB) or unlimited WIFI for ₩ 2,000 per day on T-Zone WIFI (see above). Discount is given to online reservations, long time rentals and returning costumers. Deposits are ₩ 300,000-700,000 for the devices.

The MiFi is given out for ₩ 3,000 per day and for ₩ 5,000 per day you get unlimited data on 3G and LTE.

More information[]


EG SIM.jpg

EGSIM is a MVNO company that uses KT network in Korea.

They sells 3G/LTE speed prepaid USIM that can be used in Korea, and the target audience is mainly "the people" visiting Korea for tourism/education/business.

There is Foreign language support service at the head office.

Place of purchase[]

(1) Homepage:

 - Can be purchased at the cheapest price

 - Can be delivered to the desired shipping address

 - Airport pick-up available(This is not available after 2020.11.01 regarding to the COVID-19 issue)

(2) Convenience store

 - Available at many GS25 and E-Mart 24 convenience stores

(3) Naver Smart Store (

 - Only data products can be purchased. (Voice products cannot be purchased)

(4) Visit to Seongsu-dong headquarters

 ( 504 , 1st Halla Sigma Valley Seoul Forest Seongsui-ro 51, Seongdong-gu, Seoul)

Product information[]

 As the price of the product varies by vendor, we will inform you of the selling price on the website.

 (You can purchase the product at the lowest price on the EGSIM homepage.)

<Homepage sales products>

(1) Voice + data product (data / voice / text can be used for 30 days)

 -1.5GB data+ 50min voice: ₩ 30,000 (Homepage discount price: ₩ 15,000)

 -5GB data + 50min voice: ₩60,000 (Homepage discount price: ₩30,000)

 -10GB data+ 100min voice+ 100EA text: ₩90,000 (Homepage discount price: ₩45,000)

(2) Data products (LTE data can be used unlimitedly during the period)

 -5DAYS: ₩27,500 (Homepage discount price: ₩15,000)

 -10DAYS: ₩ 38,500 (Homepage discount price: ₩ 26,950)

 -30DAYS: ₩71,500 (Homepage discount price: ₩50,050)

 -60DAYS: ₩ 118,000 (Homepage discount price: ₩ 76,700)

 -90DAYS: ₩ 150,000 (Homepage discount price: ₩ 97,500)

More information[]

You can get detailed information about the product through the manual that came with the product when you purchased it.

Other information can be confirmed on the website. (

NeoKOSIM and Link Korea[]


NeoKOSIM is a start-up company that has recently launched a partnership with KT to offer a 4G/LTE unlimited data access prepaid SIM card for travelers coming to Korea. The same service is offered as Link Korea.

Data-only pass[]

You can order online on their website and will receive a PDF voucher via your e-mail after payment. SIMs can be picked up at main gateway airports in Korea (Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Jeju) and their Hongdae Office in downtown Seoul. These SIMs are for purchase and not to be returned. Tethering is possible, no calls or texts, but VoIP. Max. speed is 5 Mbps.

Voice & data pass[]

You can order online on their website and will receive a PDF voucher via your e-mail and will pay when you pick up the SIMThey can be picked up at Incheon airport, at the Olleh KT roaming center (gate 6) inside in the arrival hall 1F. These SIMs are for rental and are to be returned:

The allowances are for data only. Voice and text consumptions will be billed extra. As a deposit you'll need to to provide a credit card or pay ₩ 100,000 which is given back when you return the SIM. If you don't return it, you shall be charged additionally for all of your calls and text messages to your given credit card.

Pass prices[]

Both product lines are sold/rented for the same rates:

  • 5-day pass for ₩ 27,500  (~ US$ 25, tax incl.)
  • 10-day pass for ₩ 38,500 (~ US$ 35, tax incl.)
  • 30-day pass for ₩ 71,500 (~ US$ 65, tax incl.)

Annex Korea SIM[]

To be picked up in their office in Seoul only, they offer another SIM with unlimited domestic text and voice and 12 GB data, beyond throttled to 3 Mbps. A 15 day pass is sold for US$ 45, 30 days for US$ 72. This SIM is for sale and not extendable, VoIP is blocked.

WiFi router rental[]

They also rent out a 4G WiFI router for US$ 5 per day and ₩ 200,000 deposit payable by credit card or cash that will be refunded when returned.

Link Korea[]


Link Korea has an almost identical offer to NeokoSIM. You'll need to book online on this pageat least 2 days before your arrival to Korea. They will contact you through email to get personal information and arrival date for registration. You can receive confirm email and they will send you a detailed pick-up guide. Pick-up your SIM card at one of their pick-up points in Incheon Airport.

Required deposit: by credit card open or in cash (₩ 100,000 or 100 US$) for the voice and data SIM. Pick-up point at gate 6 Olleh Roaming Service Desk has 24 hours business hours. Enjoy mobile communication during your trip. Return it after use: Upon the return of the SIM card, the usage fee for calling and texting is calculated and paid by credit card or in Korean Won only. If a SIM card is not returned in time, a fee for the loss of the card (of ₩ 10,000) and the usage fee will be deducted from the paid deposit. The duration of rental can be extended by calling the service center. Like with Neokosim the data-only SIM is for purchase, not for rental.

They also offer the WiFi router for US$ 5 per day at the same conditions as NeoKOSIM.

More info[]



They started services in January 2018 using the KT/olleh network in up to LTE+ with 200 Mbit/s. They are distributed by a German company that was formerly marketing the EG SIM and geared to tourists and ARC card holders. SIM card management is done through their Android, iOS or web app.

Order is available with postal delivery. Delivery within Korea 1-2 days. International delivery 1-5 days.

Validity is for max. of 90 days. Extensions for ARC card holders can be made on request. In any case you need to state your arrival date for activation of the card which is done online: make a photo of your passport, visit their activation website, confirm the guidelines and enter mobile phone number, last 3 numbers of the serial code, arrival date, passport number, full name and the scan of your passport. The final card activation will be done about 20 hours before arrival date.

Available plans[]

All plans consist of a voice package and a data package with domestic 3G and 4G/LTE+ data:

  • Basic: 9.95 EUR / 1,000 won voice
  • Small: 19.95 EUR / 1,000 won voice + 500 MB data
  • Medium: 29.95 EUR / 11,000 won voice + 1 GB data
  • Large: 45 EUR / 21,000 won voice + 2 GB data
  • Premium: 65 EUR / 5,000 won international voice + unlimited local voice and data

Voice expires after 90 days, data expire after 30 days (can be extended every time without lost of remaining data). These extra packages can be added:

  • 500 MB: 8,800 won
  • 1 GB: 14,300 won
  • 2 GB: 19,800 won
  • unlimited internet & voice: 58,500 won (only available for the Premium plan)

More info[]

The Arrival Store[]


The Arrival Store provides SIM card and phone rentals in South Korea on a daily or monthly basis. They can be ordered online to be collected at Incheon Airport or to be sent to any postal address in Korea. 

For short-term travelers they offer SIM cards with unlimited calling, text and data (within S. Korea) for US$ 5 per day (min. of 5 days) plus a once-off US$ 15 SIM card fee.

For long term rentals they offer different rate plans for 3, 12, or 24 month rental contracts on SIM-only plans that can be seen here. Contracts operate on the KT olleh's LTE/4G network and provide unlimited access to this operator's hotspots throughout Korea too.