Getting a Mobile Phone in Korea

Most of us are so dependent on our mobile phones that we feel lost without it (me included :P) So when you come to Korea you’d be dying to get a mobile phone! But don’t get too excited yet, because there are certain requirements you have to fulfill before that.

1. Alien Registration Card

This is absolutely the most important. Without it, you can only get a prepaid service at best. If you want to sign for a Korean line, make sure you apply for your ARC asap!! More information on applying for ARC here

2. Bank account information

If you’re using a Korean bank, you have to make sure that the bank account type is that with an ARC number. Now you see the importance of the ARC 😛

3. Age

Yes, I’m serious. You have to be 20 years old (21 in Korean age) to be able to apply for a phone service, whether it’s prepaid or postpaid service. If you are below 20 you will need a legal guardian (ie your parents) to be there to sign the contract for you.

There are 3 major telecom service providers in Korea, namely KT Olleh, SKT and LG U+. All offer plans at about the same price, but SKT requires foreigners to pay the device fee upfront. Usually, you will be able to pay for the device fee in installments, but SKT requires foreigners to pay the device fee at one go. So if you’re getting a Samsung Galaxy S II for example, you’ll need to pay W900,000 all at once if you’re signing with SKT. With KT or LG, they allow you to pay by installments. (I’ve heard that the law changed in late 2013, but I’m not too sure yet.)

So what if you’re a minor and can’t get a mobile phone by yourself?

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