Saturday, August 10, 2013

[Seoul, Korea] Travel Tips : Data-Roaming in Korea and Locating EG SIM Card Agent at Seoul Station

Many of us have developed the habit of staying connected with our social media accounts while on the go.  As such, one of the hassles of travelling is not being to stay connected and get online as and when we wish to.  If you do not already know, Korea is probably one of the most "internet-friendly" countries for travellers.  Wifi is available in the subway stations, guesthouses, hotels in Seoul and in most cafes, the wifi is also freely accessible with or without password.  If password is needed, the café staff would be most happy to assist you.

However, if your preference is to stay connected ALL the time, here are a few options:
1.  Rent a mobile phone.  One-time rental fee and daily for the type of plan you opt for.  May be used for phone and data network.  Note that you may be required to pay a huge sum as a deposit.  (http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/rental.asp or http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/rental/phone_rental.asp or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_PhoneRental.asp)

2.  Rent a pocket wifi-modem.  Rental fee, daily charge and deposit may be applicable.  Since it is a wifi modem, you can access data whereas for phone call, you may do so via applications that allow data calling eg. Kakaotalk and Line.  The advantage for this option is that multiple users may tap on the same modem.  The downside is that with more users, battery may be drained more quickly.  (http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/modem.asp or http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/wibro/rental.asp or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_PocketWiFi.asp)

3.  Buy a prepard SIM card.  This is a prepaid card and you simply draw down on the value based on your usage.  May be used for data network and phone call.  However, you need to have a spare phone to use this option.  (http://roaming.kt.com/renewal/eng/rental/sim_card.asp or http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/ or http://www.sroaming.com/eng/Product/Product_DataSIMCard.asp or http://www.skroaming.com/en/rent/rental02.asp)

4.  Buy an hourly or daily wifi.  The usage is available for 60 minutes or 24 hours.  The clock starts counting the moment the account is activated.  You can purchase this at some convenient stores.  You will be issued a receipt with a pin number.  Account is activated by unlocking the pin.  The downside is that you need to first get free wifi to log into the website in order to key in the pin.  (http://first.wifi.olleh.com/en/prepaid_guide.html)


Using the EG SIM Card

My personal preference is to get a prepaid SIM card which provides data as well as phone call facilitates.  It may be a little convenient to inform others of your new number, but hey, it is much much cheaper to receive and call out using the SIM card's number.  For example, calls made to Singapore is at 215won (~ S$0.25) per minute.  Way much cheaper than to use our local telco's roaming service!  Data plan costs 16,500 won (~ S$19) for 1GB.  Usually, for travellers who are there for 1 to 2 weeks, 1GB is way more than enough unless you are a super heavy user.  One suggestion is to opt for the cheaper plan and top-up as and when necessary.  Topping card can be done at various convenient stalls or via credit card.

What you need to do is to place an order for the SIM card 3 days before arriving Korea.  They have recently enhanced their service and they are now able to deliver the SIM Card to hotels. 

Upon arrival, collect the SIM card at Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport, Gimhae Airport, Seoul Station, their Myeongdong agency or office at Gangnam.

[Updated on 30 Nov: I noticed that EG SIM Card has updated some policies recently, please visit their website for latest changes.]

Seoul Station is one of the stations with the highest traffic flow.  Especially for first time travellers to Seoul and do not understand the Korean language, finding the Premium Travel Centre (that's the agent for EG SIM Card at Seoul Station) may not be so easy.  Here's the direction to the shop at Seoul Station.

This is how Seoul Station looks like from the outside.


Walk up the flight of steps.  At the end of the steps, walk towards the direction where you see the word "OUTLETS".  That's the entrance to Lotte Outlets.


Walk along "Lotte Outlets" in the direction towards "Seoul Station" and "Airport Railroad" as indicated on the blue signboard.


When you enter the entrance, turn right.


As you walk, look out for blue signage that points you to "Airport Railroad".


The walk is about 5 mins when you walk from 1 end to the other.  Again, look for the blue signage at the end of the building showing "Airport Railroad" and points to the doors at the left side.



Go through the entrance to KORAIL Airport Railroad Seoul Station  and Terminal.


Take the elevator to Basement 2 level.


As you get out from the lift, turn right.  The shop "Premium Travel Center" will be just around the corner.  Note the opening hours of the centre which is from 9am to 9pm.  Alternatively, a reader has shared that you can take the escalator down to Basement 2 and you will see the centre immediately when you get off the escalator.


The staff speaks pretty good English so no worries about communication issues.  This is how the SIM Card cover and actual micro SIM looks like.



Before the staff assist to setup the SIM card, do inform the staff whether your phone is 3G or LTE-enabled.  I had some problem with the initial setup for my 3G Samsung Galaxy S3 as they seemed to have programmed it to LTE-enabled.  Other than this particular issues, I had no problem using EG SIM Card's service ^.^


Detailed information on EG SIM Card can be found here:

http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/ENG/index.asp

http://koreasimblog.blogspot.kr/


Location Map of Seoul Station


View Larger Map


Related Posts:
- Airfare Promotions to Seoul/Busan/Jeju (Click here)
- Gangwon-do: Chuncheong Dakgalbi (Click here)
- Exploring Korean Traditional Markets on Subway Line 5 (Click here)
- Korean Fried Chicken Culture (Click here)


Like my post?  Follow me at Instagram (@joslovesfood), Facebook (Joslovesfood) and Twitter (@Joslovesfood)! ^^

55 comments:

  1. Hi, I've stayed in korea for 1 month plus and am familiar with Seoul Station. In my opinion, it is easier to find the Premium Travel Center if you take the escalator down to B2, cos you will see it immediately when you get off the escalator.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing this tip. I will include it in my post ;)

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  3. These tips looks great. I like the way of explaining these tips.

    Study Abroad in Edinburgh

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    Replies
    1. Hi Warner,
      Glad u found the tips useful ;)

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  4. Really Great post, thanks for the sharing travel tips

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  5. Thanks for sharing! Can I know how much did you pay for the sim card and what was the initial stored value in it?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I bought the 1GB plan which costs 16.500 won as I was there for about 2 weeks. If you are not a heavy data/call user or if your trip is short, you can go for the lower plan at 500MB. Details on the plans can be found here http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/ENG/goods/goods_info.asp

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    2. Thank you! But what is the cost of the sim card? Like singtel for eg, the prepaid hicard costs $8 with a stored value of $10, so how much does the eg sim card cost and how much value does it carry?

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    3. Hi, there is no SIM Card fee ^^ you can use the entire amount topped up ^^

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    4. If you order online, the microSIM costs 5,500 won. So if you buy in the store, SIM card itself is free?

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    5. It appears that EG SIM Card has started imposing fees for purchase of SIM Cards. It is best to check with EG SIM Card directly for the details. https://www.egsimcard.co.kr/ENG/goods/goods_usim_list_20131104.asp?type=7&goods_no=32

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  6. Hi, thank for the info :)....do i need to unlock my phone before using the sim card??

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    Replies
    1. Hi, there may be different settings for different phone. Best if u get advice from EG SIM card directly ^^

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  7. hi, i checked with Singtel and they told me all singapore phone is unlocked. Hope this info can help.

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    Replies
    1. This info is really useful to Singaporean travellers. Thank you for sharing ^^

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  8. has anybody tried travelsim card in Korea? i used it in Europe and US, but we are planning to go to Asia soon, so I'm wondering..

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  9. Do we need to turn on wi-fi in order use the 3g data?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, once you start using the SIM card, you will be using the dataplan directly. No need to turn on wifi. ^^

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  10. Thanks for the photo here.
    I have shopped at Seoul Station and also taken trains from there.
    But never noticed the Premium service counter.

    Since wifi is free , do i still have to change my Starhub SIM card and use a prepaid SK telco card?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lilly, it depends on your preference. Wifi is free but not available anywhere and everywhere. If you need to stay connected all the time, you can consider getting a prepaid card. Alternatively, you can use Starhub's data roaming service which will costs more. ^^

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  11. Hi there , I bought the egsimcard online and I'm not yet in Korea but I just inserted the card to check...and when I checked the apn on my galaxy s3 ...it has the kt.lte.com i think?
    What would be the problem if it's LTE enabled and my phone is only 3G? I'm worried :<

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    Replies
    1. Hi, this is quite technical. It will be better to get advice from EG SIM card directly...

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    2. Thanks for the reply :) Will check with them ^^

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  12. Hi, thanks very much for this post, it's definitely very helpful. Sorry for this silly question, but would you recommend just buying the SIM Card in person at Seoul Station? Or do the SIM Cards usually sell out quickly so ordering in advance would be better? The EG SIM Card website does not seem to be a secure site, so ordering it online seems a bit risky...

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    Replies
    1. Hi, to be safe, better to drop them an email or a message to order the SIM card ^^ ~ Jos

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    2. Hi, thanks so much for your reply. You wrote: "When the staff is assisting to setup the SIM card, do re-confirm if your phone is 3G or LTE-enabled." How does one check this? Do you check with your mobile service provider or the smartphone company? Sorry for the silly question.

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    3. Hi K.T.,
      Thanks for raising that comment. I realised that my statement wasn't that clear. What I meant was - before the staff configures the SIM card, let them know if your hp is 3G or LTE-enabled. As to whether your hp is 3G or LTE-enabled, you would have known at the point of buying the hp, I hope. Haha.

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    4. Hi Jos, I really wasn't told much when I bought my phone, haha. But I can see the "4G" indicator when I use my data plan, does this mean my phone is LTE-enabled?

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    5. Hi, since there is 4G indication, your hp should be on LTE plan ^^

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  13. Hi, thanks for your post. Awesome since I need a sim card and do not want to rent a mobile phone from sktelecom anymore :)

    Because I will be at Korea for 2 weeks plus, just to ask about the flat rate of 1gb. Does it means throughout.this 2 weeks, I have only 1gb to use? :) thanks so much ^^

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    1. Hi Beatrice, you can top up the data plan at selected convenient stores or even via credit card, if 1GB is not sufficient. It is quite easy. ^^

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    2. Thanks so much for your prompt reply:)

      Just another question, if we collect at Incheon Airport, will there be someone to help us to activate? ^^

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    3. Hi Beatrice, I believe they will help u with the installation and activation ^^

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    4. I ordered the SIM card online and arranged for collection from K Books at Incheon Airport, but the person there was only concerned with giving you the SIM card. Then I went to the Premium Travel Center in Seoul Station, hoping that the people there could help me with the installation and activation; however, they said they can help only if I had bought the SIM card there. Hence I imagine that it would be best if you get the SIM card from Seoul Station instead.

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  14. Hi, I would like to ask if it is possible to buy the SIM card at the store instead of ordering online?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you can. You can check the info from their website
      http://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/buy-eg-sim-card/offline/buy-egsimcard.asp

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  15. Would it be better to buy the Singtel DataRoam Saver Plan for $15 per day? (Unlimited data)

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    1. Hi, if you need to use your Singapore mobile numbers frequently (eg, receiving incoming calls), then I guess this is a better option for you. If you don't need to, then it might be better to get a KR temporary sim card for data plan and phone call. It is much cheaper. Hope this helps. ^^

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  16. Hi Jos, I am from Singapore and will be going to Seoul for holiday. Do you know if I can use egsimcard on iPad2? I will activite data roam on my iPhone via Singapore provide3rs but looking to buy temporary data plan from Korea.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I know they have different types of SIM cards for compatibility reasons. You can check with them if they have one that is meant for IPAD2 ^^

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  18. Hi Jos, thanks for giving such a detailed account. You mentioned if we choose prepaid sim and use it for data network and phone call we need to have a spare phone to use this option(item 3 above). Why the need for a spare phone? Another question, is it advisable to sign up for 500mb initially and then top up later at the convenient stores. Ill be there for 11 days and not a heavy data user. Thanks.

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    1. Hi, the spare hp is needed in case you wish to stay connected on your SG sim card. If you're staying within Seoul, it is easy to top up your data plan. It is quite convenient to do the top-up but I can't guarantee that it is as convenient if you are travelling out of Seoul. Cheers!

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    2. Hi Jos, thanks for your reply. I'm travelling on my own for the first time. Your write up really helps.

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  19. Hi do u know if they deliver to hotel outside Seoul? I will b staying Intercon Alphensia

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    1. Hi, I have not tried their delivery service but no harm asking since Alphensia is a popular tourist attraction. Cheers!

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  20. Hi, I've only been seeing EG Sim cards and Olleh wifi prepaid cards being commonly used. I will be staying in korea for 6 months and am interested in getting a prepaid card. I use mostly data and very rarely use text or call.

    I've calculated and realised EG and Olleh is kinda expensive for the duration of my stay and instead found SK telecom roaming to be cheaper. I've attached the link to their rates and all:
    skroaming(DOT)com/usim/advance_payment.asp

    Looking at the 'Recharge Amount' table, i would definitely get the KRW30,000 for voice & text services recharged since it would last me 180 days (whole duration of my stay). And I would get the KRW33,000 for 5GB of data that allows me use for 1 whole year. I would top up ofcourse whenever necessary.

    But i'm then confused as there is another table showing Rate Plan with different plans.. What is that about?? Can i get the CHEAPEST which is PPS Smartphone Light and do the normal recharge thing? I don't get it. Or can i just get a SIM card and do the recharge amount plan?

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  21. 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.

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  22. Hi Jos, Thanks so much for this blog. I wrote you on 12 Dec 2015 and you had kindly responded. I visited Korea for the first time DIY in Apr this year and based on the detailed direction given here ive managed to locate Premium travel centre at the Seoul Station. Thanks once again.

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    1. Hi, I am so glad to know that the info was useful. Cheers!

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All comments are welcomed

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