Seoul preview

South Korea

Korea, being one of the most wired countries in the world, unsurprisingly also has some of the best communications services. While walking down the street one always comes across several shops selling cellphones and cellphone payment plans. Landline bills can easily be paid at your bank’s ATM machine, and there is a great selection of phones and payment styles so you’re bound to find the right telephone service to suit your lifestyle.

Landlines

While most expats rely solely on their cellphone, many still have a landline in their apartment. If you are coming to Korea for work and are already employed when you arrive, usually your boss or coworkers will be there to help you set up your phone plan (or they will set it up for you). If this isn’t the case, you can do it on your own, but it is much easier if you have the help of a Korean friend or coworker.

To have a landline installed, you need to know your apartment’s address and you need to have your alien registration number (you can find your registration number on your alien card). Call your local KT phone office and arrange to have someone install your landline at a time when you will be home. The installation itself costs around 60,000 won and your monthly bill is a mere 5200 won. The bill will be mailed to your apartment and you can pay at your bank.

When you want to pay a bill at your bank, you use the special ATM for paying bills and access it with your bank book or ATM card. At every bank branch, there is a teller who can speak some English and will teach you how to use this ATM.

To reach your local phone office, you can call them by dialing 100 if you’re calling from a landline, or 02 100 if you’re calling from a cellphone. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest KT phone service centre and apply for installation at the counter with the above information. If you can’t speak Korean, it is better to call as they have an English option at their call centre.

If you need to move after your phone is installed, you can keep your phone number by applying for a retention service from the phone company. There will be a small fee of under 5000 won, but this is only for those moving to a new area of Seoul - outside the city will require a new phone number.

If you have questions or problems with your phone service, you can call the service number or visit the nearest service centre to you. You can check out their website at: http://www.kt.com/eng/index.jsp

Cellphones

Probably the most common sight in Seoul is of people walking down the street with a cell phone attached to their ear. Or maybe they’re watching TV…