Landlines and mobile phones in South Korea

Updated 2017-10-05 14:24

South Korea's telecommunications market is amongst the most developed worldwide. If you are moving to South Korea, it is fairly easy to get a mobile phone contract to be able to keep in touch with family and friends back home. There are countless mobile phone service providers with affordable monthly plans and packages.

If you are staying in Korea for only a short time, you could certainly get by using the hotel phone or public phone booths which you will find anywhere in South Korean cities. You can buy prepaid cards as from 2,000 Won.


Despite the fact that landlines are getting rarer and rarer in South Korea, you can easily sign up for one at a telecommunications branch in your neighbourhood. Bring your passport and alien registration card as well as a proof of residence in Korea to sign the contract.

Generally, the phone and installation are free of charge, and there are many special packages for international calls, as well as other promotional offers.

Good to know:

To make calls within South Korea, you must know the different city codes. Here are some examples:

Seoul: 02

Incheon: 032

Busan: 051

Gwangju: 062

Useful links:

South Korea Telecom
KT Corporation

Mobile phones

South Korea's mobile market is amongst the largest in the world with big mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and LG dominating the local and worldwide markets. In 2016, the number of subscribers to mobile network services in South Korea exceeded 60 million, which is more than the country's total population of just above 51 million. South Korea already has the fastest internet in the world but is also planning to release 5G services just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The number of smartphone users in South Korea reached 38.21 million in 2016 and is expected to increase to 39.5 million in 2017. Over 70% of the smartphones in South Korea are Android, led by their local mobile giants Samsung and LG.

South Korea also offers a variety of applications for smart phones for services such as the Seoul subway and bus system, mobile banking, and even crime reports.

You can easily get your own mobile phone data plan at a telephony provider in your neighbourhood. Be sure to ask for an unlocked sim card so that you can also use your mobile phone when travelling.

Useful links:

Olleh Shop
SK Telecom

Rent a mobile phone

It is also possible to rent a mobile phone in South Korea. Contact the Seoul Global Center and present your passport and alien registration card. Then, you can choose between subscription or prepaid, which offer different types of packages tailored to the user's needs.

Practical information

To make international phone calls, dial the international extension followed by the country code and number you want to call without the number ''0''. Here are some examples:

Australia: 001 61 area code number you are calling without the number ''0''

United States: 001 1 state code number you are calling without the number ''0''

UK: 001 44 area code number you want without the number ''0''

Switzerland: 00 41 the number of your correspondent without the number ''0''

Canada: 001 1 area code number you are calling without the number ''0''

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