Phone & Internet
Using Payphone and Mobile Phones in Korea
Locating a payphone
You can find payphones at the airport, subway stations, major tourist attractions and other locations. Public payphones are marked by conspicuous signs so that they are easy to find. Also, when you're near a major attraction, you will almost always find an information desk nearby which is usually equipped with public payphones.
● Types of public telephones
In Korea, you'll find phones that accept both coins and cards, phones that only accept coins, and phones that only accept cards. To use the phones that accept cards, you can buy a prepaid phone card from a convenience store, which comes in 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 won increments, or you can use a T-Money, credit card or dial collect.
Phones that take coins accept 10, 50 and 100 won coins while phones that take cards accept both T-Money and credit cards.
● How to Use the Phone and Pricing
If you're using a phone that takes cards, first pick up the receiver, then insert your card. The remaining balance will be displayed. Enter the phone number you wish to dial.
Local calls are 70 won for every 180 seconds. Mobile phone calls cost 70 won for every 38 seconds.
To use a T-Money card, hold up the card to the card reader. After you hear the sound of your card being read, you can dial the number you wish to call.
● How to Make International Calls
To make international phone calls, you can use your T-Money card, credit card, prepaid phone card, or make a collect call.
① When using a phone card/T-money, dial 001 (KT)＋ the country code＋the area code and the telephone number.
② Using a credit card
When using a credit card, follow the instructions on the phone. If you're at a phone that does not accept credit cards, you can push the "emergency call" button, and you will be connected with an operator who can help you.
③ Using a prepaid card
You can buy prepaid international calling cards at the airport and at convenience stores. Each card has numbers written on them that will connect you to an automated system. The prices of each card vary depending on how many minutes you buy, what services they offer, and other qualities. Some cards can be recharged.
How to Rent a Mobile Phone
At Incheon International and Gimpo International Airports, when you get to the arrivals lobby you'll find the counters of SK Telecom, KT, and LG Telecom where you can rent mobile phones. In order to rent a phone, you will need your passport and a credit card. When you are leaving Korea and need to return your phone, please return it to the same counter from which you rented it. (You can also rent phones from most 5-star hotels.)
・Incheon Int'l Airport: 1st floor, Arrivals Lobby (open 24 hours a day)
・Gimpo Int'l Airport: International Terminal, 1st floor, Arrivals Lobby (7:00-23:00)
● Rental Cost
Each company charges around 3,000 won to rent the mobile phone itself. Domestic calls cost 100 won for every 10 seconds, and international calls are more expensive.
● Making Phone Calls
When making calls, first dial the area code and then the phone number. To make international calls, follow the instructions below:
・Dial an international call company number (00345、00700、00388)＋country code＋area code and phone number
Call charges vary depending on which call company you use. Also, some company's charges fluctuate, so make sure to consult with the rental phone company as you are setting up your rental details.