Tips IT

Getting my indonesian phone working in South Korea

Remember my writing about Mobile Telecommunication in South Korea – Telekomunikasi Seluler di Korea Selatan ?
at the end of the writing I wrote “I Will write further info about this when I know more info about this”. and fortunately, I have got some more information than before.

Shown on the pictur is the phone (actually not a phone, it is a tablet but works as a phone too, i can use it to make phone calls over cellular (GSM/WCDMA). It is a bit hilarious actually, given the fact that this phone was made in South Korea, but people here are very curious about this phone (later on, i realize that this phone is not for sale in South Korea. hmm weird. okay, let;s go on to the main topic.

My Indonesian Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0 (GT-P3100) on SK Telecom Network
My Indonesian Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0 (GT-P3100) on SK Telecom Network

Having a korean number is very essential when you are planning to stay in South Korea for more than 3 months. for instance, you are going to need your phone number to send mail package, register naver account, register gmarket account, and surely the most important thing, to communicate with others here. of course you don’t want to get a huge amount of cellular roaming bill monthly. but here is the most interesting twist that you are going to find here. “Buying phone / getting phone numbers in South Korea is not that easy”. hmmm, why? well, it is the regulation from the government here, so.. what can we say?

BUT, I hope by reading this blog, that assumption of “Not that easy” will go away.

1. Getting your “foreign” phone working here, and your visit here is short term

Unfortunately, currently I still don’t have the exact information on this. but some online forum says that it is kinda possible, having your phone working here (aside from working it in “Roaming” state) with local phone number.

Olleh Global Store, more info :
Olleh Global Store, more info :

if you are staying in Seoul, it will be much easier, because the cellular providers have “Global Store” in Seoul. Visit them and ask them about this, no need to worry, they speak english 🙂

you are going to need your passport and some amount of cash (given the fact, buying number here is not that cheap) and your phone has to be Unlocked!

other possible solution is

– Renting phone

– Renting Portable wifi devices (Such as wibro, olleh egg, etc.)

2. Getting your foreign phone working here, and your visit will be more than Three months

When you are staying in South Korea for more than three months, you are required to register on immigration office, and arrange your Alien Registration Card it is an ID card required as your identification. further you are going to need this ID to open Bank account, register naver, gmarket account, etc. and surely this ARC is one of the requirement to get your phone working here. The card will be available around 2 weeks after you register.

next step is visiting provider main branch / global store in your city. unlike in Indonesia, buying SIM/USIM card here is not easy. small stores around you are not selling SIM/USIM card only, they are selling the number along the phone. and eventually they will say “we are not authorized to tell you whether you can use your foreign phone and activate it on my store, you should visit the main branch”. d’oh!

if you are staying in big cities such as Seoul, then it will be a lot easier for you, because all you do is just visit the global store, give your unlocked phone and ARC, choose number, pay, wait for activation, and that is it (for prepaid plan)

thing will get tricky when you are living in a small town like i do, (I am currently in Gwangju). to go to the main branch, i need my Korean friend’s help, because you will not meet any “romanized letter” on the main branch, in other word, nobody speaks other than Korean  actually it is similar, you would need your ARC, your Unlocked phone, the provider will check whether it is usable on the network. the process will took time around 30 minutes, then when it is proven that it works, you will have to pay KRW 7.700 for the USIM card and also amount of credit balance (i bought KRW 10.000). Then you can choose whatever last Four-digit number for your phone number. next, it will take around 30 minutes – 2 hours to activate your phone to the network. and that’s it you are good to go for prepaid plan.

"This is your Dual USIM", the USIM card can also be used in iPhone, just pop it once again, and it will become micro USIM card
“This is your Dual USIM”, the USIM card can also be used in iPhone, just pop it once again, and it will become micro USIM card

this procedure is actually easier than before, because you do not need to register your device to the ministry of telecommunication. because starting from march, 2012 the network will accept any phone, as long as it is unlocked.


Thanks a lot! i get the point of how to make my phone working here, but i need more information about the provider here

As written on my previous post, There are Three cellular provider in south korea

SK Telecom (SKT), Olleh (KTF), and LG U+

SK Telecom is the largest one, it provides 3G (WCDMA 2100), and also 4G LTE.

it has “T Wifi Zone” service spread all over South Korea (on campus, tourism, restaurant, shops, event buses)

This is the carrier I use for my phone. but here is the twist, as a prepaid subscriber, you cannot use data service on your phone over cellular (quite a weep 😦 ) but, in return. you can use “T Wifi Zone” for free! you might wanna use “T Wifi Zone_secure” instead for your security. to use it, simply connect, and when you are asked username and password, select “advanced options” then select Authentication EAP-SIM. then you are good to go.

next is Olleh (KTF) it is also a popular cellular provider that provides 3G (WCDMA 2100) and also 4G LTE service.

it has “Olleh Wifi Zone” service spread all over South Korea.

With this carrier you can use data service on your prepaid plan, but it is very pricey. this provider also have the best Foreign Service (in my opinion) given the fact, only this provider provides detailed service and a dedicated site for expat.

The last one is LG U+ is also a cellular provider here. it uses CDMA and also 4G LTE for its service

given this fact I am very doubtful that you can use your Foreign CDMA phone on this network. aside from that i have very little information about this provider.

but hey! this provider gives free wifi service everywhere with its “FREE_U+zone”

and actually you can also connect to their “U+village” “U+zone” wifi with this password : “lguplus100” also “U+office” with password “officenet1”

so, now got a more clear picture about cellular phone in South Korea?

give comment for any questions, or if i had my information mistaken, simply correct it via comment 🙂


13 thoughts on “Getting my indonesian phone working in South Korea”

  1. *dicatet* buat bekel nanti siapa tau tahun depan bisa ke Korea, hihi.

    Tetep harus unlocked ya Nes berarti, kyknya emang semua negara bikin semacam barrier buat ini deh. Pas di US malah ga ada yang jualan kartu sim, yang ada kita jadinya beli hape butut baru yang sekarang ujung2nya ga kepake -,-” Tapi skype tetep jadi alat komunikasi favorit sih 😀 oh ya gtalk juga bisa buat sms2 gratis kalo disekitar wilayah yang sama juga, if I’m not mistaken

  2. I just brought olleh Kt from South Korea, but I’m affraid that my “brand new” phone would have signal problem in Indonesia because it cannot check my account (pulsa) in Korea. could u give some specific information about this. Thx

  3. I just brought olleh Kt from South Korea, but I’m affraid that my “brand new” phone would have signal problem in Indonesia because it cannot check my account (pulsa) in Korea. could u give some specific information about this. Thx

    1. Hi,
      can you explain with more detail on your problem about checking “pulsa” in south korea?
      and what phone type / brand are you buying? Which band does it use (3G or LTE?)
      PS: during my stay in south korea, I can still use my Indonesian number normally (checking balance/pulsa using *888# still works fine – I am using Telkomsel)

  4. huwaaa…. jadi agak lega habis baca ini… but i have some question for you 😀
    hape yg unlocked itu gimana sih?
    klu BB gemini 3G bisa dipake buat USIM ga?
    q punya samsung sama persis dgn punya mas, tp belinya diindo… itu bisa dipakein USIM ga?
    trus global storenya SK Telecom dimana ya? kalau bisa sih, minta alamatnya hehe… soalny masih belum hapal jalan sini, masih bergantung sm maps… 😀
    makasih yaa sebelumnya… and sori, kebanyakan pertanyaan hehe

    1. Hai Novis, terima kasih komentarnya ^^
      ponsel yang unlocked adalah hape yang bisa diganti-ganti dengan operator lain (tidak terikat dengan operator tertentu). mayoritas ponsel di indonesia yang dijual bebas adalah ponsel yang unlocked.

      BB gemini 3G bisa banget dipakai USIM, tetapi untuk paket BlackBerry, saya kurang paham detilnya, karena memang pengguna BlackBerry di Korsel sangat minim, mungkin bisa ditanyakan langsung saat ke Global Store

      Galaxy Tab2 Asal indonesia? bisa banget~ kan tab yang saya pakai juga dari Indonesia 🙂

      untuk lokasi global store, saya kurang tahu 😐
      mungkin bisa dicoba ke branch roaming berikut

      Thanks juga, sudah notice tulisan acakadut saya ini hehe :p
      questions are welcome 🙂

      semoga jawaban saya membantu 🙂

      1. wah,,, makasih banyak infonya yah… i really appreciate it 😀
        info dr mas aji sangat membantu… soalnya orang2 asli sini malah pada gak tau sistem usim ini.. jadi makin ribet pas nanya ke mereka… >,<
        contohnya kayak tadi pas saya nanya, eh dia malah balik nanya.. hahaha 😀

  5. Salam kenal ^^ Tulisannya sangat bermanfaat sekali ^^
    Hehe.. tapi tab ku advan, tapi unlocked, so.. ga masalah kan?
    Hmm.. mau tanya yang renting phone itu gimana ya mas?
    Trus yang telkomsel ternyata bisa dipake juga disana, alias bisa di cek, itu harus ngehub gerai telkomsel nya dulu atau gimana?

    Hatur nuhun balasannya ^^

    1. Salam kenal juga 🙂 senang cuap cuap saya di blog ini bisa bermanfaat^^
      Kalau untuk sms-telepon saja mestinya oke2 aja sih
      Phone rent nya umumnya ada di airport ada, dan biasanya sih tujuannya utk yang short stay (cuma liburan aja) pilihan device yg bisa di rent juga banyak.
      Untuk telkomsel memang masih bisa dipakai di sana (roaming) tanpa ditanyakan ke grapari juga bisa, cukup sms IR kirim ke 6616, make sure utk telkomsel di sana di set manual ke sk telecom
      Cuman kalau roaming yaaa gitu deh. Mahal hehe :p

  6. makasih banyak buat penjelasannya mas.paling enggak aku udah prepare sebelum berangkat.tapi masih rada bingung bin panik neeh.haha.kalo rent phone dimana ya mas? trus kisaran berapa biayanya dan harus punya apa buat syarat2 nyewa itu hp? teruuus…kan telkomsel masih bisa disana, nah misal nih aku masih punya paket internet unlimited, pas d korea masih bisa dipake? balesss ya maas….hehehe makasih 😉

    1. Sori baru balas ._. lama ga buka wordpress. rent phone di semua airport ada kok, apalagi di Incheon, pasti kelihatan di gate keluar. ada banyak pilihan, mulai dari rent featurephone sampai rent smartphone. kalaupun ga pingin ribet dan hanya untuk short stay, bisa juga rent modem portabel ukuran kecil yang bisa sebar wifi.
      Yap, Telkomsel bisa digunakan seperti biasa namun dengan tarif roaming (yang menurut saya tidaklah murah hehe). paket data yang aktif di indonesia tidak bisa digunakan pada saat roaming. jadi, pastikan settingan di handset Data Service : Off while roaming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s