Korea SIM Card VS Pocket WiFi
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SIM Card or Pocket WiFi: Which One to Use When Traveling in Korea?

We could not stress this enough – internet connectivity is very important when traveling, especially when you are in a different country. On both our Korea trips during winter and spring, we didn’t prepare our Korea SIM Card or pocket WiFi because we thought we could easily connect to any public WiFi. While this is true in Korea, some places don’t have WiFi at all.

Imagine getting lost in an area and you can’t open Google Maps nor search for directions because you have no internet? That’s a travel horror we have already experienced before. So, take it from us – prepare ahead and secure your connectivity before traveling to any foreign land.

Now, you might be asking, “Should I get pocket WiFi or SIM card in Korea?” The answer to that actually depends on several factors. Let’s break down everything to help you decide.

Korea SIM card

Korea SIM Card and T-Money Card
SIM card and T-Money cards we used in Korea | © Chill and Travel

What is a Korea SIM card?

A Korea SIM card is a small chip inserted into your mobile phone so you can call, text, or use the internet with mobile data in South Korea. SIM cards are offered by telecommunications companies (telcos) or internet service providers (ISPs) in the country.

What is the best SIM card for Korea?

There are different Korea SIM cards to choose from, but here are the trusted ones you can buy online:

1. KT Olleh 4G/LTE Prepaid SIM Card

This prepaid SIM card is offered by KT, one of Korea’s most popular network providers. It features unlimited 4G data around South Korea.

Price: ₩18,000 for 3 days validity


2. SK Telecom 4G/LTE Prepaid SIM Card

This prepaid SIM card is offered by SK Telecom, one of South Korea’s biggest telcos. It features unlimited 4G data across the entire country.

Price: ₩5,700 for 1 day validity; ₩15,700 for 3 days validity


3. LG U+ 4G/LTE SIM Card + T-Money Card

This LG U+ SIM Card comes with a free T-Money Card. It offers unlimited 4G data all over Korea. If you want both mobile data and a transport card, this one’s a pretty good option, but you still need to load up your T-Money Card.

Price: ₩23,400 for 5 days validity


4. KT eSIM

If you don’t want to insert another SIM card to your mobile device, you can opt for an eSIM. You don’t need to remove your physical SIM Card. Instead, you will scan a QR Code to install the eSIM. It comes with 4G unlimited data like a regular SIM, but be sure to check your phone compatibility first before choosing this option.

Price: ₩18,000 for 3 days validity


How much does a SIM cost in Korea?

A SIM card in Korea could cost somewhere between ₩5,700 (1 day) and ₩23,400 (5 days) depending on the type of sim, service provider, and number of days you’ll use it. Please see a summary of SIM card costs in Korea below:

Korea SIM card prices 2023 (online purchase)

Service Provider

1 Day Cost

3 Days Cost

5 Days Cost 10 Days Cost

LG U+ (+ T-Money)

₩23,400 ₩32,800

SK Telecom

₩5,700 ₩15,700 ₩23,800 ₩33,300

KT Olleh SIM

₩18,000 ₩24,400 ₩34,700

KT Olleh eSIM

₩18,000 ₩24,400 ₩34,700

*Do note that prices are reflected as of date of writing and may change without prior notice. Do check the respective online listings for the most updated Korea SIM card prices.

How to get a Korean SIM card?

KT roaming service center to buy Korean SIM card
Network outlets at Gimpo International Airport | Photo credit: Korea SIM

As mentioned earlier, we recommend that you secure your Korean SIM card before traveling to Korea. This way, you won’t have to scramble looking for stores to buy your SIM card in Korea.

Once you buy online, you can claim the actual SIM card at designated areas in airports such as Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport, and Gimhae Airport.

If you really forgot to prepare your Korean SIM card ahead, you may look for any outlet of Korean network providers such as SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ at airports or subways. Alternatively, you may go to convenience stores like CU and 7-Eleven to buy your Korean SIM card.

Reminder: When claiming or buying your Korean SIM card, prepare your passport as it is needed for verification and registration purposes.

Can I buy a prepaid SIM card in Korea?

Yes, you can buy your prepaid SIM card in Korea from network provider outlets in airports as well as convenience stores. In fact, we bought ours in an outlet store in N Seoul Tower and 7-Eleven in Gimhae Airport in Busan.

However, we highly suggest that you buy your Korea SIM card online before your trip. By doing so, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ll have connectivity as soon as you arrive in Korea.


Korea pocket WiFi or WiFi egg

Korea Pocket WiFi
Photo credit: Jon Åslund

What is a Korea pocket WiFi or WiFi egg?

A Korea pocket WiFi is a portable wireless device providing internet connectivity to your phone, laptop, or tablet via a mobile network. In Korea, a pocket WiFi is also called a WiFi egg because of its shape and color like that of a real egg. A SIM is inserted into the pocket WiFi device for it to function and multiple devices can connect to it.

What is the best pocket WiFi for Korea?

There are several pocket WiFi rentals in Korea, but here are some of the popular ones you can get online:

1. KT Olleh 4G Pocket WiFi

The KT Olleh pocket WiFi is a reliable pocket WiFi device featuring unlimited 4G WiFi with an upload speed of 50mbps and a download speed of 150mbps. The pocket WiFi can be shared by 3 devices and has a battery life of up to 8 hours.

Price: ₩3,200 per day


2. SK Telecom 4G Pocket WiFi

The SK Telecom 4G Pocket WiFi is another trusted pocket WiFi rental in Korea. It features unlimited 4G WiFi with an upload and download speed of 10mbps. It can be shared by 3 devices and has a battery life of up to 9 hours.

Price: ₩3,100 per day


3. 4G Pocket WiFi by LG U+ Mobile Eco ME-Y30K

This pocket WiFi by LG U+ Mobile Eco ME-Y30K is an affordable pocket WiFi in Korea. It features a 4G LTE WiFi connection of up to 100mbps, which can be shared by 5 devices. However, the battery life is only up to 7 hours. It also comes with free-of-charge device insurance.

Price: ₩2,400 per day (1.5GB data); minimum of 3 days rental = ₩7,200


How much does pocket WiFi cost in Korea?

A Korea pocket WiFi may cost ₩2,400 to ₩3,100 per day which can be shared with 3-5 devices, depending on the service provider. See a summary of Korea pocket WiFi rentals below:

Korea pocket WiFi prices 2023 (online purchase)

Service Provider # of Devices 1 Day Cost 3 Days Cost 5 Days Cost
KT Olleh 3 ₩3,200 ₩9,600 ₩16,000
SK Telecom 3 ₩3,100 ₩9,300 ₩15,500
LG U+ 5 ₩7,200 ₩12,000

*Prices above are updated as of publication date and may change without prior notice. Check the respective listings for the most updated Korea pocket WiFi rates.

How to get pocket WiFi in Korea?

To avoid inconvenience, it’s best to get pocket WiFi in Korea before your trip. You can purchase it online and collect the actual device at designated pick-up locations at Korean airports such as Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport, Gimhae Airport, and Daegu Airport.

Alternatively, you can try to look for a network provider outlet at the airport to rent a pocket WiFi upon your arrival.


Is pocket WiFi worth it in Korea?

Yes, pocket WiFi in Korea is worth it, especially if you are traveling with your family or a big group, since you can share it with multiple devices, allowing you to save more.

Is pocket WiFi better than SIM?

Yes, but not entirely. A pocket WiFi may cost less, but the battery life could be limited. You would also need to return the device before you leave Korea. On the other hand, if you bought a SIM card, you don’t have to return it, and you can take it home as a souvenir. In fact, you can get a Korea SIM card with a free T-Money Card, which you can use again when you go back to Korea.

Korea SIM card vs Pocket WiFi: Which is better?

Korea SIM Card
KT SIM card and pocket WiFi

Is it better to use pocket WiFi or SIM card in Korea? The answer to that question largely depends on your needs, budget, and usage.

Which one is cheaper?

Cost-wise, a pocket WiFi is relatively cheaper than a SIM card. For instance, if you need to use the internet for 3 days, a pocket WiFi costs ₩7,200 shared with 5 devices, whereas a SIM card costs ₩15,700 for one mobile device.

What are the pros and cons?

Although a SIM card may cost more, it also has some advantages. For one, you can use it to call or text in Korea. This is particularly useful when you need to call for any reservation or inquiry.

In addition, the unlimited 4G data of your SIM card can be shared via your mobile hotspot, and you can have internet access as long as your phone has battery life, but a pocket WiFi’s battery life can be drained in 7 to 9 hours. You also get to keep the SIM card, while you need to return the pocket WiFi device.

What do we recommend as travelers?

On our trips to Korea, we bought a SIM card since there were only two of us, and only one person had to use the internet to search and navigate. We don’t really post real-time, so we only use the internet heavily when we get back to our hotel where there’s free WiFi. This saved us a lot of data usage.

So, is it better to get SIM card or WiFi egg in Korea?

If you are traveling solo or as a couple like us, we’d say go for a SIM card in Korea, especially the SIM with a FREE T-Money Card.

But, if you are traveling in groups, say 3 to 5 people, we recommend that you get a pocket WiFi or WiFi egg in Korea as it’s more cost-effective. Can you imagine if you only got one SIM card with one person sharing the mobile hotspot to 5 devices? The phone battery will easily be drained.

Now that you know all these, which one will you use when you travel to Korea: SIM card or pocket WiFi? Choose wisely!

For more Korea travel inspiration, you may also read our T-Money Card guide, Korea Tourist Card guide, Discover Seoul Pass guide, Nami Island guide, N Seoul Tower guide, Lotte World guide, Korean street food guide, and Korean souvenir guide.

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