Find Cheap South Korea eSIM from US$ 1.06!

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by Bethy

South Korea eSIM

Top South Korea eSIM Plans

South Korea eSIM 3 Days
  • CountrySouth Korea
  • Package Option1.5GB/Day
  • Number of Days3 Days
  • PriceUSD 3.12
South Korea eSIM 5 Days
  • CountrySouth Korea
  • Package Option1.5GB/Day
  • Number of Days5 Days
  • PriceUSD 4.70
South Korea eSIM 7 Days
  • CountrySouth Korea
  • Package Option1.5GB/Day
  • Number of Days7 Days
  • PriceUSD 6.25

Do you want to go to South Korea but are worried about internet access? In such cases, you can freely connect to the internet overseas, including in South Korea, by simply downloading an eSIM to your smartphone. Please try using the convenient eSIM, which you don't have to worry about losing.

In this article, we will explain in an easy-to-understand manner how to choose a South Korea eSIM and its advantages and disadvantages for first-time users. Please read until the end.

What is a South Korea eSIM?

An "eSIM" stands for Embedded SIM. Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, it refers to an electronic SIM that is built into the device. In Japan, eSIM-compatible devices were introduced in 2018, and since then the number of users has been rapidly increasing. Since the eSIM is built into the device, you don't have to worry about it bending or breaking like a physical card.

Traditional SIM cards need to be inserted into mobile devices such as cell phones and smartphones, requiring you to remove the back cover of the cell phone and insert it into a specific slot. The biggest difference is that the form, size, and the hassle of replacement are completely different.

What Phones are Compatible with eSIM?

Before booking please confirm that your mobile device is compatible with eSIM and the local network. Be aware that an administrative charge will apply if there are phone compatibility issues, even after booking. Steps to Verify: Go to your device's Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data/SIM Card options and look for the option to ‘Add cellular/mobile data plan/eSim’.

【Compatible Devices】

BrandCompatible Models
AppleiPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE 2020, 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd gen), iPad Air (3rd, 4th gen), iPad (7th, 8th gen), iPad mini (5th gen)
SamsungGalaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G, Fold LTE, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra, Ultra 5g
GooglePixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 5
OtherHuawei P40, P40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro, Motorola Razr 2020

【Note】

iPhones sold in or produced for China, and some versions from Hong Kong, do not support eSIM.

MVNO vs. Local Network eSIM Plans

In South Korea, you have two primary options when choosing an eSIM provider: Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and local network providers.

Local Network Providers

  • Major Providers: The top local networks include KT (Korea Telecom), SK Telecom, and LG U+.
  • Service Experience: All three providers score high in terms of 4G coverage experience, with ratings close to 9.9 out of 10.
  • Expat Accessibility: Services typically require an Alien Registration Card and a passport, with varying degrees of upfront costs.
ProviderService Options5G Download Speeds5G Upload Speeds4G AvailabilityExpat Accessibility
KT (Korea Telecom)State-owned, extensive telecom services--98.6%Requires Alien Registration Card, passport
SK TelecomLeading provider, part of SK Group469.6 Mbps19.0 Mbps99.3%Same, with potential upfront costs
LG U+Competitive telecom services429.6 Mbps19.7 Mbps99.8%Potentially easier for short-term stays

MVNO eSIM

  • Providers: Popular MVNOs include Airalo, Holafly, and Nomad.
  • Advantages: These providers generally offer flexible and cost-effective plans ideal for short trips. Features include instant purchase and activation along with the ability to use the eSIM as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Coverage: While MVNOs provide sufficient coverage, it may not be as extensive or reliable in rural areas compared to local networks.

Overview of Top South Korea eSIM Providers

We evaluated various eSIM providers including Airhub, Nomad, Airalo, RedTeaGo, and GigSky. We tested network speeds, latency, and the ease of purchase and installation, aiming to offer an objective review of these services. Our findings, focused on network performance and overall usability, are intended to guide travelers in selecting reliable eSIM options for their trips to South Korea and beyond.

ProviderNetwork SpeedInstallationRoaming/ Routing Location
Trip.com150 MbpsQR CodeSouth Korea
Nomad80 MbpsQR CodeHong Kong
Airalo50 MbpsIn-appSouth Korea
RedTeaGo44 MbpsIn-appHong Kong
Airhub150 MbpsQR CodeHong Kong
GigSky42 MbpsIn-appUSA

Detailed Info about South Korea eSIM

ItemDetail
Communication CapacityUnlimited data, 600MB, 1.5GB
Communication StandardsHigh-speed 4G LTE Network
Communication areaSouth Korea
ValidalityValid for 30 days from the date of booking
What's not includedVoice calls, SMS
Unsupported devicesSIM-locked devices, carrier-specific devices, Wi-Fi routers
PrecautionsIf your daily usage exceeds the limit, your connection speed will decrease.
Vouchers are valid for 1 days after they are issued.
For one-time use only.

How to Set Up an eSIM in South Korea

Before purchasing an eSIM product from Trip.com, please check if your mobile phone can use eSIM.

Trip.com's eSIM is compatible with a wide range of models, from the latest iPhones to popular Samsung series and Google Pixel. Please check your model before using it.

About Installation

1. Please check the QR code displayed in the eSIM activation email.

2. Go to "Settings" on your smartphone's home screen and select "Mobile Data" (iOS) or "Sim Card Management" (Android).

3. After agreeing to install "Mobile Data" (iOS) or "Sim Card Management" (Android), you can install it by reading the QR code displayed in the activation email.

How to Use

1. After installation, turn off your existing Sim card.

2. When using "Mobile Data" (iOS) or "Sim Card Management" (Android), the LTE icon will be displayed in the upper right corner.

3. You can communicate by turning on data roaming.

4. If you are not connected to the network after the above operations, switch airplane mode on and off or restart your smartphone.

About Termination

Tap "Mobile Data" (iOS) or "Sim Card Management" (Android) and switch it to invalid (the same procedure applies for activation).

Trip.com is the Best South Korea eSIM: Why?

3 reasons why Trip.com is the best South Korea eSIM

1. Because it's cheap

Trip.com's eSIM offers a variety of plans for travel to South Korea.

With the 7-day plan of 1.5GB/day, it costs for USD 6.25, which is extremely cheap. Even the 15-day plan, it only costs USD 10.27, so you can use it with peace of mind. If you don't plan to use it that much, we recommend the 500MB/day plan.

→Click here for more info.

2. Because it has good reviews

good reviews of South Korea eSIM

There are many eSIMs for South Korea, but Trip.com's eSIM has received high ratings from users.

It connected immediately!

Easy even for the first time

I was saved by the support

Here are some voices from people who used Trip.com's eSIM for South Korea.

As others reviewed, it is smooth to take a QR code in the voucher with another mobile phone instead of a screenshot and read it. We recommend that you do it before leaving the country. I was relieved that the local connection can be done while searching for the connection method when there is free Wi-Fi at the airport. In Korea, I only used LINE, Google, and Instagram, but there was no problem with radio waves!
I bought two units for 3 days without limit! Both communication was smooth and the setting was easy! When I used other esim, I needed to connect to wifi at the time of setting, but I felt that it was good to set the movement time because I didn't need wifi 🙌
It was easy, easy to set, and there was no problem with speed.

3. Because there is 24-hour customer support

24-hour customer support of South Korea eSIM

Trip.com is always ready to respond to any unexpected situations. Professional customer support is available 24/7, providing optimal support and solutions. Support is provided in multiple languages, including Japanese, English, and Chinese, so it is chosen by many people.

Whether it's eSIM or any travel trouble, leave it all to Trip.com!

Which Works Better in South Korea? eSIM, SIM Card, Wi-Fi Router Comparison

SIM cards can be used without worrying about charging like a Wi-Fi router, and they don't add much to your luggage. You can choose from many plans. However, there are disadvantages such as complicated settings and the need for a SIM-free smartphone.

Wi-Fi routers allow multiple people to share and connect to multiple devices just by setting them up after arrival. However, there may be issues with battery life, the hassle of handing over, and increased costs. eSIMs do not require a physical SIM card, so there is no worry of loss or damage. The setup is relatively simple, but the compatible smartphones are limited.

Below, we have summarized the three characteristics and precautions in a table.

FeatureeSIMSIM CardWi-Fi Router
Ease of useNo card insertion, no charging requiredCard insertion requiredRequires charging
CarryUnnecessaryAttached to the smartphoneNecessity
MeritNo need to hand over without
worrying about loss or damage
Lots of plan optionsCan be shared by multiple people
DemeritPrior activation is required because compatible smartphones are limited.There is a risk of losing a SIM-free smartphoneCharging is required, equipment needs to be carried, handingover is troublesome

3 benefits of using eSIM in South Korea

3 benefits of using eSIM in South Korea

1. You can use it as soon as you arrive in Korea

When you visit South Korea, it is a big advantage of eSIM to be able to connect to the Internet smoothly from the moment you land at the airport. In the case of traditional SIM cards, you need to purchase at the airport shop or have time to pick up your pre-ordered SIM. However, by downloading the eSIM in advance, you can connect to the network the moment you get off the plane.

This will help you make your trip more efficient, such as arranging a taxi or giving directions to your hotel.

2. No risk of loss or damage

Traditional SIM cards are very small and require careful handling. Especially when replacing it at a travel destination, the risk of loss or damage increases. On the other hand, eSIMs don't have a physical shape, so you don't have to worry about them being lost or damaged. You don't have to worry about opening the SIM tray with a small pin or accidentally dropping the SIM card.

3. Dual SIM possible

By utilizing an eSIM, it is possible to use a dual SIM. Dual SIM means that you can use two networks on one smartphone.

3 disadvantages of using eSIM in South Korea

3 disadvantages of using eSIM in South Korea

1. Limited models

To use an eSIM, you'll need a smartphone or tablet that supports eSIM. Newer models are now compatible with eSIM, but older models and some mid- and low-end devices don't support eSIM.

This will take you through the hassle of checking if an eSIM is available on your current device. If you need to buy a new device to use the eSIM, you'll also need to consider the costs involved.

2. Not available on multiple devices

Traditional SIM cards can be replaced between devices. Therefore, one SIM can be used on multiple devices. However, since the eSIM is built into the device, it is difficult to easily move it between multiple devices. Therefore, it may be inconvenient for those who use multiple devices during their trip to Korea.

3. I can't use my phone number

Your eSIM data plan may not provide you with a unique phone number or may require an additional fee.

This can be inconvenient in situations where you need a local phone number (for example, to make a restaurant reservation or contact a hotel). Conventional SIM cards often provide a phone number as a set with data communication, so this is a point to keep in mind when considering the use of eSIM.

3 Tips for Choosing an South Korea eSIM

3 Tips for Choosing an South Korea eSIM

1. Reviews and Reputation

By checking the reviews and reputation of other users on the internet, you can learn about their actual usage experiences. Do thorough research to obtain information about the quality of carrier support, communication speed, etc.

2. Plan Details and Fees

Check the details of the usage plan, including call charges, data capacity, and expiration date. Choose a plan that suits your usage situation, such as plans that support communication both inside and outside South Korea, or plans for long-term stays.

3. Variety of Carriers

There are multiple communication carriers in South Korea. Compare the usage area, communication quality, plan price, data capacity, etc., and choose a carrier that suits your needs. It is important to choose a reliable carrier.

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If you're going to China, choose eSIM!

eSIM is a must for traveling in Thailand!

If you go to Malaysia, eSIM is definitely recommended!

If You Want to Enjoy Your Trip to South Korea, eSIM is a Must-Have Item!

If You Want to Enjoy Your Trip to South Korea, eSIM is a Must-Have Item!

If you're planning a trip to South Korea, an eSIM is definitely a must-have item. To fully enjoy South Korea, you need constant access to the internet. From hotel reservations to map usage, to searching for local recommendations, a smooth communication environment will make your trip more comfortable and fulfilling.

Trip.com's eSIM is supported by many travelers for its reliability and convenience. Why not take this opportunity to try Trip.com's eSIM?

FAQ about South Korea eSIM

  • Is eSIM available in South Korea?

    Yes, eSIMs are available for use in South Korea, and you can purchase them through Trip.com. They offer various plans, including options for unlimited data, which can be activated instantly upon your arrival in South Korea.
  • Which is the best eSIM provider for Korea?

    As for the best eSIM provider for Korea, Trip.com itself is highly recommended by users for its reliability and fast service. They offer plans that include high-speed data and are generally praised for their customer support and ease of use. The activation process involves simply downloading and activating the eSIM profile, usually through scanning a QR code.
  • Do I need a SIM in South Korea?

    Whether you need a SIM card in South Korea depends largely on your device and communication needs. If your phone supports eSIM, you can opt for this digital SIM which can be activated instantly, providing easy access to cellular data as soon as you arrive. This is convenient if you want to avoid handling physical SIM cards. However, if your device does not support eSIM or you require a local phone number for calls and texts, a traditional SIM card might be necessary​.
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