Are you about to travel to Korea for the first time? Or maybe you are already living in Korea but still getting your bearings on how things work. Either way, one of the most useful tools at your disposal is going to be your smartphone: with it comes numerous features that’ll help make life just a bit easier!
However, if this is all new to you and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by trying to figure out how everything works, don’t worry – we’re here today to make it easier for you to prepare for using your smartphone in Korea without any problems!
There’s been a problem in Korea with international smartphones (manufactured overseas) accessing prepaid MVNO SIM cards since January 2023. As a result of your device not being registered in Korea, your device may encounter this issue.
Fortunately, we can resolve this issue by checking the following four things.
- Make sure your smartphone is unlocked before you arrive in Korea
The majority of smartphones require unlocking with current service providers. Contact your current carrier to unlock your smartphone and make it ready to use internationally.
- Make sure your IMEI is registered
Since your device is not a registered device in Korea, you need to register to confirm that you will use your device in Korea. You’ll need to register both IMEI 1 and IMEI 2 codes if your phone supports dual SIMs.
The IMEI codes of your smartphone can be registered by visiting www.imei.kr or by contacting the Kimchi Mobile Team.
- www.IMEI.kr – Korea Association for ICT Promotion (KAIP)
- You can find your IMEI by dialing *#06# from your phone
- Use only one SIM card on a single smartphone device
You can only use one SIM card at a time unless you’ve activated it with the same ID.
A new SIM card can’t be used in Korea if you have a roaming SIM or an active e-sim in your smartphone device.
When activating a SIM card, only one SIM card must be inserted into the device to activate it.
Please be aware that if you use a smartphone with two active SIM (or eSIM) cards, the system will suspend the Korean SIM and not activate it forever.
*This issue will happen only with the prepaid MVNO SIM card
- Make sure you prepare another smartphone device if you use an eSIM-only device
There are some devices that do not have a SIM tray. These devices only support eSIM cards, such as the iPhone 14.
Kimchi mobile does not have an eSIM service; there is no way to activate the SIM card since Kimchi mobile does not offer the service.
In Korea, this isn’t an issue for all mobile services but for most prepaid MVNO SIM card services, including Kimchi Mobile. If you wish to use the SIM service without any problems related to smartphone device registration or dual SIM (eSIM), you must visit any carrier in Korea and activate it manually.