I started doing my research when my guests requested for the best way to get connected in their trip in South Korea. There were so many options ranging from very cheap to very expensive and from very limited connection and to very reliable ones (but expensive!).
- Buying an international prepaid calling card where you need a Korean line (mobile/landline/public phone) - very cheap with long call hours but no data usage
- Buying a Korean sim card + data but using your own smart phone - cheaper but still expensive
- Korea Phone rental + call + data - very expensive
- Renting a WiFi router - a brilliant option since you can also make calls from Viber, KakaoTalk or Skype but this will go down to the WiFi router's performance or connection
And then... I stumbled upon WiFi Korea website. They have the cheapest WiFi rental options!
Side by side comparison:
WiFi Korea rentals - Deposit is USD100, rental per day from USD2.99 ~ 3.99
WiFi Airport rentals - Deposit is from USD150 ~ 400, rental per day from USD5.00 ~ 10.00
The only hiccup is that they don't have a counter at Incheon or Gimpo Airport. However, that is countered by an online reservation instead which significantly cut down the cost.
You may do an online reservation on WiFi Korea website and get all your kit (as in the picture above) right on your doorstep when you reached your boarding ie. hotel or guesthouse with a very minimal service fee. No hassle, right?
The WiFi-Korea plans offered are:
- Everywhere Speed Pack - as the name says itself; you can get connected everywhere in Korea
- Urban Data Pack - get connected in most of the cities area and Jeju Island
I had the opportunity to use both WiFi plans:
- Everywhere Speed Pack (ESP) - for a month
- Urban Data Pack (UDP) - for a day
Both routers have long battery hours about 9 to 10 hours per day and you may connect to maximum 5 devices but the stark difference was when I entered a building or a passage underground - Urban Data Pack will get disconnected or poor reception.
The black - WiBro / UDP
The red - LTE / ESP
That explains the communication systems used behind the two. ESP used LTE - Long Term Evolution or 4G LTE while UDP used WiBro (Wireless Broadband or WiMax). However it still boils down to:
"Neither technology is expected to replace Wi-Fi home networks and hotspots. For consumers, then, the choice between LTE and WiMax comes down to which services are available in their region and offer better speed and reliability." - by compnetworking.about.com
You must remind yourself that the plans are used when you are on the move but when you want to do the heavy lifting jobs like uploading huge size videos or downloading movies; stick to your home or hotel's networks.
By the way, I am very honored to be able to meet some of the people behind WiFi Korea personally - James and Josh. They are very young, skillful and equipped. Coming from various expertise in the industry, the team are still expanding and so is their business with a very clear vision and goal.
Get your fingers going to WiFi Korea website and remember to choose: Budget Travel 2 Korea to get your discount now! ^^