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Mobile Phone Roaming Service

Posted June. 19, 2002 23:26,   


“Hello, sir. May I help you?”

Gim Jieun (29 years old, female) who is working for SK Telecom Roaming Center on the first floor of Incheon International Airport begins a day like this.

“80 foreigners visited to the roaming center a day before, but about 130 foreigners visit after World Cup.” Koreans who go overseas with own mobile phones of automatic roaming increase largely to 170 persons a day. As customers increase, SK Telecom established a temporary roaming center in the airport and recruited the temporary employees.

Mr. Gim said “I understand IT flow through meeting many foreigners in the roaming center. The most of mobile users borrowed the mobile phone and number used in Korea in the past years. But, many people have used their phone numbers recently”.

“Many foreign tourists take ‘SIM’ card and borrow only mobile phone. Most of them are using the GSM mobile. But, SIM card can make the world one?”

SIM card is the memory card embedded in GSM terminal. Because it records the subscriber data such as phone number, the SIM card is inserted into the CDMA terminal for international roaming and so foreigners can use their own phone number without frequency in Korea. SK Telecom has been executing this roaming service in cooperation with mobile companies in 23 countries including China, Spain, England, France, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, Poland and Sweden. KTF and LG Telecom have the international roaming service of SIM card with 30 countries including China.

There are many foreigners coming to Korea and a lot of Koreans going abroad. Tourists who go to Europe, borrow the SIM card and return it when coming back. Most of tourists who go to American and China use the automatic roaming service.

“Automatic roaming and SIM card roaming is very popular despite of the new service. But, as method of the telephone call fee in foreign countries, a recipient must pay the bill because it is different from the method of Korea. If people request for automatic roaming announcement pressing ‘114’, the calling fee can be saved using it as the phone for outgoing, not receiving the unnecessary call”

Automatic roaming is available in 6 countries which use 800㎒ frequency for CDMA mode, including US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand. SK Telecom plans to extend the service area to Thai, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Israel and Guam until the end of the year. In Japan, the exclusive mobile phone pf Samsung must be used, so SK Telecom and KTF can receive the automatic roaming service.

To use the automatic roaming, users must receive the frequency channel modification (NAM setting) in the roaming center before leaving the country. But from the second departure, they can select only NAM. Before coming to the airport, an agent can operate it.

“When calling within USA, the calling is KRW 585 per minute. When calling from USA and Korea, the calling is KRW 1735 per minute. When using the phone card of KT, the calling to Korea is KRW 800 per minute. On the other hand, the automatic roaming mobile phone is compulsory to businessman with double prices because they must frequently contact with a office.”

Im-Sook Ha artemes@donga.com