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Many Unaware of Changes to O`seas Roaming Fees

Posted October. 09, 2009 07:41,   


Office worker Lee Eun-ae was shocked after returning from a business trip to the United States.

She stayed only a week but her mobile service provider charged around 400,000 won (342.91 U.S. dollars) for overseas roaming service. When she used the service over a similar period two years ago, the bill was under 200,000 won (171.45 dollars).

Hong Ji-eun, an employee at a foreign-invested company, went on three-day business trips to the U.S. and Japan a few months ago. Her mobile service provider charged almost 200,000 won for roaming service in the U.S. and around 80,000 won (68.58 dollars) in Japan. She had paid just 100,000 won (85.73 dollars) for the service just a few years ago.

○ Changes from 010

Lee and Hong both bought 3G mobile phones whose numbers begin with 010. With the rising popularity of 3G mobile phones, more cell phone subscribers have recognized major changes in service charges.

3G service is more convenient for users since its automatic roaming function enables use of a mobile network with their own handsets and mobile phone numbers. What users should realize, however, is that charges for overseas roaming service have changed for certain nations.

○ What is overseas roaming service?

Roaming refers to a service in which a mobile network provider borrows the communications network of another carrier to enable its subscribers to use mobile phone service on another network. Mobile communications providers pay network connection fees to each another.

Those who use overseas roaming service must pay fees even when they receive phone calls from Korea. The amount users should pay when receiving calls from Korea differs by country, but is usually half the amount of making a call to Korea.

When roaming service users stay in the U.S. and Mexico, they are charged from the moment the telephone signal begins. Those using roaming service in the U.S. should also remember that their phone calls are considered connected if they listen to the connection signal for more than 29 seconds.

Mobile network experts say users of global roaming service users should thoroughly understand the complicated charging system since it differs by nation.