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SKT unveils new roaming plan covering 98 countries

Posted April. 03, 2019 07:29,   

Updated April. 03, 2019 07:29


One of South Korea’s leading mobile carriers has unveiled a new roaming plan, which allows travelers to choose the amount of data and the service period they want, regardless of their destination.

SK Telecom announced Tuesday that it would launch the new “baro rate system” that combines existing roaming plans differently set up by region and country. The new rate plan covers a total of 98 countries including Asia, the Americas, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, which have been the destination of over 97 percent of roaming service users.

Under the new system devised based on the usage patterns of the roaming service, users can choose one out of the three options that provide 3GB, 4GB, and 7GB of data, respectively. They can use the baro 3GB plan for up to seven days, and the other two for 30 days. In addition, the baro plan provides its users with an unlimited use of voice calls through the carrier’s application “T Phone.” Those who are between 18 and 29 years old will be given 1GB of data additionally.

The country’s three largest telecommunications companies have apparently overhauled and launched new roaming services since last year, to counter the growth of the foreign USIM market. The telecommunications companies competitively lowered their roaming rates in 2018, and pledged to allow an unlimited use of voice calls early this year.

Last December, SKT introduced the baro unlimited voice call service from which the carrier’s data roaming plan users could benefit. Though the overseas calls need to be placed via data communication networks, speech quality is hardly different from domestic calls. Meanwhile, KT began the “Roaming ON” service, which allows travelers in 24 countries to pay the same rate they pay at home (1.98 won per minute) for voice calls. LG Uplus also applied the new roaming rate plan in January through which users in China and Japan can place unlimited voice calls if they add 1,000 won to the existing plan.

With KT unveiling three unlimited monthly data plans called the 5G Super Plan on Tuesday, it is more likely that the country’s mobile carriers will include data roaming services in their basic communications offerings. There is an upper speed restriction of 100 kbps to 3 Mbps, however, depending on the type of a roaming plan users choose, KT said.

Do-Young Kwak now@donga.com