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Korean Communications Commission to help overseas travelers use roaming services wisely

With the summer season bringing an increase in international leisure travel, the Korea Communications Commission is conducting a campaign at Incheon International Airport to remind smartphone users to use overseas data roaming carefully.

Data roaming is a service that allows smartphone users to access data services including internet, email, search functions, and maps while traveling abroad. However, these services come at a greater price while roaming, costing 3.5 to 4.5 won per 0.5 KB of data.

A one-time Google map search usually consumes about 300 KB data, which will can result in charges of up to 21,000 won, while downloading a single 4MB song can cost up to 37,000 won. Emails and SNS services that automatically accept and send messages also can result an unexpectedly expensive bill.

To prevent unintended data use, it’s important to set the phone’s mobile internet functions properly before leaving the country. If mobile internet services are not needed during travel, data roaming service should be turned off. Turning off 3G can also help prevent roaming charges.

Airport telecom centers at Incheon also offer assistance to passengers arriving and departing to help ensure proper settings for the customer’s needs.

WiFi services are one alternative for those who need to use the internet on their smartphones while traveling, and most carriers offer an unlimited roaming data service for those who need more reliable access. The service costs between 5,000 and 12,000 won per day, depending on the country and service provider, and can be shared by a group through a virtual access point.

An official from the Korea Communications Commission said, “To prevent paying unnecessary bills for using data roaming, it’s important for users to make sure they’re using the service they want.”

The Korea Communications Commission will be distributing brochures at Incheon International Airport until August 6th with information on how to use smartphones overseas and contact numbers for dealing with roaming services.

By Jessica Seoyoung Choi Staff Writer

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