Best eSIM providers and plans in South Korea 2024


Embedded directly into your device, eSIMs eliminate the need for physical cards, offering convenience for traveling in South Korea.

eSIMs also offer several advantages for exploring South Korea. They allow global roaming, letting you stay connected at all times. Plus, you can easily switch between local data plans if you find a better deal, all without fiddling with physical SIM cards.

However, a growing number of eSIM providers makes it challenging to choose the right one. We've conducted tests and evaluations to help you pick the perfect eSIM card for upcoming adventures. Read on to find the 5 best eSIMs for South Korea.

Top 5 Best eSIM providers for South Korea

What to consider when choosing eSIM for South Korea?

When choosing an eSIM for South Korea, think about several factors:

  • Destination coverage. Think whether you’ll need a connection in South Korea only or regional access, including Japan, China, and more.
  • Communication needs. Decide if you require just data or also the ability to make calls and send messages. Some eSIM providers offer data-only plans, while others include a phone number.
  • Data requirements. Estimate your data usage to select an appropriate plan. Options range from fixed plans to pay-as-you-go and top-up options.
  • Travel duration. Ensure the eSIM's validity period aligns with your travel plans to avoid deactivation.
  • Tethering capability. Check if the eSIM provider allows tethering, letting you share your device's data connection as a mobile hotspot.
  • Price. Compare eSIM cards’ prices to find the most affordable option for what you need.

The best eSIMs for South Korea – detailed list

To find the best eSIM providers for South Korea, we tested many eSIM providers and narrowed the list to the top 5. We evaluated each provider by certain criteria, including network coverage in South Korea, speeds, prices, and more functionalities. Find the best picks below:

1. Saily – best South Korea eSIM overall

Saily esim banner
Supported network:Undisclosed
Country coverage:150+
Starting price:$4.49 (1GB for 7 days)
Current deal:Get Saily, starting at $2.49/week

Saily is the overall best eSIM for South Korea. Developed by the founders of the renowned NordVPN, Saily offers reliable and flexible digital SIM plans for South Korea.

Regional plans. Saily doesn’t offer regional or global plans yet and you can only choose a specific country and its local plans.

Plan options. This eSIM provider offers 5 plan options for South Korea – 1GB for 7 days and 3GB, 5GB, 10GB, or 20GB for 30 days.

South Korea plans pricing. 1GB for 7 days costs $4.49, plans for 30 days cost $8.99 (3GB), $11.99 (5GB), $19.99 (10GB), and $36.99 (20GB).

Network coverage. Saily partners with local mobile service providers in South Korea to guarantee comprehensive data coverage, offering 4G or LTE connectivity.

Activation process. Activation is very intuitive – you have to download the Saily app, register, and select the plan. You can activate your eSIM before leaving – it just requires an internet connection and doesn’t require eKYC.

Customer support. Saily offers a comprehensive help center and a 24/7 live chat with professional customer service.

2. Airalo – well-renowned eSIM for South Korea

Airalo banner
Supported network:LTE
Country coverage:200+
Starting price:$32 (unlimited for 10 days)
Current deal:Get Airalo today!

Airalo is an excellent eSIM for South Korea in 2024. Offering affordable prepaid plans with LG U+ and unlimited data, Airalo guarantees great speeds and coverage throughout South Korea.

Regional plans. Airalo offers both local plans for South Korea only and regional plans called Asialink that include South Korea as part of broader coverage areas like Asia or East Asia.

Plan options. Airalo offers 2 plan data-only options for South Korea – unlimited data for 10 days or unlimited data for 30 days. It’s the only provider that offers unlimited data for South Korea.

South Korea plans pricing. Unlimited data for 10 days costs $32 and the same plan for 30 days costs $62.

Network coverage. Airalo eSIM with local mobile service providers in South Korea provides reliable data coverage, typically offering a 4G or LTE connection.

Activation process. Activation is swift and you can choose from QR code, or app-based activation methods, with eKYC (identity verification) required.

Customer support. Airalo provides responsive customer support via help center, chat, and email.

3. Nomad – user-friendly eSIM for South Korea with wide coverage

Nomad banner
Supported network:3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:170+
Starting price:$5 (1GB for 7 days)
Current deal:Get Nomad today!

Nomad is another versatile eSIM for South Korea. It provides a variety of local, regional, and global plans at affordable prices and customizable data plans for South Korea.

Regional plans. Nomad offers a regional package for China, Japan, and South Korea. There are 5 plans to choose from, starting from $4 for 7 days (1GB).

Plan options. This eSIM has more than 10 different data-only plans, starting from 1 day and 1GB up to 20GB for 45 days – you can choose whatever fits you the best. Plus, add-on data is available.

South Korea plans pricing. Nomad provides competitive pricing for its eSIM plans, with options starting from $5 for 1GB for 7 days.

Network coverage. The eSIM for Nomad is provided by SingTel and is expected to have 3G or 4G speeds (5G where available).

Activation process. You have to scan the QR code that is provided to install your eSIM. Once it’s added to your phone, just activate your eSIM, and turn the line one in South Korea – no eKYC is required.

Customer support. Nomad offers a help center, FAQs, and email support. The customer service is very extensive and you can find all answers to your questions.

4. aloSIM – easy activation eSIM for South Korea with prepaid regional packages

aloSIM banner
Supported network:3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:170+
Starting price:$5 (1GB for 7 days)
Current deal:Get aloSIM today!

aloSIM is one of the best eSIMs for South Korea thanks to its prepaid regional plans, a variety of local plans, and the ability to use your own phone number with an eSIM.

Regional plans. aloSIM extends its coverage to include South Korea within its regional plans, providing connectivity for travelers exploring the country and neighboring regions – there’s an Asian Five Pack (5 countries) or Asia Pack (13 countries).

Plan options. In terms of local South Korean plans, aloSIM offers 5 plans from 1GB (7 days) and goes up to 2GB valid for 15 days or 3GB, 5GB, and 10GB for 30 days.

South Korea plans pricing. The cheapest plan for South Korea starts at $5 (1GB for 7 days) and goes up to $27 (10GB for 30 days), which offers great value for money.

Network coverage. aloSIM collaborates with local partners – SK Telecom and KT Corporation II, which offer 5G speeds. Your aloSIM data plan includes a free international phone number from Hushed that works over Wi-Fi or data.

Activation process. Activation is app-based, all you need to do is choose the location, select a plan, and add the activation code as required. There’s no identity verification with aloSIM.

Customer support. aloSIM offers a blog, a 24/7 live chat, and helpful troubleshooting guides but it’s not as user-friendly as Saily or Airalo.

5. Instabridge – secure and speedy eSIM service for South Korea

Instabridge banner
Supported network:3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:190+
Starting price:$3 (1GB for 7 days)
Current deal:Get Instabridge today!

InstaBridge is the cheapest eSIM provider for South Korea. It doesn’t only offer affordability, but has a speedy and secure service, too. You can always top up with pay-as-you-go rates.

Regional plans. Instabridge has global plans and regional plans in Europe and Latin America. Sadly, there are no regional plans for Asia yet.

Plan options. Instabridge offers a diverse range of data plans for South Korea customized to different usage requirements. There are 3 plans: 1GB for 7 days, 3GB for 15 days, and 10GB for 30 days.

South Korea plans pricing. Being the cheapest provider on the list, Instabridge plans start at only $3 for 1GB (7 days) and goes up to $7 for 3GB (15 days) or $21 for 10GB (30 days).

Network coverage. Instabridge collaborates with local mobile service providers in South Korea (KT South Korea and SK Telecom South Korea) to guarantee extensive data coverage, depending on the location offering 4G or LTE networks.

Activation process. Activation is simple and similar to other providers – you need to install the Instabridge app, purchase a data plan, and activate it on your phone. eKYC is not required.

Customer support. Instabridge has quite an extensive help center and email support. However, we wish it had a 24/7 service option available.

Does my phone support eSIM?

Many newer models of smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, now offer eSIM support, but it's best to confirm compatibility with your specific device. Read on to find out if your phone supports eSIM.

eSIM compatibility on iPhone

iPhone models including iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE (2nd generation), 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max support eSIM technology.

You can activate eSIMs through the Cellular settings menu. If you’re still unsure if your iPhone supports eSIMs, ​​consult your iPhone’s specifications or contact the eSIM provider.

eSIM compatibility on Android phone

eSIM compatibility on Android phones varies by model and manufacturer. Many newer Android devices, such as Google Pixel phones, Samsung Galaxy series (S20, S21, and above), and select models from other manufacturers, support eSIM technology.

You can typically activate eSIMs through the Network & Internet or Connections settings menu.

Benefits of using an eSIM in South Korea

Having an eSIM in South Korea has many advantages, some of them are:

  • Instant data access. You can activate your eSIM upon arrival to have instant access to an internet connection from the minute you land.
  • Effortless activation. Avoid the fuss of going to a physical store and activate your eSIM immediately with an app on your phone.
  • Keep your number. You can keep your current phone number while using the eSIM, avoiding the need to change numbers or carry multiple devices.
  • No physical SIM required. Using an eSIM removes the need to purchase and install a physical SIM card, speeding up the setup process and reducing the possibility of misplacing or ruining physical cards.
  • Affordable connectivity. Avoid the hefty roaming charges and sluggish data speeds that are commonly associated with traditional SIM cards, saving money while having a rapid and trustworthy data connection throughout your South Korean trip.
  • Convenient top-ups. Some eSIM carriers give simple top-up alternatives, allowing you to renew your data allowance as needed and maintain uninterrupted access without the need to purchase extra physical SIM cards.

Things to know about using an eSIM card in South Korea

It’s widely known that South Korea’s region is one of the costliest countries worldwide for mobile internet data, hence eSIM is a great way to avoid hefty prices. Below, we’ve listed 5 tips and tricks about using an eSIM in South Korea:

  1. Make sure your phone is unlocked. Locked phones are tied to specific local mobile service providers and it will not allow you to use an eSIM.
  2. Make sure your phone supports an eSIM. First things first, check if your phone supports eSIM technology. Not all mobile devices are compatible with eSIM cards.
  3. Calling and phone number. Understand that most eSIM plans don’t support calling or providing a phone number, as they’re data-only plans. Some eSIM providers offer phone numbers for receiving calls and SMS only, without the ability to make calls or send SMS.
  4. Activation timing. Be aware that the validity of some eSIM cards begins after installation, while others start upon connecting to a supported network. Activate your eSIM card within the specified time frame to make use of the whole validity.
  5. Activation process. Check out common activation methods such as QR code scanning, app-based activation, or SMS activation to activate your eSIM card in a few clicks.

How to make calls with eSIM in South Korea

So, what if you’re in South Korea and have to make a call to confirm a reservation or for a call for any other purpose? Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Select a provider with a calling option. Look for an eSIM provider offering plans with a phone number for making calls. Among our top providers, Airalo's LGU+ plan comes with a phone number (only to receive calls and SMS).
  • Use a domestic SIM card. Use your existing physical SIM card for making calls while using the eSIM solely for data. Remember that calling internationally imposes high charges.
  • Use VoIP apps. Explore Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, or Google Voice. These apps use a data connection to make calls over the internet, supplying you with a cost-effective alternative to traditional cellular networks.

Final thoughts on eSIMs for South Korea

Getting an eSIM card for South Korea will not only give you the convenience of staying connected but will help you avoid the hustle of having to purchase a physical SIM card upon landing.

Our top recommendation for eSIM for South Korea is Saily. It's flexible, activates right away, and has unlimited data plans – all at competitive prices. With great coverage across the country (and the region), you can stay connected throughout your trip without breaking the bank.

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