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making a cell phone

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Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:37 pm    Post subject: making a cell phone Reply with quote

hey guys.....

i'm into my 4th week in Korea and it's a blast...

also, I've realised the need for a cell phone post stat..... so I was wondering what I'm supposed to do...

i've picked out a model i want... but instead of paying off the whole phone at once, is it possible for me to pay it off in monthly installments like the koreans do? also, do i have to make a pre-paid phone account or can i just pay for what i use... having the amount used deducted automatically from my bank account...

please~ need INFO~! uggghhh...
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: If you want... Reply with quote

Your are stuck with a pre-paid phone unless you get a Korean to sign up with you in their name. Not sure if you can pay monthly payments on a pre-paid (card) phone. You will likely have to buy it up front.

I was happy with the the new phone prices at Lotte Mart at Jamsil. Lotte is an importer of cellphone technology for Korea.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so pre-paid phones are the only option for me?

if i was to get a korean friend to sign up in her name, how would that work? would i be just using her name and her residency number... while all the other details like address, bank account would be mine?

also, i read here somewhere that there is a certain place somewhere that lets foreigners sign up a pay for what you use, monthly type phone account.... maybe it's an urban myth... dunno..
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 9:56 pm    Post subject: Hand Phones Reply with quote

My friend agreed to my new phone in his name (a joint sort of thing) and all they needed from him was to talk to him on the phone and get a fax of his residency card (or whatever they call it). They sort of fudged it though, because my other korean friend (a female) was with me and "signed" his name on the dotted line... faking his signature. So I'd guess you're best off having the person there with you. So much for security!!!! They also gave me some paperwork to pass on to him for his records, which I did.

Anyway, I don't think such a place exists as the "urban myth" you've spoke of, but I may be wrong. I just think the news of such a place would have come out earlier and foreigners would know about it.

If you sign with a friend, you will have to choose from several different "plans". They seem to do them differently than at my home (USA). Most plans seemed to have a base monthly cost of 15,000 won a month and no minutes. Options differ if you want to join one of the "clubs" like TTL, which allows you free PC Bang use at TTL locations, such as in Kangnam. There is even a special account just for women. You'll need to know korean or have an english-speaking korean explain them for you.

You have to pay between 18 and 20 won every 10 seconds for calls (card phones are 60 won/10 seconds, by the way!) depending on if you call a handphone, homephone, or whatever. 011 is SK Telecom... that's what I have. The quality seems better than the 018 number (KTF) that i had before. I wanted to get 016, which is one of the newer networks, and owned by KTF, but I was worried I'd end up with the same poor coverage. KTF is a big less... maybe 2 won every 10 seconds. You'll notice that the better -- or more feature-filled phones -- are on 011. Depending on the phone you want, you may not have a choice.

If you like all of the crazy sounds they make, you will see that phones are sold with reference to "Poly". "Poly" is sort of like the number of "voices" a sound card has. It is a measure of sound quality. My old phone is a 1 Poly (just beep-type rings). The best phones are 40 Poly, I think. My current phone is 16 Poly, I think. I thought I was buying 40, but got confused and was getting late for work. Oh well -- big deal. There isn't a huge difference between 16 and 40 Poly, but with 40 Poly, you have more capability to have "Voice" type rings and much better song playing capability for rings.

I bought the newer model Motorola V730 for about 290,000 won plus an activation fee of maybe 60,000 won. I am not particularly thrilled with my choice of phones, basically because i can't see the darn screen when I'm outside. The Korean phones are soooo much brighter. Also, there are some stupid little quirks with the menu I don't like. It's not laid out in the most thoughtful manner.

Features I do like are the English, of course, the time/message window on the front of the phone (I look at it all the time, as well as to check Caller ID) and that it is a color phone.

I wanted to buy a Samsung phone like the snazzy little UTO, but only the more expensive color ones (400,000 and up) are in English. The monochome version, which I could have lived with, didn't have it. I also wanted a message window on the front, and only the color UTO had it.

If i had to do it all over again, I'd buy the Curitel model which has the same features, has a much brighter, and is also 40 Poly for about the same price. I THINK it is English capable -- that's what my student told me. Curitel is cheaper quality than Samsung, but my Korean friends/students who have them are very happy.

By the way, with a card phone, you don't get Caller ID. I don't think it's possible anyway. I never had it. Caller ID becomes very important once you learn to juggle different relationships like the Koreans do.
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Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

first of all, thanks for your advice Smile

so there's no way of paying off a phone in monthly installments? (that's how my korean friends are paying off their phones)

so i'd have to purchase a phone straight up?
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:37 am    Post subject: Cardphone Anyo Reply with quote

I was referring to buying a Card Phone.... I don't think you can do that on monthly payments. I believe you must pay for it all up front, but I could be wrong.

You can probably do the monthly payment thing on a regular account though. Might need a credit card?
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Crazy Oz

Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Ilsan, Korea

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have picked out the phone then unless it is a card phone (pre-paid call credits) then you will need a Korean to do the purchasing and paperwork for you. If they are willing to pay the phone off over the period, plus have the calls deducted from an account (usually Credit Card) and for you to pay them back, then no problems.
I would suggest that you just go for the cheapest phone your ego can handle and be done with it. A card phone is easy as pie to get, reasonably cheap to buy (max out at about 100,000....mine was 2mths old cost me 60,000), you can budget your calls better, and if you lose it or it gets tears.
011 service seems to be the best for the "card phone" . Remember, all the fancy text, image and other bits ARE extras that can cost a packet when you start adding on costs to a normal handphone here. Your service costs alone could almost cover your prepaid on a "cardie".
Besides, the chances of your new phone working back home are less than good due to telco certification, bandwidth etc. Buy a cheapie, and sell it when you go home...get your money back (almost).

Still crazy, still here.
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:05 am    Post subject: Crazy gives Reply with quote

Crazy gives good advice. But this guy sounds like he has the bug to play with some technology... kind of the boat I was in.

If you are going to buy a used phone, I would suggest a Motorola (English menus) with CDMA 2000 technology. There is a monochrome version which is still sold as new (and you can find em used for 120,000 or so) -- you can pick them up used in Techno-Mart. Rings and that sort of stuff aren't overly exciting, and it's monochrome, but the quality of calls is excellent. There are some crappy older Motorolas with battery issues (the battery comes off) but this model is newer looking, has a very flat face, and has a logo that flashes on the front.

Something else you might want to look into -- my old phone was KTF on 018. I didn't like the quality of it (was not CDMA 2000 phone if that matters) and I didn't know if it was due to the 018 network or the phone. I was, however, able to receive calls for at least a few days even if I didn't have money charged on the account.

Other friends on 019 (SK Telecom, I think) had similar problems. I think these are older networks with older technology that isn't as good -- hence why many of the latest and greatest phones won't work on it.

The newer numbers are 011 (SK), 016 (KTF) and 017 (not sure, maybe LG?). I have a feeling that the quality on these is better, and I know they offer more for upgradeability to a better phone in the future. A guy told me, however, that on his 011 cardphone, he was not able to receive incoming calls if he didn't have money on it. That is different than my KTF phone on 018. I could. I don't know what reasoning is behind this: Maybe KTF vs. SK. Or maybe it's 018 vs. 011 -- I don't know.

These are just some things to ask about if you are buying a card phone.
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william beckerson

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Korean friend got my cell phone for me the second week I was here.

Aside from having to work the time every month to get the money to him, it's been a pretty good deal for me.
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