While I was browsing through online resources for my trip to Seoul, I stumbled upon Enjoy Mobile Korea or EMK.
Enjoy Mobile Korea is hosted by Korea Tourism Organization together with SK Telecom. This offer is available to foreign visitors of Korea for a “free rental of the latest smartphones” including free voice and data services (1GB per day) for 5 days.
Two hundred fifty (250) winners are selected at random, every week; and the winners are announced every Tuesday. So you need to sign up at least two weeks before your travel dates.
I first made my application on May 2, the results were revealed on May 10 and I did not make it. So I applied again on May 10, and the results came out on May 17. I got a slot.
While browsing through their Q&A Section, I got a few useful things:
- The service disconnects after five days.
- If you are travelling with a companion and both of you were given slots, but on separate dates, you cannot continuously use the device. You have to return it, and then get another one.
- When you get a slot, you cannot change the dates you have applied for. You have to apply again.
- They will need a credit card activated internationally for the deposit, which is equivalent to the net price of the mobile phone they are lending. At the time of this writing, the mobile phone allotted to me was a Samsung Note 5.
- You can reapply for every round until you get a slot. But it’s highly likely that you will get one anyway. I was the only one picking up my unit when I claimed mine, and my friend also got hers the next day.
The phone is given with a pouch where the charger is kept, and a contract / MOA with the provider.
It was really useful during my travel. Because the rear camera of my phone broke, I was able to maximize the use of the Note 5, and believe me, I was – still am – tempted to buy one. I used it to capture pictures while I was touring and take pictures of the concert venue I visited. And believe me, I never felt so travel light-y, since I can just slip the phone in my pant pocket, without the extra lens of a camera.
I was also able to contact my friend whom I met up with in Seoul using the free SMS and local calls.
I was freaking online 24/7! There was a limit in the data usage, but once you turn on the Wifi, you’re connected pretty much everywhere – even underground at train platforms!
I attended two concerts when I was Seoul, and I was live tweeting every now and then. My friend was live tweeting the whole time! HAHA. She did exceed the data limit, but I believe she wasn’t charged any upon return of the unit.
If only it weren’t so expensive… Anyway, if you are visiting Seoul until December 2016, be sure to try out and sign up for this promotion. It won’t hurt, and it’s pretty convenient to stay connected to the internet world – for free!