Korea


how do I get this phone to work in South Korea?

 

it works in china and Canada. according to T-Mobile, it should work in korea too but it doesn't.

 

mike


19 replies

Userlevel 7

The basic requirement for Korea, Japan and Singapore are is UMTS 2100. If  you have a MS330, it lacks UMTS 2100. This is probably the reason it won't work in S. Korea. You can try doing a manual search for carriers. You probably won't see any.

Userlevel 6

Hiya @mykokim‌.  Good call out - you're right that our Traveling Abroad‌ page says that the LG K7 should work in South Korea - but a little Googling makes it seem like @drnewcomb2‌ may be correct, the Tech Specs for the K7 don't show UMTS 2100 supported by the device, and every listing I can find says that this is the 3G technology available there.  I'm going to forward this feedback up to see if I can learn a little more about why the site says the phone will work.  Are you already traveling?  Did you try the manual carrier search - did it help?  Are you getting any service at all?  Hoping that you're at least able to use wifi where you're staying!

- Marissa

You cannot. The K7 doesn't work in Korea. I've been there twice this year. Use another phone.

Userlevel 7

There are at least four different models of the K7. Those intended for the European and Asian markets do have U2100 (UMTS band 1). The model intended for MetroPCS (and I presume T-Mobile) seems to lack U2100. Any phone that does not have at least U2100  should not be marketed as "global" since it won't work in Japan, Singapore or S. Korea, countries with no 2G-GSM service.

Oh boy, I was told by the rep who sold me this phone that it will work in Korea. I also called customer service. Told me the same thing. Had personal phone numbera forwarded to my K7. Can't access phone calls. I feel...um...not good.

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note®️ 4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Manual search says error. Can't use phone at all. Works well on china but I'm not in china anymore. Need for korea asap.

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note®️ 4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Userlevel 7

If the phone has no compatibility with the Korean networks, it should just show nothing found. Like if you were somewhere in the backwoods of Alaska.

You might be able to buy, borrow or rent an unlocked phone with at least UMTS 2100. The Korean carriers are historically CDMA and used to rent special SIM-equipped CDMA handsets for roaming. They use some of the same 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands as in Europe and the 850 band as in the US but much of it is CDMA.

I take it that you have tried rebooting your phone? 

Understood. Thank you.

Yes, I've rebooted, took the battery off the phone, and restarted. 

Mike

From: drnewcomb2 <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 12:54 PM

Subject: - Korea

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T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by drnewcomb2 in LG K7 - View the full discussionIf the phone has no compatibility with the Korean networks, it should just show nothing found. Like if you were somewhere in the backwoods of Alaska. You might be able to buy, borrow or rent an unlocked phone with at least UMTS 2100. The Korean carriers are historically CDMA and used to rent special SIM-equipped CDMA handsets for roaming. They use some of the same 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands as in Europe and the 850 band as in the US but much of it is CDMA. I take it that you have tried rebooting your phone?  Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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The only way for it to work in Korea is to use Wi-Fi calling which I did. Roaming is not possible as this version of the K& (T-Mobile/Metro PCS) does not include UMTS 1 as earlier described by others. Do note that calls to the US would be free but calls to numbers in Korea will be treated as long distance calls. Also you have to be in hotspot zones. As mentioned earlier by drnewcomb2, Korea is traditionally CDMA territory not GSM. Still the best option is to borrow another phone or if really necessary purchase a cheap phone during your stay.

Ok. The rep who sold me my phone was wrong. He said my phone will work in Korea, but from what I understand from this forum, my phone doesn't work in Korea unless I have the correct model with UMTS 2100, which I guess I don't have for my phone.  

I just called customer service again to let them know what I just learned from this forum. This time around, they told me I have to unlock my phone in order for me to use my phone to work. I'm really confused (and I let the rep know that) because why wasn't I told so from the beginning. Well, I was told to wait for an email with instructions, which will take up to 24 hours. I also asked if this will change my phone number. Her response was for me follow the instructions in the email. 

So frustrating...

Mike

From: drnewcomb2 <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 12:54 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by drnewcomb2 in LG K7 - View the full discussionIf the phone has no compatibility with the Korean networks, it should just show nothing found. Like if you were somewhere in the backwoods of Alaska. You might be able to buy, borrow or rent an unlocked phone with at least UMTS 2100. The Korean carriers are historically CDMA and used to rent special SIM-equipped CDMA handsets for roaming. They use some of the same 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands as in Europe and the 850 band as in the US but much of it is CDMA. I take it that you have tried rebooting your phone?  Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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drnewcomb2,

Customer service rep told me my phone is a U2100. Is that the same as UMTS 2100?

Mike

From: drnewcomb2 <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 12:54 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by drnewcomb2 in LG K7 - View the full discussionIf the phone has no compatibility with the Korean networks, it should just show nothing found. Like if you were somewhere in the backwoods of Alaska. You might be able to buy, borrow or rent an unlocked phone with at least UMTS 2100. The Korean carriers are historically CDMA and used to rent special SIM-equipped CDMA handsets for roaming. They use some of the same 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands as in Europe and the 850 band as in the US but much of it is CDMA. I take it that you have tried rebooting your phone?  Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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Thank you mmsumlong. 

Feeling defeated, but I will take your advise and do what I can do at the moment. 

When I get a chance, I'll have to go back to a t-mobile dealer and find a phone that will work in Korea (and China, Europe, and Canada as I go there often too).

Mike

From: mmsumulong <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 1:25 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by mmsumulong in LG K7 - View the full discussionThe only way for it to work in Korea is to use Wi-Fi calling which I did. Roaming is not possible as this version of the K& (T-Mobile/Metro PCS) does not include UMTS 1 as earlier described by others. Do note that calls to the US would be free but calls to numbers in Korea will be treated as long distance calls. Also you have to be in hotspot zones. As mentioned earlier by drnewcomb2, Korea is traditionally CDMA territory not GSM. Still the best option is to borrow another phone or if really necessary purchase a cheap phone during your stay. Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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Userlevel 7

U2100 is another name for UMTS-2100 (a.k.a. UMTS band 1)  This phone may or may not have UMTS-2100. I can't say for sure. What I can say is that T-Mobile's device support page does not list it:

"Network

    UMTS, GSM, LTE Capable

    GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

    UMTS Bands 2/4/5

    LTE Bands 2/4/12"

You see is says UMTS bands 2/4/5? These are all US bands, none of which are 2100 MHz. LTE bands 2/4/12 are also all US bands. The only band there that might even be possible is UMTS band 5 (850 MHz) but I think that's all CDMA in S. Korea. The GSM part specs does not count because they don't use any of that in S. Korea. I seriously doubt that unlocking the phone will suddenly make U2100 magically appear.

I'm sorry this happened to you but it goes to show that you can't count on what carrier's reps tell you, they don't always know the details. International travelers need to understand the details and have a backup plan.

You may want to checkout the LG Stylo 2. It has Marshmallow, 5.5" and higher res screen, faster processor, 16GB storage and 2GB RAM. All better than the K7. Also note this:

International
  • Quad Band GSM; LTE: 2, 4, 12; UMTS: Band I (2100), Band II (1900), Band IV (1700/2100), Band V (850)

LG Stylo 2 PLUS | Tech Specs, Price & More | T-Mobile

I am eyeing this model. Perhaps I'll get this as a holiday gift to myself and when it's on sale for $199. Now it's at $239. 😊

The customer rep was wrong. My phone is unlocked and still didn't work in Korea as it does not have U2100. Being unlocked means being able to put a SIM from a foreign carrier and the phone should work but not in Korea.

Userlevel 6

Hey all,

Thank you guys for this input - I just wanted to touch base and let you know I've forwarded this up so that we can take a look at why our site says that the K7 should work in Korea.  When I hear back I will absolutely fill you guys in.  In the interim, I just wanted to echo what's been said regarding unlocking equipment - you'd unlock a phone so that you could use a local carrier's SIM in the equipment, but that's not going to resolve the matter if the local carrier's network isn't supported by the device technology.  😥  I'm so sorry that you're traveling and finding yourself in this predicament!  Thank you again for reaching out, I hope to have some detail soon.

- Marissa

thank you. that's what i thought about unlocking my phone, but that's what the rep told me to do.

From: tmo_marissa <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 3:44 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by tmo_marissa in LG K7 - View the full discussionHey all, Thank you guys for this input - I just wanted to touch base and let you know I've forwarded this up so that we can take a look at why our site says that the K7 should work in Korea.  When I hear back I will absolutely fill you guys in.  In the interim, I just wanted to echo what's been said regarding unlocking equipment - you'd unlock a phone so that you could use a local carrier's SIM in the equipment, but that's not going to resolve the matter if the local carrier's network isn't supported by the device technology.    I'm so sorry that you're traveling and finding yourself in this predicament!  Thank you again for reaching out, I hope to have some detail soon. - Marissa Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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Sounds great. Will have to look in to it. Thank you!

From: mmsumulong <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 3:04 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by mmsumulong in LG K7 - View the full discussionYou may want to checkout the LG Stylo 2. It has Marshmallow, 5.5" and higher res screen, faster processor, 16GB storage and 2GB RAM. All better than the K7. Also note this: 

International

- Quad Band GSM; LTE: 2, 4, 12; UMTS: Band I (2100), Band II (1900), Band IV (1700/2100), Band V (850)

 LG Stylo 2 PLUS

Tech Specs, Price & More

T-Mobile I am eyeing this model. Perhaps I'll get this as a holiday gift to myself and when it's on sale for $199. Now it's at $239. Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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Yes, for sure about knowing all the detail. Thank you for your help!

From: drnewcomb2 <no-reply@t-mobile.com>

To: Mike <mykokim@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 2:55 PM

Subject: - Korea

|

T-Mobile Support Community

Korea

created by drnewcomb2 in LG K7 - View the full discussionU2100 is another name for UMTS-2100 (a.k.a. UMTS band 1)  This phone may or may not have UMTS-2100. I can't say for sure. What I can say is that T-Mobile's device support page does not list it:"Network    UMTS, GSM, LTE Capable    GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz    UMTS Bands 2/4/5    LTE Bands 2/4/12" You see is says UMTS bands 2/4/5? These are all US bands, none of which are 2100 MHz. LTE bands 2/4/12 are also all US bands. The only band there that might even be possible is UMTS band 5 (850 MHz) but I think that's all CDMA in S. Korea. The GSM part specs does not count because they don't use any of that in S. Korea. I seriously doubt that unlocking the phone will suddenly make U2100 magically appear. I'm sorry this happened to you but it goes to show that you can't count on what carrier's reps tell you, they don't always know the details. International travelers need to understand the details and have a backup plan. Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support Start a new discussion in LG K7 by email or at T-Mobile Support Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

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