Welcome to the most wired country on the planet.
At the cutting edge of end user consumer technology and broadband service South Korea leads the world in internet connectivity and mobile device usage. South Korea is commonly referred to as "hyper connected" so staying connected with friends and family back home has never been more reliable, easier or cheaper. Prepare to get lighting fast reliable internet for a fraction of the cost in the west. Your co- teacher will assist you in setting up an internet account for your apartment and getting a state of the art cell phone with really cool applications.
* Consumer electronic goods in South Korea are high quality, reliable and much cheaper than in the west. From computers to microwaves you'll get hooked up in South Korea.
* In every major city there is a complete neighborhood (or more) devoted strictly to end user electronics and computer technology sales. Here you will find everything from the latest computer hardware and software, lap tops, desktops, computer accessories, flat screen TV's, SLR and digital photography cameras and equipment, and home appliances. Goods at these large retail outlets are generally steeply discounted.
Fast facts about the internet in South Korea:
* South Korea leads in the number of DSL connections per head world-wide.
* ADSL is standard, but VDSL has started growing quickly. ADSL commonly offers speeds of 2 Mbit/s to 8 Mbit/s, with VDSL accordingly faster. The large proportion of South Korea's population living in apartment blocks helps the spread of DSL, as does a high penetration of consumer electronics in general. Special "Cyber" Apartment buildings have speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. VDSL is commonly found in newer apartments while ADSL is normally found in landed properties where the telephone exchange is far away.
* The Internet has a higher status for many Koreans than it does in the West, and the government actively supports this.
* South Korean broadband is the most advanced in the world. In January 2006, it became the first country to achieve over 50% broadband penetration per capita.
* By 2005, it was the first country to complete the conversion from dial-up to broadband. It also has the cheapest, fastest broadband on the planet. Now there are experiments with speeds of 1 Gigabit per second.
* Additionally, in 2005 96.8% of South Korean mobiles had internet access.
Fast facts about cell phones ("hand-phones") in South Korea:
* An estimated 90% of South Koreans own mobile phones and use them not only for calling and messaging but also for watching live TV, viewing websites and keeping track of their online gaming statuses. South Korean corporations Samsung and LG are the second and third largest cell phone companies in the world, and South Koreans are usually among the first to experience innovative technology. New phones tend to be expensive in South Korea, but this doesn't stop South Korean consumers changing their phones on average every 11 months.
* Many South Korean phones feature TV broadcasting through Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), which now carries seven TV channels. Over one million DMB phones have been sold and providers like KTF and SK Telecom have provided coverage throughout many parts of major cities.
* You can find almost brand new phones on the secondary market in Korea for very cheap.
Fast facts about computers in South Korea:
* South Korea leads the world in innovative and cutting edge technology in end user computer technology. Desk tops and lap tops are readily available. Computer service and repair shops are available on just about every major street in South Korea.
* Latest updates for Windows users are readily available.
* In 2006 Apple (Mac) opened retail outlet stores in South Korea.
* In South Korea, internet cafes are called PC bangs. They are ubiquitous in South Korean cities, numbering over 20,000. PC bangs are similar to British and American Internet cafes, but most cater more to online game playing for the younger generation of Koreans. On average, use of a PC bang computer is priced at around 1,000 Won per hour (about US$1).