Koreans love their cell phones and very importantly, they can get cell phone reception in almost ANY location. I went to Kangwon land as identified in previous posts and it’s literally in the middle of no where. The reason why they built it was due to the depression in the local economy where the hotel and casino was built — very similar to how I believe Atlantic City and Biloxi (replace city name here), Mississippi was built into gambling cities. However, the great thing with Kangwon land is that they are trying to keep a resort feel like a ski village instead of over commercializig it like Vegas.
Back to the reason why Korea is successful though…seriously, but you can get cell phone reception almost ANYWHERE. I was walking down from the casino to look for a cheaper motel on the second night and was starting to walk into no man’s land. The cab driver I talked to at the main casino said it was just a quick walk down “that way.” Well, “that way” turned out to be about 2-3 miles … I’m sure it was a “quick jaunt” if I would of taken his cab. However, the way he explained it was that I could walk there. The thing that didn’t make sense to me is that he could of got me to jump into his cab and made a little cab fare. I was told after the fact that these “country folk” are so innocent that they would advise me to do anything that would make sense from a consumer standpoint to save money instead of “selling me his cab ride.” I still thought it was odd, nevertheless…and sort of stupid.
Anyway, while walking down to the location of the motel, I was literally far away from any cell phone tower that I could notice and it was litterally like I was in the middle of the Cascade Mountains back in Washington State where cell phone reception is weak, if not absent in many cases. However, when I wasn’t sure where I was and needed to figure out what to do next since most cabs that were driving by were full with customers, I reached for my cell phone and noticed I had all 6 bars on it & had the clearest reception when I dialed information. This phenomena isn’t secluded to the boonies. You can get cell phone reception in all the subway tunnels and areas. You can get it literally almost everywhere. I thought when I saw kids equipped with cell phones at grades as young as 4th or 3rd was surprising, you could see every single (Korean version of a) hill billy also with their own piece of telecommunications technology. There are about 48 million Koreans — give or take a million or two on either side — I wouldn’t be surprised if about 38 or 39 million of them had cell phones. If Verizon or AT&T Wireless or any cell phone service provider in the states is inflated in terms of it’s stock price, I’d start buying SK, KT and many other Korean providers quick – or maybe at least the stronger ones. Actually, I think I read something recently about KT (Korea Telecom) buying back a bunch of it’s shares recently. I’m thinking I know why…and now you do as well.