cellular hotspot

(redirected from 3G to Wi-Fi)

cellular hotspot

A device that converts cellular 3G, 4G/LTE signals to Wi-Fi and vice versa. As long as a cellular signal is available, the device creates a local Wi-Fi hotspot to provide access to the Internet for some number of Wi-Fi devices nearby. The speed depends on the cellular system.

Smartphone Hotspots
Smartphones have both cellular and Wi-Fi radios built in, and most phones can be made to cross-connect the two and turn the device into a portable hotspot for Wi-Fi-only tablets and laptops. Also called "tethering."

Mobile Hotspots
Small, dedicated units are available from all carriers. Also called a "portable hotspot," "personal hotspot," "mobile router," "mobile wireless router" and "travel router," the cellular fee is either added to the user's existing data plan, or a new plan must be activated.

However, a stand-alone hotspot is one more thing to travel with. To avoid packing yet another product, cellular service can be added to laptops by plugging in a USB dongle (see cellular modem). Tablets can be purchased with a built-in cellular modem in addition to the standard Wi-Fi. Like every smartphone, the tablet's cellular phone number must be activated, although it is used for data only in most cases.

Stationary Hotspots
Typically called a "mobile broadband router," stationary units include a full-blown Wi-Fi base station that supports more devices over a wider range than a mobile hotspot. See mobile broadband router. See cellular vs. Wi-Fi.

Portable or Stationary
Wi-Fi hotspots can be created when traveling or at home.


Widely Available
These Verizon, AT&T and Sprint devices create hotspots as long as they find a cellular signal. (Images courtesy of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.)


Put It Anywhere
The advantage of a mobile hotspot is its portability.
References in periodicals archive ?
Users also enjoy a secure, "invisible" handoff from 3G to Wi-Fi with Aptilo SIM Authentication, which authenticates users via the SIM card in their mobile device.
The solution enables carriers to generate BHCA (Busy Hour Call Attempt) models, including VoLTE mobility scenarios, LTE to 3G to Wi-Fi handovers, and mobile application traffic, helping them reduce the risk of network outages and offer a better user experience.
Apart from optimizing the network and reducing capex burden, Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP helps provide seamless connectivity from 3G to Wi-Fi for its subscribers through device-specific use cases : EAP SIM devices are connected through direct authentication, Non EAP SIM Android devices are authenticated through a mobile app connection client and other Non EAP SIM devices are authenticated through a captive portal.