cellular modem

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Also found in: Acronyms.

cellular modem

A device that adds wireless 3G or 4G (LTE) connectivity to a laptop or desktop computer. Typically available as an external USB module, the modem may also be on a PCI or PCI Express (PCIe) card that plugs into an empty slot on the motherboard. For older laptops, modems may be available for ExpressCard or PC Card/CardBus slots.

Known By Many Names
A cellular modem via USB is a "USB modem." On a card, it can be an "air card," "data card" or "broadband card." Generic terms are "broadband adapter," "broadband modem," "cellular adapter," "3G modem" and "4G modem."

Alternatives: Smartphones and Routers
While the cellular modem plugs directly into the computer, smartphones and stand-alone broadband routers convert cellular signals into a Wi-Fi hotspot for nearby devices. See cellular hotspot and mobile broadband router.


An Internet "Stick"
Connecting via USB, this Verizon modem adds 3G CDMA cellular data service to a computer or tablet. (Image courtesy of Verizon Wireless.)







A Hotspot and Tethering
This Android Galaxy Note 3 smartphone provides cellular data service by becoming a hotspot or by cabling directly to a computer via USB (see tethering). Older cellphones were occasionally used as dial-up modems for a computer.
References in periodicals archive ?
An Alarm Broadband Adapter allows most existing phone line based systems to communicate again at a much lower price with no signal limitations, while adding features.
Sprint (NYSE:S) has certified CradlePoint's MBR1200 Failsafe Gigabit N Router and CBA750 3G/4G Mobile Broadband Adapter for use with the Sprint 3G and 4G Mobile Broadband networks.
An Alarm Broadband Adapter allows the system to communicate again at a much lower price, while adding features.
BOISE, Idaho -- CradlePoint Technology, a global leader in 3G/4G networking solutions, announced a new mobile broadband adapter that gives companies more options and flexibility for broadband access.
The alarm broadband adapter is compatible with any alarm system that supports the Contact ID reporting format, which includes most alarm systems built in the last 20 years, and functions over any broadband Internet connection.
The program provides Apisphere with the opportunity to develop a customized application for users of Sierra Wireless mobile broadband adapter products.
this week releases its Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter that will make it possible to use NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) as a platform for Internet-enhanced video game play.
Other solutions require entire new security or medical alert systems to be installed, whereas ours only requires the addition of a broadband adapter.
Phantasy Star Online(TM): Episode I & II from SEGA is the first game to use NINTENDO GAMECUBE's capabilities for online play as Nintendo prepares to launch its modem and broadband adapter this fall.
Beginning April 1, shipments of CradlePoint's business-class routers, including the MBR800, MBR1000, and MBR1100 line of mobile broadband routers, CTR500 mobile broadband travel router, and CBA250 cellular broadband adapter, will have WiMAX compatibility built in.
90 Modem Adapter and the NINTENDO GAMECUBE Broadband Adapter this fall at retail for an MSRP of $34.
Players with broadband access can be fragging faster than ever with full support for the Dreamcast Broadband Adapter (sold separately.

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