cellular hotspot

(redirected from hotspot tethering)

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.

Vehicle Hotspots
Built-in units provide a Wi-Fi hotspot within the cabin of a car or truck for all passengers. In-vehicle cellular hotspots are available for many makes and models, and third-party devices are also made that plug into the OBD port (see OBD).

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 ?
All plans include unlimited Canada nationwide incoming and outgoing calls, unlimited global text messaging, 500MB of 4G LTE data, plus voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and hotspot tethering.
T-Mobile s flagship prepaid brand is adding an extra 1GB of high-speed data to its most popular plans and an extra 2GB more Mobile Hotspot tethering to its Unlimited 4G LTE plan, up to 8GB from 6GB.
55 / month Unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data on your smartphone + 8GB of Mobile Hotspot tethering for each line (up from 6GB), now with Music Unlimited, Data Maximizer
T-Mobile customers who purchase the iPhone 5 also receive a number of "premium benefits" in addition to HD Voice, including 500 MB of 4G data for hotspot tethering, the ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time without limits.
But besides being the only carrier to sell the iPhone 5 with no annual contract plus unlimited talk, text and Web, T-Mobile customers who purchase the iPhone 5 will also receive a number of "premium benefits," including 500 MB of 4G data for hotspot tethering, the ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time without limits, andA (http://gizmodo.
Furthermore, T-Mobile customers that purchase the iPhone 5 also receive a number of "premium benefits," including 500 MB of 4G data for hotspot tethering, the ability to talk and surf the Web and the same time without limits, and offer (http://gizmodo.
Though Froyo isn't quite as refined as Gingerbread, it has true multi-tasking support, Wi-Fi hotspot tethering and Adobe Flash support.