cellular modem

(redirected from wireless broadband card)

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 ?
wireless carrier to offer a single wireless broadband card, single rate plan global 3G solution.
Currently, police vehicles patrolling the city use a laptop computer connected to the city's fiber network and information systems via a high speed wireless broadband card, such as an AirCard[R].
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the leading provider of zero-install(TM) nomadic wireless broadband technology, launched and demonstrated its new PCMCIA wide area wireless broadband card.
This is the second major carrier compatibility test completed since last month's announcement of the compatibility with Sprint(R) (NYSE:S) Wireless Broadband card.
These kits provide businesses and first responders with immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully charged cell phones and wireless broadband cards.
These kits provide business and first responders immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully-charged cell phones and wireless Broadband cards.
These kits provide immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully-charged cell phones and wireless broadband cards.
Users can now run any CardBus peripheral through the ExpressCard slot, including CardBus wireless broadband cards, LAN cards, Panasonic P2 Cards, CardBus eSATA adapters, and video capture card and TV tuner cards.

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