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 ?
According to NextAlarm the feature works with alarm systems that support arming and disarming via telephone, including most systems made in the last 15 years, and does not require any additional equipment beyond the alarm broadband adapter.
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.
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 CBA750 Mobile Broadband Adapter gives businesses and branch offices the ability to add a secure wireless 3G/4G broadband connection virtually anywhere for redundant or primary Internet access.
Effected CradlePoint models include; CBA250 Cellular Broadband Adapter, CTR500 Mobile Broadband Travel Router, MBR800 Mobile Broadband Router for Kiosks, MBR1000 Mobile Broadband Router and MBR1100 Mobile Broadband Router with VPN.
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.

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