cellular modem

(redirected from USB cellular adapter)

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 or 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 ?
Amaro, Italy, May 17, 2017 --(PR.com)-- Eurotech, a long-time leading provider of embedded systems and a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) enablement, announced today two new products that provide pre-certified 4G/LTE cellular connectivity: the ReliaGATE 10-12, which further extends the ReliaGATE Multi-service IoT Gateway family for industrial applications, and the latest models of its ReliaCELL rugged USB cellular adapter, now supporting LTE Category 4 transmission speeds, that greatly accelerate IoT deployments.
Eurotech's ReliaCELL, a family of highly ruggedized, IP67 rated, modular USB Cellular Adapters for mobile and industrial IoT applications, now supports LTE Category 4 transmission rates.
The router features: over-the-air WEB GUI interface for configuration; multiple interface connectivity via four serial ports, dual Ethernet, Wi-Fi support; VPN, firewall, DHCP, DNS and NAT routing capabilities; optional GPS receiver functionality; network flexibility, with carrier-approved USB cellular adapters; as well as support for programming in a Linux OS, J2ME (IBMJ9) Java Virtual Machine and OSGI (Eclipse) framework.
According to the company, customers can tailor the Eurotech ZyWAN G9 for use in any wireless carrier's service area through secure, approved USB cellular adapters for a global cellular platform.