Wireless Modem

What Does Wireless Modem Mean?

A wireless modem is a modem that bypasses the telephone system and connects directly to a wireless network, through which it can directly access the Internet connectivity provided by an Internet service provider (ISP).


Wireless modems may be prebuilt into smartphones, mobile phones and personal data assistants (PDAs), or they may be distributed in the form of USB, serial or wireless firewall modems. Other types of wireless modems range from the size of a cable modem to the size of a credit card or smaller. Wireless modems are distinct to wireless routers, which may or may not include a modem and generally require physical connections to internet services.

Techopedia Explains Wireless Modem

Today, smartphones, PDAs and mobile phones can be used as data modems, creating a wireless access point for a personal computer Internet connection or connection to a proprietary network. Nearly all cell phones support the Hayes Command Set standard, allowing the phone to appear as an external modem when connected via USB, serial cable, IrDA infared or Bluetooth wireless; however, not all wireless cell phone providers allow this, and some charge an extra fee for it.

Wi-Fi and WiMAX standards may also be used for wireless firewall, serial and USB modems operating at microwave frequencies. These modems may attach to a desktop, laptop or PDA. Some wireless modems with appropriate hardware may even originate and receive phone calls.

Other types of wireless modems include compact flash modems, express card modems and PC card modems. Some of these may even include GPS capabilities.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…