How Does a USB Wireless Modem Work?

By Josienita Borlongan


A USB wireless modem is a useful tool for mobile computing. Used not only on regular computers, such as desktops and laptops, they are the primary choice for computing using Windows Mobile based devices, such as a PDA (Personal Desktop Assistant) and Windows Mobile PC allowing them to connect to the Internet using a wireless connection.


The HDSPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access ) package comes with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) tray, a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, USB sharing cable used to connect to two different computers and a single USB cable. Insert the SIM card inside the USB tray, and then connect the USB cable, the mini end on the hand-held device, and the big or fat end on the handheld device. All drivers are on the flash disk on the USB modem; therefore, there is no need to install drivers from a computer. After finding the driver, the systematic installation will proceed. All one has to do is to click on "next' or "OK" when prompted. Depending on the resolution of your Mobile PC or handheld device, you may need to adjust the resolution to 800 x 600 when an error pops up indicating so. After the installation completes you can start connecting to the internet.

Wireless Networking

In order to surf the Internet you would need a USB cable or Bluetooth adapter. It is also important to have a smartphone/communicator with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)/EDGE (Electronic Data Gathering Equipment). Also use a CMDA (Code Division Multiple Access) 1X/EvDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) data plan along with tethering plans from carriers such as, Nextel, Verizon and AT&T. The main concept of using CMDA is to use similar technology used by laptops in using wireless or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) to connect to the Internet. Currently, most mobile phones use GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication), with the use of USB wireless modem, it allows the Windows Mobile PC or UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) to get the signal from the telecommunication provider. Keep in mind that the USB modem uses a data plan and not a call minutes plan. When you pick up incoming calls while using the Internet, you will lose your Internet connection. All you have to do is reconnect again after the call. There are also available third-party applications that can disable incoming calls while you are using the Internet to prevent interruptions.


A USB wireless cable modem supports Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0, 6.1 devices, as well as, Windows XP/2000, MAC OS X, MAC OS X Leopard and Linux operating systems, such as Ubuntu. It also supports USB, Bluetooth and Infrared (IrCOMM) connectivity. Depending on the software stack present and Bluteooth capability. It is also compatible with HP iPAQ, ASUS (ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated) P535 and Motorola Q.

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