How Wireless Modems Work

Wireless modems are connectors of wireless networks that are used for Internet connection. When you are connected through a wireless modem, you are directly attached to your Internet Service Provider without going through the usual telephone system. This provides less hassle for Internet users.

History of Wireless Modems

In the past, analog cellular phones used a landline modem for dial-up connection. This connection was as slow as 2.5 kb/second, and sometimes even slower. The generation of digital cellular phones offered faster connections, which improved up to 4 times faster during the 2G (Second Generation) era. After that, HSCSD (High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data) was developed to provide multiple GSM (Global System for Mobile) channel support. Because of this improvement, speed began ranging from 40 kb/sec to 45 kb/sec. However, these technologies required dial-up ISP (Internet Service Provider), which was provided by mobile phone networks.

The Development of Wireless Modems

Shortly after the reign of 2G phones, 2.5G phones emerged. The latter had help options for packet data. It means that 2.5G networks split digital voice and other data into little amounts and they are mixed simultaneously in the network. This process of splitting and mixing is referred to as packet-switching. The technology permits the phone to have data and voice connection simultaneously.

This makes surfing the Internet using a mobile phone possible. A personal computer can even use that same mobile phone if it wishes to connect to the Internet. The PC just needs a special number, which it needs to “dial” before it gets admission with the packet data. The mobile phone, used as the wireless modem, now handles the data exchange in the network. Its speed can reach up to 50 kb/second.

Wireless Modems Today

The most common use of wireless modems are for an Internet connection arrangement you know as Wi-Fi. Contrary to popular belief, the term Wi-Fi does not mean “wireless fidelity”. Wi-Fi is simply a trademark name given by an alliance (Wi-Fi alliance) whose members are also part of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Wireless modems operate at very little frequencies, giving laptops, PDAs or personal computers access point towards a network. A lot of people prefer using wireless modems because the speeds by which they operate are exponentially greater than dial-up modems and even broadband Internet.