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USB Modems vs. Embedded LTE Modems

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WHITE PAPER LTE A History of Cellular Modems The first cellular modems and wireless data transfer brought tremendous potential for business use, but also presented many challenges. Initially, passing data back and forth through the air was a slow process. The types and volumes of data that enterprises could send were limited. Soon came sleek, stick-like USB modems. When 3G arrived, individual users could transfer data much easier and faster via a USB modem connected to a laptop — enabling employees to work remotely. They were no longer limited to coffee shops or other locations with WiFi. These dongle-based solutions also were used by enterprises in routers, providing 4G as a backup WAN link at fixed sites such as long-term and pop-up retail stores, restaurants, and small offices. Cellular modem technology continued to evolve, with data transfer speed and reliability expanding quickly. Enterprises began pushing boundaries with innovative wireless use cases such as in-vehicle connectivity, in which USB modems were inserted into laptops and other tablets. First responders recognized the potential benefits of using wireless access in their vehicles for communication during emergencies. In essence, USB modems that were designed for consumers became a common solution for creative, forward-thinking enterprises and agencies. However, these organizations' needs soon outpaced what dongle modems could deliver. Challenges related to form factor, durability, network security, and reliability necessitated a new approach. As 4G began to take shape, enterprises clamored for an integrated solution. Eventually, wireless router companies built cellular modems into their appliances, providing all-in-one solutions that featured broad functionality and could be managed in the cloud through a single pane of glass. +1.855.813.3385 | cradlepoint.com 2 PC Card 1990s 2000 Today Future USB Modem Modem in Router 5G Adapter

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