Cellular Tablets

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Stay connected inside and out with a cellular tablet

What is a cellular tablet?

When a tablet is considered “cellular,” it means that it has the capability of connecting to the networks operated by wireless carriers. Tablets already come equipped with Wi-Fi antennas to enable them to connect to Wi-Fi networks, but many don’t offer SIM card slots to enable a connection to a 4G LTE network.

When you think of your smartphone, you are often always connected, whether it be at home via Wi-Fi, or away from home through your carrier’s network coverage. It applies the same way for a cellular tablet, where you can take it with you anywhere and still stay connected. The tablet seamlessly moves from Wi-Fi to 4G LTE, and vice versa, keeping you in touch anytime.

Cellular tablets don’t have traditional calling features, like you have with a smartphone. There is no phone number attached to the SIM card in a tablet, though you can use communication and messaging apps that offer calling features over 4G LTE or Wi-Fi.

How does 4G LTE work on a tablet?

4G LTE on a tablet is not that different than it is on a smartphone, save for the fact the latter is equipped for calls. Smartphones have earpieces to relay audio from the other person on a call, while the SIM card in the phone itself has a phone number assigned to it from the carrier. This is different from a tablet, which you don’t hold to your ear, nor have a dedicated phone number people can use to call you on.

The key to 4G LTE on a tablet is the seamless connectivity. It keeps the device connected when access to the Internet is important, and stands as an alternative to a public Wi-Fi network you may not fully trust. Carriers will often offer data plans for tablets that are either standalone, meaning they get their own monthly data cap, or they are part of a shared data plan with one or more smartphones.

This also applies when travelling with your tablet. You would have to check with your carrier on whether or not you can roam with your tablet’s SIM card in a foreign country without incurring excessive overage fees. Another option would be to put in a SIM card from that country to use coverage from a local provider.

What type of cellular tablets are available?

There have been cellular versions of the Apple iPad for years, and they continue to be available today. These are not to be confused with iPads that are Wi-Fi-only, where there is no cellular connectivity at all. Both versions of the tablet are often the same, otherwise, but a Wi-Fi/4G LTE model includes a SIM card slot to enable cellular service. Newer iPad models may have eSIM functionality, which means the SIM is embedded in the device.

Other tablet models, particularly select Microsoft Surface devices, can also tap into a cellular network with 4G LTE access. That gives you the power of a desktop operating system and Internet connectivity on a tablet that can feel like a laptop. With cellular and Wi-Fi available, your productivity can only increase further.