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Adding Cellular Capability to Laptop using sim card

RamboPenguin
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Go to solution Solved by jec6613,

I have several built-in LTE devices, and my family has even more, been using them for ages.  Great for travel.

 

Your laptop must have three things to have built-in cellular connectivity:

  1. Built-in cellular antenna
  2. A SIM card slot attached to the motherboard
  3. A cellular modem (usually Mini PCI-E, but M.2 do exist)
  4. A SIM card with active cellular data plan (obviously)

Numbers 1 and 2 must be built into your laptop at the factory, you cannot retrofit them, and the Sword 15 doesn't have them.

 

The USB devices as suggested are your best bet - they're small, inexpensive, and just work.  If you have a fancy router, you can also use it as a backup internet connection at home when you're not traveling.

I just purchased an MSI Sword 15 recently, and I was wondering if there is a way to add cellular capabilities to it with something like an m.2 add-on. I have an extra sim card with AT&T that I have been wanting to use.

 

Is this possible? What hardware would I need to make this work?

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I know of a few mini pci-e ones, never seen an m.2 one though. Its not a common thing due to the easy availability of public Wi-Fi.

 

I assume you have a laptop bag to carry the laptop in? If so would one of those portable hotspot devices which you plug the sim card into not make more sense?  

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1 minute ago, rickeo said:

Most cell providers sell hotspots that take SIM's. Its not internal and you'll connect to it via Wifi, however.

 

It seems things like this exist (I just googled M.2 LTE modem) but I have no idea if it can be made to work with AT&T.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Unlocked-ME906E-NGFF-HSPA-module/dp/B01MU442FG

Would I need anything else to use that with?

 

Like this for example: https://www.amazon.com/Timack-NGFF-Mini-PCI-Adapter/dp/B07SJRZHNN/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=m.2+sim&qid=1638921587&sr=8-4

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5 minutes ago, 8-Bit Ninja said:

I know of a few mini pci-e ones, never seen an m.2 one though. Its not a common thing due to the easy availability of public Wi-Fi.

 

I assume you have a laptop bag to carry the laptop in? If so would one of those portable hotspot devices which you plug the sim card into not make more sense?  

Those portable hotspot devices seemed a little pricey. I was hoping to get something for a little cheaper. And the convenience of having it inside of my laptop seemed nice. But yeah most of the ones I saw were ~$300

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1 minute ago, RamboPenguin said:

I could not tell you. You're in niche of niche territory now. I didn't know something like that existed until I googled it 5 minutes ago.

5800x/3090

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32 minutes ago, RamboPenguin said:

I just purchased an MSI Sword 15 recently, and I was wondering if there is a way to add cellular capabilities to it with something like an m.2 add-on. I have an extra sim card with AT&T that I have been wanting to use.

 

Is this possible? What hardware would I need to make this work?

Is it possible? Yes. Ive seen business laptops with this type of tech built in. The issue is, I dont think they make WiFi/Cellular data M.2, I think they would have to be separate. This is not a very popular thing to do with laptops as well, as in it never caught on in the consumer sector, Ive only seen Cellular data on business devices. 

 

There are USB modems out there are sell. They might be cheaper than the hotspot devices offered by the provider. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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I have several built-in LTE devices, and my family has even more, been using them for ages.  Great for travel.

 

Your laptop must have three things to have built-in cellular connectivity:

  1. Built-in cellular antenna
  2. A SIM card slot attached to the motherboard
  3. A cellular modem (usually Mini PCI-E, but M.2 do exist)
  4. A SIM card with active cellular data plan (obviously)

Numbers 1 and 2 must be built into your laptop at the factory, you cannot retrofit them, and the Sword 15 doesn't have them.

 

The USB devices as suggested are your best bet - they're small, inexpensive, and just work.  If you have a fancy router, you can also use it as a backup internet connection at home when you're not traveling.

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38 minutes ago, Donut417 said:

The issue is, I dont think they make WiFi/Cellular data M.2,

They apparently do, see the one I linked above. However as @jec6613pointed out below, there is more to it than that. 

 

I really think you just need a hotspot, @RamboPenguin

5800x/3090

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