An Aircard by Any Other Name is Exactly the Same

Aircard is a term for mobile broadband devices. It was probably first used by Sierra, an aircard manufacturer. But the term is certainly not the only one used. Each company that sells mobile broadband seems to have a different word for these gadgets.

AT&T calls theirs connect cards. This isn't a bad term. It's short and explains what the card is good for.

At my local Alltel store, they advertise them as data cards. That's a bit confusing because some people use that term for cards that store data or software.

I've heard people refer to these devices as 3G cards. That makes sense due to the fact that they may use of 3G (third generation) signal technology. Maybe when 3G is replaced by 4G we'll start calling them 4G cards.

The term broadband card or mobile broadband card is becoming popular, though some would argue that the cards seldom reach "broadband" speeds. They do offer high speeds, especially when compared to dial-up.

Another synonym for aircard is wireless card or 3G wireless. I don't like this one because "wireless card" can also mean a card that connects a computer to a wi-fi system, which is very different than 3G.

You may have heard of other terms for aircards. If so, let me know in the comments.


  1. Great post on Wireless 3G and 4G aircards. Thanks for sharing.


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