How to Use the Cellular Data Network for Your Samsung Galaxy Tablet

By Dan Gookin

The cellular Samsung Galaxy tablet is designed to connect to the Internet by using the digital cellular network. This network is the same type used by smartphones and cellular modems to wirelessly connect to the Internet.

Several types of digital cellular networks are available:

  • 4G LTE: The fourth generation of wide-area data networks is up to ten times faster than the 3G network and is the latest craze in cellular networking. Many major carriers are busily covering the country in a coat of 4G LTE paint; if the signal isn’t available in your area now, it will be soon.

  • 3G: The third generation of wide-area data networks is several times faster than the previous generation of data networks.

  • 1X: Several types of the original, slower cellular data signals are still available. They all fall under the 1X banner. It’s slow.

Your tablet always uses the best network available. So, if the 4G LTE network is within reach, that network is used for Internet communications. Otherwise, the 3G network is chosen, and then 1X in an act of last-ditch desperation.

  • A notification icon for the type of network being used appears in the status area, right next to the Signal Strength icon.

  • Accessing the digital cellular network isn’t free. Your tablet most likely has some form of subscription plan for a certain quantity of data. When you exceed that quantity, the costs can become prohibitive.

  • A better way to connect your Galaxy tablet to the Internet is to use the Wi-Fi signal. The digital cellular network signal makes for a great fallback because it’s available in more places than Wi-Fi is.