The Cellular Data Network and Your Samsung Galaxy Tab - dummies

The Cellular Data Network and Your Samsung Galaxy Tab

By Dan Gookin

The cellular Galaxy Tab is designed to connect to the Internet by using the digital cellular network. This signal is the same type used by cell phones and cellular modems to wirelessly connect to the Internet.

Wi-Fi–only Galaxy Tabs can’t access the digital cellular network.

Several types of digital cellular networks are available:

4G LTE: The fourth generation of wide-area data network is as much as ten times faster than the 3G network and is the latest craze in cellular networking. Verizon is 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. This type of wireless signal is the most popular in the United States.

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

Your Galaxy Tab 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.

  • 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 Galaxy Tab 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 Tab 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.