How to Install an HSDPA USB Modem

by Maxwell Payne

An HSDPA USB modem is a small external device that allows a computer with a USB port to connect to high-speed 3G wireless networks. 3G networks are high-speed networks often maintained by cellular service providers to allow cell phone handsets to access the Internet. The modem connects to a computer's available USB port and is sometimes supplied by the cell phone service provider that the user has signed up with for 3G network access.

Step 1

Purchase an HSDPA USB modem. These modems are often available directly from the cell phone service provider, packaged in a bundle pack when a person signs up for a plan that allows access to the network. Modems may also be found at certain electronics stores for between US$50 to $100.

Step 2

Sign a contract or activate a 3G network plan with a service provider. Some companies that provide this service include Vodaphone, T-Mobile and Movistar. The service may not be available in all countries.

Step 3

Turn on the computer and plug the HSDPA modem into an available USB port. If the modem came with a 3G package from a provider, the software is already installed on the device. The device will self-install the needed software on any Windows-based PC. The modem is compatible with Mac OSX systems and Linux systems. Read the included instructions to determine if a download of additional software is needed for non-Windows systems.

Use the modem to access high-speed Internet connections through the service provider's cellular 3G network. There is no need to purchase a separate wireless router or modem.


  • Some HSDPA modems sold from a service provider may be locked units, much like some service providers sell locked cell phones and PDAs. This means that locked modems will only function on the network for which they were purchased.


  • It can be more cost effective to obtain the modem through a bundle package sold through a cellular service provider rather than purchasing a modem from a retail store.

About the Author

Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.

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