According to DigiTimes, notebooks, eBook readers, slate PCs, and other devices with built-in 3G modems could start to outsell USB 3G modules by 2012. We’ve definitely seen a growing number of netbooks and larger notebooks with integrated broadband modems in the past year or two, and most of the major wireless carriers are now selling subsidized notebooks to customers that purchase a data plan to go with it — much the way they’ve been selling 3G USB modems for the past few years.

There’s no doubt that an integrated 3G modem is a more elegant solution than carrying around a separate modem just to get online. But there’s a major advantage to the two-piece solution: It’s not tied to a single device. USB modems can be paired with multiple computers. And we’ve seen the introduction of the MiFi and other devices that are essentially portable mobile broadband  hubs, allowing you to connect multiple computers to a 3G or 4G data streams over a WiFi connection.

But you know who really cares about being able to connect multiple computers to the net with a single modem? Geeks like you and me. And while we’re definitely part of the target market for 3G modems, let’s be honest: Most laptop users buy a single computer and use it for a couple of years before replacing it. An integrated modem is probably a better deal for those customers. But I think I’ll be keeping my USB WiMAX dongle for now.

via SlashGear

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6 replies on “USB 3G modems on the way out?”

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  2. A built in one is no good if you have poor indoors reception. I have my dongle dangling outside the window on a USB extension cable. We don’t have ADSL in these ‘ere parts.

  3. I would rather have an USB modem than have it build in. One could use it on multiple computers and upgrade the computer without having to get another data plan. I agree with you, I rather keep my 3g usb modem. 🙂

  4. Internal 3G modems are still connected via USB, they’re just usually in a Mini PCIe form factor. But some models now are starting to use a module that plugs in via a cable much like the existing internal bluetooth module used in many systems.

    The size of these cards are also shrinking all the time. So they may just switch to a type of dongle that just plugs in internally, along with many other possibilities that will be opened up once USB 3.0 becomes standard.

  5. … and I will for sure keep my Rogers Rocket Stick. Then when the contract is up, I will likely upgrade to their HSPA+ service. Integrated 3G modems are a total pain, I wouldn’t want to have to mess around with connecting/disconnecting the SIM every time I want to switch to another device – I use 3G with 5 different devices, thank you.

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