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Old 07-28-2012, 02:02 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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How to use SIM card with laptop?

I got a new lasptop and there is a SIM card slot. I have an extra card that came with my phone. I inserted the card but I dont see it in device manager. I guess it needs a driver or something.

Is there some sort of software that will let me make and receive phonecalls and use data on my laptop? I dont want to purchase something from TMobile. I'm paying for unlimited data, up to 5gb. There must be something that will allow my laptop to work as essentially a big phone.
  #2  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:27 PM
guizot guizot is offline
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Are you sure the slot on your computer isn't just an SD card slot (rather than a SIM card reader)? It's not normal for a computer to have a SIM card reader. If you put a SIM card into an SD card slot it won't be recognized by your OS.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:49 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Are you sure the slot on your computer isn't just an SD card slot (rather than a SIM card reader)? It's not normal for a computer to have a SIM card reader. If you put a SIM card into an SD card slot it won't be recognized by your OS.
Lots of laptops have cellular modems in them. It is a pretty common feature. However, the ones that I have seen have the sim card slot is under the battery. Unlike the SD slots which are easily accessible.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:58 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
Lots of laptops have cellular modems in them. It is a pretty common feature. However, the ones that I have seen have the sim card slot is under the battery. Unlike the SD slots which are easily accessible.
It is? I see 50-60 laptops a month, there are a handful of units that have a wireless/cell card but it is by far the exception not the rule. Also in those units the sim card slot is actually on the modem card itself, not an externally accessible socket.
  #5  
Old 07-28-2012, 03:29 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
It is? I see 50-60 laptops a month, there are a handful of units that have a wireless/cell card but it is by far the exception not the rule. Also in those units the sim card slot is actually on the modem card itself, not an externally accessible socket.
It certainly is for business laptops. The vast majority of laptops where I work have cell modems in them. I will agree that there are more laptops without cell modems but it is not an uncommon feature.
  #6  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:25 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Originally Posted by Quintas View Post
I got a new lasptop and there is a SIM card slot.
So what is the make and model?
  #7  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:29 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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Quintas, can you provide the model number for your laptop? That will let us see the specs and verify if it really has a SIM slot.


-D/a
  #8  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:53 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Are you sure the slot on your computer isn't just an SD card slot (rather than a SIM card reader)? It's not normal for a computer to have a SIM card reader. If you put a SIM card into an SD card slot it won't be recognized by your OS.
Yep. Its a Dell XPS. Documentation says 'SIM card slot". Pull the battery out and the slot is behind the battery.

The SD card slot is on the front edge, just below the touchpad.
  #9  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:58 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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Dell System XPS L502X
  #10  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:04 PM
Jake Jones Jake Jones is offline
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What was the intended use of the "extra" T-Mobile SIM card? I don't think you need a driver or anything else. I think you have an unactivated T-Mobile SIM, and I don't think that they intended for you to put it into any device you wanted for "unlimited data, up to 5GB." WTF is that supposed to mean, anyway? Unlimited, except for the limit?
  #11  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:12 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
What was the intended use of the "extra" T-Mobile SIM card? I don't think you need a driver or anything else. I think you have an unactivated T-Mobile SIM, and I don't think that they intended for you to put it into any device you wanted for "unlimited data, up to 5GB."
I dunno why. But i've tested both cards on my phone. Both work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
WTF is that supposed to mean, anyway? Unlimited, except for the limit?
Most carriers are doing that. I agree the wording is disingenuous. It's unlimited data a 4G speeds up to 5 GB. After that its throttled back to EDGE speed until the end of billing cycle. I've never come close to using 5GB on my phone, but i guess some were tethering their phone to computer and using 4G as primary internet access. In that case you would exceed 5GB pretty quick.

I have DSL at home, I just thought it would be nice to use my cellular data if im occasionally somewhere with my laptop and no other access. I can already do that by tethering the phone to my laptop, but since i've got a SIM slot, why not use it?
  #12  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:15 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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illustration from manual:

http://i46.tinypic.com/1239vg2.jpg

Card pops right in, but I dont see it in device manager and I dont see any software on the computer or on the Dell disks or website to utilise it.
  #13  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:17 PM
Jake Jones Jake Jones is offline
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Originally Posted by Quintas View Post
I dunno why. But i've tested both cards on my phone. Both work.
Fair enough. Could it be a two devices online at once thing, then? Have you tried your laptop with SIM while your phone is off?
  #14  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:31 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Do you have to enable the SIM card slot or the WWAN card slot in the BIOS? Also, do you have either a 5540 HSPA or a 5620 EVDO-HSPA mobile broadband mini card?
  #15  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:31 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake Jones View Post
Fair enough. Could it be a two devices online at once thing, then? Have you tried your laptop with SIM while your phone is off?
yeah. I cant find any software. And nothing pops up on the taskbar to even indicate its there. I thought I might see an icon with an X through it like when LAN or wireless is not connected.
  #16  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:34 PM
FinsToTheLeft FinsToTheLeft is offline
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A number of the Dell XPS and business laptops have SIM slots but no 3G/4G radios. You can go to the Dell support sitehttp://support.dell.com, enter your service tag and look at your configuration as shipped from Dell.

If it shipped with a 3G radio, it should be in the part list.
  #17  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:34 PM
Quintas Quintas is offline
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Do you have to enable the SIM card slot or the WWAN card slot in the BIOS? Also, do you have either a 5540 HSPA or a 5620 EVDO-HSPA mobile broadband mini card?
I checked BIOS, nothing to activate. I can activate/deactivate ethernet and wireless, but didnt see anything for SIM.

As to the mini-card. I'm not familiar with the devices you mentioned. SIM card is all I have.
  #18  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:42 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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The tech specs for that model computer mention those two cards for mobile broadband options. Did you check the parts list that FinsToTheLeft mentioned?
  #19  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:42 PM
Jake Jones Jake Jones is offline
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You see nothing in control panel under modems or network adaptors? For the taskbar, have you customized it to show icon and notifications for network?

You're probably reluctant to do this, but have you contacted T-Mobile to see if they approve of using your spare SIM in this way? If they don't want you connecting via laptop for obvious potential bandwidth differences from your phone, it would be fairly trivial for them to prevent this use.
  #20  
Old 07-28-2012, 05:44 PM
Jake Jones Jake Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsToTheLeft View Post
A number of the Dell XPS and business laptops have SIM slots but no 3G/4G radios. You can go to the Dell support sitehttp://support.dell.com, enter your service tag and look at your configuration as shipped from Dell.

If it shipped with a 3G radio, it should be in the part list.
I would have never thought of this, but it makes perfect sense on an economies of scale basis. SIM slot that interfaces to... absolutely nothing.
  #21  
Old 09-30-2013, 05:45 PM
xxgr33dxx xxgr33dxx is offline
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the sim card is not for use with an actual sim card used for phones. the sim card used is a strict Data only card. if your laptop has an accessable sim card slot and you havent had to change your harddrive (meaning you are still useing the one that came with the laptop) and have not had to wipe it clean then all you need to do is find a carrier that will send you sim card that is strictly for laptop data use. you will need to pay it like anyother montly phone bill.
  #22  
Old 09-30-2013, 09:07 PM
astro astro is offline
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Per the other posts the SIM card slot is simply there due to the fact that some versions of your notebook have active cellular modems. Yours does not, the the SIM card slot does not attach to the MB electronically, the slot is just molded in as part of the notebook chassis hardware.

The easiest way to get your notebook to work using your carrier bandwidth is to activate the wireless router mode of your smartphone and have it serve the notebook via wifi. My carrier Verizon offers this option for around a dollar or so a day. It has a 5 gig monthly limit and does not use your phones data plan. You can activate or deactivate the plan as you wish. This normally does require a newer smartphone that can act as a wireless router using the carrier data feed.

Last edited by astro; 09-30-2013 at 09:08 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-01-2013, 01:40 AM
gaffa gaffa is online now
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My HP Elitebook has a SIM slot, even though I don't have the cellular data module. But the slot for it is right above the wi-fi module slot, and it has cables for the cell antenna.
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