Question Laptop support for SIM cards?

Jul 1, 2022
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Is support for SIM cards even a thing in laptops, other than the ones that the carriers sell you?

I called Verizon and AT&T tele-sales and they both claim that the only laptops that are supported are the ones that they sell, which doesn't include a whole lot. Verizon pitched me a USB modem, which doesn't really appeal to me, since I don't want to worry about losing/forgetting to bring it.

My work-issued laptop is an HP Elitebook that has a Verizon SIM card. It works fine in that laptop.

Just to test it, I put that SIM card in two different laptops that have SIM trays (two different Lenovo Thinkpad Yogas). It didn't work in either one, though I suspect that you probably have to actually activate the specific device on the Verizon end.

Does anybody have any exprience using SIM cards in laptops (other than those provided by the mobile carriers)?
 
Your problem isn't actually the sim card. The sim card is mostly a security device it does not contain the key part which makes vendors different and that is the radio transmitters.

Although it is getting more and more standard you still find many devices that can not function on the radio bands used by all mobile providers. I think this is intentional to get around the laws requiring them to unlock stuff. They technically have not locked the sim but the device was manufactured with radios that only support a limited number of vendors.

You have to read the detail specs and see what radio chips they are using. They will generally tell which LTE bands they support. There are lists of which you want but I doubt for example you will ever find a device that can run on every cell provider in every country. Many cell phones though are getting closer.

Because what you want is rather a niche thing I suspect it is going to be easier and cheaper to used a external modem/dongle. You still have the same issue with these dongles and the radio bands but they are fairly inexpensive compared to the monthly fee for the service.
 
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