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Definition: cellular data


The transmission of data via a cellular carrier. Cellular data is the default and provides access to the Internet when not within a Wi-Fi hotspot. Hotspots take precedence over cellular transmission (see Wi-Fi hotspot).

If cellular data is turned off, users that are not in Wi-Fi range cannot receive email, Web pages, videos, app downloads or software updates. Also called "mobile data," cellular data is measured and billed separately from phone calls. Text messaging (SMS) is also a separate service, although it is typically part of the phone plan (see carrier data plans). See SMS.