Always Connected PCs FAQ

How do I activate my new Always Connected PC?
Activating a device on a cellular network is just like activating a smartphone. It’s the process by which a user account is created and a user is uniquely identified to the network. This can be done in three ways:
  • At a Microsoft Store location, where our retail sales staff will help you complete the process.
  • At the retail location of a cellular carrier, where the retail staff will help you complete the process for that carrier.
  • Online, where you activate the device yourself. To do that, first turn on your new Always Connected PC and follow the steps in the standard Windows setup process. Next, on your new PC, visit the appropriate cellular carrier website below to complete the activation:
AT&T –

Sprint –

Verizon –

When activating online, you might be asked to enter your PC’s IMEI number. To learn the number, click the Windows Start button, select Network and Internet, select Cellular, then select Advanced Options. Now you will see your IMEI number. Input your IMEI number in the appropriate field on the website and follow the on-screen directions to complete the activation process. (If you are activating your device at a Microsoft Store location or a carrier’s retail location, retail staff will do all this for you.)

What carriers can I activate my Always Connected PC on?
Microsoft Store partners with these three carriers in the United States: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. All three of these networks have been certified to achieve 4G/LTE speed in the US. Your Always Connected PC will work on any of them.

Always Connected PC devices ship unlocked, so you also could choose to connect to a carrier other than AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. If you want to do that, you will need to contact that carrier to obtain additional information.

What does it mean to have a “locked” device versus an “unlocked” device? Is my Always Connected PC “locked” or “unlocked”?
A device is “locked” when it is restricted to a single network. An “unlocked” device can be used on more than one network. All Always Connected PCs are unlocked, so you have the flexibility of choosing the carrier that’s best for you.

What is a SIM card, what kind does my Always Connected PC use, and why do I need one?
A SIM (subscriber identity module) card is a microchip that is inserted into a compatible mobile device that uniquely identifies that device and connects it to a mobile cellular network.

Always Connected PCs that feature the Snapdragon mobile PC platform use a Nano SIM (for Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon), which you can get for free during the online checkout process or when purchasing at a Microsoft Store location.

How long do I have to wait after I activate before I can access the web with my Always Connected PC?
Typically, you'll be able to access the network, and from there the internet, within a few minutes. However, it may take up to 24 hours.

How much will a data plan for my Always Connected PC cost?
Just as with mobile phones, carriers offer a variety of data plans at different price points with different amounts of data included. For plan options, visit a participating carrier’s website:
AT&T –

Sprint –

Verizon –

Do I need to provide any personal information to activate my Always Connected PC?
Yes. Because you’ll be creating/activating an account with a carrier of your choice, you’ll need to provide certain information to that carrier. That information might include but is not limited to your name, address, email, and phone. In addition, your carrier of choice might also require a credit check in advance of activating your account. Visit the webpages listed under the previous question to see the specific information required, or come to a Microsoft Store location and we will assist you in getting your Always Connected PC activated with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.

Can I switch from my current network carrier to a new carrier?
The devices are unlocked, so you have the option to switch carriers. You should contact your current carrier to understand if there are any fees associated with switching carriers. The process for switching varies, so contact your preferred carrier for assistance.

Can I add my new Always Connected PC to my existing carrier plan?
Contact your current carrier for more details and plan options.

How can I tell if my device has an active 4G/LTE connection in Windows 10?
Whenever you have a connection to a network, whether via Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE, you will see a set of bars in the System Tray (at the bottom right of your screen) that indicates the signal strength of your connection. The longer the bar, the stronger the signal.

What is LTE?
Long Term Evolution (LTE), sometimes referred to as 4G, is a cellular standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile devices such as a smartphone or Always Connected PC.