Cellular Coverage for Kindle eBook Readers Explained

Kindle Cellular Coverage Map

The Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis both have the option to add cellular wireless so you can easily shop for and download Kindle ebooks on the go, even in places without Wi-Fi.

The coverage is provided by AT&T’s 4G LTE network in the US and AT&T partner networks outside the US. Wireless coverage is available in over 100 countries worldwide. They use 4G, 3G, EDGE, and GPRS, depending on the coverage area.

Coverage is pretty widespread but it’s a good idea to check the Kindle cellular coverage map to make sure it will work in your area.

Kindles are the only ebook readers with the option for cellular connectivity.

Unlike older Kindles, cellular wireless can only be used to access Amazon’s store and Wikipedia. You can’t use the web browser to surf the web, for instance. That will only work over Wi-Fi.

They call it “free wireless” because you never have to pay a monthly fee for cellular coverage (Amazon pays for that), but the wireless models do cost more initially, $70 more for the Kindle Paperwhite and $50 more for the Kindle Oasis compared to their equivalent Wi-Fi only models.

Downloading ebooks from Amazon is free using cellular coverage but one thing to be aware of is they do charge to deliver personal documents, so you’re better off using Wi-Fi for that to avoid extra fees. You can also set a limit of how much you’re willing to pay for document delivery. See the Kindle personal documents service fees page at Amazon for more information.

12 Responses to “Cellular Coverage for Kindle eBook Readers Explained”

  1. Original Nooks had cellular — maybe another reason they dropped support for that model.

  2. Something to note… I mostly use the library to check out ebooks. If you’ve done this, you know that the book shoots over to Amazon where you finish checking out. The cellular version doesn’t work with this, it prompts you to connect to Wi-Fi even though you’re now in Amazon’s realm. That’s the only reason why I bought the cellular version, so hopefully this bit of information is useful to somebody else.

  3. Besides allowing ebook downloads from everywhere (which for me is no so important) the wireless option always keeps your reading progress synced between devices.

  4. hello Nathan, I use a much easier way: the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on my Samsung. It works with my Kindle and my Kobo ereaders!

    • How having to use your mobile as a hotspot is a much easier solution?

      I’m replacing my Voyage WiFi by a PaperWhite 4G for the convenience of purchasing / downloading / syncing my readings on the go, anywhere I can be.
      And I won’t pay for roaming data when I’m abroad.

  5. I feel the cellular models are way too expensive especially since you can get free wifi most places anymore except nook. many wifi routes you to a web page to login and nook does not have the browser function thus you can not log into many of the free wifi sites

    • It depends where you live, if you travel outside your own country, if you value the syncing of your reading any time… Some free WiFI can be insecure, not reliable or very slow too.
      And the price difference is only when you buy your Kindle, you have no monthly fee after even when you travel.

      As I understand it’s not worth the price for some, for others, rely on free WiFi or mobile hotspot is not a viable solution.

  6. I have an old 2nd generation kindle that is 3g and I manually updated the software but it will not register my account it says it’s unable to connect to a network…? I But it appears as though the network for the 3g readers is still up and running…Ideas please?

  7. Nathan, it should be noted that US and international Kindles have different coverage areas: https://www.reddit.com/r/kindle/comments/bt02j1/eu_oasis_7_3g_has_different_wireless_covrage/