DISH Network Corporation is partnering with Helium Inc., to allow its users to roam on to hotspots deployed in neighborhoods and offices and become the first major carrier to use Helium Network’s blockchain-based incentive model for customers that deploy their own 5G CBRS-based hotspots.
The Helium Network is a consumer-deployed, decentralized wireless infrastructure that uses data-forwarding hotspots. By installing a hotspot in the home or office, a customer can provide 5G wireless coverage using CBRS spectrum. In return, a customer will earn rewards in the form of $HNT, a Helium network-based token.
The Helium decentralized wireless network coverage has grown to more than 240,000 LoRA-based hotspots across 21,000 cities in North America, Europe and Asia. There are more than 500,000 additional hotspots currently back-ordered and over 50 new manufacturers waiting to be approved to build and sell Helium-compatible hardware.
In September, GigSky, a global data provider, launched the first cellular mobile plan on Helium 5G, where the GigSky users can seamlessly roam between its U.S. nationwide network and the Helium-based CBRS offload network. The eSIM-based cellular data plan will use CBRS small cell infrastructure deployed by the Helium blockchain community and will be available in the GigSky mobile app.
No stranger to blockchain, DISH began accepting Bitcoin in 2014, as payment for its subscription-based TV programming. The company also went on to add Bitcoin Cash as a payment option in 2018, and the following year, GoChain added DISH as a signing node on its public network. Additionally, DISH and Input Output Global, the technology company behind the Cardano blockchain, announced a partnership agreement to build a variety of blockchain-based services together.
Also in September, Helium announced another roaming partnership with Senet, which operates operates a large, densely deployed public carrier-grade LoRaWAN network in the United States, deployed in over 29 states, covering over 1,300 cities, serving a population of over 55 million people, and processing millions of transactions daily.