IoT gets boost in US with Helium expanding public LoRaWAN network


The partnership between Helium and US LoRaWAN network provider Senet opens the way for the scaling of Internet of Things (IoT) applications in US.

The blockchain-based Helium network, which also styles itself the ‘People’s network’, is conceived as a decentralised LoRaWAN wireless network implemented by individual owners who earn rewards as ‘hotspot’ operators for connecting devices to the internet.

The agreement between Helium and Senet provides for roaming across the networks, enabling Senet users to access over 175,000 Helium hotspots across the US.

Helium-compatible hotspot owners can look forward to increased network traffic – and increased rewards based on the accumulated data transfer and ‘proof-of-coverage in the form of HNT cryptocurrency – generated by high-density IoT applications being deployed by Senet customers.

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Among these are smart water meter reading, asset tracking, logistics and supply chain monitoring and other smart city services. Currently, these customers represent well over one billion transactions processed on the Senet network annually.

“Senet’s dominant position in the commercial LoRaWAN network market and experience with scaled IoT solution deployments are examples of the success we look for as we partner to deliver value to the Helium ecosystem,” said Amir Haleem, Helium’s CEO and co-founder.

Helium, founded in 2013, has grown rapidly and counts over 186,000 hotspots in over 15,000 cities across the world, mostly in the US, Europe and China.

More than 500,000 additional hotspots are currently back-ordered waiting to come online and over 50 new manufacturers are waiting for approval to build and sell the compatible hardware.

Senet has deployed its LoRaWAN network in over half the states in the US and covering over 1,300 cities. The provider previously indicated its intention to expand its coverage with third party LoRaWAN networks, of which the Helium agreement is the first.

Bruce Chatterley, CEO of Senet, adds: “The combination of extended network coverage and the potential economic incentive of HNT puts Senet and the Helium Network in a leading position to move the market a step closer to pervasive low power wide area network coverage for IoT applications throughout the United States.”