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Data Credits Will Soon Be Live on the Helium Network | by Mark Phillips | Jul, 2020


Device data transfer fees

Charging devices to transfer data and reward Hotspot owners that forward device data is a big milestone that is approaching soon.

Currently users of the network can transfer data for free, however, in the coming weeks any device that transfers data over the network will need to use Data Credits.

When will I need to pay for data device transfer?

We are targeting the end of July AFTER we deploy the ability to purchase Data Credits with credit cards directly from Console.

How much packet data can I send with 1 Data Credit?

There will always be one DC per transmission minimum. One Data Credit equals 24 bytes of payload. So a packet may be larger with other networking information, but if the payload is 24 bytes of data or less, it still costs one Data Credit.

What if my payload is more than 24 bytes, how many Data Credits will it cost?

Any number that exceeds 24 bytes is rounded up, so a packet with 25 bytes would cost the same as one with 47 bytes, i.e., 2 Data Credits. See table for examples:

What about Downlink packets? Do they cost Data Credits too?

No. Only uplinks cost Data Credits.

What about initial Join Uplink?

Yes, these will cost Data Credits as well, one for Join Uplink. Data Credits are not needed for ACKs.

How can I acquire Data Credits?

You can directly acquire Data Credits using Console either using a credit card or converting HNT. We are targeting the Console Data Credit purchase with credit cards for 7/13.

To be clear the only way Data Credits are created is by converting HNT, however, Helium Inc. is making it easy for customers to purchase Data Credits with a credit card.

During the credit card purchase process Helium Inc converts the required number of HNT into Data Credits for the customer and deposits them into their Console account.

When can I acquire Data Credits using HNT?

After the work for credit card payment has completed, the team will focus on the capability to use HNT to acquire Data Credits. We anticipate the work will be completed in July.

Will I still need to pay to test devices?

Regardless of production or testing if you’re sending data over the network you will need a Data Credit balance.

Every signed up Helium Console account will receive an initial free 10,000 Data Credits total for use within a single Organization defined during Console signup.

After a user acquires Data Credits either with a credit card or HNT, these free Data Credits will be added to the overall Data Credit pool.

Existing Console accounts will also receive this free balance. If an existing Console account has multiple Organizations then the Organization with the most devices will receive these Data Credits.

Who pays the credit card fees? For example if I pay $10 how much of that will get converted to Data Credits?

Helium pays the credit card fees.

Is there a minimum amount I need to pay for Data Credits?

Yes, the minimum you can add both initially and for auto renewal is $10.

What happens if I don’t have enough Data Credits?

If your balance is zero your devices will be unable to transfer data on the Helium Network. Device data will be dropped and not be forwarded onto their desired destination. We’ll notify you when your balance is at $5 and when it reaches $0.

Is there an autopayment option to avoid running out of Data Credits?

Yes, in Console you can define an autopayment option when your balance reaches the equivalent of $5 worth of Data Credits remaining.

Are taxes included in the price?

No. The pricing does not include taxes. We may be required to collect taxes in certain jurisdictions where local regulations require us to collect them.

Do Data Credits expire?

No. Data Credits never expire.

Can I share my Data Credits with someone else or to another Helium Account or resell them?

No. Data Credits are non-transferable, are not resellable, and cannot be used for anything other than paying for the blockchain fees listed above.

Can I convert Data Credits back to HNT?

No. HNT to Data Credits is a one-way conversion. It is not possible to convert Data Credits to HNT.

Can I transfer Data Credits to other Organizations?

Yes. Any Data Credits you acquire either with a credit card or with HNT can be shared among other Organizations. However, initial Data Credits included free with Console for use within a single organization.

Once you acquire Data Credits with a credit card or with HNT, the free Data Credits will be automatically added to your overall pool and can be transferred to other Organizations.

What about users who want to try or test and not enter a credit card?

In the coming weeks, to minimize friction from users trying Console and the network we’ll provide 10,000 Data Credits to:

  • new user sign ups
  • existing Console users

Are there any tax or legal implications of these free Data Credits?

We advise users to consult tax or legal professionals on any implications of receiving these free Data Credits.

What if I set up multiple integrations? Will I be charged for multiple packets?

No. Users will only be charged for the initial payload sent from the device to the Hotspot even if it is forwarded to multiple integrations.



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