What if you could get 5G from your neighbor? This is the vision that has motivated us from the early days of Helium — a distributed future where wireless infrastructure is built, maintained, and controlled by anyone and everyone, including your neighbor. Fast forward to the present, that vision is now becoming a reality just two years after officially launching the Helium Network in 2019.
Helium represents a fundamentally new blockchain-based approach with a radically reduced cost structure to deploying and managing a wireless network at scale. With over 256,000 Hotspots now live across 22,431 cities and 144 countries, we’ve proven there’s power in wireless infrastructure owned, and operated by the people.
Back in April, we shared the path to 5G, the second major wireless network supported by the Helium blockchain. Today we take a huge step in our mission with the announcement of a Helium 5G partnership between DISH and Helium Inc.
An innovator in the telco space, DISH understands the tremendous impact blockchain can make on the industry and the benefits of an $HNT incentive model. With their partnership, both consumers and enterprises will benefit from this novel approach and Helium 5G will reach a much broader audience.
Helium 5G was approved by the community less than 6 months ago to enable connectivity for high-bandwidth devices such as phones. Starting in September, FreedomFi began shipping the first batch of compatible gateways to consumers across the US with an incredible backlog of demand. By the end of 2022, FreedomFi predicts Helium 5G could span over 40,000 small cells, making it larger than many small cell networks to date.
In addition to the first gateways being deployed, we’re also seeing a significant increase in network providers and MVNOs wanting to offer roaming on the Helium Network to their own customer base, which includes Fortune 500 companies with IoT deployments such as Volvo and Cisco to consumers with compatible 5G phones. GigSky recently launched the very first cellular mobile plan on Helium 5G, where the GigSky app will seamlessly roam between its US nationwide network and the Helium-based CBRS offload network, prioritizing the latter where coverage is available and optimizing cost to the consumer.
And today, DISH becomes the first major carrier in the telco industry to join us in our mission by extending the Helium Network with customers deploying their own Helium 5G CBRS-based Hotspots. Imagine a city like Miami powered by Helium 5G where the customer benefits from the flywheel of network incentives and the connected infrastructure it enables. While it sounds like an audacious vision far from what we know, it is actually a reality just around the corner thanks to the community and Helium 5G partners like DISH, FreedomFi, and Gigsky. Soon, you really will be able to get 5G from your neighbor.
This is a monumental moment for The People’s Network and a tipping point on the path to 5G we will look back on for years to come. With this announcement, we’re thrilled to welcome DISH to the ecosystem as we work together to push the bounds of what’s possible on Helium 5G.
To get involved, check out helium.com/5G and sign up for the FreedomFi 5G Gateway waitlist here. And if you’re new to Helium, it’s not too late to learn more and join the movement. You know what to do: