Helium Mobile, which is leading the charge in the decentralized wireless (DeWi) space, today announced a $5 no-contract plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data for consumers in Miami.
The company said it’s able to offer this plan because “we figured out how to combine T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network with the people-powered network from Helium. We call this Dynamic Coverage.”
The people-powered part of the network comes from hotspots owned and operated by people who join the Helium Network. Participants buy a Helium-compatible hotspot from one of the manufacturers approved by Helium and are rewarded via cryptocurrency.
The other coverage piece is provided by T-Mobile through an MVNO arrangement. When the Helium network isn't available, customers can use T-Mobile's 5G network. A Helium spokesperson confirmed that data speeds may be reduced after 30 GB per billing cycle.
Helium started in the IoT space and claims it’s the fastest-growing wireless network and the largest LoRaWAN network worldwide. The open source mobile network now has deployments in more than 1,500 cities across the U.S.
Miami is first
According to Helium, Miami was selected as the first market for the $5/month launch because that’s what Helium community members voted for on X, formerly known as Twitter. Starting today, anyone in Miami can sign up at https://hellohelium.com/miami for the plan.
Nova Labs is the original founding team behind the Helium Network. According to Nova Labs, its interest in pioneering the decentralized wireless communications space is two-fold: to solve the “unnecessary fragmentation” and costs that plague connectivity, and to enable people to genuinely benefit from the success of their mobile carrier through Helium Mobile.
“Miami is the ideal launching point for Helium Mobile because of the existing vibrant Helium Network and as the home of immense crypto development,” said Boris Renski, Nova Labs Wireless general manager, in a statement. “It only makes sense that Helium Mobile develops its ground-breaking service in the City of Miami to demonstrate the potential of a people-powered network.”
Asked via email about what customers need to do in order to get the $5/month deal, Helium said: “We are confident that with the help of our community and starting in Miami that we can build this at scale and expand people-built coverage, allowing us to pass the cost savings on to our subscribers today.”
By opting in to help map the Helium Network and improve coverage, subscribers can earn MOBILE tokens and other rewards. Helium Mobile also promises high privacy standards and says customer data will never be sold to third parties.
Plans call for adding additional metro markets later this year, but Helium isn’t saying how many markets will get added. Where it goes next will be determined by the community, a spokesperson told Fierce, declining to say how many community members are part of the Helium Network.