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Helium takes a novel approach to LPWAN with cryptocurrency model

Low power WAN provider Helium has fired up its LongFi offering in 425 US cities, using “over 1,000” of its ad hoc hotspots to provide what could be a pretty compelling spanner in the works for LPWAN rivals. Its Unlicensed-LPWAN proposition, powered by gateways sold to its customers, could mop up a tidy chunk of the market in urban environments, and it is something that many network providers need to worry about. The business model is compelling. Customers that buy a $500 gateway are promised pay-outs in the form of the namesake Helium cryptocurrency, which is mined by the hotspots and denoted by the activity of the local network. Somewhat equivalent to a LoRa base station, or perhaps a WiFi…

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