Crypto startup Helium partnering with Dish to build a wireless network
Helium is working with internet giant Dish to build a wireless network powered by users.
According to Dish Network, it intends to use the 5G network being built by startup Helium, decentralized internet network; this will allow Dish Network to expand its 5G coverage to a network Helium's customers built. The company said in a press release that it is no stranger to blockchain technology, having accepted bitcoin payments as far back as 2014.
As a result of this move, Helium's efforts to finance the construction of wireless networks owned and operated by its customers, who are paid in cryptocurrency via Helium’s network, are likely to gain a greater focus.
Chris Ergen, the director of Dish, office of innovation, explained, "As we build out Dish's 5G facilities-based network, we will continue to look for innovative technologies and business models that complement or support our wireless business."
According to Helium, the deal announced Tuesday marks the first time Helium and a major carrier have collaborated. Helium operates a decentralized internet network over 250,000 hotspots.
Helenum's first LongFi network was built for IoT devices, such as sensors and trackers. Additional 500,000 nodes are back-ordered by the company, suggesting that there will be an expansion of scale in the near future.
That network was not designed to handle smartphones, tablets, or laptops, but the new 5G network established in partnership with FreedomFi is. Network operators are compensated in HNT, a token mined by the hotspots themselves, which can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
The hotspots are run in collaboration with FreedomFi, a 5G business that specializes in private networks.
Helium announced a $111 million fundraising round in August to scale its decentralized network, led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
The company announced a partnership with the City of San Jose, California in September, aiming to fund internet access for low-income households through funds raised by LongFi nodes operated by volunteers.
According to CoinGecko, HNT stock jumped from $21.85 to $22.66 as a result of the announcement.
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