Can Helium Compete With Verizon For 5G Cellular Coverage In 2022?

11 min read

Helium Network 5G Hotspots

The following article was posted by Sales Wallet on Medium. The article discusses some of the reasons Helium may become a top 10 cryptocurrency in 2022.  One of the biggest reasons is Helium’s entry into the 5G cellular market. In general, building out the 5G network infrastructure is an expensive proposition, with lots more expensive cell towers to be built. That’s where Helium comes in. Using the same decentralized peer-to-peer network model introduced for the low power, long range IoT connectivity network, Helium is able to incentivize regular people to buy and set up Hotspot devices in their homes. Helium pays its Hotspot hosts in HNT, its native cryptocurrency token and is able to compete on cost in the unlicensed 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum band. Helium doesn’t need to go head-to-head with Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile. Instead it provides supplementary coverage for mobile virtual network operators, who provide the majority of phone carrier options in the U.S.

Helium Network 5G Hotspots

Did you know that governments have shut down the internet almost a thousand times over the last five years this was done for no other reason than to silence descent, and it underscores the importance of having a decentralized peer-to-peer internet that can’t be turned off by power-hungry politicians this is exactly what Helium is hoping to become today I’m going to give you a quick explanation of what Helium is bringing you up to speed on some of the project’s most important updates, and tell you why HNT could become a top 10 cryptocurrency.

Helium Explained

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Helium here’s the tldr Helium was founded in 2013 by sean fanning sean carey, and amir haleem, and even though it’s always had the same mission it didn’t become a crypto project until 2018. Helium was created by Helium systems inc a for-profit software company based in the united states Helium’s development is coordinated by the decentralized wireless alliance a non-profit that also appears to be based in the united states Helium raised almost 40 million dollars in its early days from tech vcs including google ventures 15 million dollars from crypto vcs in 2019, and has since raised hundreds of millions more from both its main net went live in july 2019 following the deployment of the first physical devices which power its peer-to-peer networks now Helium consists of four components Helium hotspots the HNT cryptocurrency the Helium console, and the Helium blockchain Helium hotspots are physical devices which transmit wireless signals including long thigh, and 5G longfi is a low frequency signal with a long reach that’s used for iot compatible devices such as electric scooters, and 5G is a high frequency signal that’s used for well standard internet stuff Helium hotspots come in all shapes sizes, and configurations, and that’s because the instructions to make them are completely open source you could theoretically make a hotspot yourself if you wanted to there are also dozens of companies that create Helium hotspots if you prefer to buy rather than build, and the first hotspot manufacturer was Helium systems inc all companies that create Helium hotspots are thoroughly vetted by the decentralized wireless alliance, and approved via community governance over 600 000 Helium hotspots have been set up so far, and recent comments by Helium co-founder amir haleem suggest there are another 2.4 million waiting to be manufactured, and shipped the reason why people have been buying Helium hotspots is because you can earn Helium’s native cryptocurrency called HNT for broadcasting their longify, and 5G signals Helium hotspots earn HNT when they relay data packets from any devices connected to their peer-to-peer networks, and through a novel proof-of-work process called proof of coverage proof of coverage involves challenging other Helium hotspots that are within range to prove that they are transmitting a signal this incentivizes people to set up Helium hotspots in a mesh-like manner creating a massive peer-to-peer network individuals, and institutions can use a special dashboard called the Helium console to leverage this massive peer-to-peer network for their operations so far Helium has partnered with dozens of companies, and even the californian city of san jose naturally the Helium console isn’t free but its usage fees technically aren’t paid in HNT instead they’re paid for in data credits which are created by burning HNT, and are analogous to airline miles in that they cannot be sold cannot be transferred, and cannot be converted back into HNT data credits are also used to pay for all transactions on the Helium blockchain which is operated by nearly 3 500 validators who must take a minimum of 10 000 HNT, and lock it up for 5 months to earn about 5.3% per year delegation is not possible, and additional HNT staking doesn’t increase rewards the Helium blockchain was built from the ground up, and it can only process about two transactions per second this is because its purpose is not to support a booming defy ecosystem or nft marketplace but to securely power global decentralized peer-to-peer networks now all this barely scratches the surface of how Helium works, and I strongly suggest going back, and watching my first video about the project if anything I just said didn’t make sense that will be in the description.

Updates

It’s only been a few months since I last covered Helium but quite a bit has happened since then shortly after my last video about the project in october Helium announced the introduction of a new kind of hotspot called a data only hotspot data only hotspots are like regular hotspots except that they don’t participate in proof of coverage rewards, and don’t require elaborate hardware to operate data only hotspots effectively lower the cost of participation on the Helium network without compromising its proof of coverage process fyi all data transmitted on Helium is encrypted by default at the end of october Helium announced a partnership with dish network to bring peer-to-peer 5G to its 8 million customers specifically it’ll make it possible for dish network customers to deploy their own Helium 5G hotspots, and start earning HNT for providing 5G signal in november Helium experienced three severe network disruptions the first two were caused by abnormally large blocks being submitted to the Helium blockchain which validators were unable to process the third disruption was due to a synchronization issue that arose because of the second disruption to fix these issues Helium developers put a cap on the maximum block size, and improved the synchronization process between validators, and hotspots in january the decentralized wireless alliance announced the expansion of its grants program by adding two new advisors who will oversee upcoming projects that are building with or on Helium Helium also partnered with a project called data govs to monitor real-world data using Helium-compatible devices starting with the city of miami at the end of january greyscale announced that it was considering creating an HNT trust which would make it possible for institutions to invest in the project in a regulated manner unfortunately an HNT trust has yet to materialize more on that later in february Helium announced that it had released a software developer kit that will make it possible for Helium hotspot manufacturers to create their own custom mobile apps for their brand of hotspots Helium also announced that it had raised an additional 200 million dollars from various crypto vcs bringing the valuation of the company behind Helium to a handsome 1.2 billion now raising that amount of capital post ico is a sign that a crypto project is super legit, and you can learn about the other crypto projects that fall into this category by using the link in the description.

HNT Price Analysis

All these updates announcements, and developments have taken HNT on a tear, and though it’s fallen more than 50% from its all-time high it’s still in a strong uptrend this is actually somewhat surprising given hnt’s tokenomics those of you who watch my previous video about the project might recall that hnt’s initial inflation is fairly aggressive with its supply going from zero to 150 million in its first four years if my calculations are correct hnt’s circulating supply has increased by about 14 million in just the last four months assuming an average price of 30 that’s 420 million dollars of potential cell pressure while it’s very unlikely that all of this newly minted HNT was sold 35% of it went to the holders of Helium’s 10 000 security tokens as per the initial distribution schedule now I can’t seem to find any information about who exactly is holding these security tokens, and how many these entities hold but a recent interview with Helium coo suggests most of them are held by Helium’s investors rather than the team what’s interesting there is that one of Helium’s biggest investors is multi-coin capital, and it is insanely bullish on Helium as a project as such it’s safe to assume that it isn’t selling too much HNT if any even so a substantial chunk of hnt’s newly minted supply was likely sold because that remaining 65 is going to validators, and Helium hotspot operators as rewards funnily enough it looks like the biggest buyers of HNT have actually been Helium validators, and hotspot operators almost a thousand validators have been added since october, and each one must have purchased at least 10 000 HNT if you do the maths that’s almost 10 million HNT or 300 million dollars of buying pressure as for hotspot operators Helium’s documentation states that connecting a Helium hotspot to the blockchain costs forty dollars in data credits it also specifies that this connection cost is usually paid for by the manufacturer of that hotspot when it’s purchased almost four hundred thousand hotspots have been added since october, and that means each one bought, and burned 40 worth of HNT again if you do the maths that’s 16 million dollars of buying pressure this leaves around 100 million dollars of buying pressure unaccounted for, and I reckon that this outstanding amount came from speculative investors, and then some this speculative investing has obviously declined as the crypto market has struggled but recall that there are still around 2.4 million hotspot devices that are waiting to connect to Helium’s network this means HNT is basically guaranteed to see a minimum of 100 million dollars of buying pressure in the coming months which is a lot for an altcoin with a market cap of around two billion dollars the real question is whether HNT could really rally as a result, and the answer lies in Helium’s roadmap.

Roadmap

Although Helium doesn’t technically have a roadmap for 2022 upcoming milestones for the project can be found in Helium’s 2021 roadmap its blog posts interviews with the team, and Helium’s pending improvement proposals so starting with Helium’s 2021 roadmap it looks like it didn’t manage to meet many of its milestones last year so it’s likely that these will be met this year the first missing roadmap milestone relates to validators namely overstaking, and slashing in plain english this means validators will be able to earn more by staking more, and will also risk losing some or all of their stake if they try, and manipulate the network the second missing roadmap milestone relates to the proof of coverage protocol, and all the 2021 roadmap says is to be determined now I suspect this has to do with stuff like region-specific proof-of-coverage rewards that I covered in the previous Helium video the third missing roadmap milestone relates to introducing additional blockchains to Helium’s network something that’s much needed given its current bottlenecks the fourth, and final missing roadmap milestone relates to the development of unspecified decentralized applications which is again difficult to do given Helium’s blockchain when it comes to the upcoming milestones in Helium’s blog posts most of these can be found in Helium’s year-end recap for 2021. first Helium will introduce additional light hotspots that will make it easier for people to join the network right now regular Helium hotspots cost between 500, and a thousand dollars, and light hotspots are expected to cost up to 10 times less than that while offering the same rewards, and features second Helium will seek to secure additional roam agreements for its networks for context roam agreements make it possible for individuals, and institutions to supplement their existing networks with Helium’s peer-to-peer networks third Helium will try to capitalize on the end of 3g networks which are being scrapped in many countries including the united states where a t, and t just shut down its 3g network operators of over 2 billion 3g dependent devices around the world will have to either upgrade to 4g or build their own private networks by the end of the year, and Helium hopes to offer them an alternative make no mistake if Helium can capture even a fraction of the 3g market the demand for HNT will be off the charts, and finally Helium will roll out at least forty 000 5G compatible hotspots created by freedomfi in the united states by the end of the year which will make Helium one of the largest 5G networks in the country.

Milestones

In terms of upcoming milestones in interviews with the Helium team most of these were revealed by Helium ceo frank mong in november frank said that Helium will be onboarding another 40 to 50 Helium hotspot manufacturers in the coming months bringing the total amount of Helium manufacturers to around 75 regarding 5G coverage frank estimates that there will be 260 000 5G compatible hotspots set up in the united states by the end of 2022. in addition to the 40 000 coming from freedom 5, and that reminds me Helium’s documentation notes that all manufacturers will have to create their own Helium apps starting in march this year as Helium’s own mobile app will only work with the hotspots created by Helium systems inc Helium will also be creating a dedicated mobile Helium wallet anyhow I digress frank also hinted that Helium is on the cusp of securing additional partnerships with telecommunications companies to patch the quote soft spots in their existing networks especially when it comes to 5G this relates to what Helium co-founder amir haleem said in a december panel, and that is that Helium’s next network after 5G will be wireless networks for mobile phones this could put Helium in direct competition with telecoms companies, and that’s something the project actively avoided at the beginning when it was just getting started now it looks like it’s become big enough to put up a fight meanwhile on Helium’s github 15 additional Helium improvement proposals or hips have been added since I last covered the project hips that are currently in discussion are worth pointing out the first is hip 41 which proposes an elaborate on-chain governance mechanism for Helium I believe this is an improvement to an earlier hip about on-chain governance the second is hip 48 which proposes adding support for the internet protocol or ip the authors seem to imply that ipsupport will make it easier to onboard the two billion devices that will be looking for a home as 3g is scaled back the same authors of hip 41 also recently published hips 51 52, and 53 which seek to create decentralized autonomous organizations or dows for Helium its low frequency network, and its 5G network respectively as recent events have shown community governance can be a powerful thing especially when a sizeable treasury is involved, and you can learn more about it using the link in the description anyhow call me crazy but I can’t help but feel that Helium is desperately trying to decentralize, and this brings me to the concerns I have about the project.

Concerns

The first concern I have about Helium has to do with regulations for starters there’s the HNT coin as some of you may have noticed the only u.s exchange HNT is listed on is binance us according to coindesk this is likely because HNT is at risk of being considered a security like a stock in the eyes of the sec rather than a currency now I reckon this is a reasonable assessment given that Helium literally sold security tokens to investors this regulatory uncertainty means cryptocurrency exchanges in the united states are likely hesitant to list HNT, and it could also affect whether greyscale can create a trust for HNT Helium’s efforts to decentralize everything from its manufacturing to app support suggests this is in fact the case because being quote sufficiently decentralized is the criterion that many believe the sec is using to classify cryptocurrencies as currencies, and not securities it’s not just Helium that’s facing regulatory scrutiny however from what I was able to gather from interviews with the team Helium hotspot operators have been running into regulatory issues as well especially those operating outside of the united states this is because Helium currently operates on frequencies that aren’t regulated in the united states but of course this isn’t the case elsewhere there’s also no guarantee that this won’t change in the united states going forward especially as 5G networks become more common speaking of Helium hotspot operators it doesn’t look like Helium’s network has achieved any meaningful user adoption at first glance Helium’s coverage map looks nothing short of amazing however there’s another map which apparently shows how many devices are connected to the Helium network in real time, and as you can see there aren’t very many now to be fair this lack of adoption could be partially or even entirely explained by the chronic supply chain issues we’ve seen over the last year or so these supply chain issues have hit the tech industry hard because it’s caused a shortage in semiconductor chips, and amir mentioned in that aforementioned panel that apple is getting priority now that production is finally ramping back up chip shortages are also part of why there’s a backlog of 2.4 million hotspots, and that’s something that could affect the rollout of Helium’s 5G hotspots later this year to make matters worse tech giants will likely get priority on that front as well amazon, and elon musk’s starlink are working hard on similar network solutions now with all that said there is a silver lining to this situation Helium has no competition in cryptocurrency, and this is something that many vcs have mentioned as being a major selling point for the project in contrast to tech giants, and telecoms companies Helium can also move quickly, and it has no shortage of public support because what it’s trying to achieve is easy to understand, and objectively valuable Helium may have a hard time in 2022 but to me it’s a no-brainer that HNT will eventually become a top cryptocurrency oh, and if you’re wondering what other crypto predictions I have for this year well you can find out using the link in the description.

Original article can be found at;//medium.com/general_knowledge/helium-will-hnt-ride-the-5g-wave-predictions-11f775a77801

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