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Helium Activates the World’s First Sharing-Economy Wireless Network in 425+ US Cities

Network co-founded by peer-to-peer pioneer, Shawn Fanning, sees fastest nationwide wireless network rollout in US history driven by local entrepreneurs buying over 1,000 Hotspots

San Francisco, CA, USA – WEBWIRE

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 7, 2019) -- Helium, the world’s first sharing-economy wireless network, today announces that it is live in over 425 cities spanning 45 of the 50 states. Powered by entrepreneurs looking to own a piece of the people-powered network built specifically for IoT devices, the network now covers 100,000 square miles a mere three months after debuting the Hotspots for sale. In addition, the company announces that sharing-economy veteran and former Uber Chief Legal Officer, Salle Yoo, is joining its board as the company rolls out its two-sided market and publishes an open-source SDK so any developer can create devices that use the network. 

The next big American land grab is IoT network ownership to connect small devices like pet trackers and water-quality sensors beyond the reach of Wi-Fi. And while the first of the tech giants recently announced a small test network, independent entrepreneurs from Los Angeles and Chicago to Atlanta and Miami, are buying into Helium’s nationwide network with many purchasing dozens of Hotspots. 

“Helium’s model provides a strong incentive for me to own multiple devices because I can provide coverage to a huge part of the densest areas of Miami and boost the utility of the network,” points out Scott Kaplan, an entrepreneur who purchased 19 Hotspots to deploy in the Miami area. “The more useful the network, the more devices can use it, which increases the cryptocurrency rewards that I receive as a network owner.” 

World’s First Nationwide Blockchain-Powered, Wireless Network
Helium’s network is underpinned by a new blockchain to reward Hotspot owners for creating coverage and the data that moves through their devices as an incentive to build the network. This first-of-its-kind, open-market approach to a wireless network removes the huge capital costs required to build traditional cellular networks creating a sharing economy similar to the one that changed the accommodation and transportation industries. 

For the first time ever, anyone can own part of a wireless network - The People’s Network - and developers can easily create devices, like pet trackers and water quality sensors, that connect to Helium for a fraction of the cost of cellular. The release of its open-source SDK to enable more devices to link to the network thanks to integration with both Google and Microsoft cloud platforms, as well as IoT development platform Blynk

“I’ve seen first hand how, through transformative technology, we can create new opportunities for more people,” said Salle Yoo, Helium’s newly appointed independent board member. “I’m excited to join Helium in its journey to create the first decentralized wireless network.”

In response to the strong entrepreneurial interest in Helium’s sharing-economy network, the company is also expanding Helium’s Patron program nationwide. The program was launched in August as a pilot in Austin, Texas, and offers discounts, priority shipping, network tools, Helium support and other benefits to those who buy 15 or more Hotspots.

Helium’s open-source architecture has already enabled a number of hardware developers to create small, low-power devices that communicate via the company’s LongFi technology over distances measured in miles. Devices impractical using cellular technology because of power limitations and costs are now able to connect and provide capabilities like the location tracking of a bike or pet and monitoring water or air quality sensors in remote areas. 

Prototypes developed for the Helium network include InvisiLeash’s location tracking dog collar, CleanWater AI’s remote, low-power pollution monitor and Bike Route Data Gatherer’s bike and scooter tracker. 

Today the company is also announcing integration with Google and Microsoft cloud and Blynk’s full-stack IoT development platform. These integrations will enable developers to easily build apps and devices that combine the computing power of the cloud with the connectivity of Helium’s nationwide network. 

Helium’s open-source SDK can be downloaded here. For a coverage map of the Helium network, please download their app on the App Store or Google Play. Visit to order your Hotspot today. 

About Helium
Co-founded by Shawn Fanning and Amir Haleem in 2013, Helium’s mission is to make it easier to build connected products. Helium is building the world’s first sharing-economy wireless network to simplify connecting anything to the internet by rewarding anyone to become a network operator. CEO Amir Haleem comes from an extensive background in triple-A video games, and Vice President of Product & Technology, Chris Bruce, was Founder and CEO of Sproutling, the baby monitor startup that sold to Mattel in 2016. Helium is backed by GV (formerly Google Ventures), Khosla Ventures, FirstMark, Marc Benioff, Shawn Fanning and other top VCs.


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