Nova Labs will use T-Mobile to fill coverage dead zones

Quick Take

  • Helium’s wireless 5g hotspot-driven network has wide gaps in coverage.
  • The five-year agreement will provide T-Mobile’s 5g services in places where Helium coverage doesn’t exist.

The ink is dry on a five-year agreement that will see T-Mobile fill in service gaps on the blockchain-based Nova Labs’ Helium network to offer U.S. nationwide 5g powered by Nova Labs, reports CoinDesk.

T-Mobile confirmed the five-year deal to The Block, but declined to provide further details about the agreement. The deal will allow Nova Labs to offer Helium subscribers mobile products services that use both networks, a press release said. The companies said the announcement coincides with the release of Helium Mobile from Nova Labs, “which will enable subscribers to earn crypto rewards for using the network.”

Helium network provides access to a decentralized grid powered by user-maintained IoT-driven wireless hotspots. A current map of available 5g coverage on the Helium network shows dense coverage in some areas and wide gaps elsewhere.

The current gaps in Helium’s hotspot-based coverage will be filled with T-Mobile’s network, Boris Renski, general manager of wireless at Nova Labs told Coindesk in an interview. He acknowledged that coverage is “not perfect” with “lots of dead spots.”


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“But with the model that we are pursuing, it's important to understand we are not looking to replace large mobile operators with our network. We are building a network that could be a complement to the existing macro network of the operators,” Renski said.

Subscribers might see a beta launch of the service as soon as the first quarter of 2023, according to Nova Labs.

In July Helium on its website had claimed that it is used by companies Lime and Salesforce website, but no such partnerships exist, according to reports from Mashable, and The Verge.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comment from T-Mobile.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Jeremy Nation is a senior reporter at The Block covering the greater blockchain ecosystem. Prior to joining The Block, Jeremy worked as a product content specialist at Bullish and He also served as a reporter for ETHNews. Follow him on Twitter @ETH_Nation.