TV and Internet provider Dish network is partnering with crypto project Helium (HNT) to provide wireless coverage for its upcoming 5G network. Helium is the largest of several crypto projects using physical products to mine tokens.
Helium's original "LongFi" network was intended for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with longer range and lower bandwidth. The LongFi network is aimed at enterprise customers. This new network is intended for consumer devices like phones and TVs. Dish customers who participate in the program will earn HNT tokens.
Dish wireless customers will be able to use special 5G hotspots for their home Internet and television. Currently, the only Helium-compatible 5G hotspot manufacturer is FreedomFi, but several other companies have Helium 5G hotspots in development. Helium predicts up to 40,000 5G hotspots will be in use by the end of 2022.
Helium's token exploded in value this year, prompting hundreds of thousands of crypto enthusiasts to order Helium LongFi network rigs, and Helium claims that over 500,000 LongFi hotspots are on backorder and dozens of manufacturers are awaiting approval to roll out their own LongFi hotspots.
This new partnership with Dish opens the Helium network to consumer use, and it's easy to see how it could become even more popular than mining on the original LongFi network. As the density of LongFi hotspots in an area increases, the Helium mining rewards decrease.
The 5G network has a shorter range, which should encourage adoption by people who already live near other HNT network providers. Additionally, the 5G hotspots will provide TV and internet to the miner's household, which should encourage lock-in.