Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Semtech helps Helium build US LoRa network

Steve Rogerson
March 11, 2020

Semtech is collaborating with Helium, the company behind one the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless networks, in its efforts to develop one of the largest LoRa-based networks in North America.
The Helium network is now fully compatible with the LoRaWan protocol and available to the LoRa community of more than 8000 active software developers.
“We are thrilled to work with Semtech and integrate the LoRaWan protocol into our LongFi architecture to extend the reach of the Helium network,” said Amir Haleem, Helium’s CEO and co-founder. “The combination of our technologies and platforms provides the LoRa developer community with new opportunities to create new IoT solutions for both businesses and consumers.”
The Helium Hotspot is a hardware device that lets anyone own and operate a wireless network for IoT. With Helium’s own open-sourced blockchain technology, individuals are incentivised to deploy Helium Hotspots, which simultaneously mine crypto-currency and provide LoRaWan coverage for hundreds of square kilometres.
Helium’s network, introduced late last year, is available in over 745 US cities with major markets throughout the nation, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Austin.
“With Helium’s commitment to using Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWan protocol, the massive deployment of a LoRaWan-based network in the USA is becoming a reality,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT for Semtech. “Helium’s model is highly innovative and not only incentivises consumers to own and operate a piece of the network, but also reinforces a commitment to open-source architecture using the LoRaWan protocol designed to change the game for LoRa developers.”
Combining Semtech’s LoRa devices with Helium’s distributed, open-source approach to building a ubiquitous network allows any manufacturer, developer or application to use LoRaWan compatible technology to connect devices across the USA. There are over 4300 Helium Hotspots sold to date since nationwide shipping started in October 2019 and that number is growing.
Co-founded by Shawn Fanning and Amir Haleem in 2013, Helium is building a peer-to-peer wireless network to simplify connecting devices to the internet by rewarding anyone to become a network operator. CEO Haleem comes from a background in triple-A video games. Helium is backed by Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Multicoin Capital, FirstMark, Marc Benioff, Shawn Fanning and other VCs. The network is live in more than 745 cities.