Wireless

Semtech and Helium expand LoRaWAN network deployments

26th August 2020
Alex Lynn

Semtech has announced its expanded collaboration with Helium, the company behind peer-to-peer wireless networks based on Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol. Today, Helium’s LoRaWAN network infrastructure is considered among the fastest growing of its kind, reaching more than 1,000 cities in North America and expanding to Europe.

Earlier this year, Helium announced a strategic partnership with Semtech to integrate the LoRaWAN protocol into its LongFi networking architecture.

“Helium has seen incredible growth on its network as a result of its partnership with Semtech and the introduction of the Helium Blockchain as an incentive model to the LoRaWAN community,” said Amir Haleem, Helium’s CEO and Co-founder. “As we continue to expand the network across North America and in Europe, we hope to foster the growth of the ecosystem and make new technologies and solutions available to developers, industries and ultimately, consumers.”

Helium's network is powered by the Helium Hotspot, a device enabling end consumers to own and operate a LoRa-based wireless network for the Internet of Things (IoT). When connected to a nearby Hotspot, devices simultaneously mine cryptocurrency and provide LoRaWAN network coverage for hundreds of square miles. Combining Semtech’s LoRa devices with Helium’s distributed, open-sourced approach to building a ubiquitous network allows the simplified deployment of applications across North America and Europe. In less than six months following Semtech and Helium’s initial collaboration, more than 10,000 Helium Hotspots have been sold.

Featuring a community of more than 8,000 software developers in the LoRa ecosystem, the network is currently available to connect up to hundreds of millions of compatible LoRa-based devices. Several leading IoT solution providers currently utilise Helium’s network infrastructure, including:

  • Digital Matter, a global leader in GPS and IoT hardware development
  • Conserv, a collections-focused environmental monitoring platform
  • Smart Mimic, a leading IoT security software and hardware solutions on-the-go company that has developed social distancing solutions
  • Agulus, an agricultural technology company

As part of its mission to grow its LoRaWAN network offerings, Helium has entered a multi-year strategic alliance with Cal-Chip Connected Devices, a division of Cal-Chip Electronics Specialty Products, and a global distributor and value added service provider in the IoT space with a focus on Semtech’s LoRa devices. As part of this agreement, the organisation plans to help distribute Helium-compatible LoRa-based solutions, including third-party gateways and sensors, for use throughout North America and Europe.

“Semtech delivers the technology, Helium delivers the network and Cal-Chip delivers the devices. Cal-Chip has the infrastructure and technical ‘know-how’ to present solutions in an easy-to-understand manner, leading to an exceptional customer experience,” said TJ Rancour, President of Cal-Chip Connected Devices. “By leveraging our logistics, customer service and technical proficiencies, Cal-Chip Connected Devices is enabling efficient user-friendly distribution of Semtech and Helium devices to a mass consumer market.”

“Semtech is committed to the development of smarter IoT strategies which remove the complexity in developing LoRa-based products,” said Marc Pegulu, Vice President of IoT Product Marketing in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “Through further collaboration with Helium, Semtech delivers end users and developers greater access to open-sourced networks and LoRa-based infrastructure.

“As a result, Helium’s unique business model enables ownership and operation of personal IoT networks, promoting the development of new and innovative LoRa-based applications which increase the global adoption of the LoRaWAN protocol and accelerate solution time to market.”   

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