Boost the Swiss Helium IoT Network

Helium Hotspots for "The People's Network"
Ever since we started working closely with the crypto hardware company MNTD. in 2021, our own interest in the possibilities of the "People's Network" grew.
Client
Apps with love
Year
2021
Categorie
Blockchain, Research and experiments

What's it about?

"The People's Network" is an IoT network enabled by private individuals, launched in 2017 by the Helium Foundation (new NOVA LABS). Today, the Helium network consists of more than 700,000 hotspots (the current number is available here) built by third-party providers and operated by people all over the world - from Ankara to Zug. 

Our interest in the Helium Blockchain approach, which rewards hotspot operators for expanding the network with the cryptocurrency HNT, was on the one hand to make it easier to implement our own experiments and customer projects with smart / IoT devices in Switzerland, and on the other hand to earn a bit of HNTs by operating our own hotspots, which we can in turn invest in our own ideas.

Boxes with hotspots
Boxes with hotspots and antennas
The hotspot miner and associated hardware order in our office in Bern.

What is the People's Network or a LoRaWan-Network?

"The People's Network" offers a secure and cost-effective way to connect Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. This so-called LoRaWAN, i.e. a Long Range Wide Area Network, is primarily used for networking "smart" devices.

As with all network technologies and ways of electronic communication, LoRa is about finding the right compromise between transmission rate, energy consumption and transmission distance. The focus with LoRa is on the last two points: In license-free frequency bands (mainly 868MHz in Europe and 928MHz in North America and Asia with certain regional variations), only very small amounts of data are transmitted at low transmission rates (0.3 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s). However, this is possible over long distances (from a few to over 40 kilometers) and with very low energy consumption. The technology is therefore ideal for battery-powered devices that need to exchange small amounts of data over long distances.

In order for the data to reach the generally known Internet, gateways or hotspots are needed that are connected to the regular Internet but can also "speak" LoRa and thus provide network coverage. This then enables communication between (web) apps, servers and IoT devices connected via LoRaWAN.

LoRa is the physical layer: many different devices are basically LoRa-enabled and compatible with different networks. However, there are different networks: "private" networks, for example, operated by telecom providers, but also "The People's Network" or "The Things Network", which are more open.

Read more about the Helium network and our collaboration with MNTD in the blog.

So what is the IoT offering or product of Apps with love?

For us, this is a kind of internal innovation or research and development (R&D) project, which we manage without a specific customer order with our own financial and human resources. We currently operate more than 30 hotspots throughout Switzerland and help interested partners to install additional hotspots so that their IoT devices run cleanly in the network. We are continuously working on the optimal installation of the hotspots at various locations to maximize the performance of the individual sites in terms of range and performance. We also help existing customers and partners bring their IoT devices onto the network. We share the experience and knowledge gained in the form of case studies at universities of applied sciences and even offer technical educational organizations to implement a hotspot setup for them on site, so that students can study the real setup in addition to the theoretical Helium IoT network case and test their own IoT devices very easily and cost-effectively as part of their training. 

Antenna on a rooftop
Antenna on a balcony
Antenna on a rooftop
Antenna on a chimney
Different setups of antennas from Apps with love employees
We just noticed that you surf with Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, our website does not look so nice with it.

You want to know why that is?
We have written about it.

Blog

You need help with the changeover?
Get in touch. We are happy to help

Contact

Install a new browser?
There's lots of choice.

Browser