What is mapping?
Mapping is a collaborative way for Helium Mobile users to engage with their service and earn rewards. On the Helium Network, mapping identifies gaps and analyzes the coverage quality in a geographical area.
Helium Mobile users benefit from dynamic coverage, which means coverage comes from multiple sources: people-built coverage (the Helium 5G network), and coverage provided by a nationwide network partner. While the nationwide partner provides a baseline of quality coverage for Helium Mobile users to access, continued mapping efforts validate and promote people-built coverage. This means that individuals – friends, neighbors, and small businesses – are rewarded for their efforts in building the network.
Mapping types include:
- Discovery Mapping: an easy and passive way for Helium Mobile users to identify coverage gaps and earn rewards by simply going about their daily lives with their phone.
- Verification Mapping: involves more interaction from the user, requires a dedicated mapping device, but provides opportunity for greater rewards.
Both types of mapping offer an opportunity for users to participate in building a better carrier together, and be rewarded for their work.
Note that in order for changes to take place on the Helium Network, Helium Improvement Proposals (HIPs) are voted on by the Helium Network community. HIP 79 outlines mapping and mapping rewards that are relevant for Helium Mobile users, and will need to pass in order for aspects of mapping to be implemented.
Read on to make sure you’re ready to earn rewards as soon as the Helium Mobile Beta launches.
Discovery Mapping is a feature offered exclusively to Helium Mobile users, and helps identify locations where additional people-built coverage would be beneficial. Once a user opts in, Discovery Mapping quietly takes place in the background, intermittently capturing location data while users continue moving about their daily life.
Since Discovery Mapping is intended to optimize building coverage based on typical user behavior, there is no need to go out of your way to scope out new geography for mapping, and users will earn rewards for each 24 hour period where their location data can be intermittently collected.
Helium Mobile is committed to prioritizing user privacy. Discovery Mapping is exclusively opt-in, so your location is never shared without your explicit permission. This data is never sold to third parties.
Verification Mapping evaluates the strength and range of existing Helium 5G network coverage. For now, users who want to participate in Verification Mapping will need to keep an eye out for Helium Mobile Spot, a powerful piece of dedicated hardware that our team is currently working on. Verification Mapping validates that radios are providing quality coverage and helps ensure that positioning for existing radio deployments can be optimized.
When Spot finds an area with strong coverage, Helium 5G network providers are rewarded. Coverage can be obstructed or weakened by environmental factors like trees or walls, so ongoing Verification Mapping means that individual coverage providers can be alerted to check on their 5G radios, enabling them to get back to providing the best coverage possible.
With Spot, users report on radio signal signal strength within an area at a specific time and report this data to the network along with timestamp and GPS location information. For this type of mapping, users will be encouraged to seek out and verify areas where coverage already exists.
Later in the year, Verification Mapping is planned to be added to the Helium Mobile app.
Mapping rewards will be activated after we complete testing out the processes for both mapping mechanisms.
With the Invite-Only Beta on the horizon, the first opportunity to begin earning MOBILE rewards through Discovery Mapping with Helium Mobile is rapidly approaching. Join the Helium Mobile Waitlist, as early invitations to become a subscriber will only be sent out to people who have signed up there!
Be sure to join the AMA on Twitter this upcoming Tuesday, April 11th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET to learn more about mapping and ask any of your burning questions!
If you’ve gotten this far and still have questions about mapping and how you can be involved, take a second to check out the following documents that go into a bit more detail:
MOBILE Proof-of-Coverage: The Road Ahead from the Helium Foundation has information about how mapping fits into the grand picture, and every step that’s come before it.
Building the Future of Mobile has details about becoming a Beta user for Helium Mobile and what to expect in the coming months.