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MOBILE Proof of Coverage

The Helium blockchain uses a novel work algorithm called "Proof of Coverage" (PoC) to verify that Hotspots are located where they claim. Put another way, PoC tries to verify, on an ongoing basis, that Hotspots are honestly representing their location and the wireless network coverage they are creating from that location.

LoRaWAN Hotspots utilize a PoC method that benefits from Hotspots being used as senders ("Beacon") and receivers ("Witness") of PoC activity; read more here: Proof of Coverage

While all current 5G Hotspot models also participate in the LoRaWAN Network and PoC, the CBRS Small Cell and 5G aspects of a 5G Hotspot require a new approach to validating PoC.

One Way Traffic

CBRS Small Cell Radios can only operate as transmitters; they cannot receive incoming data and thus can not "hear" one another directly.


How To Mine MOBILE

Several factors contribute to the amount of MOBILE a 5G Hotspot may earn over a given period. This page covers some higher-level concepts, design elements, and rules to keep in mind that help better explain what you might earn and why. This section covers these and some mining and token reward basics.

The Helium Blockchain rewards 5G Hotspots with CBRS Radios for providing 5G wireless coverage and verifying the Helium Network with the Helium MOBILE Token.

Mining MOBILE and providing 5G coverage requires a 5G Hotspot and one or more compatible CBRS Small Cell Radios. These components can be purchased as a bundle or separately. All 5G Hotspots must be online and registered in the SAS (Spectrum Access System) maintained by the FCC to earn MOBILE rewards. Once properly deployed, you, as the owner, are not required to do anything else with your 5G Hotspot to earn MOBILE.

More than one Small Cell Radio can be connected to a single 5G Hotspot to create a larger 5G coverage area. 5G Hotspots can support as many Small Cell Radios as would saturate their bandwidth.

Connecting more than one Small Cell Radio requires an additional networking switch. Refer to the 5G Hotspot Maker installation guides for specific instructions.

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During Genesis, 5G Hotspots earn MOBILE by reporting their status via a "heartbeat," an automatic reporting process to the Helium Blockchain that the Small Cell Radio is online and registered with the SAS.

Genesis is the period during which Hotspot owners are rewarded for providing 5G coverage with pre-mined MOBILE tokens. MOBILE tokens will be redeemable for HNT after the Genesis period ends.


MOBILE Genesis

During Genesis, 100M MOBILE tokens are allocated to be issued per Reward Period. Check out this Example Reward Transaction for reference.

The current Reward Period is from 1am UTC to 1am UTC.

To qualify for Genesis Rewards in a given Reward Period, a CBRS Small Cell Radio must:

  • Be connected to a 5G Hotspot.
  • Be installed appropriately.
    • Be registered with the SAS (Outdoor Radios Only).
  • Broadcast at least 1 "heartbeat" per Reward Period.
What is a "Heartbeat"?

A "heartbeat" is data sent by the 5G Hotspot indicating that the connected CBRS Small Cell Radio(s) is authorized to transmit 5G coverage.

Heartbeats occur every 60 seconds and transmit authorizations are valid for 240 seconds. This rolling overlap ensures that a Small Cell Radio can broadcast on an ongoing basis while allowing for brief interruptions.


Small Cell Radio Reward Scaling

All 5G Hotspots with properly installed and registered CBRS Radios will be eligible to earn rewards for participating on the Network. A rewards unit multiple is applied to the various Small Cell Radio models based on whether they are indoor or outdoor, as well as their power output, as follows:

Small Cell Radio TypeReward Weight
High Power Outdoor*4.000
Outdoor2.500
Indoor1.000

*Currently, the only High-Power Outdoor Radio is the Baicells Nova436H.

Individual rewards per period are calculated as a proportion of the total weighted reward units.

Earnings Example

Earnings are calculated in 3 steps.

  1. Calculate the Total Emissions Weight and Emissions Weight Ratio for each Small Cell Radio Type
  2. Each Small Cell Radio Type is allocated its ratio of the total rewards in the given epoch
  3. Each 5G Hotspot is proportionally rewarded from its respective rewards pool by Small Cell Radio Type
caution

As an example, we can calculate the rewards for a 5G Hotspot in a single epoch assuming the following (the below numbers are examples and may not reflect actual deployed 5G Hotspots today):

  • 100,000,000 MOBILE Rewarded per day
  • 310 High-Power Outdoor 5G Hotspots earn rewards
  • 2,000 Outdoor 5G Hotspots earn rewards
  • 3,360 Indoor 5G Hotspots earn rewards
  • 1 Small Cell Radio per 5G Hotspot (in real-world usage, multiple Small Cell Radios can be connected to a 5G Hotspot)

Total Rewards Units for Epoch

Calculate the Total Reward Points for a given epoch using the Reward Weight for each Small Cell Radio type.

In this example, the total rewards Points per epoch is 7,000, and the ratios are as follows:

  High-Power Outdoor Count Acceptable ( 250) * 4.0 * 1.00   =>     1000   =>  0.143
+ High-Power Outdoor Count Degraded ( 50) * 4.0 * 0.50 => + 100 => 0.014
+ High-Power Outdoor Count Poor ( 10) * 4.0 * 0.25 => + 10 => 0.001
+ Outdoor Count Acceptable (1100) * 2.5 * 1.00 => + 2750 => 0.393
+ Outdoor Count Degraded ( 500) * 2.5 * 0.50 => + 625 => 0.089
+ Outdoor Count Poor ( 400) * 2.5 * 0.25 => + 250 => 0.036
+ Indoor Count Acceptable (1500) * 1.0 * 1.00 => + 1500 => 0.214
+ Indoor Count Degraded (1200) * 1.0 * 0.50 => + 600 => 0.086
+ Indoor Count Poor ( 660) * 1.0 * 0.25 => + 165 => 0.024
--------------------------------------------------------- --------
7,000

Earnings per Small Cell Radio

Each Small Cell Radio is allocated its rewards based on the reward weight of the model.

Small Cell Reward = Daily Rewards * Reward Weight / Count of Small Cell Type

High-Power Outdoor Acceptable => 100,000,000 * 0.143 /  250 = 57,142.86 MOBILE per day
High-Power Outdoor Degraded => 100,000,000 * 0.014 / 50 = 28,571.43 MOBILE per day
High-Power Outdoor Poor => 100,000,000 * 0.001 / 10 = 14,285.71 MOBILE per day
Outdoor Acceptable => 100,000,000 * 0.393 / 1100 = 35,714.29 MOBILE per day
Outdoor Degraded => 100,000,000 * 0.089 / 500 = 17,857.14 MOBILE per day
Outdoor Poor => 100,000,000 * 0.036 / 400 = 8,928.57 MOBILE per day
Indoor Acceptable => 100,000,000 * 0.214 / 1500 = 14,285.71 MOBILE per day
Indoor Degraded => 100,000,000 * 0.086 / 1200 = 7,142.86 MOBILE per day
Indoor Poor => 100,000,000 * 0.024 / 660 = 3,571.43 MOBILE per day

Speed Tests and Quality of Service

A 5G Hotspot automatically performs a Speed Test, with the results averaged by the MOBILE PoC Oracle. The MOBILE PoC Oracle includes these Speed Test metrics in the Rewards calculations for each 5G Hotspot.

The 5G Hotspot will randomly measure download, upload, and latency to the MOBILE verifier twice in a given 24-hour period. If a test can not complete successfully, the 5G Hotspot automatically retries every 30 minutes until a Speed Test is successful.

The first Speed Test for a newly installed 5G Hotspot is performed within the first 12 hours after powering it on.

The "Moving Average," also known as a "Rolling Average," is the average of at least 2 but no more than 6 most recent Speed Test results for each download, upload, and latency for a given 5G Hotspot.

A minimum of two Speed Tests are required in the previous 48 hours to calculate a Moving average, after which a new series of Speed Test results must be collected before a Moving Average can be calculated.

Tiered Speed Test

In response to community feedback and further exploration by Chris from DeWiPulse for his analysis of and commentary on public Internet data in the United States, Speed Test results are categorized into one of four Tiers.

Speed Test TierReward MultiplierRequirement (speeds in Mbps, latency in ms)
Acceptable1.00x100+ Download, AND 10+ Upload, AND <50 Latency
Degraded0.50x50+ Download, AND 5+ Upload, AND <75 Latency
Poor0.25x30+ Download, AND 2+ Upload, AND <100 Latency
Fail0.00x<30 Download, OR <2 Upload, OR >100 Latency
Why are Hotspots with slower speeds being rewarded at all?

Many locations where CBRS connectivity is being deployed, including some rural areas, do not always have the high-speed Internet connectivity needed to meet the acceptable Internet requirements for Genesis rewards consistently.

Often these areas don't have good cellular coverage either. That's why we believe it is essential to incentivize Helium deployments in less well-connected areas.

backhaul requirements will evolve

As the needs and realities of the 5G Hotspot network change, Internet backhaul requirements will evolve to better suit the Network and its users.

Speed Test Tier Reward Scaling

Tiered Speed Test values introduce a new multiplier to the Rewards calculations.

  • Speed Test Results are put into Tiers based on the minimum value of each Download, Upload, and Latency (logical AND).
  • Speed Test results that do not meet the minimum requirements for any Download, Upload, or Latency are considered to have Failed and are not eligible for Rewards until the Speed Test Average is improved (logical OR).

When combined with existing Small Cell Type Reward Scale Mulitpliers the Rewards Scaling Table is as follows:

Small Cell Radio TypeAcceptableDegradedPoorFail
High Power Outdoor4.0002.0001.0000.000
Outdoor2.5001.2500.6250.000
Indoor1.0000.5000.2500.000

Example 1: All Acceptable

Download    200 ->  `Acceptable`
Upload 40 -> `Acceptable`
Latency 15 -> `Acceptable`
---------------------------------
Speed Test Tier -> `Acceptable` -> 1.0x Multiplier

Example 2: Degraded Upload

Download    200 ->  `Acceptable`
Upload 6 -> `Degraded`
Latency 15 -> `Acceptable`
---------------------------------
Speed Test Tier -> `Degraded` -> 0.5x Multiplier

Example 3: Poor Download, Degraded Upload

Download     40 ->  `Poor`
Upload 6 -> `Degraded`
Latency 15 -> `Acceptable`
---------------------------------
Speed Test Tier -> `Poor` -> 0.25x Multiplier

Example 4: Failed Latency

Download    200 ->  `Acceptable`
Upload 40 -> `Acceptable`
Latency 150 -> `Fail`
---------------------------------
Speed Test Tier -> `Fail` -> 0.0x Multiplier

Statistics on Helium Explorer

Speed Test metrics are viewable on the 5G Hotspot's page on Explorer under the 5G Statistics tab. Here are examples of each status and a brief description of each metric and the resulting impact on Rewards calculations.


Speed Test Passing - Acceptable

The Moving Average for all Speed Test metrics is in the Acceptable range.

A 1.0x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Speed Test Passing - Degraded Latency

The Moving Average for Upload and Download metrics is in the Acceptable range, however the 80 ms Latency metric is in the Degraded Tier.

A 0.5x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Speed Test Passing - Poor Download

The Moving Average for Upload and Latency metrics is in the Acceptable range, however the 30 Mbps Download metric is in the Poor Tier.

A 0.25x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Speed Test Fail - Download and Upload

The Moving Average for Latency metrics is in the Acceptable range, however the 10 Mbps Download and 1 Mbps Upload metrics are below the Poor Tier.

A 0.0x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Speed Test Not Measured

This status appears when a 5G Hotspot has been recently installed, and no Speed Tests have been performed.

A 0.0x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


No Recent Speed Test Data

This status appears when a Speed Test could not be performed in the previous 24 hours. For example, when a 5G Hotspot has recently recovered from a prolonged network interruption, power interruption, or other connection interruptions have occurred.

A 0.0x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Not Enough Data

This status appears when there are fewer than 2 available Speed Test records, and a Moving Average can not yet be calculated.

This is common when a 5G Hotspot has been newly installed, has recently recovered from a prolonged network interruption, or in other scenarios where a Speed Test could not be performed.

A 0.0x multiplier is applied for the current Reward Period.


Example Calculation Tables

Here are a set of tables to help visualize the components that make up the Speed Test result.

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It may take up to 12 hours for newly connected 5G Hotspots to perform a Speed Test, and a minimum of 2 Speed Tests are required for the MOBILE PoC Oracle to calculate a moving average.

Successful Speed Test:

This 5G Hotspot is passing all Speed Test metrics and is providing a high-quality connection.

Test 1

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Test 1 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 2 and Later

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of these are the most recent.


Missing A Single Speed Test:

This 5G Hotspot has not reported Speed Test data at Test 5.

Test 1

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Test 1 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 2 through 4

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 2 through 4 are the most recent.

Test 5 through 6

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 5 through 6 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 7 and Later

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 7 and later are the most recent.


Missing Multiple Speed Tests:

This 5G Hotspot has not reported Speed Test data during Test 5, 6, or 7. This is often a result of a 5G Hotspot being disconnected from the Internet for a long time.

Test 1

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Test 1 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 2 through 4

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 2 through 4 are the most recent.

Test 5 through 8

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 5 through 8 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 9 and Later

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 9 and later are the most recent.


Failing A Speed Test:

This 5G Hotspot has failed its Speed Test on all metrics in Test 6, but the Moving Average stays within the passing range.

Test 1

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Test 1 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 2 and Later

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 2 and later are the most recent.


Multiple Sub-Optimal Speed Tests:

This 5G Hotspot has less than Acceptable Speed Tests in Tests 3, 4, 5, and 6. This has caused the Moving Average to fall for Tests 6, 7, and 8.

Test 1

This 5G Hotspot will not be eligible for rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Test 1 are the most recent as there is not enough data to calculate a Moving Average.

Test 2 through 5

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 2 through 5 are the most recent.

Test 6 through 8

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for half rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 6 through 8 are the most recent as at least one Speed Test metric Moving Average has not met or exceeded the required values.

Test 9 and Later

This 5G Hotspot will be eligible for full rewards during the Reward Periods for which the results of Tests 9 and later are the most recent.


Future Roadmap

Heartbeats and Reliability of Service

To encourage reliable signal availability, 5G Hotspots and connected CBRS Small Cell Radios must:

  • Be installed appropriately.
    • Be registered with the SAS (Outdoor Radios Only).
  • Generate at least 1 "heartbeat" per 1 hour for any 12 hours in the 24-hour Reward Period.
  • Meet minimum backhaul Speed Test requirements.

MOBILE Mappers

Mobile Mappers are hardware devices explicitly designed to attach to CBRS Small Cell Radios to verify coverage quality and location in a particular hex.

Following HIP-53, Mobile Mappers will be eligible to earn 10% of Mobile rewards for verifying the Network.

The transition from "heartbeat" rewards, as in Genesis, to Mapping rewards will not happen immediately. Instead, a transitional period will allow 5G Hotspot Owners with active CBRS Small Cell Radios to receive both "heartbeat" rewards and rewards for being mapped.

The details on how data from Mobile Mappers will be used in rewards calculations are currently in development.