Kerlink IoT Gateways Compatible with Helium Network

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Kerlink, a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced its industrial-grade indoor Wirnet™ iFemtoCell, indoor Wirnet iFemtoCell-evolution and outdoor Wirnet iStation IoT gateways are enabling HNT cryptocurrency mining, while supporting one of the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN® protocol.

Called ‘The People’s Network’ and launched by the U.S. company, Helium, the global, distributed network of Hotspots provides public, long-range and low-power wireless coverage for LoRaWAN-enabled IoT sensors and devices. This capability leverages Helium’s LongFi™ architecture that combines the LoRaWAN wireless protocol with the Helium Blockchain so that any LoRaWAN device can transfer data on the Helium Network. LongFi delivers roaming capabilities and supports micropayment transactions so customers only pay based on network usage without needing to deploy gateways or network servers.

Targeting low-power sensors and devices such as animal collars and bicycle trackers, among many others, the Network is powered by compatible Hotspots. Hotspots are a combination of the Helium Blockchain and LoRaWAN packet routing software on a single, compact LoRaWAN gateway. This enables customers to easily participate in the deployment of Helium coverage and use the open LoRa-based wireless IoT networks.

When connected to a nearby Hotspot, a ‘proof of coverage’ is delivered that validates gateway real availability, as well as its related coverage. This confirmation simultaneously triggers the generation of Helium’s native cryptocurrency, Helium Network Token (HNT), using the gateway-embedded miner, thus granting coverage for hundreds of square miles throughout the community.

With the introduction of its blockchain, the Helium Network decentralized IoT coverage, resulting in an open wireless network able to combine various LoRaWAN gateways and available anywhere in the world, in a cost-efficient way.

Secure-by-design and performant Kerlink Wirnet iSeries references will be the first carrier-grade LoRaWAN gateways embedding the miner software. Kerlink already received the HIP19 approval making Kerlink one of the few “Hotspot manufacturers” or “approved makers” by the Helium community and the DeWi (Decentralized Wireless Alliance) to produce and distribute compatible miners to the Network. Cal-Chip Connected Devices, a Kerlink US value-added reseller, makes them available for pre-order on their e-shop right now.

“Embedding a Helium Network-miner-compatible software within our gateway portfolio is another step toward diversification of Kerlink’s equipment possibilities, and shows how our ongoing investment in R&D enables the company to respond quickly to evolving applications and innovative uses of LoRaWAN networks,” said Yannick Delibie, president and CEO of Kerlink Americas. “Our ability to integrate new features like Helium’s blockchain technology called ‘proof of coverage’ helps ensure the algorithm can verify that the Hotspots are accurately representing their location and delivering the expected wireless network coverage they are creating.”

The open-source blockchain was launched to incentivize and accelerate the creation of physical, decentralized and public wireless networks. The company’s website reports there are already more than 25,000 Hotspots in nearly 3,600 cities, figures that are increasing rapidly.

“In typical LoRaWAN networks, a central or regional LNS (LoRaWAN Network Server) is managed by a single entity,” the Helium website explains. “Helium’s design for a decentralized network, however, means not only do we want gateways to be independently owned and operated, but we want to enable the independent operation of the LNS. Without this, access to the network would require permission from a single central entity, the LNS operator of the network.”

“Therefore, we want to enable the multi-tenancy of LNS’s on the same public LoRaWAN network. Achieving this distinguishes Helium’s LoRaWAN network from any other: public wireless infrastructure is now compatible with privately run network servers.”

In 2020, Fast Company magazine ranked Helium among the 10 Most Innovative companies in the world.