Telefónica (NYSE: TEF), the world’s leading telecommunications services provider, and Nova Labs, a pioneer in decentralized wireless communication technologies, have partnered to launch Helium Mobile Hotspots in Mexico. The solution, implemented with select customers in Mexico City and Oaxaca, will extend Telefónica’s coverage and enable offloading of mobile data to the Helium Mobile Network and improve overall mobile coverage service for customers.
Telefónica and Nova Labs have built a solution based on the OpenWifi standard developed by the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). This solution enables select Movistar customers in Mexico to access the Helium Mobile Network using their Movistar SIM cards for authentication.
Helium Mobile Hotspots are connected to a proprietary management system developed by Telefónica, which controls its customers’ automatic access to the Helium Mobile Network for mobile data sessions. Telefónica maintains full control of the customer experience and monitors hotspot status before allowing access and downloading data over the Helium Mobile Network. This innovative solution combines the core cellular network with Helium Mobile Network coverage and is designed to be deployed globally and leveraged by any operator.
An innovative solution that connects the WiFi and mobile worlds via the SIM card
The use of Helium Mobile Hotspots reduces telecommunications infrastructure costs significantly, with lower capex and opex costs and minimal environmental impact. In addition, it enables a community of individuals and small business owners to deploy Helium Mobile Hotspots and enable Telefónica to accelerate coverage growth while continuing to provide a quality service to its customers.
The Helium Mobile Network allows Telefónica to direct and access new coverage where it is most needed. Helium Mobile Hotspots are compact, discrete, easy to install and can be deployed in small spaces, increasing mobile coverage and allowing mobile data to be offloaded from the core network to the Helium Mobile Network. This people-powered solution increases mobile data coverage and is based on a transparent and immutable economic system managed by the Helium Network’s blockchain-based technology.
José Juan Haro, Chief Wholesale and Public Affairs Officer at Telefónica: “Telefónica is exploring ways to expand coverage through innovative, lower-cost, cooperative-based solutions. This program in Mexico is critical to evaluate performance and customer satisfaction of this solution and its associated costs. Our expectation, if successful, is to incorporate this into our portfolio of mobile networks in the different countries of the region”.
Amir Haleem, CEO of Nova Labs: “We are excited to partner with Telefonica to integrate our Helium Mobile Hotspot technology and expand coverage for their customers. Alongside Telefónica, Nova Labs has solved one of the main challenges for telecommunications and pioneered a solution that supports secure data offload that can be implemented globally. This is a major advancement for the telco industry and will significantly reduce infrastructure cost while maintaining high quality service”.
Nova Labs is invested by Telefónica Ventures, Telefónica’s Corporate Venture Capital vehicle for strategic investments that fit with the company and attract innovation developed by third parties quickly and that can be integrated within the Group.