How Do You Find The Best Site For Your Hotspot?

Well, the race is offi­cial­ly on. With at least two unof­fi­cial halv­ings com­ing in the near future, it’s pret­ty darn impor­tant right now to:

A) Get your Heli­um hotspot up and earn­ing and 

B) Secure the best spot you pos­si­bly can.

In the case below, this hotspot is on pri­vate prop­er­ty with an incred­i­ble view of both my favorite place to fly a paraglid­er in San Diego AND an excel­lent view of the south­ern half of San Diego county. 

Wait, what? More halv­ings? Yep, you’ve got 2 com­ing. One from net­work growth (net­work size will prob­a­bly dou­ble by the end of the year) close to 300k. 

Dou­bling the net­work equals (for the AVERAGE hotspot) half the rewards. Now, that’s the aver­age hotspot, but it’s best to be con­ser­v­a­tive with these calculations.

What’s the sec­ond halv­ing? 5G. IF 5G rolls any­where near as fast as they rolled out the cur­rent hotspots, it’ll chew through the “up to 35%” of HNT set aside for net­work data transfer. 

Remem­ber, 5G is the oppo­site of LoRa. LoRa is small packets/large dis­tance. 5G is large data, small dis­tance. 5G chews through data like I used to eat gal­lons of ice cream; it disappears.

The catch (and real­ly the cur­rent “dou­bling”) is that if the “up to 35% of” HNT for data trans­fer does­n’t get used, it gets redis­trib­uted to PoC rewards. That’s us, run­ning reg­u­lar hotspots, col­lect­ing HNT for chal­leng­ing, bea­con­ing, and wit­ness­ing. Most­ly, for wit­ness­ing, but that’s anoth­er story.

Since our cur­rent PoC (Proof of Cov­er­age, more on that here) rewards account for 26% of all HNT (let’s call that about a third) and the data across the net­work isn’t any­where near capac­i­ty of “up to 35%” (we’ll call that anoth­er third) we’re basi­cal­ly get­ting two thirds of all HNT dis­trib­uted, which is dou­ble what we’re tech­ni­cal­ly earning. 

So, when that data gets used up by 5G hotspots, our rewards will be halved again from today. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that wher­ev­er there’s chal­lenge, there’s oppor­tu­ni­ty. For you hard charg­ers who are will­ing to hus­tle for the love of cryp­to and fun new enter­pris­es and high-risk/high-return livin’, giant oppor­tu­ni­ties still abound. Let’s talk about a few of ’em.

First, there’s the stuff you do your­self. You can use Helium.Vision or Hotspot­ty or Kudzu to go deep or HotspotRF (or even Google Earth) to keep it sim­ple. Find the high points and places where your hotspot can be placed for max­i­mum earn­ings. Maybe you get fan­cy on Google Earth and run an alti­tude lay­er to make sure you’re only look­ing at islands in the sky, or you re-watch the demo I did on Helium.Vision and make sure you know how to use all aspects of that super pow­er­ful tool.

A hotspot with a high vol­ume / low den­si­ty view is opti­mal, but even a high vol­ume / high den­si­ty view like the one below can be a high earner.

You find the spot, you fig­ure out who owns the rights to it, you con­tact them, nego­ti­ate an agree­ment, install your hotspot, and, as my Eng­lish uncle says, “Robert’s your father’s broth­er.” Us Yanks are lit­tle more direct and just say “Bob’s your uncle.”

Hot tip? Look for land bro­kers. They rep­re­sent emp­ty lots of land that could use a lit­tle income. That tip came from one of my most suc­cess­ful clients who is also an absolute wiz­ard mar­keter. He has built a mar­ket­ing & sales sys­tem for Heli­um place­ments that gets a 50% call­back rate on leads (unheard of!) and he cher­ry picks the best spots. With­out giv­ing away his loca­tion, out of the top 10 Heli­um hotspots in his area (a place with over a thou­sand hotspots), he’s runs 3 of ’em. He sells that sys­tem, if you’re inter­est­ed in that just reach out.

Find­ing your own place­ments is one of those “most work equals most rewards” deals, but if you’ve got a lot of hotspots, that’s a lot of work. 

That brings us to your sec­ond option, a recent start-up called Sitenna.com. They con­nect you (the antenna/hotspot own­er) with land own­ers. You don’t look for spots, you just sup­ply the hard­ware, pay the rent, and col­lect HNT. Obvi­ous­ly it’s slight­ly more com­pli­cat­ed, but that’s the gist.

If “pay to play” is your game, Siten­na is look­ing to be a very promis­ing option. Tell ’em Gristlek­ing sent ya, it’ll be good for a laugh. They’re a cou­ple of recent Y‑combinator types on a tra­jec­to­ry to crush; we Heli­um peeps might as well go along for the ride.

Third, you can make your own place­ments. This is by far the hard­est, as well as in the long run *prob­a­bly* the most prof­itable. You go out and find a busi­ness that could actu­al­ly ben­e­fit from LoRa. It’ll need to meet very spe­cif­ic require­ments: They’ll want to cov­er a large area, they don’t need a ton of data, there’s a clear prof­it motive, and they’re will­ing to see the world in a new way. 

Whether that’s a cat­tle ranch­er in Mon­tana, a scoot­er oper­a­tor in Can­cun, a boat tour oper­a­tor in Cabo San Lucas, or FedEx, well, there’s a whole giant world of oppor­tu­ni­ty out there for ya, but it does wear over­alls and look a lot like work.

Here’s me and a bud­dy at the begin­ning of my very first off grid place­ment (when I thought anten­nas mat­tered), about to do a 12 mile round trip hike in the moun­tains car­ry­ing 60 lbs each on the way out and run­ning out of water on the way back. That was straight work, yo.

If you’re look­ing for help to opti­mize YOUR hotspot place­ments, whether it’s the one on Mom’s house or the fleet you’re rolling out in a far off land, con­sid­er hir­ing an expert for help.

In the meantime…get ’em!

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