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Telefónica, Nova Labs launch helium mobile hotspots in Mexico

Telco’s customer coverage extended in Mexico City and Oaxaca by using existing SIMs to offload mobile data to dedicated extended network

Claiming to have solved one of the main challenges for telecommunications and pioneered a solution that supports secure data offload that can be implemented globally, telco Telefónica has teamed with wireless communication tech company Nova Labs to launch Helium Mobile Hotspots in Mexico.

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 control of the customer experience and monitors hotspot status before allowing access and downloading data over the Helium Mobile Network. The solution combines a core cellular network with Helium Mobile Network coverage and is designed to be deployed globally and used by any operator. 

Among the intended benefits that are said to result from the use of Helium Mobile Hotspots include significantly reductions in telecommunications infrastructure costs, with lower capex and opex costs and minimal environmental impact.

In addition, it is intended to enable 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 hotspots are based on what is described as a “transparent and immutable” economic system managed by the Helium Network's blockchain-based technology and attributed with being compact, discrete, easy to install and able to be deployed in small spaces.

The solution is also based on the OpenWifi standard and will initially see use in enabling select Movistar customers in Mexico City and Oaxaca access the Helium Mobile Network using their Movistar SIM cards for authentication.

Telefónica said the new infrastructure will allow it to extend coverage and enable offloading of mobile data to the Helium Mobile Network and improve overall mobile coverage service for customers. 

Commenting on the launch, José Juan Haro, chief wholesale and public affairs officer at Telefónica, said: “Telefónica is exploring ways to expand coverage through innovative, lower-cost, cooperative-based solutions.

“This programme 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, added: “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.” 

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