Thursday, March 14, 2024

An inexpensive Helium Mobile 5G cellphone plan that pays you to use it?

This is a followup to the previous post describing my setting up a G5 hotspot on Helium’s decentralized 5G infrastructure that earns MOBILE tokens. The cash value of the MOBILE tokens earned since July 2022 is  ~7X the cost of the equipment needed to generate them.

Now I want to put down further facts I want to document for my future self and MindBlog’s techie readers.

Recently Helium has introduced Helium Mobile, a cell phone plan using using this new 5G infrastructure which costs $20/month - much less expensive than other cellular providers like Verizon and ATT.  It has partnered with T-Mobile to fill in coverage areas its own 5G network hasn’t reached.

Nine days ago I downloaded the Helium Mobile app onto my iPhone 12 and set up an account with an eSIM and a new phone number, alongside my phone number of many years now in a Verizon account using a physical SIM card.  

My iPhone has been earning MOBILE tokens by sharing its location to allow better mapping of the Helium G5 network.  As I am writing this, the app has earned 3,346 Mobile tokens that could be sold and converted to $14.32 at this moment (the price of MOBILE, like other cryptocurrencies, is very volatile).

If this earning rate continues (a big ‘if’), the cellular account I am paying $20/month for will be generating MOBILE tokens each month worth ~$45. The $20 monthly cell phone plan charge can be paid with MOBILE tokens, leaving $15/month passive income from my subscribing to Helium Mobile and allowing anonymous tracking of my phone as I move about.  (Apple sends a message every three days asking if I am sure I want to be allowing continuous tracking by this one App.)

So there you have it.  Any cautionary notes from techie readers about the cybersecurity implications of what I am doing would be welcome.  

1 comment:

  1. The caveat is that they're almost certainly not using your location data only to map their network - it's most likely being sold to data brokers for marketing and influence campaigns.