Helium Mobile Coverage Maps
Helium Mobile relies primarily on T-Mobile for coverage. T-Mobile’s coverage is supplemented by additional data-only coverage from the Helium network.
T-Mobile Coverage With Helium Mobile
The maps below show Helium Mobile’s T-Mobile coverage. This coverage makes up the backbone of Helium Mobile’s service and works for calls, texts, and data. Choose a location below and the maps will update their center locations.
The coverage differences between T-Mobile and the other major networks are most obvious in remote and rural areas. In more populous places, T-Mobile will sometimes outperform Verizon and AT&T thanks to fewer capacity constrains and a more mature 5G rollout. While the map shows both 4G and 5G coverage by default you can toggle to a map that shows only T-Mobile's 5G coverage.
The maps above generally do not show coverage from T-Mobile’s roaming partners. I expect Helium Mobile subscribers generally do not get access to coverage from T-Mobile’s partner networks, but I haven’t confirmed with the company.
Helium Project Coverage
Helium Mobile supplements coverage from T-Mobile with coverage from the Helium network. The Helium network has two components:
- Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Cellular (CBRS) Radios
Coverage from the Helium network is awfully limited for a number of reasons:
- The cellular radios are not terribly powerful
- Wi-Fi hotspots also have limited range
- Hotspots and radios are often placed in far-from-ideal locations
- There are roughly 20,000 radios and hotspots throughout the US
The cellular radios don't actually enhance Helium Mobile's coverage at the moment. Integrating Helium's cellular network with cellular coverage from a major network like T-Mobile involves all sorts of challenges. At the moment, the necessary integration work hasn't really happened.
Supplemental Wi-Fi presents fewer challenges. Helium Mobile subscribers can get data service from Wi-Fi hotspots on the Helium network. Normal voice calls and SMS texts still have to run through T-Mobile's network.
Are The CBRS Radios 5G?
While Helium makes a big deal about 5G and even brands its cellular network as Helium 5G, it’s a 4G LTE network. Even when setting aside integration issues, performance from Helium radios is generally mediocre. The mediocre performance is due more to the limited power of Helium’s radios rather than 4G LTE’s inferiority to 5G.