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Discovery Mapping FAQ
Discovery Mapping FAQ
Updated over a week ago

Discovery Mapping allows subscribers to be eligible to earn rewards by sharing their location. Subscribers who participate in Discovery Mapping are providing a valuable service to the Helium Mobile Network. Discovery Mapping allows us to understand where Helium Mobile subscribers are using the network and identify opportunities for efficient enhancement of the network. It uses hexes to track daily progress

General FAQ

What’s a hex?

In the Helium Mobile Network, coverage areas are represented by hexagons (“hexes”). There are a lot of reasons why we use hexes to map out coverage areas (if you want to take a deeper dive, check out this article). Hexes allow us to maximize precision and proximity when mapping out the network.

We are applying the hex structure to Discovery Mapping events for two reasons:

  1. To make it easier for subscribers to track their progress towards a day of rewardable events

  2. To prevent bad actors from using multiple phones and accounts to game mapping rewards

What data do you use for Discovery Mapping?

When Discovery Mapping is toggled on Helium Mobile collects a subscriber’s latitude and longitude, timestamps of a location sharing event, and a subscriber’s wallet public key. Additionally, Helium Mobile requests access to Motion & Fitness data on your phone which helps detect when your device is in-motion to save battery life when mapping.

You can toggle Discovery Mapping off at any time. When Discovery Mapping is toggled off, the subscriber will not be eligible for Discovery Mapping rewards. For more information read our Privacy Policy.

How do I enable Discovery Mapping?

Subscribers can enable Discovery Mapping at any time in the Helium Mobile App. Navigate to the “Mapping” tab using the bottom menu of the app. Toggle “Enable Mapping” to the “On” position and allow always sharing of the location, as well as motion and fitness data with Helium Mobile.

When do I earn rewards?

As of March 27th, 2024, Discovery Mapping uses hexes to track daily progress.

For a Discovery Mapper to qualify for rewards, they must map a total of 40 eligible hexes a day. A hex is about the size of 2 basketball courts or 1 supermarket. If you lined up 40 hexes in a row, it’s about the distance of 1 mile.

Why 1 mile? The goal of Discovery Mapping is to understand coverage benefits based on the natural movements of subscribers. Given that the average American usually lives approximately 0.9 miles away from a supermarket, 1 mile seemed reasonable for a typical daily travel radius for our subscribers.

a typical daily travel radius for our subscribers.

As a reminder, Discovery Mapping is designed to collect data regarding typical usage patterns of Helium Mobile subscriber generally, so that the community can continue to efficiently grow the Helium Mobile Network. More info can be found under "Discovery Mapping" in the Terms & Conditions.

Every 24-hour period, if you have successfully met the requirements above, you will be able to see any MOBILE rewards from the prior reward period in the “Wallet” tab of the the app. Rewards are currently calculated at 1:00 UTC and can take few hours to fully distribute.

What determines hex eligibility?

This quick answer is: A hex is eligible to map if it is in the United States, and has not been mapped within the last hour. If it has been mapped in the last hour, it's in what's called the cooldown period.

If the hex is located in the US and not in cooldown, there are a few other reasons you might not see a hex count towards your daily goal. The app will give you a daily breakdown of ineligible hexes, along with explanations, while also tracking your progress.

What's a cooldown period?

Once a subscriber maps a hex, that hex will enter a 1-hour cooldown period, meaning another subscriber cannot qualify for rewards using that hex until the cooldown period is over.

Cooldown periods prevent duplicate location data that does not contribute useful usage and coverage planning information, especially when it is received over a short time span.

The cooldown period is also an anti-gaming measure. Discovery Mapping rewards are evenly split among all subscribers who qualify for rewards. So, in addition to providing bad usage and coverage data, Discovery Mapping gamers take more than their fair share of rewards and dilute the rewards pool for all other Discovery Mappers. These changes will help address this problem.

Why else would a hex be ineligible?

Aside from being in cooldown, a hex is considered ineligible if:

  • The hex’s location is outside of US.

  • The hex has been mapped by another subscriber within the last hour.

  • The hex’s timestamp is too far in the future - make sure your clock is set to automatic. Trying to change your phone's time to modify your rewards period will result in this error.

  • The hex’s latitude/longitude is malformed or invalid. Make sure you don't have a VPN turned on or anything else that could obfuscate your location.

What is rewards claiming?

All rewards earned through Discovery Mapping are distributed to your Helium Mobile Wallet as unclaimed tokens. Rewards are distributed by the Solana Blockchain, and therefore, must be claimed using SOL tokens. Approximate claiming cost is 0.0003 SOL per transaction, but this amount can vary over time. You can read more about Solana transaction fees here:

Helium Mobile will cover cost of the rewards claim once per week. Once you have successfully claimed your rewards, they will be deposited to your wallet account.

Where can I get tokens?

Discovery Mapping allows subscribers to earn MOBILE tokens directly into their Helium Mobile app. We cover the transaction and claiming fees for up to 1 claim per week. To claim more than once per week, you will need SOL to cover any additional transaction and claiming fees. Approximate claiming cost is 0.0003 SOL per transaction, but this amount can vary over time. You can read more about Solana transaction fees here: In addition to MOBILE, the Helium Mobile app can hold any tokens supported by the Solana blockchain. While you can’t earn other tokens in the Helium Mobile app, there are a few ways to obtain them:

  1. Transfer these tokens from another wallet.

  2. Purchase SOL* on an external exchange and transfer them to your Helium Mobile wallet. Some exchanges that may support these tokens include:

You can find your wallet address by going to Wallet > Tokens under the Wallet Address section. Tapping on the address field will copy the wallet address to the phone’s clipboard for easy pasting if necessary.

*For clarity, SOL is a token that represents a unit of value in the Solana Network. For more information please visit []

How are rewards determined?

Rewards are calculated according to HIP53 and HIP79. HIPs are Helium Improvement Proposals - documents that are approved by voting of the holders of veHNT/veMOBILE/veIoT. HIPs govern the behavior of the Helium Mobile and IoT Networks.

HIP53 defines schedule and amount of MOBILE tokens minting. HIP79 describes how different mapping activities earn points, and defines that 20% of the total minted pool of MOBILE is allocated to mapping activities on the Helium Mobile Network.

HIP79 states that Discovery Mapping participants earn 30 points per day for qualifying mapping events. Since there are no other entities that perform mapping on the Helium Mobile Network at the moment, 20% of minted MOBILE tokens are split equally between all qualifying Discovery Mapping participants.

What can I do with my MOBILE tokens?

With the MOBILE Pay feature, you can use your MOBILE tokens to pay for your subscription! You can find the steps to do this here.

You can also spend MOBILE tokens in the in-app MOBILE Store! You can use MOBILE to buy Pixel phones or the Indoor/Outdoor Helium Mobile Hotspots

You can keep your MOBILE tokens in your Helium Mobile wallet, or transfer them to another wallet that supports MOBILE tokens. There may be additional uses for MOBILE in the future, for example the ability to use them to pay for your Helium Mobile plan. Stay tuned.

If you want to swap your MOBILE tokens for other tokens, you can transfer your tokens to a wallet that supports this functionality. For example, the Helium HNT Wallet app currently supports HNT/MOBILE swaps. For more information, see here.

Ultimately, what you do with your tokens is up to you.

Can I earn extra rewards if I enable Discovery Mapping on two or more phones?

You can only earn MOBILE rewards for Discovery Mapping once per account. The number of phones used for Discovery Mapping under the same account do not increase the reward amount. However, data events shared from multiple phones under one account will count toward your reward eligibility criteria. You can read more about reward eligibility in “How are rewards determined?”.

Will my personal data be collected?

Discovery Mapping will collect your location data. You can read our Privacy Policy for more information

Can I still Discovery Map on a group plan?

Yes! All group members have the ability to opt in to Discovery Mapping. All Discovery Mapping rewards are individual and are not shared by the group.


Discovery Mapping is on, but I'm not earning. What do I do?

Please delete and re-install the app directly from the app store:

    • If you have previously installed Helium Mobile from TestFlight, please delete that app and install Helium Mobile from the App Store with the link above.

Check that you have Discovery Mapping toggled “On” in the "Mapping" tab of your Helium Mobile app, double check that you are consistently sharing your location data. In your devices settings, ensure that your location services are "Always On" for the Helium Mobile app.

Additionally, make sure your device is not in the "Airplane Mode".

Androids tend to stop background processes (like sending GPS location) after about 3 days so save battery. While the app can not override this, we do recommend closing and reopening the app, as well as setting the app battery usage to Unrestricted. This can be done by going to Settings > type "Helium Mobile" > App battery usage > select "unrestricted".

Please note: GrapheneOS is not supported.

I get “Insufficient Funds” error when I try to claim my rewards.

Once you have used your free rewards claim, you will need SOL in your wallet to claim the MOBILE rewards. You can get SOL tokens:

  1. By transferring them from another wallet;

  2. Purchase SOL* on an external exchange and transfer them to your Helium Mobile wallet. Some exchanges that may support these tokens include:

    You can find your wallet address at the bottom of the “Me” tab labeled “Solana Address”. Taping on the address field will copy the wallet address to the phone’s clipboard. *For clarity, SOL is a token that represents a unit of value in the Solana Network. For more information please visit []

There was a bug or outage and I didn’t get rewarded for Discovery Mapping. Can I get back my rewards?

Any rewards, MOBILE or otherwise, you may be eligible to earn from Discovery Mapping or any other activity are not guaranteed and may vary depending on multiple factors, including but not limited to, individual activities, network usage, app configuration, technical and/or operational issues, and network governance. Rewards are a function of network governance and design and are subject to change without notice. Nova Labs is not responsible for providing, guaranteeing, and/or refunding any rewards or changes to award eligibility due to subscriber behavior, app permissions, network usage, network outages, service outages, outages related to the Solana blockchain, or any other factors that may impact rewards.

*For clarity, SOL is the native token of the Solana Network. For more information please visit []

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