The Helium network is built on a decentralized infrastructure that utilizes hotspots to provide coverage and enable mining of the Helium Token (HNT). Hotspots are devices that act as gateways for devices on the network to connect to and send data. These devices can be placed in a variety of locations, from homes to businesses, and are a crucial component of the Helium network.

There are three main types of hotspots on the Helium network: full hotspots, light hotspots, and data-only hotspots.

Full hotspots are the most versatile type of hotspot and are capable of providing coverage and mining HNT. They are equipped with a LoRaWAN radio, a GPS module, and a processor, and can connect to a variety of devices on the network. These hotspots are best suited for providing coverage in densely populated areas and can earn significant rewards for their owners.

Light hotspots are a more compact version of full hotspots and are best suited for providing coverage in less densely populated areas. They still have a LoRaWAN radio, but do not have a GPS module or a processor. This makes them less capable of providing coverage or mining HNT.

Data-only hotspots are designed specifically for data transfer and do not have the capability to provide coverage or mine HNT. They are typically used in applications where data transfer is the primary concern and are not used for coverage or mining.

Validators are another important component of the Helium network. They are responsible for verifying and processing transactions on the Helium blockchain and are rewarded with HNT for their work. Validators are elected by the community and are typically full hotspots that have a large amount of HNT “staking” to them.

In summary, the Helium network relies on a variety of hotspot types to provide coverage and enable mining. Full hotspots are the most versatile and are best suited for providing coverage in densely populated areas, while light hotspots and data-only hotspots have specialized use cases. Additionally, validators play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the network.