What is Helium’s PoCv11? How does it affect me?

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As long as you use a low gain antenna, report your location and antenna gain accordingly – PoCv11 will have little to no affect on you.


Simply put PoCv11 (proof-of-coverage version 11) is designed to assist the network with being not only more accurate in assessing locations from radio frequency data, but to keep Helium Hotspots in radio frequency regulatory compliance. PoCv11 specifically, as described in the official Helium discord announcement, will “increase the variety of data on chain for Proof-of-Coverage” and “improve fairness of PoC receipt data and, consequently, rewards.”

If you’re interested in reading more, here’s a great, straight to the point, simple to understand bit by Amir Haleem, CEO at Helium:

adds regional support for PoC – today the network treats all PoC activity as if it’s operating in the US. this is a problem as different regions run on different radio frequencies and at different power levels (by law), so what is considered valid or invalid varies substantially. V11 adds regional awareness based on the asserted location of the Hotspot

removes SNR from the validity checks – today both the signal-to-noise ratio and free space path loss calculation (FSPL) is used to determine whether PoC packets are valid or not. this was an attempt to make it more difficult for gamers to lie about their location. it hasn’t worked well and is being removed. SNR proved to be fairly useless as a mechanism, so now only an FSPL calculation is used to determine whether Hotspots are where they say they are in relation to each othe

adds a regional frequency check – V11 introduces a check to make sure that PoC packets are being sent at the correct frequency for the region the Hotspots are located in. for example if a Hotspot is transmitting packets in the US frequency bands but based in South Korea, those packets would now be invalid

complies with local power output regulations – different regions have different maximum power output laws for unlicensed radios. in the US, for example, the max EIRP is 36dBm. in the EU this is 16.5dBm. currently in PoC v10 the power output is hardcoded to 27dBm for the US and rest of the world, and 14dBm for the EU. V11 will reduce the power output if the combination of the maximum output power + antenna gain exceeds the local laws – for example, a Hotspot operating in the US with a 5.8dBi antenna would have a total EIRP of the Hotspot power output (27dBm) + the 5.8dBi antenna = 32.8dBm total EIRP, which is below the 36dBm allowed. nothing would change in this case. if instead the antenna was changed to a 10dBi antenna bringing the total EIRP to 27dBm + 10dBi = 37dBm, the miner software will reduce the power output of the Hotspot by 1dBm so that the total is less than equal to the 36dBm allowed by law. in the EU a 5.8dBi antenna would cause the Hotspot power output to be reduced to 10.7dBm so that the total EIRP is 16.5dBm

PoC V11 does not have anything to do with the 10 witness maximum, or the witness randomization changes that were added recently. we’re hoping to activate PoC V11 in early October. it is currently not active.

Amir Haleem, CEO at Helium

Wait!? It’s Already Out?

No. At the time of this writing it currently hasn’t been released and has been in-face pushed out till November 1, 2021 as described in Helium’s announcement in Discord:

November 15, 2021 Update: PoCv11 has yet to be released. Read More on our blog “PoCv11 Update & Performance News”!

PoCv11 – New Activation Date: Nov 1

The core developers have deferred the activation of PoCv11 until November 1.

During testing of the latest validator and blockchain-node release, the team has found a few bugs that need to be resolved in order to allow all blockchain participants to be ready for the activation of PoCv11. There was a race condition found in the start up that were affecting a subset of these participants that made the a recent validator release not viable for GA.

We will also be working with manufacturers to confirm that their packet forwarder settings are ready for the PoCv11 change.

We will be issuing updates to validator and blockchain-node this week and will be ready for activation once these groups have upgraded.

Thank you all for your patience. As you know, the core devs want to make sure this release is done as safely as possible.


Your Call to Action

  1. Be sure to assert your hotspot in the right location If hotspots are asserted “nearby,” PoCv11 could affect you. Be sure the hotspot is asserted correctly. Location updates do cost approximately $10 in DC (data credits) as a blockchain fee. This fee gets burned and is not sent to any individual or company.
  2. Assert your antenna gain This is important as PoCv11 may scale down your transmission power based on antenna gain to fit local regulations. Antenna height is not necessary for PoCv11, but could be helpful for network evaluation purposes.
  3. Encourage others Get others involved by asking them to complete these steps. It helps improve coverage and rewards around you to improve the Helium network.

That’s it! PoCv11 is at the end of the day is set out to improve the Helium network, make it more widely adoptable and compliant.

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