Getting more insight in gateway utilisation

What I’d like to see is some way to get better insight into the actual utilisation of TTN community gateways. This is often part of the discussion about the so-called fair-access-policy or fair-use-policy, described here: Fair Use Policy explained
Discussion can get very passionate about this topic, to the point that threads about it are closed / hidden from view. But are the assumptions from the policy actually verified?

As far as I know there is currently no way to tell if there is “too much” traffic coming into your gateway, other than programming your own solution specifically for your gateway. There is no overview of this, like a map of gateways + receive duty cycle.

There used to be a page called briefly mentioned in this thread:
Monitoring availability of LoRa nodes - #12 by adilhidayat
It accepted UDP semtech protocol messages. It appears to no longer exist unfortunately.

Perhaps we can create something like this again, and give the FUP/FAP discusions somewhat of a quantitative/empirical basis?

I have written a kind of collector-application in Java that connects to the gateway API of TTNv3.
With the use of the gateway id + API key (with right to read/write traffic), this application can collect incoming data from multiple gateways and log it / forward it. It can also forward the data again, as semtech UDP protocol stream (PUSH DATA messages), filling in the various field as well as it can from the TTN gateways API stream. This will also work for gateways where you don’t have a lot of control over the gateway yourself, like the TTIG. Code is at:

I am quite sure that other people have already written things to collect/query/view statistics from a semtech UDP stream.

I think it would be very nice to have a map and be able to see where the actual bottlenecks are.
Perhaps this could even be integrated into TTN-mapper, or the TTN map view.
What do you think?

And what do you want to do if there are bottlenecks and what if there aren’t?

If you allow people more airtime in places where there is currently no bottleneck, do you think there will be any way to get them to reduce airtime when bottlenecks start to appear? (I think we’ll have more of the ‘my hardware worked on V2 and not on V3 so TTN is at fault’ like outcries) And what about non TTN deployments? How do you want to handle those if they cause bottlenecks?

From a theoretical standpoint knowing the figures would be nice but I fear this will result in more people pushing (exceeding) the limits.

It should not change the TTN policy which was established well before the majority of the current users joined TTN (and well before any potential issues were likely to occur).

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Rather than indulge in an exersize of collecting information that might be to little purpose, perhaps the views of TTI on expanding the amount of data allowed under the fair access policy should be obtained ?

Well, indeed the idea is indeed to get more actual real-world data.

Knowing what is happening in the air is interesting by itself, IMO. The first step is to know what is going on, the next step could be to do something about it. This is something that we can do/know right now, I think that step 2 should depend on step 1, not the other way around.

I found this post very enlightning for example:

I’m not sure what you mean with other TTN deployments. Sure there are other LoRaWAN networks they will cause some interference, and you can’t do much about that. I think it’s good to know the extent of interference from other networks too.

Right now, any discussion about the FUP/FAP is purely based on assumptions only.

I mention other non TTN deployments. That would be other commercial deployments like Orange, Swisscom, KPN, Helium and private deployments as well as non commercial private deployments using gateways embedded LoRaWAN servers or other backends. Given the device addresses I’m seeing there are at least a number of LoRaWAN networks in my vicinity.

Any discussion regarding the fair access policy is not useful anyway if you don’t have @johan and @wienkegiezeman on board. They determine the direction of TTN. Not the forum users. If you have their go ahead regarding a discussion we can look into gathering data required for such a discussion.

If you want real-world data to analyze it for different purposes that might be useful as well. In MP forwarder I did include a way to send metadata to a server for that purpose.

That is your assumption, yes.

Have you obtained the views of the TTN founders who set the policy ?

You know what, let’s forget discussing the FUP/FAP, that wasn’t the main point anyway.

The possibility that I see, is that we can once again have a way for gateway owners to get insight into the statistics of their own gateway or of a group of gateways (say, a TTN community).
What I’ve written is an application that can collect this data, even for gateways that are not so easily configurable to send a UDP datastream to an alternate address, like the TTIG.

What is further needed is an analyzer/accumulator application that can accept a “semtech” UDP datastream and nice front-end like used to have.

So, if anyone has written something like that, perhaps we can cooperate.

Really ?

Read the first paragraph of your post;

"What I’d like to see is some way to get better insight into the actual utilisation of TTN community gateways. This is often part of the discussion about the so-called fair-access-policy or fair-use-policy, described here: Fair Use Policy explained
Discussion can get very passionate about this topic, to the point that threads about it are closed / hidden from view. But are the assumptions from the policy actually verified?

Many might assume from that; if a Gateway utilisation shows to be very low you are questioning as to whether the fair access policy is valid.

Maybe I got it wrong ?

Very recently, a thread where the FUP came up was simply closed and even hidden from view. That annoyed me, to be honest. An objective measure could benefit both sides of the discussion, but I feel a lot of resistance even against that here in the reactions. It seems to be a true taboo-subject by now.

So, hence my offer to ignore the subject for now, and just focus on getting at least getting useful stats again and seeking cooperation for that.

As a moderator for over 5 years the repetitive reoccurrence of attempts to circumvent or discus the fair access policy annoys me.

The fair access policy has been in place since 2015 (iirc). It is an effective mechanism to prevent single users/use cases hogging the airwaves. When you look at the stats from @pe1mew message you will notice TTN address count is one third of KPN address count but four times the amount of traffic. I interpret that to mean the TTN fair access policy is generous as is without need to increase it.

I don’t mind cooperating on an effort to get useful data when I have a little more spare time in a couple of weeks but I don’t want to discover afterwards that the data will be used for fair access policy discussions.

Ah we see.

So in simple terms you want the co-operation of the forum to justify changes to the fair access policy ?



But that seems to be the (clear ?) intent of the OP.

When a new forumite trolls, with nothing of merit in the discussion, that’s what happens.

FUP operates at device level, so gateway data is somewhat sideways.

Gateways are kept legal by the Network Server.

TTI could data mine to see if someone is exceeding FUP if they needed to, maybe they do.

The FUP is not just about the airwaves, it’s also about the infrastructure - server loads etc.

I said in the closed thread, if anyone starts a thread with a reasonable use case for discussion, that’s a positive. Gathering data to justify an increase because it is perceived by some that there is spare capacity is very subjective - who defines what the levels should be? I know. It’s the ones who pay the server bills. I suspect they have other things on their todo list at present.

The very simplest way to step outside the FUP & share your gateways & have access to the TTN gateways is to rent a TTI instance. Find some friends to split the €200/month cost for the 1,000 devices.

But please, can we review the FUP by use case, not some numbers that we have no context for.

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My 2 cents on this:

Please let this forum be an open platform where we discuss technical matters related to LoRaWAN in the domain of TTN. It fits us, engineers, to be critical of these topics. Ignoring data, being afraid of the story it is telling us, has not helped anyone.

I “teach LoRaWAN” as part of IoT classes for my university. The main objective is to teach my students engineering skills where they do the maximum while using minimum resources and realising the objectives of a customer. The frequency spectrum is a scarce resource and Duty Cycle constraint and Fair Use Policy aid in keeping in the scarce resource “spectrum” as much as possible available.

Having traffic data available helps in explaining the intentions of rule makers like regulators and an operator called TTN. There is nothing harmful in collecting data, interpreting it and discussing the results. There is nothing wrong with discussing rules and regulations in an open atmosphere. I do the same with my students on a regular basis resulting in the knowledge they carry with them making them better engineers.

And there is nothing wrong with holding someone accountable for their behaviour if FUP of DC is violated. 9 out of 10 times it is not on purpose. Happily, for you all, you are not graded by me :wink:

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I love having data. I don’t mind useful discussions. However Johan and Wienke are the ones to involve when it comes to the fair access policy. That is not something the community or forum population can decide on. Wienke made it quite clear in a conference call last year that TTN is not a democracy, he and Johan call the shots.
So any discussion on the subject that does not include them is pointless.

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Plus 1

Absolutely, being the core of the scientific method.

But people are hoping they can skip the formation of a hypothesis and appear to be hoping that by collecting data they can justify a change but haven’t said what that change may be. This process works in some situations, but does lend itself to cherry picking parts of the data to fit an unconscious (or deliberate) bias.

If someone had a theory / hypothesis at the start of the discussion, we could then devise an experiment or observation to validate it (or not). And if it had merit and had the supporting data, an approach could be made to the TTI directors with something of substance.

As @kersing states above, it has been made very clear that core decisions rest only with TTI directors. So unless someone comes up with a sound starting point, any discussion is futile and runs the risk of misleading those less informed in how TTN needs to work to be sustainable.

Ok, there is no discussion nor decision on changing FUP neither is there on DC. Let’s move on and collect data and discuss what we see within the regulations we have.

I am wondering. If this is the world we live in, why are we complaining about TTI/TTN? They do decide what is best for us in the end? If someone doesn’t like it here, I would recommend to carry on, there is nothing here for him.

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