Is it possible to use a gateway without owning it?


I am very new here, I hope this questions hasn’t already been answered like 100 times, but no matter how much i search I can’t seem to find a fitting answer.

When looking into the matter of using a gateway which I can find in the coverage map, I always seem to hit a wall. I’ve read a few posts from which i have gathered that it should be possible to use a gateway in your area. My question is if it really is possible and how to do that exactly.

I’ve tried to add a gateway in the things stack but for this i do need the GatewayID which isn’t shown in the coverage map. There is only the name and a few other properties of the gateway.

So if anyone can tell me if it is indeed possible to use ttn without owning a gateway and if yes then how are the basic steps to add it too, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance!

Yes it is - indeed that is how the community works - people put up GW’s register them to the TTN Back End (Newtwok Server - NS) and the data appears there for your devices and applications. LoRaWAN is a broadcast system where devices (nodes) associate with a network vs something like WiFi where a device associates with a WiFi access point (GW equivalent). When a node transmits it is picked up by all GW’s in range with appropriate varying level of signal (RSSI & SNR). The message along with a time stamp and the signal metadata is passed on the the NS, where all the messages are aggregated and de-duplicated and passed to the associated registered application. FWIW this has been covered multiple time over the years so suprised you didnt find answer in search… but now you know! :slight_smile: Key point is your node must be heard by and in range of at least one GW. The Map give an indication but doesnt guarantee reception - buiding clutter, land topography and local intereferes can all affect reception.

Are you trying to register your own GW or trying to get access to someone elses? You wont have access to their details - you only need these when registering your own GW. GW EUI (and GW ID if different and where applicable (TTN V2 vs TTN V3 etc.) is usually provided with GW or can be coded into it and in the case of GW ID this is something user friendly that you add at time or registration etc.

The good news is, yes, you can use other gateways!

A good way is to look at TTN Mapper (I like the heatmap view), then look for gateways in your neighbourhood. You can click on them and get and idea if they are any good, I like to use the “alpha shape” feature to get an idea of their coverage.

If you find a gateway that looks usable to you, you can try to find more information about it, e.g. by it’s EUI. I found this post very instructive: How to contact a gateway owner?

Once you figure out who owns the gateway, you can contact them through their user page, e.g.
(use the “Contact” button)

You can ask them to make you a “collaborator” for example, so you can view traffic coming in through that particular gateway.

Also try to find out if there’s a local TTN community in your area, through

Thank you so much, it really helped me a lot! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your quick answer! It really helped me understand the fundamentals a bit more! :slight_smile:

To answer your question: I want to get access to a existing gateway, but fortunately this was already answered too. Now I am ready to really get into it! :slight_smile:

You don’t need access to a gateway to have it forward your traffic. It is handy for debugging but up to the gateway owner to decide to provide you access or not.

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