Packet Broker

I have watched the videos and read what I can find on the packet broker, but still so many questions. Sorry in advance.

Organizations have had a play with TTN and a lot of us think LoRaWan is a super cool technology and want to use it to solve some real problems. When I talk to people about this move most all go from TTN to some private LoRaWan solution and in my small home town I know about at least 5 private LoRaWan networks. These are just the ones I have come across by accident, there are probable more.

So the need for something like the packet broker is obvious so that we avoid going from “building this thing together” to “each build their own” when moving towards more serious applications.

  1. When you sign to become a lora alliance member you get a a netId that is required to set up a packet broker. Then one or hopefully more than one private networks that implement a packet broker agent can connect to a packet broker and away we go with exchanging some encryption keys?

  2. Is there a limit on the number of private networks that can connect to a given packet broker? I assume a private network can only be connected to one packet broker at a time?

  3. Does each private network need its own data plane? Not sure how this fits in.

  4. Does the DevAddr Prefix and DevAddr Range play a role in how many devices a membership can route? Is this a LoRaWan roaming thing?

  5. How does packet broker to packet broker communication work? I would like to be able to route messages to TTN from any of the connected private networks if they choose to do so.

  6. Do you need to set up some deal with the operators of other packet brokers if you want to cooperate?

  7. I understand that private network can pay to get and get paid for router another private networks packets (or some other deal). So it is up to the packet broker operator to set up the infrastructure to handle the economics of a packet broker ?

  8. Is there some sort of a packet broker playground where we can have a play with this thing?

  9. Are there any packet brokers out there that are open where I can connect a couple of private networks and start figuring this thing out?

  10. Say you want to operate a packet broker at an airport creating a local marked for an airport IoT connectivity, do you need a new netId for this airport? Or is it not intended to be used in this way.


I would like to add my question:
11. Is it possible to contribute to packet broker in a way that one does not need membership or own netIds, but simply forwards everything in both directions?


I have a gateway added to a free account on TTI. It picks up requests and forwards them to the cloud server. I can see traffic.

I have enabled packet broker. I set my gateway as public.

Does this mean I am contributing to the public TTN? How can I verify?

I need to keep it as a TTI cloud server to avoid fair use policies for my iot devices.

If there is no contribution to TTN, then what is the point of packet broker in TTI?

Yes. Register a device on TT Sandbox, run it near your gateway, the meta data will show that a PB entry.

Top level philosophical thinking here! Why would they create PB, provide configuration in a private instance to allow people to peer with TTN and not have it contribute to TTN …

If you have a TTI account.

In the admin panel, there are Peering settings.

Near the bottom you will see a Network tab.

Here you will find all the routing policies. Search or ttn and you will see if you rout to them or not.

I often wince when I hear users say this…

So long as you remember that FUP isnt just about back end server loadings or GW utilisation etc… its also about fair and proportionate use of the scarcest rsource of all - the limit RF spectrum we all have to share!

Whilst your local regulations will vary wrt bands used, utilisation rates (determined by e.g. duty cycle limits, dwell time constraints, LBT tests, or what ever), etc. there is only so much available radio capacity in a given area - and remember that area can be large in the case of LoRa radio based implementations.

You should not think in terms of ‘how can I get around the limits’ (e.g. avoid FUP) but rather think ‘what is the minimum need for my application plus a little extra headroom’ such that we all sip from the RF Spectrum cup rather than drink like its a fire hose! E.g. if (say) limit per device here in EMEA is duty cycle constrained (0.1%, 1% or by exception 10%) for a given band) then please dont think just 'cause I can then I should! Decimate the limit (use maybe 10% of) or less!..otherwise if everyone pushed to the legal limits we would all have problems. Also there are many around the world suggesting/pushing for tighter limits so we dont want to give them excuses or reasons/examples to do just that otherwise again we all suffer! I often tell folks think of the FUP as a good guide to how to behave and utilise in general cases outside of TTN :wink:

And before you say “I dont care, I’m all right Jack not my problem”, remember when your IOT device Tx their signal is heard by all GW’s in range (possibly a long way away) and on hearing the start of the message they will start allocating internal resources, scheduling, to potentially handle the message - even if not needed or their own or even on same network…that then limits capacity to handle other legit traffic…I’m sure you would be upset if the users near you started pushing to the limits causing your own GW’s to allocate resources meaning unable to fully handle your own traffic! (TTI Cloud or not) Just sayin’ :slight_smile:
Think socially responsible use, please…


Me too, because these days it’s typically a home user on a free Discovery instance gaming the system. Hopefully I’m wrong.