Secret price of a LoRa gateway


#1

Several companies that produce gateways make a strange commercial policy... for us the price is a SECRET.
You have to contact reseller, distributors etc etc, It's so difficult to have CLEAR PRICES? TTN have done a great and transparent policy with a public price...
What do you think about?


#2

I agree. On the other hand many parties offer IoT solutions that are off the shelf and are entirely finished.. by the marketing department. The R&D department didn't even start. I guess that also goes for a serious number of those on-request hardware.


#3

That's typical for the telco/M2M market. Try getting some quotes on M2M subscriptions from a telco. If they are even interested (volume has to be high enough) then you're up for filling out forms, meeting representatives, filling out even more forms etc.

One or two things have to do with volume. Margins on M2M subscriptions and hardware is not "that" high (MORE than enough according to me, but then again I'm not listed on the stock exchange) so they are not interested in the hobbyist market where they will only sell one or two pieces per person.

Also, most telco's and hardware production companies don't want the overhead of small sales. You won't find the price for a single smartphone on the website of Foxconn either. These companies want to sell to distributors. These are their most important customers, and setting up their own sales channel would only undermine the relationship with their customers.


#4

I see parallels with the utter confusion telco's try to create with mobile subscriptions :smiley: Perhaps nowadays it's a bit better but it was pretty horrible in the past.


#5

Yes, I understand that is more easy and profitable to work with distributors, but the problem is that is not good for the customer, because every step grow the final cost, we live in a globalized market, now I can buy everything via web, why I'can't buy a LoRa Gateway from a producer... my target is to grow TTN users... I need a simple way to do this...


(Ccadic) #6

Why not opensource code and hardware ?


#7

If you really think about it ... you buy a TTN gateway :wink:


#8

Indeed we think that our SCZ Gateway solution, with Raspberry Pi and ic880a is a real solutions, we have several great tests with that, no problem, easy to manage, and completely open source...


#9

When will be available :slight_smile:


#10

You can buy a gateway through the web. Lorank-8, iC880A, TTN when available, ... You just can't buy directly from the manufacturer. Which is not that strange. If you need a switch, you don't buy it from Cisco, you go to Amazon or an (online) computer shop. If you need a smartphone, you don't buy it from Foxconn, you go to the Apple shop or your (online) electronics market. Just like this LoraWan gateways will also become commodity items in various online shops like Adafruit or Sparkfun given some time.


#11

You CAN buy from the manufacturer. We make the Lorank 8 right here in Doorn. No distributor.


(Sylvain M) #12

Not having a "public" price is typical of a professional market. Always having a "price range" would be nice, to get a rough idea before having to spend time contacting a manufacturer, but it's simply not possible, most of the time, to have an official "listed price". And it has nothing to do with the manufactured opacity of the telephone/internet consumer contracts.

Selling a product is never a one-off transaction. Whenever I sell a product, I have to provide some support, and I have to provide some level of warranty against defects. For private consumers, I also have to collect a tax for recycling, collect VAT, I'm legally obliged to provide a 2-year warranty, I must allow the buyer to change its mind for 30 days after buying, etc. Consumer protection is great, but it's not trivial to manage.

Overall, unless I have chosen to address the consumer market, and designed my ordering/billing/shipping processes around that, the simple action of selling a single "professional" product to a customer can cost me many times what I charge. The alternative is Alibaba: you can buy whatever you want, directly from the manufacturer. You pay before shipment, with little to no warranty, no consumer protection, no support, and certification is totally random. It's awesome in some case, but most of the time, not.


(Sylvain M) #13

On a side-note, have you both planned to do proper CE radio tests, done by an independent lab, before selling your products? Putting a SX1301 in a box close to a fast system-on-chip can generate some nasty harmonics, and that might make some licensed user of the bands from 850 to several GHz very unhappy.


#14

That is why we have lots of copper between the two boards.
No worries there.


New gateway?
#15

Speaking of price, I reached out to RisingHF for their updated pricing on the RHF0M301 concentrator (related to our possible crowd buy). It goes from €110 for 30 pieces down to €97 for 100 pieces. The RasPi interface board is then €23. Throw in said RasPi and an Aliexpress antenna and you have a fully fledged gateway for under €170.


(Jose Marcelino) #16

Is that with VAT or shipping? The bulk pricing - FOB Shenzhen - I have from RisingHF is

10pcs, USD135/PCS
50pcs, USD110/PCS
100pcs, USD90/PCS
500pcs, USD75/PCS

I'd say the adapter board even at €23 is overpriced. It's simple board with a double row header connector for the Pi, two USB connectors and a few capacitors. We can do better for less.


#17

You both forget the amount of time there goes into assembling and programming these things. I can cough up these prices from several vendors but then I'm left a box full of parts. And a box of parts is not a fully functioning and tested Gateway! Also, are you going to prepay 500 gateways with no guarantee they will sell within a certain amount of time?


#18

It's excluding VAT. Strange your quote starts higher but drops faster :slight_smile: .

And you're right about the interface board, there's not a lot of magic in there.


#19

You are right. There definitely is an added cost of assembly, programming, support, etc.
Using @Epyon 's example:
A BoM of EUR 170 + another EUR 170 for assembly, programming, support is still lower than the cost of Lorank (@ 1 off).

But the real question is, how low can these 'crowd source' gateways go to provide a real alternative to the TTN gateway (that is still a few months away) and other 'expensive' gateways in the market.

Personally, we would love to deploy a wider scale LoRaWAN network on TTN with up to 100 gateways. But at the cost of £400+ per gateway, this just doesn't make economic sense.

Drop the price down to £100 or £150 at 100+ units, then we have a real opportunity...


#20

Let's get some things straight first. The whole concept of the possible 'crowd buy' is geared toward our community of enthusiasts and tinkerers, persons who know they are just buying 'a box of components' and are perfectly okay with assembling and testing it in their spare time. It's our hobby after all.

If you want to deploy 100+ units then you need a community like this, with everyone spending a little money and having fun building the gateways, e.g. through a joint workshop. You don't need to invest moneys in hardware, you need to invest time in community building.

If you want to deploy 100+ units yourself, then you'd better come up with a business plan. Then you are not longer in the realm of community networks. I don't think the BOM of any fully fledged gateway will ever be lower than €200, unless someone sells it below production price to reap benefits on services offered through the network.