I hope this is in the right place. I’m new here but am in the process of building out a LoRaWAN network over the top of my Wireless ISP network that covers several hundred square miles in rural Washington state USA. As altruistic as I am I am looking for someone to pitch to me why I should open it up to the TTN public. What are the reasons you guys are involved in TTN? My use case is rural AG sensors and is working well. I spent a bit of time testing and playing with TTN and LoRaWAN last year with a significant amount of success and interest by potential customers. Obviously this is not my first RF gig and LoRaWAN seems to make a good addition to our core business of providing internet. What are some reasons that I should include my network in the TTN Public Network and invest time and money creating a TTN community here?
No takers? What I don’t get is that it seems there is no (or very little) incentive for me as an operator to use TTN other than free infrastructure for my devices which is pointless in my estimation after you scale to dozens of nodes. Am I missing something? I don’t even know that it would need to be monetary but perhaps it could be. (even giving operators more leeway in terms of airtime etc for their own or managed devices) I have no desire to go into consulting at the moment but perhaps that is the angle that anyone who is doing this for more than a hobby is taking. (I’ve watched the session on YouTube about this, I know it’s possible)
I really want TTN to work and thrive or I wouldn’t be here talking but I’m also trying to work through and understand what appears to be an inherent problem with the TTN model. I’m not trying to cause a fight but if I’m going to take up this cause these are the things I need to sort out in my head.
(yes that is a poke at the Initiator title. With the negative connotation of instigator being someone who stirs up trouble )
I suposse the main budgetry reason to deploy your network on TTN is to take advantage of the gateways already deployed by the community in your area.
Other incentive could be linking your corporate identity to procomun values like openess, neutrality and freedom.
If this is not an additional plus for your case, a private network (TTIG or similar) would be more appropiate.
Thank you @jfmateos I like that about linking ourselves to the openness. I assume this only happens through self promotion in the local LoRaWAN community. It’s not like those who use the network see anything during the course of using the network. And that is what I am talking about. In reports and TTN displays it could show that they used xyz networks infrastructure this week and they are awesome and you should check out the other stuff they do…
There are no other gateways at this point but if I promote this and it is adopted that would be a benefit. I hadn’t thought that part through as I’m an infrastructure guy and own the whole thing on my microwave network.
Have you considered https://www.packetbroker.org/ which been developed by TTI
Self-promotions is a key factor here. We have quite a number of municipality efforts at the moment in my state. A lot of them promote this openness part as an enabler (some of which run private networks as well). For them it’s about showing citizens, they want to take them into a digital age by providing a platform for them to come up with their own ideas. Kids in schools build cool stuff on ttn, cities run hackathons, makers come up with devices that sometimes are of use for the municipalities again (monitoring smaller springs for flood predictions was just talked about at our last meetup). The most useful solutions usually come up because people want to solve an existing problem. If the burden of access is small, chances of success are higher. That’s why quite some contracts for building these networks around here have an openness clause in them. Investments for building a LoRaWAN network are substantial but then again rather small compared to broadband internet (I could only guess those numbers but you do know them). I know cases where they fit in the maintenance and operations budgets of other radio networks and can even share some of that infrastructure. Hence there is not such a hard pressure to make them pay for themselves.
Another reason for being part of this community is rather pragmatic. The many people using ttn have gained quite some experience in many areas. Chances are good that a problem has been encountered by more than one person and solved. But this help is bound to ttn.
@iiLaw’s suggestion would even allow you to do both: Run a commercial operation with tighter service level guarantees while still providing a community access for free.
Thank you @msei, that was useful. I’m not sure that Packet Broker makes sense without a very large scale deployment. $3k / year is a sizeable number to monetize in a undeveloped area.
I have a lot of thoughts but let me parse through them and see if I have anymore useful questions or ideas. I wish they had a fully managed TTN style version of the Packet Broker.
Isn’t that how the owner of The Things Network - the things industries - make their living?
I already created a network covering 4 cities here in Brazil, at the beginning I started with TTN.
However, as you progress commercially TTN may become a little unviable, mainly because it makes class C applications impossible.
I have a lot of experience with this and I believe I can help you. If you are interested, you can contact me directly.
Why not share this on the forum so we can all learn from it? BTW, class C is coming to the public network later this year.