So you want to go to market with an Internet of Things products. The odds are stacked against you. The average lead time is 24 months and there is a high failure rate. Make sure you are well prepared and if you fail, fail early so you can start over again. The sea of opportunities in the Internet of Things is huge, but only a few are able to tap the potential.
Use The Things Network for building a proof of concept with speedy installation knowing additional security and scalability features can be added later on only allowing highly secure solutions to end up in production.
Use The Things network for evaluation and get to know the technology. When you are ready to scale up, you can continue using the same API’s with a carrier grade network server.
Get yourself to a flying start by learning everything about LoRaWAN. Chances are, the solution you want to build does not actually match the technical capabilities of LoRaWAN. Save yourself time and money by getting educated. Our content will help you get up to speed faster, saving you time in your research.
See our LoRaWAN Docs
Best way to learn about new technology is to get hands-on experience. Our products allow you to setup a LoRaWAN network in 5 minutes, build a prototype in 1 hour and a proof of concept in one day. Our products are accompanied with numerous explanation videos and content to save time and money.
See our Products
Start prototyping your idea. Make it work first, make it perfect later. The first tangible version of your solution will make you go through all kinds of hurdles which you may not have thought of earlier. This allows you to communicate the idea to your stakeholders and gather their feedback. Keep your costs low in this phase by using standard components. Make sure to keep all stakeholders aligned and don’t over-promise. With the standard prototyping tools, the solution initially is nowhere close to a scalable version.
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Use The Things Network community network for building a proof of concept and speedy installation knowing additional security and scalabillity features can be added later on.
Any project benefits from doing the most risky bits first. In IoT the business case might be the hardest. Although it can be tempting to dive into the awesomeness of the LoRaWAN technology. Testing your business model might be the right step now. There is a ton of documentation for startups and corporates on how to test the market. Do that first!
After securing funding, testing the market or being highly confident of releasing something that makes sense; continue this process by designing the full solution in detail. In most cases, it is not smart to iterate from the initial prototype. Start from scratch and design for production. Make yourself aware on how the technical capabilities of LoRaWAN relates to the key drivers in your business case.For example if your use case depends highly on the low power part, make sure to incorporate this in your design. Draft realistic scenarios on how your product will work in the field taking into account different Spreading Factors and potential OTA Firmware Updates which consume quite some energy.There are many companies that can help with this part. Acknowledging the fact that getting started with LoRaWAN products and “getting finished” are two very different concepts which require different competences and in the end will save you a lot of time and money. Get inspired on our Marketplace
Scan the market for existing products that may suit your requirements. You might want to do this earlier in the process as these details will have a huge pay off at a later stage. You can check out a list of devices available here:
Go to The Things Network Marketplace
Decide on what to do with your data and what kind of platform to use for visualizing, analyzing and acting on data. There is a wide range of products available, from open source and fully serviced alternatives to integrations with the commonly used platforms in the market. Check our marketplace
How is the data presented and what interface is going to be exposed to the user. Are you going to integrate it in an existing ERP system or are you providing your own UI.
The key strength of LoRaWAN is the ability to build the network yourself. There is a great offering by LoRaWAN network operators around the world which creates another build or buy decision. There are many things to take into consideration. The most notable is that the energy efficiency of a LoRaWAN node is highly dependent to the distance from the gateway. Although the networks are interoperable, your node and business case will not be the same in different scenarios. Take your pick on our Docs
Do a good assessment on your long term risks with regards to vendor lock-ins. By nature LoRaWAN compliant products are interoperable across networks. But there are vendors around, that will not grant you access to all pieces of the technology stack creating lock-ins to their services. See our Docs
Check the regulation for your area of operation with regards to privacy while building this into your design. Also check if your security and key management is according to the local regulation.
Set up your production environment by launching a seperate LoRaWAN cluster for complete control over Quality of Service and security.Opt in to network collaboration allowing your devices to run across The Things Network.
LoRaWAN allows you to manage your own keys by running your own join server. A LoRaWAN specified interface allows you to take control over your root keys and building a chain of trust that is compliant with your business requirements. This gives you a choice whether you want to depend on a third party for your security.
See our Docs
If you decide to build your own network you can choose to collaborate with other networks. LoRaWAN allows for peering network traffic. Because of the end to end encryption embedded in the protocol, secure routing over public network is possible and this can bring huge benefits and efficiency in network deployments.
Do a final assessment on what to do when things break. IoT Deployments don’t always go as planned, be prepared for the the worse case.
Any LoRaWAN application involves a piece of hardware that needs to be physically shipped and deployed. There is a wide range of distribution providers and resellers in the electronics world that can do this without any hassles. Don’t forget to take the stock in to your business case.
Run your LoRaWAN applications in production on a secure infrastructure with low maintenance costs while maintaining full control over your devices.
Select your manufacturer. Off-shore, near-shore or in your home country. Many have failed in this part. There is a correlation between costs and quality. So be well advised while engaging with a manufacturing partner.
The product is never finished. Build a strategy that allows you to update the firmware over the air.