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EETE DEC 2015 For 40 euros, the foundation is also putting forward The Things Uno, what they describe as an Arduino Uno with Lo- RaWAN connectivity, compatible with Arduino IDE and existing shields. The unit will ship pre-loaded with the foundation’s open source LoRa library also freely available on GitHub. At 60 euros, The Things Node completes the Kickstarter offering, packing a movement sensor, a light sensor, a temperature sensor, a button and an RGB light in a waterproof casing with three AAA batteries for a year’s worth of operation. Although the foundation is providing data routing and hosting services in what it calls a neutral location, it does not plan to deploy its own network. “If a company wants to rely on maintained network infrastructure, Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2015 15 Future products_93x277_UK.indd 1 18/05/15 10:33 then it may want to contribute money to the foundation to guarantee coverage for the area it operates in, we would work with an integrator company that could operate the network for them”, says Stokking. But according to him, the cost of network installation is so low that this may not even be a viable business model for would-be IoT network operators. In fact, Stokking believes that eventually, all IoT communications will be free. “Communications is something for which traditionally, network operators have been charging monthly fees. We are disrupting this model as anyone could leverage the free bandwidth of installed gateways”. “IoT network operators may be bragging about their coverage, because in their mind set, it is all about charging recurrent fees. We provide a free alternative, using similar technology but a crowd-sourced model.” explained Stokking. As for a nation-wide service, what sort of service level can you guarantee? They often get asked. “We can’t guarantee coverage everywhere, because this IoT network is communitydriven”, admits Stokking, but again according to the co-founder, every new use-case is an opportunity for network expansion, and eventually, such an open-source movement could spread beyond the capacity of commercial operators. Since it started to publicize its crowd-sourced internet of things data network (covering the entire city of Amsterdam within weeks with only 10 gateways), the foundation has had many backers ready to set up city-level IoT networks (across 36 countries and over 130 cities, from the last count). With still over a week to left to run, the Kickstarter campaign has already reached past its €150,000 goal, and the foundation has just established a joint-venture with a hardware company to manufacture the base products in volume, Stokking told EETimes Europe.

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