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Why this is important
An open network allows people to develop ideas and
services more freely
Distributed ownership makes a more robust system
Encourages innovation through play and experimentation
Greater Manchester has multiple and diverse communities
An environment that supports innovation for
business and communities alike
Why hasn’t this happened before?
Cost - equipment has traditionally been expensive
Connectivity has been restricted
Installation was complex and needed negotiation
Networks were often closed and bespoke
Power usage was generally too high
Range of network signal was small
What it doesn’t do
Not good for data heavy applications
Not really good for continuous streaming of data
Can’t handle location - yet
Underlying data handling not quite there
Smart parking in the
Red dots are gateways
Building a business on open
• Infrastructure costs are dispersed
• Distribution creates resilience and redundancy
• Cost of access is limited to the hardware*
• Long battery life allows for lower maintenance
• Greater range means less infrastructure needed
• Greater range means easier deployment
• Low cost devices - becoming lower
• Secure and encrypted
• Scaling costs are simplified
• No vendor lock-in - based on open protocol
• Software stack is open source
• Faster knowledge generation
The Things Network is an open source, free initiative with the following properties:
• It connects sensors and actuators, called "Things", with transceivers called "Things Gateways" to servers
called "Things Access".
• The first connection is "Over The Air", the second is "Over The Net". The distributed implementation of
these concepts is called "The Things Network".
• Anyone shall be free to set up "Things" and connect to "Things Gateways" that may or may not be their
• Anyone shall be free to set up "Things Gateways" and connect to "Things Access" that may or may not be
their own. Their "Things Gateways" will give access to all "Things" in a netneutral manner, limited by the
maximum available capacity alone.
• Anyone shall be free to set up "Things Access" and allow anonymous connections from the Internet. Their
"Things Access" will give access to all "Things Gateways" in a net neutral manner, limited by the maximum
available capacity alone. Furthermore their "Things Access" will allow connection of other "Things Access"
servers for the distribution of data.
• The "Over The Air" and "Over The Net" networks shall be protocol agnostic, as long as these protocols are
not proprietary, open source and free of rights.
• Anyone who perpetrates a "Things Access" or a "Things Gateway" will do so free of charge for all
connecting devices and servers.
• Anyone making use of the network is allowed to do so for any reason or cause, possibly limited by local law,
fully at own risk and realizing that services are provided "as is" and may be terminated for any reason at
any moment. The use may be open for anybody, limited to customers, commercial, not-for-profit, or in any
other fashion. "The Things Network" providers will not pose restrictions upon its users.