Things Network

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= "a Dutch company that created a free and open network of the Internet of Things covering the entire city of Amsterdam without using 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi". [1]




"The internet was created by people that connected their networks and allowed traffic from, to and over their servers and cables to pass for free. As a result, there was abundant data communication and exponential innovation.

The Things Network is doing the same for the Internet of Things by creating abundant data connectivity. So applications and businesses can flourish.

We crowdsourced a complete city-wide Internet of Things data network with the people of Amsterdam in 6 weeks using a new technology named LoraWAN. Now we are launching our global campaign to repeat this in every city in the world.

The technology allows for things to talk to the internet without 3G or WiFi. So no WiFi codes and no mobile subscriptions.

It features low battery usage, long range and low bandwidth."


"The Things Network (TTN) is a grassroots community network that sprang up in the summer of 2015 in Amsterdam when ten organisations decided to cover the city by placing one antenna for Long Range (LoRaWAN) data connectivity each and connect them to a shared server offering free access to all sensors and actuators.

The emerging community defined a manifest to assert free access, protection of privacy and anonymity, net neutrality and the use of open protocols33. The model was quickly replicated by hundreds of cities and regions around the world, now forming a global community.

By the end of 2015 a crowdfunding campaign in kickstarter collected almost 300.000 US$ to develop Open Source Hardware gateways (antennas) and a modified Arduino Uno with LoRaWAN connectivity built in." (




"Each local community has a dedicated area on the global website for visualising members, partners and registered antennas («gateways»). Besides there are forums and a wiki to share documentation. Local communities typically get together periodically and have their own autonomy. They can replicate the central infrastructure from Amsterdam or connect to it directly. In the Labs’ section people can share their Digital DIY stories of how they use TTN34.


Different software projects are shared under free licenses, MIT, BSD modified etc. But not all software and content has a license applied to it, therefore making its reuse a potential risk, which should be clarified with the Amsterdam founders. The crowdfunded products are promised to be fully Open Source Hardware: the electronics design under the CERN Open Hardware License, the software under the GNU GPLv2 license and all other materials including the casing design and documentation under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0." (

Business Model


Revenue models

• Cost sharing by local community groups and (planned) at the international level to cover the central server infrastructure costs. • Donations, such as to the crowdfunding campaign. • Hardware sales through the online shop and a distribution network. • Workshops to set up and work with the network. • Specialised services, such as consultancy, deployment and development of connected products.

Modes of production

The network is peer produced by its members, forming a self-governed commons. The hardware is in some cases self built as full Digital DIY but in many cases Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) products are bought in the market." (

Indicators of impact

• Their crowdfunding campaign collected 295.331 USD35. • At the date of writing 282 communities in 59 countries are listed on the community page "


Governance models


"Though there is a wide diversity of organising models between the different local communities; most communities tend to be loosely organised initiatives, often without an independent legal entity for the community.

The founders are in the process of setting up a foundation in Amsterdam for supporting the global community and assure sharing the central costs."

More information