5 min reading

27 November 2023

27 November 2023

Hidden Costs of LPWAN Deployments: Gateway Expenses

Hidden Costs of LPWAN Deployments: Gateway Expenses
Hidden Costs of LPWAN Deployments: Gateway Expenses

Are you an operator or enterprise planning to deploy a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN)? If yes, you should not overlook what significantly impacts your project’s success – hidden gateway expenses.

This article will explore the importance of analyzing expenditure on LPWAN network deployments to ensure economically viable implementation. You will learn why it is crucial to:

  • understand the total cost of deployment and operation;
  • consider different deployment options;
  • maximize cost efficiency through strategic gateway selection.

Why it is Important to Analyze Costs for LPWAN Deployments

Before deploying LPWAN networks, you need to analyze costs properly. First, it will help you understand the total cost of deployment and operation. Second, it will allow you to make informed decisions and maximize cost efficiency in your network implementations.

Understanding the Total Cost of Deployment and Operation

One associated misconception is solely emphasizing gateway expenditure when considering the total cost of deploying and operating an LPWAN network. While gateway spending plays a role, it is only a tiny part of the larger picture.

The total cost of LPWAN deployment is much bigger than just the gateway cost. It includes installation, maintenance, ongoing device deployment, and operating expenses. Pay attention to these expenditures to avoid unexpected financial burdens down the line.

To understand the actual spending clearly, analyze costs early in the planning stages. This is how you get a holistic view of potential expenses incurred over the network’s lifespan. Consequently, you will be able to reduce expenditure and optimize the network’s efficiency.

Considering Different Deployment Options and Their Impact on Costs

Each LPWAN network is unique, and considering different deployment options is essential to minimize expenses. When planning to deploy your network, evaluate various factors. These might be the type of gateways, their location, installation processes, and more.

Choosing the most cost-effective option reduces your overall network expenses dramatically. Evaluating these options will help you identify an optimal solution that meets your performance requirements and minimizes spending without compromising quality.

Take care of these factors to make informed decisions. Thus, you will reduce the total cost of deploying and operating your LPWAN network over its entire lifespan.

Maximizing Cost Efficiency through Gateway Selection

Selecting proper gateways is one of the most critical aspects of achieving cost efficiency in your LPWAN network deployments. Opting for high-performance, quality, and reliable gateways, even slightly more expensive, can have long-term benefits.

Balancing Performance, Quality, and Cost in Gateway Selection

While it may be tempting to opt for the lowest-priced gateways, it is vital to consider the long-term implications of this decision. Deploying gateways solely based on their upfront cost leads to subpar performance, increased maintenance, and higher overall operating expenses.

Instead, you should strike a balance between performance, quality, and price. Investing in gateways that offer superior performance and reliability might come at a slightly higher initial expense. However, it results in significant savings in the long run.

Reliable gateways typically require less maintenance and exhibit better longevity. This reduces the need for frequent replacements or repairs, saving time and money. Additionally, superior performance enhances network efficiency and reduces operating expenses over time.

Long-Term Benefits of Investing in Reliable Gateways

Since gateway installation and operating expenses account for a significant portion of the total network expenditure, investing in reliable gateways makes a difference. In fact, gateways may contribute only 3% of the total cost over five years. Nevertheless, their installation and operating expenses amount to 97%.

You can minimize the total number of gateways needed for your network by deploying high-performance and reliable gateways. This reduction translates into lower gateway installation and operating expenses, decreasing the overall network spending.

Opt for gateways with robust performance, focusing on long-term benefits. This is how you maximize cost efficiency over the lifespan of your LPWAN network.

Minimizing Operating Costs through Strategic Planning

To effectively minimize operating expenses in LPWAN deployments, you must plan your network infrastructure and maintenance processes strategically. Consider the following aspects to make significant cost-saving decisions and ensure the long-term success of your network.

Utilizing Existing Infrastructure and Resources

One of the critical strategies to reduce operating costs is to leverage existing infrastructure and resources whenever possible. This will help you make the most efficient use of your network and minimize additional capital expenditures.

Consider the following actions:

  • Infrastructure Assessment: Assess your existing infrastructure to identify the areas you can utilize for LPWAN deployments. Look for available rooftop space, streetlights, or existing communication towers that can serve as gateway locations. By repurposing these resources, you avoid the need for new installations.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Explore collaboration opportunities with other organizations or stakeholders that have their own established infrastructure. These include local governments, utility companies, or private property owners. Using their infrastructure reduces the installation and maintenance costs of deploying new gateways.
  • Network Sharing: Discuss sharing network infrastructure with other network operators or enterprises in a mutually beneficial arrangement. This way, you can spread the costs and responsibilities, lowering operating expenses for all parties involved.

In summary, you should thoroughly assess and leverage existing infrastructure and resources. It can reduce your operating costs and allow for more economical LPWAN deployments.

Optimizing Gateway Installation and Maintenance Processes

Optimizing gateway installation and maintenance is another critical area to focus on when minimizing operating costs. By adopting strategic approaches to gateway deployment and ongoing maintenance, you can reduce operating expenses and ensure optimal performance.

The mentioned approaches include:

  • Strategic Gateway Placement: Prioritize strategic gateway placement to maximize coverage and minimize the number of gateways needed. Analyze your deployment area, considering the terrain, building structures, and signal range. As a result, you can achieve substantial savings.
  • Streamlined Maintenance Processes: Implement efficient maintenance to minimize labour and time requirements. Regularly monitor gateway performance to identify any issues or failures proactively. Address maintenance tasks promptly to reduce the likelihood of expensive network downtime and prolong the lifespan of your gateways.

Through strategic planning, you can optimize resource allocation and reduce maintenance-related expenses.

Overcoming Challenges for Successful Small-Scale Deployments

Deploying LPWAN networks on a small scale presents unique challenges for operators and enterprises. Fortunately, it is possible to make small-scale projects more financially viable. Scaling down expenses and cost-sharing are some of the ways to pave the way for future growth and expansion.

Scaling Down Costs for Small-Scale Networks

One of the challenges for small-scale LPWAN deployments is the spending involved in deploying and operating these networks. While LPWANs offer significant benefits in connectivity and low power consumption, the upfront and ongoing costs are substantial.

Adopting strategies that scale down expenses is critical to solving this question. It involves assessing deployment options and selecting the most economical solutions. For example, choosing the right type of gateways and their locations impacts the total network cost. TEKTELIC offers a broad portfolio of gateways, allowing you to pick the most cost-effective option for your deployment.

Additionally, planning the deployment in a phased manner helps you control costs. If you start with high-ROI devices and use cases, you will generate revenue and profits sooner. Later, you can reinvest them to expand the network gradually. This approach ensures that the deployment aligns with the available financial resources, reducing large-scale deployments’ financial burden.

Leveraging Cost-Sharing Opportunities for Small-Scale Projects

Another strategy to overcome the challenges of small-scale deployments is to explore cost-sharing opportunities. For instance, collaborating with other entities, such as smart cities or neighbouring enterprises, helps distribute costs. By pooling resources and sharing infrastructure, you can collectively ensure a successful deployment.

You can also maximize the ROI by focusing on use cases that add incremental value to the network. Instead of low-ROI or non-scalable use cases, prioritize those that have the potential to recoup costs over time. This will allow you to gradually expand the network while adding value at each stage.


In summary, deploying LPWAN networks requires carefully considering the hidden costs of gateway installations. Understanding and addressing these expenses can ensure your deployment’s success.

One strategy is to take an incremental approach, aligning the deployment with your available financial resources. Besides, use cases with incremental value to the network can maximize the ROI and recoup costs in the long run. Exploring cost-sharing opportunities is another way to meet the challenges of small-scale deployments. By collaborating with other entities, you can distribute expenses and make your deployment more economically feasible.

Analyzing costs in detail is a necessity for small-scale deployments. By evaluating the actual spending, you can detect areas for cost reduction. This way, you will optimize operating expenses over the deployment’s lifespan.

Furthermore, infrastructure assessment and partnerships considerably reduce installation and maintenance costs associated with deploying new gateways. Another option to use is sharing infrastructure with other network operators or enterprises.

Implementing these strategies allows you to navigate and manage gateway costs in LPWAN deployments. Pay attention to the above factors to ensure a financially viable deployment while maximizing the return on investment.

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