Device Cloud Pricing For Particle Mesh Now Available


#1

Originally published at: https://blog.particle.io/2018/10/29/device-cloud-pricing-for-particle-mesh-now-available/

With the shipping of Particle Mesh, we’re evolving our Device Cloud pricing model to best serve our customers who will be deploying this exciting new connectivity technology.

With mesh networking, it’s no longer about an individual device, it’s about how a group of devices work together to solve a problem. As such, we structured these new Device Cloud plans to reflect the IoT systems you will create when using Particle Mesh. And, as always, we have designed our mesh pricing to prioritize prototyping without barriers, while allowing you to seamlessly transition to production.


Device Cloud Pricing Model Changes

Device Cloud plans for Particle Mesh take the following shape:
  1. Per network pricing — Device Cloud plans for Particle Mesh are priced per network per month, not per device per month like standalone Wi-Fi or Cellular devices. This is to shift the focus from each individual device to the interconnected system you are building with mesh.
  2. Different plans optimized for different types of networks — There are three new Device Cloud Network plans tailored to suit the needs of common mesh network types. Each network plan includes an allotment of total devices as well as an included number of gateways in the network.
  3. Get started for free — We have adapted our free prototype pricing so you can experiment with Particle Mesh at a low (or no) cost, while including more cellular data to ensure cellular gateways can support mesh nodes in the network without having to pay for additional cellular data.
To learn more, you can read in-depth about these new changes below, or visit our pricing page.

Device Cloud Network Plans

We’re rolling out three Device Cloud plans for Particle Mesh networks: Micro Networks, High Availability Networks, and Large Site Networks:

Micro Networks

Micro Networks include 10 total devices, and up to 1 gateway. This network plan is perfect for small mesh networks as well as low-cost prototyping with Particle Mesh. Pricing for Micro Networks differs slightly based on the type of gateway you plan to use:
  • Wi-Fi Gateway
    • $2.99 per network per month
    • FREE for first 10 networks
  • Cellular Gateway
    • $4.99 per network per month
    • 5MB cellular data included
    • FREE for first 3 months

High Availability Networks

High Availability Networks include 30 total devices, and up to 3 gateways. As your network grows, redundancy becomes increasingly important. This is why High Availability Networks include multiple gateways to ensure all your device stay online at all times— even if one of your gateways loses connectivity.
  • Wi-Fi & Cellular
    • $9.99 per network per month
    • 10MB cellular data included

Large Site Networks

Large Site Networks are designed for very large mesh networks (>100 devices or > 3 gateways). This type of plan is designed for mesh networks spanning a large area, or collecting data across a high-value site—such as connecting a multistory parking garage or a hospital.
  • Contact us for Large Site Network pricing information
Note: Particle will only be supporting micro networks for the initial shipment of Particle Mesh (October ‘18). High Availability and Large Site Networks are coming soon

Additional Network Capacity

You may choose to add additional Mesh Nodes (non-gateways) beyond what is included in your network plan in bundles of 5 devices for an additional $2 per network per month. You may do this up until a total network size of 30 devices on the Micro Network plan, or 100 devices on the High Availability plan.

 

Add network capacity to stay on the Micro Network plan, or upgrade to High Availability for the benefit of redundancy

Adding more network capacity without needing to jump up to the next plan allows you to grow your network incrementally without abrupt changes in monthly cost.

For example, if you have a Micro Network, and want to add your 11th device to the network, you would only need to pay an additional $2 per month (for 5 additional devices of capacity)—instead of needing to switch to the High Availability Network plan and paying as much as $7 more per month.

For those who do value the resiliency of their network to prevent downtime, however, you can switch to the High Availability plan at any time.


Some Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that changes come with lots of question. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions below:

1. What if I want to use the 3rd-generation Particle hardware, but have no intentions of using mesh networking?

Our standalone device pricing is not going away. The Argon and Boron pricing will work the same way as they were before. If want to learn more about how standalone devices pricing works, check out our FAQ here.

2. What about Ethernet?

Particle’s third-generation hardware now supports Ethernet connectivity. In short, Ethernet devices will be treated the exact same as Wi-Fi devices from a pricing perspective. Standalone ethernet devices will be subject to the same Device Cloud pricing rules as a standalone Wi-Fi device. Mesh networks on the Micro plan using an Ethernet gateway will be billed the same way as a Micro Network using a Wi-Fi gateway.


The Bottom Line

Particle Mesh pricing can be viewed on Particle’s redesigned pricing page. Feel free to leave any questions you have about these changes in the thread below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We’re excited to hear what you think and what problem you’ll solve next with Particle Mesh finally released.

Multiple Gateways for Mesh Network
Why is the device cloud per unit price crossed out on this page? Did something change?
#2

Thanks for this info!

I’ve been waiting to see this new MESH pricing for some time now.

It looks like our ability to use 3rd part SIM’s for higher data rate applications is not really an option anymore until we have the ability to change the provider data on the new eSIM chips correct?

And from past discussions, we are encouraged to reach out to @will if we are looking for better rates on higher data usage applications?

Thanks!


#3

the boron has 4FF nano as well as MFF2 chip so my understanding is you can use 3rd party NANO SIM.


#4

My Mistake!

For some reason I thought the Boron only had the eSIM chip on it.

It’s nice to see the Nano SIM card holder on there also for flexibility.

I bet there are not very many extra LTE data providers to choose from at this point in time.


#5

not sure about any good data only plans but i use straighttalk which is a low cost provider that offers AT&T and i think t-mobile. anyway, i use AT&T voice/data sim from them and it works great. the data is 4G. quite fast except for about 3 hours a day, ~8-9:30am & ~4:30-6pm in tucson. may be different in other locations. i have an “unlimited” plan although i have never tested the “limits” , i usually use ~60-70GB a month of data. it’s about $63US with taxes. i’ll mention that i retired my 2 electrons earlier this year and currently have no idea if using this plan “works” with particle cloud but i would assume it probably would… once i get the boron i’ll give it a test and see about that.


#6

Am I missing something or is this incredibly bad news for home users?

Earlier it sounded like we would be able to put all 10 free gateways on a single network of about 100 devices. Now we’re limited to 3 devices and a fee of $10/month per network right from the first network.

Not to mention the increase from $5 fee/mont for a cellular gateway makes it much less attractive. For less than that, I can get a 100MB/month tablet data plan from my cell phone carrier. I find it very disappointing that Particle waited until after locking the preorders to make this announcement. I’ve got 2 Boron LTE kits on preorder that I will now never use.

I guess particle is no longer interested in the hobby market.


#7

@DevRandom, with a network being defined at 10 total devices and 1 gateway, the Micro Networks plan clearly indicates FREE for 10 networks with a WiFi gateway. From what I see you just can’t have two gateways on a 10-device network. You also can’t have a 20-device network on a single WiFi gateway. However, I do see your concern on the Cellular Gateway price.


#8

the 5 buck a month for cellular mesh covers 5MB of data from the mesh network. the 3 buck a month for single cellular device covers 3MB of data. i think it is 39 cents per MB over the basic included so it is not that much more expensive in my view, considering.


#9

Jeff here from Particle—also keep in mind that each network plan is designed around the system of the mesh network, not just the individual gateway:

  • Micro networks include a total of 10 devices and 1 gateway
  • High availability networks include a total of 30 devices and 3 gateways

When comparing cost between standalone and mesh pricing, consider that the monthly cost includes Device Cloud access and connectivity for all devices in the mesh network (both gateways and mesh nodes).

For cellular-based micro networks, $4.99 gets you increased included cellular data (3MB -> 5MB), Device Cloud connectivity and features for up to 10 other devices using the cellular backhaul, including all the new Particle Mesh capabilities of the Device Cloud. And the first 3 months are free for each network!


#10

@jeiden thank you for your reply.

From February until this post yesterday, I’ve been going by the mesh faq which said

With 10 free gateway upgrades you could build

One giant network of 100+ devices
Ten different networks of 10+ devices
Five different networks with redundant gateways (Ethernet + Cellular backup, for example)

Now I can only have 1 free gateway per network and then only if I choose wifi. It’s $10 per month for 3 gateways, and to put all 10, I have to call for pricing, you don’t even want to publish the price for what was supposed to be free. This is a pretty substantial change. A Boron, 2 Argons and a pile of xenons should have been $3/month, now it’s $10.

I can also no longer connect multiple Argons within my mesh Network to different available wi-fi networks to improve reliability without paying $10/month.

@peekay123 Up until yesterday, it wasn’t supposed to be 10 networks with one gateway each. It was supposed to be 10 gateways assignable to networks as we see fit. Do you not agree that this is a drastic drop in what is actually being offered from what was promised?


#11

If I’m understanding this correctly, this new pricing is not what was promised back in February. This is what was said then (emphasis mine):

Do I have to pay anything to use Particle Mesh hardware?

Particle Mesh pricing builds on existing Wi-Fi and cellular Device Cloud pricing. All Particle customers get 10 free gateway upgrades to support prototyping and evaluation of Particle Mesh. After the first 10 upgrades, Particle will charge an additional monthly fee beyond baseline Device Cloud pricing for Argon and Boron devices acting as gateways within a Particle Mesh network. Adding mesh-only devices (Xenons) to your network and all local communications between mesh devices are free.

With 10 free gateway upgrades you could build

One giant network of 100+ devices
Ten different networks of 10+ devices
Five different networks with redundant gateways (Ethernet + Cellular backup, for example)

So it seems that adding more than 10 Xenons to a network will now not be free? Also, having 2 Argons on a network for reliability won’t be free either? Is it true that any network with more than 10 devices or more than one gateway is considered a High Availability Network?


#12

I see you beat me to the punch, but I have basically the same concerns.


#13

Hi all
I just want to concur with the concerns raised above re the mesh pricing. When I placed my pre-order for 10 Borons, 2 Argons and 9 Xenons, it was on the basis of the pricing which included up to 10 networks of 10+ devices as pointed out by Ric. This ‘evolution’ of mesh pricing is a game changer for me and I would not have made the pre-order commitment if I had known this up front.
Will Particle stick with it’s pricing commitment for those who pre-ordered? Or, can we now have the option of withdrawing our pre-order?


#14

We have passed your feedback along so do wait for an official response once the team looks into the points raised. :slight_smile:


#15

Another big concern in terms of the proposed mesh pricing is that it seems to bundle cellular data and device privileges into one payable.

In our use case (and many others in the Particle community), we are not using Particle’s MVNO cellular data plans since Vodafone’s roaming partners in the countries we operate in have very poor connectivity.

This means that if we decide to implement a mesh network using Particle Mesh, we will end up having to pay $5 per month for each network we want to set up, which includes 5 MB of data.

So in essence, if we set up 100 networks, we will be paying $500 per month and a large chunk of that will be going to paying for data plans on a pile of SIM cards in a garbage dump somewhere.


#16

I’m in a similar boat, and would be happy to stick with the Photons/Electrons for my needs due to the pricing changes. I’m also curious if it’s possible to withdraw our pre-order?


#17

I was nervous about the pricing announcement until I read the FAQ regarding standalone devices.

“Our standalone device pricing is not going away. The Argon and Boron pricing will work the same way as they were before. If want to learn more about how standalone devices pricing works, check out our FAQ here.”

So, if I’m understanding this properly, if you plan on using the new Mesh hardware in the same standalone way that Photons/Electrons are used, then the pricing stays the same.


#18

The continuous monthly cost for the MESH networks does make it harder to integrate the advantages of the MESH networks into lower cost price sensitive products that could benefit from it.

I’m sure Particle will adjust the different pricing options as feedback from the end user community starts to pour in as they think through and analyze what deploying these new networks actually cost.

They have to keep the investors and customers that support the company happy for long-term success. I can see where this can be a bit tricky, trying to find the sweet spot for both parties.


#19

Hello friends,

First off, I want to thank everyone for the feedback on the pricing announcement. I want to jump into the conversation to provide some additional context and information about the changes that were made to Mesh pricing between preorder and delivery and to try and address some of the concerns that have been raised in this thread.

If you’re not up for reading this entire thread (wow it got long!), here’s the TLDR:

There are no changes to the Device Cloud pricing structure for standalone Wi-Fi (Argon) and Cellular (Boron) devices.

For the vast majority of Particle Mesh preorder customers who ordered an Argon and 1-3 Xenons to build your mesh network, the pricing update has no impact on what you would pay Particle to use the devices that you ordered.

If you think you might be in the minority of customers that are affected by the pricing changes, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to honor the pricing structure originally communicated when we launched Particle Mesh preorders in February for the hardware in your preorder.

Standalone Wi-Fi / Cellular pricing is not changing

I want to start by emphasizing that standalone device pricing for Wi-Fi and cellular devices is not changing. If you use an Argon like a Photon, or you use a Boron like an Electron, you pay the exact same amount for the exact services (Device Cloud and, for cellular products, bundled cellular data).

To directly address some of the concerns raised in this thread…

That’s exactly correct – for standalone Wi-Fi and Cellular devices, nothing is changing. You will still pay $2.99 per device per month for Device Cloud for cellular devices (free for the first 3 months, includes 3MB of data), and $0.39 per device per month for Device Cloud for Wi-Fi devices (free for the first 100 devices).

This is reflected on the updated pricing page, per the screenshot below:

To reiterate, if you are using the Argon / Boron in the same ways that you are using the Photon/Electron (as a standalone device), there is no change to the pricing structure. We encourage everyone to continue using your Photons and Electrons and should expect no change in how or what you pay for equivalent Device Cloud functionality if you decide to transition your product to the Argon or Boron.

The new pricing framework only applies to mesh networks and is likely to provide the same or cheaper cost of ownership compared to an equivalent fleet comprised of standalone Wi-Fi or cellular products.

To illustrate with an example –

1 Boron + 1 Xenon ($4.99 per month) is cheaper than 2 Electrons ($2.99 x 2 = $5.98 per month)
1 Boron + 9 Xenons ($4.99 per month) is cheaper than 10 Electrons ($2.99 x 10 = $29.99 per month)

New framework for Mesh pricing

The previous example takes us into what was introduced in the blog post, which is a new pricing framework for mesh networks created by an eligible gateway device which include the Argon, Boron, or any Particle Mesh device in an Ethernet FeatherWing.

Particle pricing principles

Before diving into the specifics, I want to make a general statement about our pricing framework which is that it is and will always be our goal to provide developers in our community with a way to evaluate and prototype with our development tools for free.

Because of differences between different connectivity technologies, that pricing principle manifests itself in different ways:

  • Wi-Fi devices - free Device Cloud for the first 100 devices
  • Cellular devices - free Device Cloud for the first 3 months (which includes 3MB of cellular data per month)
  • Mesh networks - 10 free Wi-Fi Micro networks (single gateway, up to 10 devices) or free cellular Micro network for the first 3 months

Particle was built with the support of developers, and our goal is to give our customers the ability to build exciting new IoT systems with our tools without having to worry about engaging deeply with our enterprise-oriented pricing structures unless they’re building with intent to scale their product.

What changed with the pricing

Let’s talk about what changed. Our original pricing proposal, as others noted in this post, was the following:

Particle Mesh pricing builds on existing Wi-Fi and cellular Device Cloud pricing. All Particle customers get 10 free gateway upgrades to support prototyping and evaluation of Particle Mesh. After the first 10 upgrades, Particle will charge an additional monthly fee beyond baseline Device Cloud pricing for Argon and Boron devices acting as gateways within a Particle Mesh network. Adding mesh-only devices (Xenons) to your network and all local communications between mesh devices are free.

With 10 free gateway upgrades you could build:

  • One giant network of 100+ devices
  • Ten different networks of 10+ devices
  • Five different networks with redundant gateways (Ethernet + Cellular backup, for example)

What’s different?

The biggest change was a shift from pricing for gateway upgrades, which can be applied to create a multitude of mesh network combinations, to pricing for networks themselves which have various characteristics (# of devices, # of gateways).

This means that, for customers who were not a part of the preorder, two of the three use cases that we referenced above will no longer be free. Specifically:

  • One giant network of 100+ devices would qualify as a “Large Site Network” which requires custom pricing
  • Ten different networks of 10 devices would still be free under our updated pricing model
  • Five different networks with redundant gateways would qualify as a “High availability network” which offers free Device Cloud for 3 months but a $9.99/network cost after that.

Why we changed the pricing

Without an example of another end-to-end mesh networking platform to follow, our goal from the outset was to follow our principles and build a pricing framework that creates enough space for developers to evaluate our technology while charging enterprises who are generating meaningful value from our technology at scale to pay us for our hosted services.

There are two use cases that were free under the original pricing that I’d like to discuss in greater depth:

  • One giant network of 100+ devices - This is an interesting one. This configuration might be used by a super-user to build a network of 100 temperature sensors for their home (10 per room!), or might conceivably be used by a factory to build a network of 100 devices to monitor the state and uptime of highly utilized industrial equipment. The topological architecture of each network is the same, but in the latter case the factory might be generating tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in value on an annual basis without paying Particle a penny. If we don’t have an ability to capture any of this value, then our enterprise business, which subsidizes the free usage of the our products by our developer community, would suffer greatly.

  • Five different networks with redundant gateways. This one is a bit simpler – redundant gateways are useful for ensuring that, even if ethernet / Wi-Fi connectivity goes down, you have the option of a cellular backhaul to ensure successful delivery of your data. This kind of network redundancy is also a feature that creates disproportionately more real value for enterprises for whom even minutes of downtime or data loss can be economically disastrous.

We will honor preorder pricing for preorder hardware

All of this context aside, I want to reiterate that that if you think you might be in the minority of customers that are affected by the pricing changes, we encourage you to contact us. What will happen?

  • We’ll encourage you to continue to set up your hardware as you normally would. You won’t be charged given that we’re offering 10 Wi-Fi micro networks and 3 free months of cellular Micro networks for free, and we’ll adjust billing for your successfully configured preorder hardware to reflect the original guidance we provided in February.
  • If appropriate, we’ll adjust your Device Cloud fees for preorder hardware to reflect the pricing guidance we provided when we launched Particle Mesh in February

3rd Party SIM card usage is still allowed

One more thing to note here since I saw comments in the thread – 3rd party SIMs will still be supported for all cellular devices (Electron and Boron) in both hardware (via the external SIM slot) and software. We are still in the process of drafting documentation for how to leverage a third party SIM for new Boron devices since our setup process has changed from a web-based setup flow to a primarily mobile-based setup flow (which is, IMHO, a drastically improved experience), but it will still be supported.

Our preference, however, is absolutely that you leverage the onboard embedded SIM (not “eSIM” or eUICC which is not commercially available yet) with Particle MVNO support, for several reasons:

  • Particle SIMs use less data because we’re able to negotiate and manage custom cellular “keepalives” with our network of carrier providers and leverage our custom UDP-based communications protocol which is ~50x more efficient than standard HTTPS requests. In other words, every MB you buy from Particle goes much farther than an equivalent MB on another data plan.
  • Particle SIMs include integrated SIM management features that allow you to manage the SIM lifecycle state (activate, pause, deactivate), view historical cellular data usage, run cellular diagnostics, and set data limits on each SIM to avoid “runaway” devices.
  • We can more effectively provide support for devices with Particle SIMs because we have access to the audit logs for Particle SIMs which are unavailable to us for third party carriers.
  • We’re always improving our network through new partnerships with carriers around the World. The Boron 2G/3G leverages an improved global network of carriers with significantly more international partners (3-5x in many countries) than the previous 2G/3G plan for the Electron.

Again – we understand that there will always be reasons to leverage 3rd party SIM options, and our goal is not to prevent you from doing so. That being said, especially if you are considering deploying with Particle at scale, we encourage to contact us to discuss any of the following topics or concerns related to our cellular MVNO service:

  1. Discounted data pricing and pooled data plans
  2. Access to specific network partners that are key to enabling connectivity to your fleet
  3. Questions about support for new network technologies like LTE M1 and NB1 that might not yet be a part of our MVNO offering.

I hope this post helps to address some of the concerns voiced here in this thread about the pricing update. If you have additional questions about any of the information in the blog post or in this follow-up, please feel free to reply! We’re here to help.


Ratio of mesh-only (Xenon) to internet-enabled boards (Argon, Boron)
#20

Hi Will,

You’re pricing is great for businesses and it’s what you need to keep your business going. Which is a high priority for me too as someone who has Particle devices throughout my home. :slight_smile:

What I’ve setup using Particle devices, although small (5 devices) is very important to me. Having multiple gateways to cope with my bad coding and the inevitable device crash/hang is a must. But $120 a year is a lot for a home user.

10 devices for a micro network is a good limit but is there any reason it couldn’t consist of 3 Argons and 7 Xenons without having to pay for a HA network?

I would be happy to pay (and will if available) $2.99 per month so one of the 3 gateways could be cellular in the event of the WiFi been unavailable. I didn’t include a Boron as part of my preorder unfortunately.

Thanks,
Kev