Hey there @RWB.
In the context of a mesh network, I would argue that Wi-Fi and cellular gateways create additional value beyond a simple Wi-Fi or cellular endpoint (Photon/Electron) that is reasonable to charge for.
The simplest example is OTA passthrough. Gateway devices will enable product creators to target individual devices within a Mesh network and OTA firmware to them. OTA is one of the primary features of our “Device Cloud” service that we otherwise charge on a per-unit basis for standalone Wi-Fi and cellular devices which we’ve decided to charge only at the gateway level for mesh networks.
Additionally, we intend to add features to our gateways to do things like consolidate sensor data at the gateway level before passing to the Cloud and locally distribute batch OTA firmware updates (download once, distribute to many) that will actually reduce data consumption.
Considering the cost of an example deployment of 100 Wi-Fi or cellular endpoints to a product creator versus a single mesh network of 2-5 gateways and 100 Xenons, the total cost is very likely to be lower, not higher.
Hope that helps to explain our rationale a little better.