Mesh/4G LTE hotspot build

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Total price without sim card: ~$500 to ~$800 (actual numbers from above are $486 to $821)

Sim card price:

  • Via Calyx it's $500 first year and then $400 proceeding year
    • We can cut down the first-year price by selling the $100 included modem or maybe talking to Calyx and convincing them not to include it
  • Via mobilecitizen it's probably closer to $200 per year

Total price per node (excluding mounting fees):

  • Mobilecitizen with cheap hardware: $700 first year then $200 each year after
  • Mobilecitizen with expensive hardware: $1000 first year then $200 each year after
  • Calyx with cheap hardware: $1000 first year then $400 each year after

Mounting fees:

We don't yet know what they are but we know the FCC is requiring them to be at most $180 per pole per year. This cap will likely end in September and it's possible that cities haven't changed their pricing schemes since some consider this unlawful, the new FCC rules were only implemented in January and everyone (including the FCC) seems to think the rules will be cut down mostly or completely in September. I have heard that most places don't charge more than $50 to $100 per pole per year though (but haven't been able to verify) and that the higher prices are because some cities (mostly richer cities) are trying to prevent telcoms from mounting this gear because they thing it's ugly or have health concerns or both.

Assuming the node-mounting fees in Oakland/Berkeley aren't higher than the FCC cap we have a maximum yearly fee of $580 per node and if it's a more reasonable pole mounting fee like $100 and we get mobilecitizen then it could be down to $300 per year per node.