Price for hardware

How much do you expect the hardware to cost?

I do hope it cost under 100 dollars. With it being open source hardware, It should be cheap in price.


We are currently experimenting with DIY options until the actual hardware is ready. Our initial test build is based around RaspberryPi. We’ll release full instructions for how to perform the build, and scripts to help you with software side of things.

EDIT: Please don’t go shopping for the equipment just yet if you will only use it for Outernet. We’re still testing the setup, and may change requirements and/or come up with cheaper solution, etc.

You will need:

  1. Satellite dish
  2. LNB
  3. DVB-S/S2 receiver that has drivers that work/compile on ARM architecture (we’ll compile a list of such devices)
  4. Raspberry Pi
  5. HDMI cable, monitor, and keyboard, for initial setup of Raspberry Pi
  6. (optional) Wi-Fi dongle, if you wish to turn your Raspberry Pi into a Wi-Fi hotspot (we’ll compile a list of devices that work with Raspberry Pi)

Depending on where you live and what hardware you choose, it may cost more than $100 to put everything together. (Where I live, Raspberry Pi alone costs $70).

We don’t yet have the final pricing for Outernet-made hardware, though, so I’m not sure what it would cost. There will be multiple models, so I’m hopeful that some of them will be able to snug themselves below the $100 line.


Actually, open source hardware by itself does not guarantee a low cost. Like @branko said, we are definitely shooting for a price below $100, but we may not be able to get to that price with just open hardware. Proprietary hardware is sometimes much cheaper because they manufacture in such volume.

Our simplest device will essentially be a wireless router mated to a DVB-S USB tuner. I’m confident that this device will be well under $100.


Thanks so much for this topic

If you needed to manufacture a stand-alone kit that provides the capabilities that Outernet envisions, what is the amount of money you would need to invest to manufacture “cheaper” proprietary hardware. As an example, the Indian state broadcaster, Doordarshan, furnished our house in the village in the foothills of the Himalayas with a satellite dish and receiver for Rs 1300. No recurring costs, no monthly charges, 40+ TV channels in various languages, 14 FM radio channels, etc… That works out to roughly $22 at current exchange rates. Granted, high volume manufacturing etc. kept the price down, but it works very well.
Obviously using a Raspberry Pi PC and it’s various attachments will cost more, but what if you could do high volume manufacturing using proprietary hardware to keep the cost down? I have already contacted Syed about this yesterday.
Is it possible to partner with Doordarshan and offer video education, etc. to remote villages? Solar power, mini generators, etc. are readily available, even if grid electricity is not.
Of coursey, you would have to be able to maintain your independence (ex: no censorship), but the present Modi government is very interested in doing something like this for the masses already.I know censorship is prevalent in my adopted country, but perhaps exceptions could be made. I can contact someone I know at Doordarshan for you, if there is any interest but I need to know much more about how this will all work.
Just a thought…

It would be cheaper cause you would not have to pay for licensing for hardware that is closed source.

Some hardware you cant just take it and throw your brand on unless you pay the company who created the hardware a certain amount. You do not have to do that with open source hardware. therefore it is cheaper.

In reality, someone has to pay for production. Paying the licensing and/or branding fees is usually much cheaper than building and maintaining production plants. At the end of the day, that kind of cheap translates to better access for most people. At least that’s what I believe.

Regarding high volume production and how inexpensive the receiver could eventually become:

I can offer a point of reference in the market for DVB-S set top boxes. The following discusses an Android-based DVB-S set top box with integrated wifi.

They are available for about $100. Unfortunately, they are not available in the US, unless we were to import them, which we are seriously considering. The thing that is holding us back is that we are not able to gain access to the firmware, which would ensure that our software could be installed on the boxes. Eventually, we hope to have an Android app that can be used by any of these boxes, but for now, we’re concentrating on Linux.

If we were to put an order in for about 5000 units, we could receive a discounted price and also have access to the source code to make certain that we can do what we want to do.

But this particular type of STB might be a bit fancier what we need. It’s actually possible to do what we need to do with just a cheap wifi router and a DVB-S tuner. Once we do that and start production around 10,000 units, we should be able to get the price to about $75.

If we were able to put in a production order for 50,000 units, then I’m confident we could get to the $50 level, with a good chance of being even less. A production run of one million units is a completely different story, but that’s when we can start talking about a $25 O-Rx.

At $25, we could figure out all kinds of ways to be creative with distribution. Maybe even a promotion with Firefox for their new smartphones.