Orion: The UK’s Fastest-Growing Unified IoT Network 

Orion: The UK’s Fastest-Growing Unified IoT Network 

– By Shea Karssing

August 11, 2023

Europe’s largest connected IoT network, Orion, The Real-Time Data Network., continues to go from strength to strength. Its operators, Smarter Technologies, are further expanding the network with plans for thousands more gateways being connected each year. Orion is one unified network, which means each base station or gateway adds to the scale of the overall network. And it’s not just the United Kingdom; Orion is growing in 32 other countries. 

Orion’s unified network and data management platform make it a plug-and-play system that is simple to set up and cost-effective to use.  

But what is Orion? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Orion and LoRaWAN. Specifically, what to keep in mind when selecting a data network and why working with the right data network is important for future-proofing your operations. 

What to look or when selecting a data network

Why are data networks important? 

The world is becoming increasingly connected – and the growth of IoT and smart technologies are important trends to keep an eye on. In 2020, IoT- connected devices overtook non-IoT-connected devices for the first time in history and research indicates that there will be more than 30 billion IoT connections by 2025. That is an average of four IoT connections per person. 

Simply put, IoT hardware like sensors rely on networks to communicate data. They are essential tools for communication, moving data along various levels of the communication chain. Together with hardware, they collect and assimilate data and deliver it to the end user. They also play a role in automation and remote control of assets

Important considerations when comparing IoT data networks 

  • Range  
  • Power consumption  
  • Positioning resolution (accuracy / latency)  
  • Data security 
  • Data transmission rate  
  • Packet size  
  • Compatible hardware  
  • Security by design   
  • Regulatory compliance  
  • Scalability  
  • Overall cost (device, deployment, maintenance)  
  • Business applications  
  • Business outcomes   
  • CapEx and OpEx reduction / ROI  

Orion vs LoRaWAN 

Finding the best data network 

There are many data networks out there, all with unique pros and cons. When exploring IoT options, it is important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all data network. Some data networks will be better suited to different operations, aspirations, locations, and contexts than others.  

Some of the more prolific and popular data networks include GSM, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Sigfox. In this blog, we will be drilling down on the differences between Orion and LoRaWAN, focusing on the European market.  

Security: private vs open-source network 

As a private, end-to-end encrypted network, Orion provides better security “out-of-the-box” over open-source networks like LoRaWAN. Open-source networks can suffer from corrupted systems, security risks, and network conflicts. 

Unified vs unconnected networks 

Orion is a single unified network. Wherever there is a receiver, an asset can be tracked or monitored, and expansion is as simple as deploying additional gateways. This way, Orion controls everything and can guarantee connectivity and no interference. 

LoRaWAN, by contrast, is provided by a multitude of unconnected entities, each providing a single independent network with local coverage. For example, different parts of a city might have different LoRaWan operators managing the data. LoRaWAN relies on these independent and unconnected private data points for communication. These multiple independent operators can often inadvertently cause interference and system failure for other users as operators do not have visibility of the complete network. 

Regularity of transmission 

Orion is optimised for the UK and EMEA. In these locations, it runs at 433/169MHz. This is ten times the duty cycle of LoRaWAN, which is on 868MHz in Europe. The lower frequency means better penetration and, while LoRaWAN can only transmit for 36 seconds every hour, Orion can transmit for six minutes (360 seconds) every hour. This means that LoRaWAN can send 50-300 times fewer messages than Orion in the same timeframe.  

On the move 

Orion is the only LPWAN network that can be used to effectively track moving objects in real time. It has three transmissions modes and uses a part of the license free spectrum which permits it to transmit as often as once per second. 

To date, Orion has been used to in the recovery of tens of millions of pounds worth of assets. Orion is day to day responsible for the real time visibility of key assets on airfields, ports and around the UK and France. 

Learn more about Orion.

About Orion and its benefits

Orion allows for unlimited IoT applications. This low-power, secure IoT data network has myriad advantages for users and allows for simple integration and deployment and end-to-end solutions. This makes it a powerful option for listening, monitoring, managing, and tracking assets in real-time. Some key features include: 

Low and independently powered: Can be powered by batteries, mains, or solar and does not rely on local infrastructure for deployment. It is also low powered and energy efficient for longevity. 

Low frequency for enhanced connection: Offers better structural and underground penetration than many other networks and is unaffected by network dead zones. The frequency offers more bandwidth and reduced risk of interference and system failure. 

Tracking, monitoring, and communication: Can monitor and track an asset to within centimetres of its location, offers two-way communication of image and data files, and can send short messages up to 10 kilometres away under optimal conditions. 

Easily deployed and scalable: Orion’s truly plug-and-play solutions are easily integrable and scalable for digital transformation that’s a match for business growth and evolution. 

No limit on IoT use cases: Orion is the perfect match for almost all applications. For example, it allows for monitoring, tracking, and recovery of assets for asset and supply chain management, safety and security, strategic planning through data analysis and systems optimisation, as well as simplified compliance and reporting, energy and resource efficiency. 

Connection powered by Orion

Unlock the potential within your operations’ data with IoT smart technologies from Smarter Technologies. With advantages for sustainability, strategic advantage, and streamlined operations, use simple, scalable smart solutions to guide you – connected by Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™

Get in touch with Smarter Technologies Group today to find out more about how smart technologies will benefit your business.  

Contact us today to see how Orion™ The Real-Time Data Network can benefit your business.

Our experts are on-hand to advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective smart technology solutions for your business’ needs.

Contact details

Tel: 0330 223 5000
Email: enquiries@smartertechnologies.com

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