The Global RFID Spectrum slims down for Summer
Starting July 25, 2012, Japan will shift its UHF RFID spectrum from the traditional 952.2 - 957.4MHz range to 916.8 - 923.4MHz. This means that the entire band will fall within the current FCC approved UHF spectrum (902 – 928 MHz), which is used throughout North America. Thus, all future Japanese certified EPC Gen2 UHF RFID tags and readers will be modified to operate in the new band. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the body that regulates the Japanese Radio Frequency Band, has made the decision after erecting the previous standard in 2002.
What’s In It for Me?
In short – Global UHF tags will work better.
Historically, “world” or “global” tags (which include most label tags and some of the newest metal mount tags) have operated from 865 - 960 MHz; that is, from the lower end of European spectrum (865.6 – 867.6 MHz) to the upper end of the Japanese Spectrum. The bandwidth they will be designed for now is about 30 MHz and 30% skinner; thus, future world tags can have greater sensitivity because their operational band need not be so great. As a result, world tags will read farther. Additionally, manufacturers, when crafting region specific tags and readers, need not devote any time to a third design (outside of the FCC and ETSI versions). For those of us with an already deployed Japanese UHF RFID Solution the news is not so great: future tag innovations and part availability will decline rapidly.
Europe’s regulatory body, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), has been investigating a similar voyage to the FCC spectrum, which could happen as soon as 2014. These developments, along with recent events such as the Impinj IPO, Avery Dennison’s prediction for 2011, the Motorola Split, the new Sirit and OEM Motorola Reader, and the shrinking number of tag manufacturers suggest a maturation of the RFID market that will pick up steam.
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“There will be a public bid for the 950 MHz band ... and there is a huge debate going on currently on the possible auctioning of the band for the first time in Japan.”
Jin Mitsugi, associate at Keio University, and member of the ministry's UHF RFID regulation development working group.
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William H Solomon
Senior ODIN Engineer
As one of ODIN’s senior engineers, William has spearheaded the design, delivery, and management of ODIN products and clients in the fields of healthcare, aerospace, financial services, and government/military
p.s. Congrats to O's DH Chris Davis on his 17th inning win as a relief pitcher yesterday, and to Nat's OF Bryce Harper on his first career stolen base, home plate.