A group of European spectrum users and administrators will meet at the offices of the Bundesnetzagentur (Germany's Federal Network Agency, which regulates telecommunications and RF spectrum in that country) in Mainz, on Apr. 4-5, to discuss the steps that would need to be taken in order to make more ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) spectrum available in Europe for radio frequency identification and other short-range devices (SRDs).
Compared with other regions around the world, Europe has the least amount of UHF spectrum allotted for RFID applications. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) EN 302 208 standard, used in European countries, specifies the 865.6 to 867.6 MHz UHF band for RFID use, and makes provision for a so-called four-channel plan.
An unlimited number of readers can operate in each of the four transmit channels, each of which is 200 kHz in width, while the tag responses utilize the other 11 channels available within that band.
In the United States, on the other hand, RFID interrogators and tags can use any of 50 different 500 kHz channels residing in the 902 to 928 MHz UHF band.
At the meeting, attendees—including hardware and software makers, as well as users of RFID technologies—will consider a proposal created for ETSI by individuals in the market for RFID, smart metering and SRDs who seek additional spectrum capacity. ETSI adopted the request, and is asking spectrum regulators at the European level for the 915 to 921 MHz band to be made available for use by the RFID market, and to designate the 870 to 876 MHz band to SRDs and smart metering.
The existing UHF RFID spectrum—865.6 to 867.6 MHz—would also remain available for radio frequency identification.
RFID market players expect to need additional spectrum capacity for deploying new applications, such as an RFID application involving a high number of readers within a confined area. Or they may require the spectrum for higher-performance applications, he adds, such as one that could be used for item-level tagging.