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Report: South Korea Becomes a Force in RFID

ABI Research of Oyster Bay, New York, has released a new study regarding adoption and growth of RFID technology in South Korea. ABI's central prediction is that, after coming from behind, South Korea's RFID adoption is an increasingly fast-moving target.
Tags: Sensors
Mar 27, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 27, 2006—ABI Research of Oyster Bay, New York, has released a new study regarding adoption and growth of RFID technology in South Korea. Entitled RFID Markets in South Korea, the 38-page report forecasts shipments and revenues for tags, readers, middleware, and RFID services through 2012.

ABI's central prediction is that, after coming from behind, South Korea's RFID adoption is picking up the pace. As one example, the country has seen increased investment in RFID research and development since 2006 began. There has also been investment in building out capacity, as conglomerates like Samsung and LS Industrial Systems expand to accommodate mass adoption. "Global competition is lowering tag prices," said ABI analyst Andy Bae in a statement, "and South Korean manufacturers will continue to build on this trend and offer very competitive prices." This will also mean that Korean manufacturers see increased demand for ultrahigh (UHF) frequency tags, shifting market dominance away from high frequency (HF), which in 2005 accounted for 60% of the market in Korea and was the primary growth driver.

Currently, RFID tracking in logistics and libraries enjoys the highest rate of adoption in Korea. But the country's applications have run the entire gamut, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, education, government and public services, consumer goods, defense, shipping and transport, and livestock.

One key ingredient underpinning the Korean market's growth is the industrial-governmental collaboration. The government has taken the initiative to promote RFID technology, and ABI sees beneficial technology transfer between vendors and government-owned entities. It cites the February revision of the Korean government's IT 839 policy, which saw RFID added as a core component of the country's vision for ubiquitous computing.

Aside from ABI's findings, the signs of Korea's aggressive move into RFID are abundant. Recall the giant 100-million tag sale by SmartCode to Korean distributor MSWAY back in September. At RFID World earlier this month, Korean conglomerate LG Electronics made a splash with the size of its booth. And finally, RFID Update guest contributor Mike Guillory reported that this year's RFID/USN Korea Conference in Seoul will probably be twice the size of last year's, which itself was a sucess. Read his article Korea Displays Focused Interest in RFID for more on the conference and how it demonstrated Korea's RFID ambitions.

Read the announcement from ABI Research
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