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RFID Frequently Asked Question

Do all countries use the same frequencies?

No. Different countries have allotted different parts of the radio spectrum for RFID, so no single technology optimally satisfies all the requirements of existing and potential markets. The industry has worked diligently to standardize three main RF bands: low frequency (LF), 125 to 134 kHz; high frequency (HF), 13.56 MHz; and ultrahigh frequency (UHF), 860 to 960 MHz. Most countries have assigned the 125 or 134 kHz areas of the spectrum for low-frequency systems, and 13.56 MHz is used around the world for high-frequency systems (with a few exceptions), but UHF systems have only been around since the mid-1990s, and countries have not agreed on a single area of the UHF spectrum for RFID. UHF bandwidth across the European Union ranges from 865 to 868 MHz, with interrogators able to transmit at maximum power (2 watts ERP) at the center of that bandwidth (865.6 to 867.6 MHz). RFID UHF bandwidth in North America ranges from 902 to 928 MHz, with readers able to transmit at maximum power (1 watt ERP) for most of that bandwidth. Australia has allotted the 920 to 926 MHz range for UHF RFID technology. And European transmission channels are restricted to a maximum of 200 kHz in bandwidth, versus 500 kHz in North America. China has approved bandwidth in the 840.25 to 844.75 MHz and 920.25 to 924.75 MHz ranges for UHF tags and interrogators used in that country. Until recently, Japan did not allow any UHF spectrum for RFID, but it is looking to open up the 960 MHz area. Many other devices use the UHF spectrum, so it will take years for all governments to agree on a single UHF band for RFID.


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