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European Agencies Consider the Expansion of Spectrum for UHF RFID

An upcoming meeting will explore the possibility of assigning the 915 to 921 MHz RF band for RFID applications.
By Rhea Wessel
The affected companies and organizations will also have to make a formal request for studies to be conducted after formally demonstrating the need for additional spectrum through their workshop presentations and speeches. Weber says he expects the meeting to result in a request for the necessary spectrum compatibility studies that would describe the minimum technical requirements to be fulfilled in order to access the spectrum.

The proposed additional spectrum in the 915 to 921 MHz band is officially assigned to Europe's mobile operators, Weber says, but that the amount of bandwidth is considered inadequate for most mobile applications, such as broadband. As a decision is being considered regarding whether to pursue additional spectrum—and, if so, which studies to conduct—organizations that wish to work with the 915 to 921 MHz band can request a test license or a site-specific license. However, Weber warns, the process of reaching a decision on the spectrum for RFID is complex and includes numerous process steps, involving many individuals in 48 nations.

Thomas Ewers, ECC's chairman, will speak at the event, and Pastukh will provide an overview of UHF RFID, SRDs and smart metering, and also discuss recent studies on spectrum demand for these technologies in Europe. Additionally, a number of speakers are scheduled to present their views on the justifications for additional spectrum for RFID, including John Falck, the chairman of the EMC and Radio Spectrum Matters Task Group 34 (ERM TG34), which represents the interests of the RFID industry within ETSI, and Christian von Grone, the CIO of Gerry Weber International, a clothing firm that integrates EPC UHF RFID tags into its product-care labels so that items can be tracked from factories to multiple warehouses and on to 200 stores (see Gerry Weber Sews In RFID's Benefits).

The Bundesnetzagentur meeting is open to European organizations, but is already fully booked up with 140 registrants, which will come mostly from the home-automation, smart-metering and alarm industries. Other attendees will represent the RFID and automotive industries.

After the meeting concludes, the ECC is expected to proceed with the spectrum studies.

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