When the FCC tests a reader product, must tags be in the field, or does the agency test the unit without tags?
I do not believe tests are conducted with tags present. The FCC is only interested in the power output of the antennas, the frequency hopping and other features that could affect other RF devices if they are not implemented in the reader according to FCC regulations. I am not 100 percent sure of this, though, so I have reached out to the FCC for clarification. If they respond with a definitive answer, I will let you know.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal