New UHF spectrum available for RFID and short range devices

Sophia Antipolis, 13 March 2014

With the rapid growth in applications for both RFID and short range devices, industry has recognized that there is an urgent need for additional spectrum for these applications in the UHF band. In submissions to CEPT, ETSI proposed that the 870-876 MHz band, allocated to TETRA but unused, be assigned to short range devices. Now the CEPT working group on Frequency Management has decided to make additional spectrum available for short range devices and RFID in the 870-876 MHz and 915-921 MHz bands.

The availability of this additional spectrum will bring considerable benefits. In the case of short range devices it will provide an opportunity to introduce some important new applications such as smart metering and new uses in the automotive industry. More importantly it will provide the additional capacity necessary for the continued expansion of traditional applications such as home automation, alarms, telemetry and general purpose short range devices.

For RFID applications, the principal benefit will be the ability to operate at higher power and faster data rates. It will allow RFID devices to meet the needs of new applications where previously this had not been possible. A further important benefit is that RFID devices will be able to operate in Europe in the same frequency band as used by all of the other major trading nations.

As a result of this decision, ETSI will introduce revisions to EN 300 220 and EN 302 208, the Harmonised Standards and standards defining technical requirements and methods of measurement for radio equipment operating in this band. The new versions of these standards should be available during 2015 to support new innovative applications in industry.