Major Interoperability Boost for RFID Industry and End Users

ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France - 23 July 2008

"End users can now confidently purchase RFID tags from different vendors without risking problems of interoperability", says John Falck, Chairman of ETSI RFID Task Group - TG 34.

The announcement follows major successes achieved during a series of critical RFID ETSI PlugtestsTM held at the Metro Innovation Centre in Neuss (Germany) and at VanDerLande in Veghel (Netherlands), 11 – 15 June.

The specific purpose of the tests was to search for interoperability problems where multiple RFID tags from different vendors were simultaneously present in the same reading zone. Based on the samples provided for the PlugtestsTM event, the results showed no evidence of any such problems (over half a million records were logged during the tests).

Eleven different tag types were evaluated including RFID baggage labels provided by Air France with seven different manufacturers of RFID interrogators participating.

Real-life scenarios were tested, in which multiple tags from different vendors might be present; including reading multiple tagged garments and stacks of DVDs, reading pallets comprising quantities of tagged cartons in portals, and interrogating tagged items passing along a conveyor. Each scenario involved reading different combinations of tags and ensuing result comparison.

The importance of these test successes cannot be overstated. Inter-tag interoperability problems are unacceptable to the RFID industry and end users understandably demand high reading performance from their RFID systems.

In normal daily operation, tagged goods are regularly moved from one part of the world to another and it is therefore inevitable that occasions arise where tags from different manufacturers are simultaneously present in identical reading zones.

ETSI PlugtestsTM events have become a reference point for interoperability testing and the high level of confidence in the test results and such positive conclusions were only possible as a direct consequence of the high standards of soft and hardware system set-up which ETSI PlugtestsTM sets for itself.

Notes for Editors:

14 organisations participated in the event:

Advanced PANMOBIL systems GmbH &Co KG, De
CISC Semiconductor GmbH, AT
Höft & Wessel AG, DE
IBM Germany, DE
John Falck Associates Ltd, GB
Kathrein Burgstädt GmbH, DE
MGI METRO Group Information Technology GmbH, DE
Nordic ID GmbH, DE
NXP Semiconductors, AT
Scanology BV, NL
Sirit Corp., US
ThingMagic, US
UPM Raflatac, FI
Vanderlande Industries, NL

The following organisations provided equipment for the event but were not present during the tests:


For more information please contact:
Anthony Wiles,

Director - Centre for Testing and Interoperability
Tel:  +33492944387 
Email: [email protected] 

About ETSI PlugtestsTM
ETSI Plugtests™ are specialised events dedicated to improving technical interoperability and validating and improving the technical quality of ETSI standards and other specifications. PlugtestsTM is a registered trademark of ETSI. For more information about ETSI PlugtestsTM please visit: ETSI PlugtestsTM

About ETSI Task Group TG 34
TG 34 sets out to represent the interests of the RFID industry within ETSI for all RFID products and devices, develop deliverables as instructed by ETSI Technical Committee TC ERM for future RFID technologies/products not covered by current generic standards, prepare all necessary documentation including Work Items, Systems Reference Documents, Reports and Standards relating to RFID products and present such documentation at meetings of ERM RM and TC ERM and liaise with other Task Groups to ensure co-existence of RFID devices with other product groups.

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Commission as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is a not-for-profit organization whose 700 ETSI member organizations benefit from direct participation and are drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide.
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