The Brits are catching the RFID fever. Ofcom has just decided to make the use of RFID operating in the 865-868 MHz range exempt from licensing. The growing popularity if RFID has created an increasing demand for new spectrum for the technology, particularly from the retail industry in which RFID tags are used to track goods throughout the supply chain and improve in-store security. Ofcom is responsible for the civil use of the radio spectrum in the UK, and the organization has a preference for deregulation as a means to increase the amount of license-exempt spectrum used by businesses to bring new technologies and services to the market.
Today's announcement by the organization means that equipment can be used without a license under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, subject only to regulations intended to minimize potential interference. The recognition of RFID's benefits is not only a matter for the UK: Ofcom's decision follows a recommendation from the Conference of European Post and Telecommunications administrations (CEPT) that additional spectrum should be made available for RFID at 865-868 MHz.
For more on Ofcom's decision:
- see this report