RFID in double licensing boost

Two pieces of good news for the RFID market have emerged, from Ofcom and a major vendor group

Communications watchdog Ofcom has taken the next step in opening up the RFID market with the announcement that it's releasing more spectrum devoted purely to the wireless tracking technology.

With RFID use growing — and interest in the tech on the increase — Ofcom has been under pressure to free up more spectrum to allow new applications to be developed for the track-and-trace tech.

The move to release the frequency was recommended by the European Conference of Communications and Postal Administrations, who are advocating that the frequencies from 865MHz to 868MHz be made available across the continent.

Ofcom said the frequency will be available without a licence — essentially meaning firms can use it for their RFID equipment without paying a fee.

In other news, a group of nearly 20 RFID vendors have clubbed together to create an RFID intellectual-property licensing consortium.

The group will act as a go-between for various groups of patent holders and would-be licensees, with any patents held by the consortium's members available under a single licence.

The consortium, whose members include Alien, Symbol and Zebra Technologies, is submitting the plan to the US Department of Justice.