FAQ

Are Wavetrend's 433 MHz tags compliant with the EU's RF Spectrum Harmonisation Decision of 9th November 2006 (2006/771/EC)?

Yes. Per the EU's Harmonised Frequency Allocations of 2006, active RFID tags that transmit at a frequency of 433 MHz are acceptable for numerous implementations, including security and alert applications.

Further, all Wavetrend hardware is tested to meet appropriate ETSI/EN Regulations and carries the CE mark.

Is the use of 433 MHz for security applications prohibited in any country in the EU?

No. The EU's Harmonised Frequency Allocations required all EU nations to align their RF Spectrum Allocations with EU standards by mid 2007. Thus 433MHz is cleared to be used for alarm & security applications across all 27 member states of the EU.

What measures are taken to ensure that the integrity of asset protection?

Measures are taken to render the removal of tags from the asset impossible or extremely difficult. As a further safeguard, active RFID tags are equipped with an anti-tamper feature that helps to eliminate the problem entirely. Anti-tamper active RFID tags will immediately generate an alert if the tag is removed or becomes separated from the asset.

How can active RFID provide precise tracking-and-tracing of an asset?

The typical active RFID based security configuration is to install at least one, more often multiple, readers in every room; thereby registering the movement of the tag, and its protected asset, anywhere throughout the secured location.

Are active RFID tags susceptible to interference from other nearby tags?

As a short range device (SRD), active RFID tags must have a lower output than other transmitting devices such as are used in communications systems, thereby minimising the likelihood of interference among installed components in a particular location. The output of Wavetrend tags is less than the EU established output limit for SRDs further reducing the prospect of interference and congestion, and allowing for greater numbers of SRD's to be active on the same band in a given location.

Is the 433 MHz band too congested to be effectively implemented for security?

No. Given their short range nature, active RFID tags, regardless of their frequency, would only be susceptible to congestion or interference from competing devices in their immediate vicinity. As mentioned above, the output of the tags is such that congestion is typically a non-issue.

Should congestion occur because of too many SRD's of the same type in a location (i.e. too many active RFID tags), it will first be noticeable in that SRD's will successfully communicate with the system less frequently. As congestion in a location increases, the SRD's frequency of successful communication continues to decrease until the system is rendered functionally inoperable. RF interference caused by an outside source of RF on the band will manifest itself through the reduction in the maximum read range possible from the SRD's. The greater the outside source of RF interference, the shorter the read range offered by the SRD's, eventually reducing to the point where the system is rendered functionally inoperable.

The 433 MHz band is no more likely to experience congestion than other bands, such as 868-869 MHz as most SRD's are allowed to use either band in Europe.

Are active RFID tags susceptible to interference from other nearby tags?

As a short range device (SRD), active RFID tags must have a lower output than other transmitting devices such as are used in communications systems, thereby minimising the likelihood of interference among installed components in a particular location. The output of Wavetrend tags is less than the EU established output limit for SRDs further reducing the prospect of interference and congestion, and allowing for greater numbers of SRD's to be active on the same band in a given location.

In what other ways can system installers minimise the potential for interference?

It is Best Practice for an RFID Systems Installer to conduct a full Spectrum Analysis on- site prior to installation of an active RFID system to identify any potential RF interference. Steps can then be taken to minimise or remove the interference.

Additionally, the installation or integration of another wireless system or device into a site where a pre-existing active RFID system has been installed should first be investigated so that signal conflicts can be avoided or minimised.

Properly accredited installers or system designers will ensure that the right balance is struck between the number of active RFID tags installed on-site in any one location and the number of installed readers to ensure that congestion is not a problem.

What methods are employed to minimise data loss?

Wavetrend minimises the transmission length of signals and employs 'anti-collision' techniques in all hardware to mitigate against data loss that may result from two RF devices transmitting on the same band at the exact same instant.

Can a museum expect to realise ROI on an active RFID security system?

Museums have extraordinarily valuable assets to protect, with inventories valued in the multiple millions, if not billions, of dollars. The cost to commission and install an active RFID security system is less than one or two major pieces of artwork, or a small percentage of the total value protected, making the realisation of ROI on an RFID-based system the norm, rather than the exception.

Does active RFID have any other application for museums?

While security and theft prevention are the primary application in the museum arena, active RFID can also be a highly effective means of administering inventory controls on archived artwork, or other valuable assets.

While some customers may only ever use the motion sensing capability offered by Wavetrend technology, the systems offered to the security market by Wavetrend and its partners offer far more functionality. The customer has the full right to use the additional features and functions their needs require. Active RFID systems can automatically inventory all tagged assets multiple times per day; associate assets with other assets or people; and create customised alerts and alarms to be raised at any breach of any rules defined the by system administrator.

Wavetrend and our partners have enjoyed considerable success in the security market because of the market leading features and benefits of the solutions activated by Wavetrend's Active RFID technology.