The RFID technology is expected to rise exponentially worldwide in the next few years, with Brazil already possessing specific regulations for this equipment. In this article, we will provide technical information regarding the ANATEL requirements for the homologation of RFID equipment.
Definition of the RFID Technology
RFID equipment, or Radio Frequency Identification, is a system composed of a transceptor device that is able to send and receive radio frequency signals whenever activated by transceptor equipment, which has the ability to read, write or modify the information contained in the RFID.
RFID equipment is classified by ANATEL as a piece of radio communication equipment of restricted radiation, which emits a frequency radiation that produces an electromagnetic field with a controlled intensity inside previously established limits. These limits can not surpass a single building or any other kind of property. As long as they are previously certified by ANATEL, a license for deployment and operation is not required for such equipment.
RFID technology is expected to grow in the next five years, according to the RFID Journal, especially in the retail and logistics segments. Even with advances in the technology, it is still presenting problems such as integration and difficulty of deployment, which is slowing down wider adoption. Agriculture is a field which already largely uses the technology for cattle identification. The impending growth of IoT application is seen as a factor for the increase in the use of RFID devices.
In Brazil the technology is not yet largely adopted, although it shows great potential with the rising interest of companies in deploying this system in their operations. The applications for the industry may take longer to be adopted, since the RFID technology is still unknown by most of the population.
ANATEL Homologation Requirements
RFID equipment operates in a secondary order without the possibility of protection for harmful interferences from other devices, and cannot cause such interferences in equipment of primary order. Any RFID equipment that is causing interference must shut its operations immediately until it is repaired.
Only equipment with transmission functions, or active equipment, are required to be certificated and homologated by ANATEL, which does not include passive tags, for example. Active equipment possesses a power source and transmits signals regularly, independently of a reader. Passive, on other hand, uses the magnetic field from the reader as a power source emitting signal waves, which are modulated by the readers into digital data. There is also semi-passive equipment that works similarly to the passive, meaning that it is dependent on the reader to work, although it has a power source to feed the microchip increasing its processing capacity.
Authorisation is necessary if the equipment signal surpasses the limits of a building or property and those with spectre radio mirroring and interference features, as follows:
- The equipment is associated to a telecommunications service of public interest, including those connected to the telecoms service providers network and to proprietary network via non-RFID equipment
- The equipment supports a telecoms network for self or public use
The certification issued by ANATEL must contain the RFID conditions, such as maximum field intensity within measurement distance and type of antenna used in the equipment. It is strictly forbidden to use any antenna that is not already provided along with the equipment, and must be designed in a way that it does not allow the use of additional antennas. The antenna used in the equipment must be already authorised by the agency, before its installation in the device.
Any equipment developed before the publishing date of the ANATEL regulation in July 2008 is allowed to continue operating until the end of its life cycle, as long as it is operating within the regulations.
The following requirements are evaluated in the ANATEL certification process:
- Equipment operation band
- Maximum peak power
- Bandwidth per channel
- Channel dynamic selection, including channel allocation with less possible noise and channel reallocation during interference
- Equipment frequency operation band
Operation Frequency Bandwidth
The emissions of RFID equipment must comply to the values presented in the table below, except when specifically established by the regulation. Note that the values can change according to the specifications of the equipment. The intensity of the peak field must not surpass 20 dB. Non-expected emissions, except harmonics, must be reduced by at least 50 dB in relation to the fundamental level or comply to the general limits, prioritising the smaller value.
|Radio Frequency Bandwidth (MHZ, when not specified)||Field Intensity (microvolt per meter)||Measurement Distance (meters)|
|119 - 135 kHZ||2400 x F(kHz)||300|
|13.11 - 13.36 and 13.41 - 14.01||106 000||3|
|433.5 - 434.5||70 359||3|
|860 - 869||70 359||3|
|894 - 898.5||70 359||3|
|902 - 907.5||70 359||3|
|2 400 - 2 483.5||50 000||3|
|5 725 - 5 850||50 000||3|
The equipment classified as RFID UHF, which operates in the frequency bandwidth of 902 to 907.5 MHz and 915 to 928 MHz, usually use the spectral mirroring technology, which require specific requisitions:
- The maximum transmitter output power peak must not surpass 1 W for systems using at least 35 hopping channels and 0.25 W for those using up to 35 hopping channels
- If the hopping channel bandwidth of 20 dB is inferior to 250 kHz, the system must use at least 35 radio frequencies hopping and the average occupation time of any radio frequencies can not be superior to 0.4 seconds in a gap of 20 seconds and also use a gap of 10 seconds if the bandwidth is equal or superior to 250 kHz. The maximum bandwidth occupied by the channel must be up to 500 kHz