Specialist Task Force 397 Phase 3:
Verification of mitigation techniques for the co-existence of E-GSM-R and RFID
Who we are:
Team Leader: Josef Preishuber-Pfluegl, CISC Semiconductor GmbH
Detlef Führer, FBConsulting s.r.l
Markus Desch, FEIG ELECTRONIC GmbH
Team Members: Dirk Schattschneider, Deutsche Bahn AG
Georg Ramsch, Checkpoint Systems
Dieter Horst, Siemens AG
What we do:
This STF will in Phase 3 develop RFID equipment that supports mitigation methods
developed in Phase 1 and Phase 2. The equipment will be used for test series
with the target to show that UHF RFID and E-GSM-R as used by the railways can co-exist
in the 915-921 MHz band.
For more details, see our
Terms of Reference
Why we do it:
The European Commission has identified RFID as a technology
that can bring fundamental improvements to the Community. This is not only in
terms of improvements to the efficiency of business but also in terms of the
quality of people’s lives. Already RFID is being adopted at an increasing rate
across a wide range of applications.
To make provision for this growth in demand, in
2008 ETSI submitted a request to ECC for additional spectrum at UHF for RFID.
Details of this request are described in SRDoc TR 102 649-2. The document
identified that the frequency range 915 – 921 MHz, which acts as a guard band
between the uplink and downlink for GSM, was substantially unused. ECC was asked
to consider whether this band could be designated for use by RFID.
Not long afterwards the railways said that they
wished to extend the downlink band used by GSM-R to include the frequency range
918 – 921 MHz. The ECC agreed to their request. In subsequent discussions
between the railways and ERM TG34, the railways said that they were agreeable to
sharing the band with RFID provided that it did not adversely affect their
In order to investigate whether sharing would
be possible, ETSI established STF 397. The work of this task force was divided
into two phases. During the first phase the experts in the STF devised
mitigation techniques that would prevent interference between RFID and E-GSM-R.
Their theoretical predictions were supported by practical measurements. The
results from Phase 1 are described in the Technical Specification TS 102 902.
The results from Phase 1 were used as the basis for the subsequent work in Phase
2. This work involved the specification of the tests that would be required in
an ETSI standard to ensure that RFID equipment would not interfere with E-GSM-R
and that the mitigation techniques would function as intended. Phase 2 concluded
with the publication of a Technical Specification (TS 102 903) and a successful
demonstration of principle.
The purpose of the work is to validate that the
mitigation techniques specified during Phases 1 and 2 of STF 397 perform as
intended in a real operating environment. The requirement for these tests is
essential in order to demonstrate that E-GSM-R and RFID can co-exist in the same
band. To do this an agreed set of tests will be carried out at a working site
nominated by the railways.
Additional spectrum at UHF will give
considerable benefits to RFID. If the proposed band is agreed, it will permit
the use of higher powers and faster data rates. Higher power levels will become
increasingly necessary with the demand for greater reading ranges and the need
for improved reading reliability. Faster data rates will enable the technology
to be used with faster moving tagged items or alternatively in situations where
higher populations of tags need to be identified (such as with multiple tagged
items in pallets). A further benefit is that, with the use of frequency
diversity, it will be possible to overcome the problem of standing wave nulls.
Also frequency diversity can be used as a means of location, which will provide
end-users with very significant operational benefits. From an ETSI perspective
one of the major benefits will be that RFID in Europe
would operate within the same band used globally by most of the other major
trading nations. This will resolve problems associated with the movements of
tagged goods between Regions. The global harmonisation of frequencies will also
be in line with the broad objectives of the ITU.
The successful conclusion of the compatibility study by
ECC-SE24 will rely heavily on the input provided by STF 397. If the
recommendation by SE24 is positive, it will hopefully lead to the publication of
a deliverable by WGFM recommending designation of shared use of the band 915 –
921 MHz by RFID. Such an outcome will lead to the development of a new version
of the ETSI standard EN 302 208, which would make possible the use of RFID in
the new band.
How we do it:
The work will be carried out in three parts commencing in
the first quarter of 2012.
- Part 1 Specification of the modifications to the
hardware and firmware of two interrogators for conversion to demonstrators for
use in the tests. Specification of the acceptance tests for the demonstrators.
Preparation of the test plan for the Preliminary Tests and the Trial at an
- Part 2 Implementation of the specified
modifications for the conversion of two interrogators into demonstrators.
Subsequently the performance of the demonstrators shall be validated against the
specified acceptance tests.
- Part 3 Preliminary Tests will be carried out at
an operational site that is representative of a typical railway environment.
This will enable a number of key parameters to be optimised. Subsequently a full
trial will be performed at a working site operated by the railways. The Trial
will verify that the mitigation techniques perform as intended under an agreed
set of scenarios.
Based on the successful outcome of the demonstration of principle, there is
every reason to believe that the mitigation techniques will perform
satisfactorily. However there remains a risk that the modification of
interrogators to include some of the more advanced features described in TS 102
902 may present some unforeseen challenges. This could cause a delay or a
possible modification to the programme.
A Technical Specification will be published specifying the changes required to
interrogators together with acceptance tests following modification. The
document will also define the test plan both for the preliminary tests and for
the trial at an operational site.
A Technical Report will be produced that describes the results of the
Preliminary Tests and of the Trial at the operational site.
The following steps will be
necessary to perform the work
- Start of the work 6 Feb 2012
- Complete draft TS 15 Apr 2012
- Approval draft TS by TG34 1 May 2012
- Start work on conversion of interrogators to demonstrators 1 May 2012
- Acceptance of demonstrators 31 August 2012
- Start preliminary tests 15 September 2012
- Start trials 15 October 2012
- Complete draft TR 15 December 2012
- Submission of TS and TR to ERM/TG34 for approval 15 December 2012
- Final STF report and project closure 31 January 2013
- ERM/TG34 approval TS, TR and Final Report February 2013
- TC ERM approval March 2013
How to contact us:
If you would like more information, please contact the STF Leader Josef
This information is based upon STF working assumptions.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this
Last updated: 2012-02-13 09:55:38