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Most UHF RFID systems operate in the 858-930 MHz frequency band and communicate by RF propagation, with maximum read distances between 20 and 30 feet. Less well-known and commercialized are near field UHF systems that communicate in the electromagnetic field and are optimized for short-range reading.
There are numerous UHF standards, most notably Gen 2, which may well be the most widely supported RFID standard. UHF is the dominant technology for supply chain applications such as case and pallet tracking and returnable container identification, and is also widely used for industrial automation, work-in-process tracking, asset management, inventory monitoring, forklift monitoring, personal ID, vehicle access control, document security and other applications. In early deployments, the UHF systems were susceptible to interference and performance degradation when used around liquid and metal. However, the technology has improved and been adapted to mitigate or eliminate this interference.
For example, some UHF tags have been designed specifically for use in close proximity to metal and to take advantage of metal’s conductive properties to enhance RF performance. Advances in antenna design, reader tuning and best practices are also overcoming traditional limitations.