30 November 2005 | Anusha Bradley
A decision to abolish RFID licence fees could save UK businesses and consumers up to £200 million in the next decade.
The estimated figure came from communications regulator Ofcom, which has agreed that operators using RFID in the 865-868 MHz range no longer have to pay a £50 licence fee per site.
It hopes this will increase the take-up of RFID, which will help supply chain productivity and security and result in efficiency savings, it said.
Consumers are also expected to benefit from cheaper prices.
But Geoff Barraclough, marketing director for BT's auto-ID services, said some businesses still needed to be persuaded of the benefits.
He told SM
the UK market is "eagerly watching" to see if Tesco would follow the Wal-Mart example and mandate its suppliers to adopt the technology.
"When it does that it will fire the gun for opening the market," said Barraclough.
The agreement requires formal ministerial sign-off but Ofcom hopes it will come into force by the end of the year.