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Global Standards

   Standards can be specific to a discipline (Telecommunication - modem), and yet can be common to many disciplines (e.g., XML). Standards serve many purposes, from enforcing a disciplined approach for quality control, to harmonising a community of different opinions/ requirements. Standards that entail a description of procedural sequences with a formatting specification are called protocols. In the AOLA community, protocols areused to allow participants to 'talk' and 'explore' at the same time - which provide etiquette for parties to follow, eliminating communication chaos.

   Standards have been characterised by practitioners using three attributes or dimensions, namely, the level, the aspect, and the subject. 1) Level refers to the scope of a standard, which can cover a small group of users, such as country-specific, or it can involve coverage that extends into regional and international levels, such as RFID air protocol. 2) Aspect refers to the genre of standards such as coding and product standards; and 3) Subject refers to the application areas such as procurement, RFID scanning, mathematics activity, etc.

   Each standard comes into existence through a standardisation process. The process examines the initial design of the standard and its subsequent maintenance. Here, such issues as benefits (e.g., functionality, interoperability, adaptability, etc.), costs (e.g., implementation cost, maintenance cost, etc.) and risks (e.g., level of acceptance, etc.) would be considered.

   Operationally, a community-based management framework with which the standardisation process can be designed, monitored, reviewed and updated should also be articulated.

   Many parties are involved and much cooperation is needed to bring a standard into existence. The process can be quick and ad hoc for short-term standards development. For long-term standards, the impact will be much wider; the development process is usually under the direction of an association of certain user groups (i.e., the mathematics education community), or a consortium of technology companies (such could be the Asian RFID consortium) that have a stake in the economic gain if the standard is adopted.

   Committees, associations and consortiums, or organisations in general, are created to see through the whole process of standardisation and its maintenance, management and future extension. For the "level" dimension, there are many such organisations such as ITU (was formerly CCITT), ISO, EAN.UCC (now GS1), IEEE, etc. Some standards are long-lived. Some evolved over time with continuous updates and changes to adjust to the change of time and technology advancement. Participation of any standardisation process can be voluntary or mandatory. The formation of these organisations could be driven by international bodies such as the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Standards can be proposed by software companies (e.g., Microsoft's SOAP, etc.), computer companies (e.g., IBM's WSFL, etc.), and professional organisation (e.g., IEEE's 802 standard suite, etc.).

In here, we discuss global standards with respect to RFID. For AOLA and ePlatform, similar discussion is warranted.

RFID-related Global Standards

What can be recorded on an RFID tag will fall into the consideration if there are any global standards being used? The transmission of data via air also calls for standardization. Some of the coding standards have been in use for a while. Yet, the GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) was just online last August (2004).

RFID-based Information Infrastructure - global (such as EPCglobal networkEPCGlobal), industry (e.g., DTTN - Digital Trade and Transportation Network), supply chains (e.g., EPCIS vs Chain-based EPCIS), and end-users (e.g., consumers). Or the standards can be categorized as the five stages in the life-cycle of elements:

  • RawMaterials2Products
  • Products2Markets
  • Markets2Consumers
  • Consumers2Disposal
  • Disposal2RawMaterals


  • ISO 15693 - accepted in 2000, 13.56 MHz technology, originally proposed by TI and Phillips Semiconductors in 1998, commonly referred to Identification Cards, and of other names: Contactless Integrated Circuits Cards, Vincinity Cards


  • EPC Radio-Frequency Identity Protocols: Class-1 Generation-2 UHF RFID Protocol for Communications at 860 MHz - 960 MHz, Version 1.0.9, 31 January 2005, © 2004 EPCglobal, Inc., 94 pages
  • EPC Tag Data Standards Version 1.1 Rev. 1.2.6, 19 November 2004, ©2004 EPCglobal, Inc., 83 pages
RFID discussion in the A2ABlog
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