- November 13, 2011
Security is high on the agenda and Russia has somewhat different priorities from the rest in its extensive use of RFID for public transport.
By Dr Peter Harrop This article shares some of the research carried out for the new IDTechEx report, “RFID in Russia, CIS, Baltic States 2012-2022.” This report analyses RFID supply and use in Russia and some of its surrounding countries with comparable total population but little more than one third of Gross Domestic Product GDP in total. They are the Baltic States, CIS and, because of its RFID significance, Bulgaria. The countries investigated are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Since Russia has larger present and future demand than all the others put together and, unlike the other countries, it is a world leader in some aspects and seeking to be a world leader in others, we look particularly closely at it, including providing ten year forecasts by application and more analysis. At the recent IDTechEx “RFID Europe” event in the UK in 2011, Vladislav Tropko, Investment officer OJSC of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies Rusnano, the huge state investor in RFID and allied technologies, spoke on “Development of RFID in Russia”. He noted that Russia is the 10th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the 6th largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). The economy of Russia will grow faster than the world’s economy with high oil prices and investments being the key growth drivers. It will pass US$2.7 trillion by 2015. It has a population of over 140 million, 75 million being the educated labour force, and it has high consumer spending as a percentage of GDP. It has a diversified base in fundamental research with strong support from government: the Russian Academy of Science (RAS) is the leading science organization in Russia with 466 research institutes and 55,000 researchers, 61% having a PhD. Rusnano has invested heavily in Russian manufacturer Systematica which plans to make 150 million RFID tags for sale in Russia in 2015. Its newest investment project is Plastic Logic. This will include building world's largest commercial printed electronics factory in Zelenograd. Plastic Logic does not yet make RFID but it has printed organic transistor technology appropriate to replacing silicon chips, creating a lower price, higher volume market for the simpler RFID tags. Rusnano and Plastic Logic have finalized details of a $700 million investment. Although the USA remains the largest user and supplier of RFID in the world, RFID and industrialisation in general is succeeding in countries with tough government, consistency of purpose, little borrowing and large home markets. In this respect, we know of China but must now think of Russia gearing up to make and use RFID passport chips with 1.25 million transistors in them, huge RFID postal automation systems and a great deal in between. The big topic in Russia is what will replace the oil and gas income when it expires. Overall, our research has involved interviews, recent conference presentations, web searches and examination of the world’s largest searchable database of RFID projects, the IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase which is updated continuously and currently covers 4390 case studies involving 123 countries, 4435 organisations and 770 associated slideshows and audio recordings. All the territories covered in this report have RFID projects but the only type common to all of them is RFID passports. Several activities involve RFID devices monitored and passing between many of these countries – notably passports, RFID monitoring of the post both for performance and for transfer of funds, intermodal container security and tracking and the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan. We find that security is high on the agenda and Russia has somewhat different priorities from the rest in its extensive use of RFID for public transport, including placing the world’s largest ongoing order for 300 million RFID tickets yearly for the Moscow transport system. It also has unusual emphasis on libraries with over twenty already fully tagged - books, CDs and DVDs. Unusually for this part of the world, Russia is also placing particular emphasis on the use of RFID in retailing. Its ambitions in postal RFID are also of a very different order, with the avowed intention of putting tags on all 600 million postal items yearly. By contrast, several of the countries covered in this report, including Russia, are doing appreciable work on RFID in land and sea logistics. For the size of their population and GDP, Ukraine is doing surprisingly little with RFID while Lithuania and Estonia are doing a lot. In the coming decade, we expect see a great deal of RFID adoption in the wealthier mineral rich countries in the region such as Kazakhstan. In the next decade, the primary expenditure on RFID in this geographical region will continue to be in Russia. The four most important applications and formats all involve passive UHF and HF RFID in the main, in the formats of cards, tickets and labels – so no surprises there. Indeed, by the end of the decade, the mix of RFID in use will not be dissimilar from that in the world as a whole and the specifications will be the same. Although the global value market for RFID will grow about five times in the next ten years, the market in Russia and the market in the other countries covered, taken as a whole, will grow much faster. Our forecasts do not show the plan of the Russian government to tag 600 million postal items yearly within two years, because we consider a somewhat longer timescale to be realistic for such a world first due to technical challenges. We see this happening later. In this region we expect particular activity in Logistics & Postal, Financial, Security, Safety, Retail, Leisure and Passenger Transport & Automotive sectors with Mining, Chemical and Oil & Gas starting to be important. Of the countries with the largest GDP in the region beyond Russia, we expect considerable activity in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria to be particularly promising and even the laggard, Ukraine, with the third biggest GDP in the region will start to catch up in RFID adoption.Learn More
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