Marubeni and Symbol Technologies Agree for Exclusive Supply of UHF IC Tags and Tag Readers in Japan

May. 24. 2005
Marubeni Corporation

With open-up of UHF bandwidth for IC tag usage from this April, this trend has been gaining much attention in the Japanese market. Under such market environment, Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter Marubeni) and Symbol Technologies, Inc. (Headquarters: USA, hereinafter Symbol) announced today that Marubeni’s exclusivity to sell Symbol’s UHF IC tags and readers in Japan as pursuant to the agreement.

 UHF IC tag technology is regarded as the emerging world standard especially for the retail and transportation industries because of its capability to transmit information over much longer distances at expected lower cost, compared with other types of IC tags. In the United States, the leading US retailer, Wal-Mart, and the US Department of Defense have already forced all of their suppliers to attach IC tags for tracking crates and pallets from the beginning of this year. This has been driving a momentum for IC tag’s wider acceptance in the US market. In Japan, the usage of UHF bandwidth will be scheduled for open-up from this April and is well expected for acceleration in various applications.

 Up to now, Marubeni acquired sole distributorship with US-based Matrics, Inc. for its UHF IC tags and provided the UHF IC tags for various test beds through Marubeni’ s operations company, Mighty Card. Marubeni is leading the UHF IC tag market with such experiences and expertise. Symbol is a US leading manufacturer of barcode readers and wireless communication products. Last September, Symbol acquired and merged Matrics, Inc. and is now in progress of aggressive market penetration in the IC tag segment. Today, the both companies agreed to use continued Marubeni’s sole distributorship of Symbol’s products in Japan and work together by utilizing individual core competence of the both companies to drive wider usage of the IC tags in the Japanese market. They plan to focus on the retail and transportation industries as well as airport baggage-related applications and leverage the momentum on IC tag deployment with their accumulated experiences and expertise.

Symbol will release the reader products in limited quantity in April for various test purposes to deliver the reader products to meet Japanese market specifications. Later on, Symbol will commercialize the reader products for general release in the 4th quarter of 2005.  In line with this effort, Symbol will support GEN2 (Generation 2) which is the next generation standard of EPC and will provide seamless migration from the GEN2 standard without replacement of the existing products.

<Additional Information>


1.Features and Characteristics of Major IC Tag Products

IC tag products are classified by the frequency bandwidth used for communications between IC tags and readers/writers. Three types of the products are available as follows:

13.56MHz Band Having a capability of accepting hard interference such as water drops by using electromagnetic induction mechanism, but shortest communication distance (some 10 cm)
2.4GHz Band Tag cost is lowest, but still shorter communication distance
UHF Band Provides both benefits of long communication distance and low cost at the same time. It is the most acceptable solutions as a supply chain management tool, especially in US

2.About Symbol’s UHF IC Tags

Symbol is a member of EPC Global, the World Standard Organization for IC tags. Symbol’s EPC Gen 1 UHF IC tag provides communication distance of max. 10 m and its patent pending dual dipole antenna technology provides superior flexibility in tag orientation resulting in optimum read rates up to 1000 tags/second. It has been well accepted with Symbol’ rich expertise.  Symbol has also developed EPC Gen 2 IC tags that will be available in pilot quantities to selected customers in 2Q05.


3.About Symbol Technology

Company Name:    Symbol Technologies Inc.

Headquarters  :    One Symbol Plaza, Holtsville, New York 11742-1300,        

Capita Assets  :   US$ 1.0B

Line of Business:  Supply the products include advanced data capture products, mobile computing platforms, wireless infrastructure, radio frequency identification (RFID) infrastructure and tags, and mobility software and services, and are sold as both integrated solutions and individual devices

Establishment  :   1975

President & CEO: William R. Nuti


4.About Mighty Card Inc.

Company Name:    Mighty Card Inc.

Headquarters  :    3-12-18 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Shibuya-minami-
                         Tokyu Bldg. 5 F

Phone: +81-3-5466-0510

Capital Assets  : 700 Million Yen

Line of Business:   Development, manufacturing, and sales of IC tags
Shareholder Structure: Marubeni Corporation (85%), Rohm Co. Ltd., Ito-Chu Corporation,   

Nittoku Engineering Co. Ltd., etc.

Establishment  : October 1997

President      : Koji Kabumoto (Marubeni)

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