The International Standards Organization (ISO) and EPCglobal are two organizations that work together to approve standards and protocols in order to provide universal specifications for RFID equipment. By creating global standards, these organizations enable the possibility of worldwide adoption of UHF RFID. Once ratified, protocols define communication methods approved with the air interface in conjunction with the operating frequency, channel bandwidth, frequency hop rate, etc.
The EPCglobal and ISO standards that are familiar today are largely due to the strides made by the Auto-ID Center from 1999 to 2003. The Auto-ID Center was, a non-profit organization made up of leaders in the RFID industry, and backed by large corporations like Walmart. In 1999 the Auto-ID Center created the first EPC standards as well as their own air interface protocol, both instrumental in attempting to commercialize UHF RFID. The other reason that the Auto-ID Center was so important is because it transitioned into two separate organizations: EPCglobal took over the commercialization of EPC technologies, while Auto-ID Labs continued the research and development role of the Auto-ID Center.