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An experimental study of a modern ultra high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) system is here proposed. Some relationships between the electromagnetic field levels received by the deployed devices and the system overall performance are in particular analyzed. The main purpose is to experimentally analyze the behavior and performance of a real world UHF RFID system underlying the importance of preliminary measurements in the setup and optimization of these systems. Practical rules to improve the system reliability are finally deduced. To this aim, a detailed description of tags operation in near and far field regions of the reader is given, along with meaningful results from experiments conducted on purpose. Experiments have been carried out by using an ad-hoc realized testbed, equipped with a real-life UHF RFID system.