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This paper presents a long range and effectively error-free ultra high frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) interrogation system. The system is based on a novel technique whereby two or more spatially separated transmit and receive antennas are used to enable greatly enhanced tag detection performance over longer distances using antenna diversity combined with frequency and phase hopping. The novel technique is first theoretically modelled using a Rician fading channel. It is shown that conventional RFID systems suffer from multi-path fading resulting in nulls in radio environments. We, for the first time, demonstrate that the nulls can be moved around by varying the phase and frequency of the interrogation signals in a multi-antenna system. As a result, much enhanced coverage can be achieved. A prototype RFID system is built based on an Impinj R2000 transceiver. The demonstrator system shows that the new approach improves the tag detection accuracy from to 100% over a 20 m ×15 m area, compared with a conventional switched multi-antenna RFID system.