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SCP Activity Report 2007

Chairman: Klaus Vedder (Giesecke & Devrient GmbH)

Responsible for the development and maintenance of a common Integrated Circuit (IC) Card platform for all mobile telecommunication systems, for the application independent specifications for the interface with terminal equipment and for IC Card standards for general telecommunications, m-commerce and high security applications.

The main task of ETSI’s Smart Card Platform Technical Committee (TC SCP) is to expand and maintain the smart card platform specifications for 2G and 3G mobile communication systems. In particular, this allows users access to global roaming by means of their smart card, irrespective of the radio access technology used. The specifications of TC SCP are generic in the sense that they provide a true multi-application platform (called the UICC) not just for mobile communication systems but for all applications using a smart card. Interoperability between all applications which are based on the smart card platform can thus be achieved.

Nine new ETSI Technical Specifications (TSs) and a Technical Report were finalised and approved in 2007. As well as the publication of these new documents and the maintenance of its specifications, TC SCP introduced a large number of new features and functionality into the Release 7 version of its specifications.

Release 7 had already been closed in 2006 with respect to the definition of new requirements. In 2007 all the technical realisations and enhancements were also closed, with the exception of one topic concerning the contactless interface of the UICC. All the Release 7 requirements, together with use cases, can be found in a specific requirement specification for that release.

To be able to use smart cards for mass storage and (high capacity) applications requiring a fast throughput – 2007 saw field trials with SIMs providing up to a gigabyte of memory for such purposes – as well as a device for use in the Internet world, it had been agreed previously that USB IC (Inter Chip) technology should be used as the basis for the new high speed protocol for smart cards. The technical realisation itself was defined in the form of a new Technical Specification in May 2007. The protocol allows a nominal speed of 12 Megabits per second – even today’s advanced SIMs and handsets work with a typical speed of only about 400 kilobits per second. For the communication between smart card and terminal, two of the hitherto unassigned three contacts of the smart card are used.

The other main topic for Release 7, which was partially finalised in 2007, was the specification of a contactless interface for the UICC. This allows applications on the UICC to communicate directly with the outside world via a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in the terminal. Typical applications are ticketing and access control for public transport as well as payment by means of a credit card or an electronic purse residing on the UICC. In October 2007 TC SCP approved the Technical Specification for the contactless interface of the smart card. The so-called ‘Single Wire Protocol’ connects the smart card, via the only remaining unassigned contact, with the NFC chip in the terminal. In this way, applications residing, for instance, on a SIM can communicate ‘contactless’ with the outside world without involving the mobile phone. The specification provides manufacturers of both terminals and smart cards with the documentation needed to begin their hardware development. The standardisation of the management layer is still open, however, with respect to two issues: the communication of the UICC with other Secure Elements which may be contained in the terminal, and how an application on the UICC can proactively request, for example, a mobile phone, to execute a task.

TC SCP and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) have worked closely together on the development of a Smart Card Web Server. This will provide a PC web server-like graphical user interface (GUI) for Internet access via, say the SIM, and will give the user a completely new experience for applications residing on the SIM compared with today’s services based on the SIM Application Toolkit. This work resulted in the new TS for the Application Programming Interface (API) by a UICC Webserver.

During 2007 TC SCP also completed a specification on the technical realisation of the USSM, the UICC Security Service Module, which could add significant value to applications such as Digital Rights Management (DRM), secure e-mail, payments, banking and application download (to both the card and the terminal device). Another security related TS approved by TC SCP in 2007 specifies the architecture, functional capabilities and characteristics of the Secure Channel protocol between endpoints in a UICC and a terminal.

Other specifications approved in 2007 concern an API to enable the Java Card™ to use transport protocols for Card Application Toolkit (CAT) applications; the technical characteristics and methods of test for testing the CAT-Transport Protocol (CAT-TP) implementation; and the establishment and configuration of an Internet Protocol (IP) connection between a UICC and a terminal interfaced through a protocol that supports the transport of IP packets and makes the UICC become part of the Internet world.

In 2008, as well as the finalisation of the management level for the contactless interface, TC SCP’s work will be dominated by the maintenance of existing specifications, with a high priority given to feedback from the first implementations of USB and the Single Wire Protocol, the definition of requirements for the new Release 8 of the specifications and, in particular, the work on machine-to-machine (M2M) requirements and their realisations for the smart card. TC SCP has previously worked on related topics such as an extended temperature range for smart cards for use in an automotive environment. The applications are, however, much wider than this, ranging from emergency units in cars to electricity meters, office equipment, household goods and burglar and fire alarms.

A complete list of all active and completed work items and detailed information pertaining to them can be found in the ’Work Item Monitoring’ window at:

TC SCP responds to requests both from within the committee and outside ETSI, and therefore continues to liaise with major external contributors such as the GlobalPlatform, the GSM Association, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™), 3GPP2 and the OMA.

Last updated: 2008-07-07 10:46:36