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SCP Activity Report 2006

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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 maintain and expand 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 Universal Integrated Circuit Card (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.

Two new ETSI Technical Specifications (TSs) and one Technical Report were finalised and approved in 2006. The first TS is a five-part test specification giving the minimum characteristics considered necessary to provide compliance with the Application Programming Interface (API) for Java Card™. The other TS includes the conformance tests for the Card Application Toolkit (CAT), which contains the generic tests after the split of the respective Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™) test specification into generic and application specific test cases. The CAT specification itself defines a toolbox for creating applications such as mobile banking, location based services, ticketing access control and other services needed by operators to differentiate themselves. The Technical Report published in 2006 analyses the possibility of defining a general mechanism for data exchange between the UICC and the external peripherals of different kinds of terminals.

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. These include Internet connectivity to the UICC; the usage of authentication commands larger than 255 bytes; the specification of very specific UICC environmental conditions for features such as the temperature range which is needed in safety devices for the automobile industry; and a smart card web server running in the UICC. The latter takes into account work by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). In addition, the number of logical channels was increased from 4 to 20 to allow more applications to communicate with the outside world at the same time. Release 7 was closed with respect to the definition of new requirements. All the Release 7 requirements, together with use cases, can be found in a specific requirement specification for that release.

To support some of the new functionality and to be able to use smart cards for mass storage and as a device in the Internet world, it had previously been agreed to specify a new high speed protocol between the UICC and the terminal. While the requirements for such a new protocol had already been finalised at the end of 2005, discussion on the technical basis for the realisation had continued. It was eventually agreed in November 2006 to use USB IC (Inter Chip) technology as the basis for the new high speed protocol for smart cards. The technical realisation itself is ongoing.

The other major topic for Release 7 which is still under discussion is the specification of a contactless interface for the UICC. This would allow applications on the UICC to communicate directly with the outside world via, say, a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in the terminal. Typical applications are ticketing and access control for public transport as well as payments using an electronic purse on the UICC.

Another topic about to be completed is the technical realisation of the USSM, the UICC Security Service Module, which could add significant value to Digital Rights Management (DRM), secure e-mail, payments, banking and application download (to both the card and the terminal device). New features and functions for Release 8 form part of the ongoing work.

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 portal.etsi.org/scp.

TC SCP responds to requests both from within the committee and outside ETSI, and the TC therefore continues to liaise with major outside contributors such as the GlobalPlatform, the GSM Association, 3GPP and 3GPP2 and the OMA.