TB SiteMapbreadcrumb separatorSCPbreadcrumb separatorActivity Reportsbreadcrumb separatorActivity Report 2008

SCP Activity Report 2008

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 

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 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 applications which are based on the smart card platform can thus be assured.

The major achievement of 2008 was the conclusion of work on the use of the smart card platform for Near Field Communication (NFC) applications. This allows applications on the UICC to communicate directly with the outside world via an NFC chip in the terminal. Potential uses are ticketing and access control for public transport, access control to premises as well as payment by credit card or an electronic purse residing on the UICC. While the work on the lower layers, the Single Wire Protocol (SWP), which had been published in 2007 continued with the usual improvements resulting from the first implementations, the finalisation of the management level, the so called Host Controller Interface (HCI), proved to be difficult due to diverging interests. Two similar proposals had been specified: one with an assumed host id where the UICC can only talk to the CLF (Contactless Front End) in the terminal, and one with a stated host id which also provides an architecture and placeholders for a potential (interoperable) extension of the specification. This second proposal also included a mechanism for the UICC to proactively request the terminal to start interaction with the user (e.g. with the aim of displaying the result of a transaction or the remaining balance for an e-purse). After long and intense discussions, TC SCP decided in the end in favour of the latter option.

To further the work on NFC, a Memorandum of Understanding between ETSI and the NFC Forum was signed in late 2008.

With the completion of the HCI specification, TC SCP closed all technical work on Release 7 of the Smart Card specifications. At the same time, the elaboration of requirements for Release 8 was also closed, and the first requirements for Release 9 have already been approved. All the requirements, together with use cases, can be found in a dedicated requirement specification.

 As part of Release 8, TC SCP has also delivered a comprehensive secure channel technical solution that allows the encryption of all communication on an application-to-application and a platform-to-platform basis. Maintenance of this specification following initial implementations has produced a very robust specification. This is now being used as an element of the security for the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Mobile Broadcast Services Enabler Suite (BCAST), the open global specification for mobile TV and on-demand video services.

In January 2008 TC SCP established a new Working Group to deal with the increasing demand for test specifications for new features and functions such as the high speed interface between a terminal and the UICC as well as the maintenance and the extension to new releases of existing specifications. An ETSI Specialist Task Force was established in to develop test specifications for the contactless interface. This set of four specifications deals with both the Single Wire Protocol and the Host Controller Interface from the terminal as well as the UICC point of view. The specifications are expected to be completed early in 2009.

Collaboration with the OMA resulted in a number of new features and functions for the Smart Card Web Server as well as in the elaboration of requirements for the use of the UICC as Secure Removable Media (SRM). While these were agreed for Release 8, the technical realisation of having digital rights stored and managed in the UICC will form part of Release 9.

The work on reduced-capability terminals (e.g., no screen or keypad) was completed, enabling proper type approval of those devices including all the features of the Card Application Toolkit (CAT). This work had been requested by GCF (the Global Certification Forum). These tests are important with regards to creating standards-based machine-to-machine (M2M) devices.

‘Standard’ SIMs have been used for specific M2M applications such as metering for quite some time. Other applications may, however, require special functionality and different hardware properties such as an extended temperature range or a new form factor. While the requirements and use cases for M2M smart cards were agreed in late 2008, the technical realisation of these requirements is expected to be completed as part of Release 9 in 2009.

In addition to M2M, SRM and the completion of a few outstanding technical realisations for Release 8, the main focus of TC SCP’s work for 2009 will be Release 9, which is expected to be closed by the end of 2009. Topics to be covered are the definition of use cases where Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) applications may require the use of a UICC, the technical solution for confidential applications and the requirements for CAT access on modem interfaces. Mobile modems are becoming a significant sector of the mobile communications market and the support for CAT in these devices is currently limited by the lack of standards defining how CAT should be extended to clients interfacing with the modem. The completion of the test specifications for the Contactless Interface will allow the smooth introduction of services on the UICC using Near Field Communication.

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 from both inside 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, the NFC Forum and the OMA.