SIM

Introduction

In terms of 'sales' the (Subscriber Identity Module) SIM must rank as ETSI's most successful standard. There are four billion SIM cards in the world and no sign of a slowdown in the demand for them. Now the SIM Card is set to develop in to the 'Smart Card' with a growing variety of applications and features.

The SIM used in Digital Cellular Telecommunications Systems like 3G or GSM is the entity that contains the identity of the subscriber. When the SIM is placed in a terminal or handset, users can register onto a network.

The primary function of the SIM is to authenticate the validity of a terminal when accessing the network. It also provides a means to authenticate the user and may also store other subscriber-related information or applications.

The ETSI work on Smart Cards now looks to evolve the SIM card, towards allowing contact-less data flow for Identity, Security and Payment applications.

Our Role & Activities

SIM standardization is concentrated in two committees:

3GPP-CT6

Technical Specifications Group, 'Core Network and Terminals' Working Group 6 (CT WG6) is responsible for the specifications of Smart Card-based network authentication applications such as the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) which is used by 2G systems, the USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) which is used by 3GPP™ systems and the ISIM (IM Services Identity Module) with the exception of the security algorithms (developed by 3GPP™ Systems Aspects (SA) WG3).

The group is responsible for the standardization of the USIM/SIM for applications on top of the Smart Card Platform.

See  http://www.3gpp.org/specifications-groups/ct/wg6.

ETSI technical committee smart card platform (SCP)

The Committee is responsible for the definition of the Smart Card Platform.

USIM (See listing below)

The Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) is a 3G application on an IC card. It interoperates with a 3G terminal and provides access to 3G services.

The USIM application for 3G telecom network operation defines:

  • specific command parameters;
  • file structures;
  • contents of EFs (Elementary Files);
  • security functions;
  • application protocol to be used on the interface between UICC (USIM) and ME.

In addition 3GPP™ defines the interface between the UICC and the Mobile Equipment and procedures for the USIM Application Toolkit (USAT):

  • the commands;
  • the application protocol;
  • the mandatory requirements on the UICC and ME for each procedure.

UICC (see listing below)

3GPP™ specifies the interface between the UICC and the Terminal for 3G telecom network operation, which includes:

  • the requirements for the physical characteristics of the UICC;
  • the electrical interface between the UICC and the Terminal;
  • the initial communication establishment and the transport protocols;
  • the model which serves as a basis for the logical structure of the UICC;
  • the communication commands and the procedures;
  • the application independent files and protocols.

ETSI SCP specifies the interface between the UICC and the terminal in general, such as:

  • the requirements for the physical characteristics of the UICC;
  • the electrical interface between the UICC and the terminal;
  • the initial communication establishment and the transport protocols;
  • the model which serves as a basis for the logical structure of the UICC;
  • the communication commands and the procedures;
  • the application independent files and protocols.

ISIM (See listing below)

The specification of the IP Multimedia Services Identity Module (ISIM) application for access to IMS services contains:

  • specific command parameters;
  • file structures;
  • contents of EFs (Elementary Files);
  • security functions;
  • application protocol to be used on the interface between UICC (ISIM) and Terminal.

This is to ensure interoperability between an ISIM and Terminal independent from the respective manufacturer, card issuer or operator.

Contactless interface

The specification defines a radio frequency-independent interface between the UICC and a Common Log File (CLF) component in the terminal. This interface will allow the card to be in use, even when the terminal is switched off for telecommunications use.

The ETSI SCP specification will specify the interface between the UICC and the CLF component based on a single wire protocol (SWP):

Work in progress

High-speed interface between the terminal and the UICC

ETSI SCP is now working on the USB interface between a Terminal and an Integrated Circuit Card (ICC) that may be supported by the UICC platforms.

The USB interface may be implemented on UICCs and terminals for applications requiring a high data throughput.

The work on this topic is currently ongoing.

Smart card specs

The Requirements for the Smart Card Platform, Measurement of Electromagnetic Emission of SIM Cards and the Robustness of the interface between the terminal and the card are defined in the specifications and reports (see standards tab).

Standards

The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on SIM.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TS 102 223 Smart Cards; Card Application Toolkit (CAT) (Release 13)
TS 102 695-3 Smart Cards; Test specification for the Host Controller Interface (HCI); Part 3: Host Controller features (Release 11)
TS 131 101 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; UICC-terminal interface; Physical and logical characteristics (3GPP TS 31.101 version 13.2.0 Release 13)
TS 131 102 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application (3GPP TS 31.102 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 131 103 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the IP Multimedia Services Identity Module (ISIM) application (3GPP TS 31.103 version 13.1.0 Release 13)
TS 131 111 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) Application Toolkit (USAT) (3GPP TS 31.111 version 12.10.0 Release 12)
TS 131 111 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) Application Toolkit (USAT) (3GPP TS 31.111 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 131 121 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; UICC-terminal interface; Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application test specification (3GPP TS 31.121 version 13.3.0 Release 13)
TS 131 124 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Mobile Equipment (ME) conformance test specification; Universal Subscriber Identity Module Application Toolkit (USAT) conformance test specification (3GPP TS 31.124 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 102 230-2 Smart Cards; UICC-Terminal interface; Physical, electrical and logical test specification; Part 2: UICC features (Release 9)
TS 102 230-1 Smart Cards; UICC-Terminal interface; Physical, electrical and logical test specification; Part 1: Terminal features (Release 11)
TS 102 221 Smart Cards; UICC-Terminal interface; Physical and logical characteristics (Release 13)
TS 103 383 Smart Cards; Embedded UICC; Requirements Specification (Release 13)
TS 103 481 Smart Cards; Testing of the UICC remote application management (Release 9)
TS 102 226 Smart Cards; Remote APDU structure for UICC based applications (Release 13)
TS 102 695-1 Smart Cards; Test specification for the Host Controller Interface (HCI); Part 1: Terminal features (Release 12)
TS 131 102 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application (3GPP TS 31.102 version 10.13.0 Release 10)
TS 131 102 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application (3GPP TS 31.102 version 11.10.0 Release 11)
TS 131 102 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application (3GPP TS 31.102 version 12.11.0 Release 12)
TS 131 102 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Characteristics of the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application (3GPP TS 31.102 version 8.20.0 Release 8)