Technical Committee (TC) Smart Card Platform (SCP) Activity Report 2019

Chair: Klaus Vedder, Samsung R&D Institute UK

Responsible for the development and maintenance of specifications for secure elements (SEs) in a multi-application capable environment, the integration into such an environment, as well as the secure provisioning of services making use of SEs.

ETSI’s Smart Card Platform committee (TC SCP) develops and maintains specifications for the Secure Element (SE) for its use in telecommunication systems including the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications.

The remote management of SEs and the interfaces required for the interaction of servers involved in this management are also addressed. TC SCP develops ‘agnostic’ specifications that can find their way into other applications such as ID management, ticketing and ID cards with contactless interfaces used in financial services. It is of particular importance for the user that for each topic addressed, TC SCP’s specifications encompass not only requirements and the technical solution but also conformance testing for both the SE and the terminal.

TC SCP is the home of the UICC – the most widely deployed Secure Element with more than five billion pieces entering the market every year just as SIM cards.

In 2019 TC SCP upgraded nearly half of the 48 UICC specifications still being maintained; this included nine test specifications. Some of the specifications developed over the last 20 years for the UICC are no longer relevant for today’s market. Some became superfluous due to the advent of the smartphone or change in market needs while there were developed competing ones for others. TC SCP thus started a process to clear its portfolio and withdraw or not maintain such specifications. Four specifications were therefore withdrawn, and six specifications will no longer be maintained.

A new function for the UICC will be the use of the contactless interface of the UICC to support Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technologies for secure applications hosted on the UICC. This work started late in 2019, with completion expected in summer 2020.

During the year the focus of TC SCP activity was further development of the next generation secure platform, the Smart Secure Platform (SSP), which started in late 2015 and led in 2019 to the publication of the first four specifications. As for all its specifications TC SCP plans to provide the relevant test specifications and has applied for a Testing Task Force (TTF) running over the two year period.

Trust and privacy are crucial market drivers for all industry sectors using secure elements. SSP will contribute significantly to achieving these goals. SSP is a more flexible platform than the UICC; it can be adapted to multiple different products and markets, while maintaining a common set of features and some of the characteristics of the UICC platform. SSP offers an open platform for multiple applications, a choice of physical interfaces and form factors to adapt to market needs, a new modern and flexible file system, built-in capabilities to support multiple authentication methods (e.g., biometric). SSP is designed to further the design of scalable secure solutions that can be optimised to fit markets and products. In high-end deployments, the SSP will be faster and more flexible than what can be achieved with the UICC, while continuing to support existing features such as toolkit and the contactless interface.

These specifications were published in 2019:

  • TS 103 465 Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Requirements specification
  • TS 103 666-1 Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 1: General characteristics
  • TS 103 666-2 Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 2: Integrated SSP (iSSP) characteristics
  • TS 103 713 Smart Secure Platform (SSP); SPI interface

A complete list of all TC SCP deliverables published in 2019 can be seen on our website.

The work of TC SCP is based on input from both inside and outside ETSI. The committee therefore continued to liaise with major external contributors and users such as GlobalPlatform, the GSM Association, 3GPP, 3GPP2, the NFC Forum, the OMA, the Global Certification Forum (GCF), oneM2M, the PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) and the SIMalliance. TC SCP also provides and maintains the application identity register for smart card applications on behalf of a number of these and other organizations.

A full list of all active and completed work and detailed information relating to them can be found on the ETSI Member Portal - committee’s ‘Work Item Monitoring’ page.

 Look out for in 2030 – TC SCP work in progress

  • Smart Secure Platform (SSP), the next generation secure platform:
    • Requirements for next release
    • Update of technical realization: (i) general; (ii) integrated into System on Chip (SoC) solution; (iii) SPI interface
    • New specifications: embedded SSP (eSSP); removable SSP (rSSP); further interfaces (I2C, I3C, …)
    • Test specifications being developed as part of an ETSI Testing Task Force (TTF)
  • UICC specifications:
    • Streamlining of portfolio
    • Contactless interface to support Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technologies
    • Update of (test) specifications