Technical Committee (TC) Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing (ATTM) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Denis Praca, Thales

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


Known prior to January 2022 as TC SCP (Smart Card Platform), ETSI’s Technical Committee on Secure Element Technologies (TC SET) is responsible for developing and maintaining specifications for the Secure Element (SE) used in telecommunication systems including the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications.

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

TC SET 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, a share of well over 50% of the Secure Elements market (source: EUROSMART).

The committee is also home of the new Smart Secure Platform (SSP). Designed as a flexible platform to cover needs from diverse industries (e.g., automotive, banking, telecom, IoT) SSP offers 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 (such as biometric). It is designed to further the design of scalable secure solutions that can be optimized to fit different markets and products.

New publications of note by the committee in 2022 include:

  • Technical Specification TS 103 666-4 concerns the eSSP Type 2 supporting the Primary and Secondary Platform architecture.
  • Technical Specification TS 103 818 details the I3C® interface for the Smart Secure Platform, including definitions of electrical characteristics, MAC layer, link layer and conditions for entry into and exit from power saving modes.
  • Technical Specification TS 103 384-1 of SSP Test Tool Interface.
  • Technical Specification TS 103 834-2 that provides test specification for SSP Test Tool Interface.
  • Technical Report TR 103 835 of legacy test tool interfaces.

During the year TC SET also published successively updated versions of these Technical Specifications, in line with incremental 3GPP Releases:

  • TS 103 999-1 v15.1.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 1: Test Specification, general characteristics
  • TS 103 813 V15.1.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Test Specification, SPI interface
  • TS 103 713 V17.0.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); SPI interface
  • TS 103 666-2 V15.4.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 2: Integrated SSP (iSSP) characteristics
  • TS 103 666-1 V17.1.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 1: General characteristics
  • TS 103 481 V16.0.0: Smart Cards, Test specification for the Remote APDU structure for UICC based applications; UICC features
  • TS 103 465 V16.6.0: Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Requirements Specification
  • TS 102 694-1 V15.0.0: Smart Cards; Test specification for the Single Wire Protocol (SWP) interface; Part 1: Terminal features
  • TS 102 671 V18.0.0: Smart Cards; Machine to Machine UICC; Physical and logical characteristics (Release 18)
  • TS 102 412 V17.1.0: Smart Card Platform; Requirements; Stage 1
  • TS 102 384 V11.0.0: Smart Cards, UICC-Terminal interface, Card Application Toolkit (CAT) conformance specification
  • TS 102 241 V17.2.0: UICC Application Programming Interface (UICC API) for JavaCard™
  • TS 102 230-2 V13.2.0: Smart Cards; UICC-Terminal interface; Physical, electrical and logical test specification; Part 2: UICC features
  • TS 102 226 V18.0.0: Smart Cards; Remote APDU structure for UICC based applications
  • TS 102 225 V18.0.0: Smart Cards; Secured packet structure for UICC based applications
  • TS 102 223 V17.1.0: Smart Cards; Card Application Toolkit (CAT)
  • TS 102 222 V17.1.0: Integrated Circuit Cards (ICC); Administrative commands for telecommunications applications
  • TS 102 221 V17.3.0: UICC – Terminal interface; Physical and logical characteristics
  • TS 101 220 V17.0.1: Smart Cards; ETSI numbering system for telecommunication application providers

The most important improvement of the UICC specifications is the addition of the capability for one physical SE (i.e., UICC) to be able to host multiple fully independent Logical SE. This new feature – known as MLI – is already used in the remote SIM provisioning specification handled by GSMA. It also opens the door to support of new applications such as digital identity (e.g., eIDAS) in the eSIM as requested by the EU.

During the year specifications by TC SET’s Working Group on TEST Secure Element (UICC) were upgraded as necessary to cover new releases of the respective core specifications.

The work of TTF T018 related to TC SET WG TEST on Requirements and Protocols for a Test Tool Interface for the SSP specification according to the requirements expressed in TS 103 999-1 led to creation of the following Work Items:

  • TR 103 835 - Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Report of legacy test tool interfaces – published in December 2022.
  • TS 103 384-1 - Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 1: Technical Specification, SSP Test Tool Interface - published in December 2022.
  • TS 103 384-2 - Smart Secure Platform (SSP); Part 2: Test Specification, SSP Test Tool Interface - published in December 2022.

In April 2022 TC SET approved a Work Item that covers the technical realisation of the requirements for the CAT-Runtime environment, defined in TS 102 240, for the support of logical Terminal-UICC interfaces and logical SEs. This work in under development in TC SET WG TEC, with publication of new version of TS 102 241 anticipated in Q2 2023.

In July 2022 TC SET approved two new Work Items regarding requirements for:

  • Toolkit Test Events API support for device testing (TTE_API) related to TS 102 240.
  • Toolkit Test Events support for device testing (TTE) related to TS 102 412 which are currently in progress in TC SET WG REQ. In parallel the technical realisation to be contained in TS 102 241 and TS 102 221 respectively are currently under development in TC SET WG TEC.

An ongoing testing topic is the discussion with other bodies such as the GSMA and 3GPP WG CT6 on testing terminals with non-removable UICCs.

See a full list of all TC SET Work Items currently in development here.

The committee’s work includes inputs from ETSI and outside organizations. Interaction with External Bodies during 2022 notably included: 3GPP (CT6, SA3: Enhancements of UICC and use of SSP), GlobalPlatform (OFL & VPP specifications for SSP), EUROSMART (Product and System Security), GCF (Conformance and Interoperability), GSMA: (Secure Elements for mobile communications), MIPI Alliance (Interface Protocols I2C, I3C), NFC Forum (Contactless Interface), oneM2M (Secure Elements in general), OMA (Device Management), Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA) - formerly SIMalliance (Management of Secure Elements).