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May 2010

UICC in LTE: A Guidance
from SIMalliance

Table of Contents
• LTE Context
• A brief introduction to the SIM/UICC
• The role of the UICC (Universal Integrated Chip Card) and associated
applicative solutions in LTE
• SIMalliance’s Position
• Conclusion

As a result. End-user benefits LTE end-users will enjoy wider mobile broadband. and more. and allow total interoperation with 3GPP and non-3GPP networks which will translate into a remarkable reduction of the cost-per-bit. With its simplified system architecture and open interface. deliver low latency and rich IP-based services at a lower cost. These devices offer end-users a wide selection of internet-based rich services including messaging. LTE is developed and maintained by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards body. in the medium term. though USB modems and other mobile internet devices contribute as well. This deployment of services will also generate an increase in operator revenue. security and cost-effective services and benefits for both operators and end-users. This so-called Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a reality today. LTE takes advantage of an enhanced radio interface and the scalability of internet architectures and combines these with the security of the UICC card and associated networks-based solutions and services. near universal coverage and low latency. localization. The network represents an advance on existing Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS or 3rd Generation. UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . interaction with social communities. allowing IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) -based voice and SMS. Win-win scenario for both LTE operators and users LTE solutions are based on the most relevant mobile technologies. publication and consumption of content. These LTE networks represent a new era of connectivity for consumers and offer new opportunities for mobile operators and the mobile ecosystem. the highest network speed. reliability. This is largely driven by a growing consumer love affair with smart phones. 3G) networks. LTE will also lead to an entire new catalog of emerging applications and services. Operator benefits With smooth migration and installation.LTE Context Mobile network operators are facing huge growth in data traffic due to an every-increasing level of mobile internet usage. more and more operators worldwide are choosing LTE technology as it offers an important investment protection by reusing existing assets and by facilitating the roll-out for future releases. to help improve coverage and capacity for end-users.2/8 . LTE offers flexible usage of new and existing frequency bands. major operators worldwide are planning to migrate to high bandwidth all-IP wireless networks capable of supporting this data traffic and. and provide high capacity. W-CDMA and CDMA networks. and is also the commonly accepted evolution path for all currently deployed GSM.

can shelter operator-branded applications. UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . management of the card content even after it has been delivered to the final customer (via OTA systems) and a clear visibility of the configuration and features of each card active in the network. That means that SIM cards will continue to be present in both existing and future networks. Since its appearance in the 1990s.The result for users will be an interconnected mobile ecosystem that meets their needs and expectations and improves their lifestyle. The above mentioned points make the SIM card the most appropriate device for deploying new valueadded services. LTE’s permanent connectivity transforms the UICC into an IP-connected multi-application platform. subscribers and device manufacturers using LTE are wide. the Mobile Subscription (IMSI) being the basic one. The SIM was later adapted accordingly for UMTS and CDMA. ensuring safe and protected access to mobile LTE and IMS networks. controlled deployment of new functionalities and features by the MNO. all of them benefiting from the security strengths of the UICC.3/8 . several organizations and standards bodies work together to ensure interoperability between SIM cards from different vendors. and it is also the chosen device to identify the subscriber in Long Term Evolution networks. A brief introduction to the SIM/UICC The SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module) is the state-of-the-art security token used by mobile network operators to identify subscribers into their 2G/GSM and 3G/UMTS networks. both by defining standards and regularly performing test sessions. for example. billions of cards have been delivered to the market world-wide. The benefits and possibilities for operators. managed and upgraded over the air (OTA). which proves its reliability and capacity to adapt to the evolution of the networks and MNO needs. It is widely agreed by all major players in the mobile telecommunications market that the SIM card is the best container for any kind of sensible information. ETSI and 3GPP among others. It is worth mentioning here the SIMalliance. But the SIM card is actually implemented in the so-called UICC platform. downloaded. so it brings several benefits such as common and tested behavior between cards from different vendors (in contrast to the fragmentation of handsets). Which is why the MNO started to include specific operator service portals back in the 2000 based on CAT (Card Application Toolkit). which is a secure multiapplication platform able to store many other applications besides the SIM. it offered a revolutionary concept with the separation of the subscription from the mobile handset in a dedicated. Initially meant for GSM networks. and with the precedent of the C-Net mobile communication system in Germany. The UICC. In that sense. The advantages of these types of services were clear. OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform). offers reliable and easy-to-use solutions for securing cloud-based services or applications executed in the LTE device. as a networked cryptographic computer. Global Platform. UICC. capable of exposing services and applications directly accessible from IP networks. LTE Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) UICC is a mandatory secure element of the LTE environment. standardized device. The SIM card is the only network element in the hands of the subscriber. OMA (Open Mobile Alliance).

the role of the UICC has evolved and it has become known as the only operator owned part of the network residing in the hands of each subscriber. With these features an operator can always keep the content of his UICCs up-to-date and adapt the content to the needs of the subscriber. This move to IP and the higher bandwidth also means new opportunities for operators. And due to its portability and ability to work in any mobile handset it enables operators to offer network specific services and customization irrespective of the mobile phone. It allows for management of the content of the UICC (remove. Remote File Management (RFM) / Remote Application Management (RAM) RFM is an enhancement of the over-the-air capabilities of the SIM card. all of them interacting to fulfil the expectations of the different parties. update) in a standardized and secure way. At the same time. add. The following paragraphs describe these new features with an explicit focus on LTE. Using this technology and with the high UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . The UICC supports IP-based remote management by making use of bearer independent protocol (BIP). subscribers are getting used to enjoying rich multimedia interfaces on their mobile devices. This uniqueness of the UICC permits a variety of new enhanced features. The SIM was a single application smart card which was designed to work in GSM systems. experiences similar to the ones they get at home. In that sense. Now with mobile web and smart phone use increasing rapidly. The new generation is called UICC (Universal Integrated Chip Card) a generic multi-application capable platform that is able to host several applications in parallel like Network Access Applications or even banking or ID-applications. the NAA for CDMA2000 TSIM (TETRA Subscriber Identity Module). RAM also provides the capability to manage complete applications in a standardized and secure way. USB IC (including EEM class). The main change coming with LTE is the change to an all-IP based system offering much higher bandwidth than existing mobile communication systems. Now. the SIM card offers new features as the Smart Card WEB Server (SCWS). the all-IP intrinsic characteristic of LTE networks demand devices prepared to take full advantage of the benefits that the WEB-based services and internet brings to both the MNO and the final user.4/8 .so in 2008 half of the all cards carried one of these portals. meaning the mobile communication world and the internet world are converging. The role of the UICC (Universal Integrated Chip Card) and associated applicative solutions in LTE With the introduction of UMTS the SIM card has changed. It is therefore the perfect tool for an operator to distribute his services to the subscriber. all to the benefit of the operator and the subscriber. with the market introduction of LTE the role of the UICC needs to be adapted. Current Network Access Applications (NAA) defined for the UICC are:     USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) which is the NAA for UMTS ISIM (IP-multimedia subsystem Subscriber Identity Module) for accessing the IMS system CSIM (CDMA2000 Subscriber Identity Module). based on text menus and adapted to the screens and interfaces of legacy handsets. the NAA for TETRA Over time. or higher memory sizes. IP support.

Another aspect is the open operating systems in mobile devices where malicious applications may be downloaded. the internet is not a secure environment. The UICC can provide the security means to protect the device and the network against such malicious and fraudulent applications. The voice solution in LTE is IMS VoIP and for SMSs the solution is SMS over IP using IMS. Smart Card Web Server (SCWS) The Smart Card Web Server provides the ability to present the subscriber with card-based applications with a rich multimedia experience. A good example is the Femtocell hosting party authentication. The UICC is providing the security to protect the access to the IMS by means of the ISIM. allows storage of full contact details including pictures and many more features. Additionally the UICC is the perfect tool to securely identify users. these threats and attacks extend also to the mobile world. 3GPP has specified the support of voice. phonebook synchronization. The ISIM (IP multimedia subsystem Subscriber Identity Module) The ISIM is one of the currently defined applications for the UICC. security and identification is a crucial topic. the access to IMS is secured by additional authentication and thus providing a higher security level and protection against fraudulent use of the IMS. It can be used to protect specific communication services and can provide the security means to set up secure VPN-connections for business users. The UICC can play a vital role in providing security in an open environment. By using the ISIM. Security services and identity management With LTE and the concept of all IP. and preferred roaming solutions. As well. IMS itself is a corner stone of the LTE network. whereby on top of all threads introduced by the all IP concept mobile operators open their network to Femtocell's devices meaning that their network infrastructure becomes more vulnerable. SMS. manage identities. emergency calls and other supplementary services in LTE by using IMS. is a particularly promising application. and so on. UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . Many security threats exist and attacks happen every second. protect access to personal information during open identification scenarios.5/8 . synchronization of subscriber’s contacts and the contact manager. By combining the mobile communication world with the internet. Even if the device itself is authenticated and certified by the MNO.bandwidth offered by LTE it offers an efficient and fast way to offer many new services such as dynamic application management. As is widely known. which is the NAA for UMTS but provides additionally the access to IMS (IP multimedia subsystem). the UICC offers a solution to authenticate the hosting party and then provide to the mobile operator a secure solution to deploy and manage securely such new devices. Using a standard mobile phone browser the user experiences a seamless service offering when using UICC based applications. It is similar to the USIM. Until today mobile communication systems have been relatively secure but there are now new challenges.

6/8 . UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 .The Smart Card Web Server allows for applications accessing dynamic content or to store preloaded links to service specific web-pages on the UICC.

High speed interface (USB) When storing a lot of data on the UICC. As a matter of fact. These solutions aim to restore the balance between the mobile operator’s service and that offered by the pure internet players. Today UICCs already offer several gigabytes of memory. always on. The UICC offers operators a range of highly secure solutions for deploying premium services.7/8 . his important and sensitive data is protected against unauthorized use. The primary advantage of storing content on the UICC is portability. it permits a more direct correlation between the increase in data traffic and revenue growth. With the use of the new features of the UICC the capability to store huge amounts of data is getting more and more important. When a subscriber loses his phone or the phone is stolen. Combining LTE UICC premium services to the SIM card. the LTE UICC also offers operators and end-users an open catalogue of advantages. On-card applications and pre-loaded content can be presented to the subscribers in a fashionable way. and. also helping offloading the networks and avoid congestion. This allows. LTE provides the perfect means for a fast and cost-effective connection together with the Smart Card Web Server. UICC offers the possibility to store personal and multimedia content in a secure and protected way. Links to operator and third party web pages can easily be provided without the need to pre-configure the mobile handset with this information. low latency. there is also the need for a high speed interface between the UICC and the device. as with all silicon technologies. direct access to web-based information services or customer support and service pages on the operator portal. The USB-inter-chip standard provides the solution for a fast and reliable interface allowing the operator to provide new sophisticated services leveraging end to end high speed communication. this capacity is constantly increasing. One of the new capabilities is the ability to store a huge amount of information in a proven secure manner.Together with LTE the Smart Card Web Server offers operators a rich multimedia based environment to design and distribute service offerings to customers. need of trust) as the “mandatory” means for carriers to offer differentiated. Together with LTE network conveniences. Storage capabilities Over the past few years the UICC has evolved in many areas. means operators UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . high-value premium services to their end-users. for example. In so doing. the combination of LTE and UICC value added solutions fully leverages the new benefits of LTE networks to support the uptake of operators’ premium services. thus reducing customer care requests and costs. No hassles when changing the mobile phone – just put your UICC in and all the content is available again. SIMalliance’s Position The SIMalliance is positioning UICC-based solutions within the LTE environment (all IP. The Smart Card Web Server makes use of standard internet protocols like HTTP and uses standard html content.

improve quality of service and significantly enhance data rates all the while reducing costs. Many wireless network operators believe that LTE offers the best value proposition to increase network capacity. anywhere access to mobile internet. Supporting a broader ecosystem. faster social contacts synchronization and peer-to-peer application transfers. enhanced media sharing. innovative and secure services on the widest range of devices while device and handset manufacturers will also benefit from this model. Conclusion LTE is the bridge towards 4th generation mobile networks. the UICC will help end-users to benefit from LTE in a secure and interoperable way. operators will be able to offer simple.8/8 . enhanced phone book. UICC in LTE: A Guidance from SIMalliance May 2010 . It also opens up new application areas in the consumer or corporate user’s digital life environment. live TV. cloud computing and application-sharing when the users are on the move. like high definition video. localization for mobile marketing advertising.0 at the heart of the mobile services ecosystem. multi-user gaming. LTE offers an excellent end-user experience for applications where data throughput is important – it means faster emails. enhanced roaming over networks. The UICC has always been the ideal connected.will have an important role to play inside the mobile ecosystem. technologies. secured. enhanced VPN connections. The combination of LTE and UICC value added solutions fully leverages the new benefits of LTE networks. and femtocells. since they will need to spend less effort on customizing devices for operators. this technology bridges the gap between the mobile and consumer electronics worlds thereby enabling connectivity between more than just smart phones. reliable. In a world of anytime. computers and fixed line networks. Permanent connectivity also gives LTE great potential for vertical markets where instant and reliable reception of asynchronous messages is mandatory. and intelligent routing over 2G/3G/LTE/CDMA. file uploads. With the emerging applications and services moving towards the 4th generation of mobile networks. rich calls. Examples of such applications include an enhanced communication suite. tracking. It will continue playing a key role in the development of technologies that place LTE & Web 2. With its high speed (100 Mb/s download) and low latency. interoperable platform for the rapid mass deployment of services on any device.