GlobalPlatform launches Mobile Task Force

Smart card international specifications body, GlobalPlatform, has launched a Mobile Task Force to actively contribute to the development of mobile telecommunications standards by enhancing and aligning GlobalPlatform’s card, device and systems technology offering within this sector.

With 23 GlobalPlatform member companies committed to participating in the activity, the group will educate the market on the benefits and added value of GlobalPlatform’s interoperable technology, while expanding GlobalPlatform Card, Device and Systems Specifications to address specific requirements highlighted by the mobile industry.

The group has already begun work to align aspects of its Card and Device Specifications with current technology developments related to securing and dynamically managing Over-The-Air (OTA) multi-application handsets, USIM / SIM cards and other secure elements.

Marc Kekicheff, vice president of product technology at Visa International, vice chair of GlobalPlatform and leader of the Mobile Task Force, comments: ‘The mobile industry is looking to establish standardized solutions to ensure the mobile handset, which has become a universal multi-functional device, reaches its true potential. As a secure multi-application smart card specification provider, representing payment systems, government bodies and telecom operators, we believe it is important that GlobalPlatform contributes to this activity from an independent, cross-industry perspective.

‘The work undertaken by GlobalPlatform’s Mobile Task Force will ultimately facilitate new business opportunities between the mobile sector and other industries,’ continues Kekicheff. ‘Through its activities the group will highlight that service / product differentiation can be achieved through multiple-applications, how various business models can be applied within one implementation and why a neutral and scalable infrastructure can protect current investments relative to future technology evolutions.’

Although the Mobile Task Force formalizes GlobalPlatform’s activity within the sector, GlobalPlatform has worked closely with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) since its inception in 1999, to standardize OTA application download and management of smart card applications. This has resulted in over 1 billion USIM/SIM cards leveraging GlobalPlatform technology. More recently, GlobalPlatform has actively engaged the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) to standardize mobile device application provisioning and security and is now in the process of establishing a formal liaison with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and the Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum.

Current Members of the GlobalPlatform Task Force include:

Bell ID, Blue Bamboo, Cassis International, Cryptomathic, Dai Nippon Printing, Datacard Group, France Telecom, Gemalto, IBM, Inside Contactless, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, NTT, Oberthur Card Systems, Orange, Sermepa, SmartTrust, StepNexus, STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Trusted Logic and Visa International.

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