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GlobalPlatform made simple guide: Mobile Messaging

What is GlobalPlatform Mobile Messaging?

GlobalPlatform has identified and defined the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders within the near-field-communications (NFC) ecosystem. It has outlined the ‘language’ that should be used across all parties to ensure global consistency and clear communication. This ‘language’ is referred to as ‘messages’.

By clearly defining ‘who’ is responsible for ‘what’ and agreeing the messaging that will be used, the NFC / mobile marketplace is able to make the required communication exchanges to provide the end-user with secure services on the secure element (SE), and very soon, the trusted execution environment (TEE). This ultimately allows a stakeholder to connect its system to the SE / TEE and any other actor within the ecosystem.

GlobalPlatform MM can be used over-the-air via a mobile network as well as over- the-internet using the cloud environment.

Why is the messaging important and what are the benefits to the marketplace?

Mobile messages support back-office activities that facilitate the secure deployment – or ‘provisioning’ – of a mobile application to a mobile device. Mobile messages are also essential for dealing with post deployment events. This could be voluntary – such as an end-user requesting an update to service privileges or personal detail changes, or involuntary – a device is lost or stolen and the services on the mobile – for example banking or loyalty need to be suspended. 

As new players enter the secure mobile services ecosystem, such as trusted service managers (TSMs), and new partnerships are formed to deliver innovative products, it is vital that there is clarity across the infrastructure; creating an end-to-end trusted solution.

Another key benefit of mobile messaging is that it supports system specifications, which are ready to ‘talk’ the messaging ‘language’. This means that the connectivity and interface development costs are drastically reduced when creating new partnerships.

Why has GlobalPlatform developed these specifications?

GlobalPlatform is a member-driven association with good representation from all stakeholders across the NFC ecosystem and related markets. Using this wealth of knowledge and adopting a collaborative approach, GlobalPlatform has been able to assess the business requirements of each industry sector and develop specifications that promote universal messaging that is adaptable to support all business models and use cases. 

Are these specifications supported by the industry?

The GlobalPlatform MM Specifications align with, and meet the requirements of key industry associations including the European Payments Council (EPC), GSMA and use cases from the Association Française pour le ‘Sans Contact’ Mobile (AFSCM). 

“We applaud the members of GlobalPlatform for building their specifications on SAML, WS-Security, and other OASIS standards,” said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS. “The implementation of these widely adopted, foundational standards clearly demonstrates GlobalPlatform's commitment to interoperability for TSMs.”

Mr. Dag-Inge Flatraaker, the Chair of the EPC Mobile Working Group, comments: “We welcome the documents as a first step towards interoperability for TSMs which is a crucial factor for the market take up of these services in the NFC ecosystem. The EPC appreciates that the document Specification for Management of Mobile NFC Services v1.0 covers the processes defined in the TSM /MNO space as specified in the joint EPC-GSMA document and is looking forward to further GlobalPlatform work in the TSM /service provider domain.”

What exactly has GlobalPlatform produced?

Two specifications have been released by GlobalPlatform to date:

  1. Web Services Profile for GlobalPlatform Messaging Specification v1.1. This specification describes the GlobalPlatform selection of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Web Services Standards in a web services or SOA environment. This updated version of the specification includes four clearly defined security levels, ranging from 'entry level' through to 'high security'. These security levels outline how a message should be sent between servers and specify the security architecture that should be implemented at each level to ensure confidentiality and integrity are maintained.
  1. GlobalPlatform’s Specification for Management of Mobile NFC Services v1.2. This technical specification defines how messages can be exchanged between all actors in an NFC deployment in an interoperable, secure and reliable web services format. The latest version has been updated to recognize new actors within the NFC ecosystem and makes lifecycle management data more accessible to service providers.
  1. GlobalPlatform System Protocol Discovery Mechanism Specification v1.0.1. This document describes a simple mechanism enabling a first system to discover the application protocols that are supported by another system. The mechanism intends to be used when the two system actors are discovering the other party for the first time, or when an actor wants to publish updateable protocol capabilities (new supported protocols, or changes in existing protocols).

GlobalPlatform Systems End-to-End Simplified Service Management Framework v1.1. This document aims to streamline the service management process by leveraging the power of GlobalPlatform standards through the creation of simple end-to-end configurations specific to a vertical segment. The combined usage of both documents will assist the mobile NFC service community in building a sustainable, scalable and open messaging framework that leverages available web services tools. The combined usage of both documents will assist the mobile NFC service community in building a sustainable, scalable and open messaging framework that leverages available web services tools.