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GlobalPlatform Advances its Connectivity with IP Networks

30 November 2009 – GlobalPlatform continues to evolve its technology to facilitate advanced internet connectivity with the launch of the GlobalPlatform Card Networked Framework v1.0.  The technical document - which can be downloaded at - introduces new concepts that will allow GlobalPlatform cards to support a sophisticated networked environment.

The international smart card infrastructure body, GlobalPlatform, has launched its Card Networked Framework v1.0 to enable the administration of a new generation of GlobalPlatform cards, which can utilize TCP/IP communications and support web applications similar to those found on IT servers.  This means that the smart card can securely, effectively and intuitively connect to the web. This connectivity not only enables the card to request updates to a management server, but also to use it as a medium to link online and personal content, before presenting this information to the cardholder.  For example, it could offer a cardholder the opportunity to monitor recent financial transactions via their mobile phone without them having to actively log online.

The technology aligns with Java Card™ 3 Connected Edition Runtime Environment, and represents the second phase of GlobalPlatform's migration to support IP connectivity, following the release of GlobalPlatform Card Specification Amendment B* in 2008.  The document details a variety of ways to upgrade a smart card program to facilitate IP network connectivity to ensure it accommodates a range of implementer requirements.

Gil Bernabeu, GlobalPlatform's Technical Director and Technical Advisor for the Standardization and Technology Department at Gemalto, comments: "The internet is a key tool in the technology landscape and it is vital that GlobalPlatform's Specifications can interact and support its evolution.  By aligning with Java Card™ 3 Connected Edition Runtime Environment within this technical document, we are providing GlobalPlatform technology users with the ideal platform to develop new and exciting services and commercial partnerships, which will ultimately enhance the end-user experience."

Brian A. Kowal, Head of Java Card Marketing and Business at Sun Microsystems, adds: "GlobalPlatform and the Java Card™ platform have maintained an alignment over the past ten years that has lead to the deployment of billions of devices hosting this symbiotic combination.  This successful alliance continues with both organizations working closely together and recognizing new market demands for network capable smart cards and SIMs.  This most recent transition has witnessed GlobalPlatform Java Cards™ moving from secure authentication tokens to devices delivering secure networked identity services."

The GlobalPlatform Card Networked Framework v1.0 will be of particular interest to mobile network operators as many of their networks are IP based and there is a long-term requirement to upgrade to 4G networks and capabilities.  It is also relevant to government smart card programs as it offers easy communication between cards and the back-office systems, which can significantly benefit wide-scale deployments requiring regular updates.  The technology will continue to be relevant as further e-government services launch requiring intuitive connectivity.


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Notes to Editors

*15 December 2008 – An HTTP remote application management framework has been released by international smart card specifications body, GlobalPlatform.  This new technology represents GlobalPlatform's first advancement towards internet connectivity as it offers an application provider with the ability to issue commands using the HTTP internet communication protocol.

This latest amendment (Amendment B) to GlobalPlatform Card Specification v2.2 aims to align GlobalPlatform smart card technology with web services.  It achieves this by defining a mechanism for an application provider to perform remote management of its applets – such as loading, installing, and personalization - using the HTTP communication and SSL cryptographic protocols.  In summary, the document describes:

  • How to open an over-the-air (OTA) connection with a remote server, and send commands to a security domain.
  • How responses to these commands can be returned to a remote server.
  • How application providers can implement this mechanism over a third party network, as the specification is fully compatible with the Card Specification v2.2 Amendment A: Confidential Card Content Management*.

A key benefit of the technology is its ability to significantly reduce the costs of updating cards OTA. For example, for issuers that regularly connect and provide software updates to their deployed cards, it becomes resource-intensive to continually try to connect to cards that are offline at the time an update is issued.  Using Amendment B the card checks if an update is waiting on the server and then instinctively connects to the issuer's system to receive the required commands.  This advancement is therefore of particular interest to mobile network operators and governments implementing national ID card programs due to the scale of these deployments and the significant cost savings that can be achieved using a standard IP infrastructure.

Gil Bernabeu, GlobalPlatform's Technical Director and Technical Advisor for the Standardization and Technology Department at Gemalto, comments: "This document has been created in response to the smart card industry's requirement to migrate to the IP technology within its solutions to ensure existing products do not become isolated and detached from the increasingly web-based IT marketplace.  With this work now complete, the industry has a platform to facilitate IP connectivity to their token."

This technology is compatible with the smart card web server technology developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).


About GlobalPlatform
GlobalPlatform is the global leader in smart card infrastructure development and its proven, technical specifications for cards, devices and systems are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry representation from all world continents. For more information about GlobalPlatform, visit:

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