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GlobalPlatform Releases Card Specification V2.2 to the Market

Increased standardization in identity authentication and mobile telecom smart card markets

10 April 2006: GlobalPlatform, the world leader in smart card infrastructure development and deployment, has today announced the release of the next generation GlobalPlatform Card Specification, v2.2, for royalty-free download from the GlobalPlatform website.

Fully approved by key stakeholders and the smart card community, Card Specification v2.2 features a number of key developments, including the addition of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) functionality, Over-the-Air Card Content Management capabilities, and support for dual-interface contact/contactless smart cards.

Additionally, Card Specification v2.2 delivers the trust structure required to enable dynamic post-issuance management, and, with the extension of the Application Programming Interface (API); the card management framework now has the vocabulary and parameters to support both Multos and Java Card.

At the forefront of these new developments in Card Specification v2.2, is the extension of the content management capabilities of GlobalPlatform’s existing card architecture to incorporate PKI. Developed to meet the growing demand for standardized solutions to support government and identity smart card programs, this new functionality has evolved as a result of consultation with card issuers in Europe, Japan and the US.

GlobalPlatform’s three year technical collaboration with Japan’s Next Generation IC Card System Study Group (NICSS) played an important part in standardizing PKI within the card specification. This ensures delivery of the trust structure required to achieve electronic business communication synergy, and the potential for governments and the private sector to offer citizens multiple services, via one identity card.

“The approval of Card Specification v2.2 marks a milestone in the development of the GlobalPlatform Card Specifications,’ comments Gil Bernabeu, Technical Advisor for Gemplus and GlobalPlatform Technical Director. ‘For card manufacturers - program designers, architects and program integrators – across different industry sectors, the post-issuance capabilities of Card Specification v2.2 will enable them to meet the latest card application objectives, as stipulated by those card issuers dedicated to developing security ID programs.”

Another important element new to Card Specification v2.2 is Over-The-Air (OTA) card content management. Resulting from GlobalPlatform’s close collaboration with the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI), this enhanced feature will benefit the mobile telecom industry by allowing smart cards that have already been distributed in the field, to be updated dynamically and cost effectively over-the-air, while ensuring the highest possible security schemes are retained. Card Specification v2.2 supports the future Release 7 of ETSI’s Smart Card Platform (SCP) specifications.

As Klaus Gungl, Senior Smart Card Systems Architect for IBM and GlobalPlatform Card Committee Chair explains: “Although previous GlobalPlatform Specifications have incorporated the capacity for wireless transmission and reception of applications, the demand for features that support the increasing complexity of the 3GSM and wireless mobile environment was highlighted. Further enhancements to the GlobalPlatform Card Specification were required to dynamically and securely add and update over-the-air cryptographic services offered to other applications on the card.”

GlobalPlatform’s Card Specification v2.2 also includes a re-engineering of the card manager. Feedback from real market implementations has led GlobalPlatform to define an enhanced framework for managing applications, creating a dynamic post-issuance environment. This offers a secure, long-term management solution for card issuers, and noticeable benefits to end-users who will be able to download a range of smart card applications

With the increasing popularity of contactless systems within the payment, government, and transit sectors, the next generation GlobalPlatform Card Specification explicitly defines how contactless cards, chips and card readers, communicate through wireless, self-powered induction technology, and the relevant architecture required to support them in a multi-application environment. In alliance with Sun Microsystems, and based on the latest Java technology, Card Specification v2.2 creates a standardized dual-interface for contact/contactless cards by clarifying how to load and manage applications in both environments.

Gil Bernabeu concludes: “Card Specification v2.2 is a great achievement for GlobalPlatform, and would not have been possible without intellectual contributions from our industry alliances with NICSS and ETSI, and partnerships such as European Committee for Standardization (CEN) - especially with eSign, International Organization of Standards (ISO), and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). We look forward to this specification’s integration into smart card implementations globally in the coming years.”

GlobalPlatform Card Specification v2.2 is now available royalty-free at


For further media information, please contact Sarah Bayne or Shona Clarke at Harrison Cowley on + 44 (0) 870 606 0960 or email

Notes to Editors:

Card Specification v2.2 is compatible with, and actively supports a number of other industry standards, including:
- Release 7 ETSI SCP specifications,
- Sun Microsystem’s latest version of Java Card specifications: v2.2.2
- Multos environment

For details on GlobalPlatform’s industry alliances and partners who contributed to Card Specification v2.2, visit:
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN) -
- European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) -
- International Organization for Standards (ISO) -
- National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) -
- Next Generation IC Card System Study Group (NICSS) –

Driven by 50 cross-industry member organizations, GlobalPlatform is the leading, international association, focused on establishing, maintaining and driving the adoption of standards to enable an open and interoperable infrastructure for smart cards, devices and systems that simplifies and accelerates development, deployment and management of applications across industries.

These specifications are known as the standard for smart card infrastructure, thanks to their balance of technical superiority and business justification.

GlobalPlatform specifications are available royalty-free and have been adopted in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia by many public and private bodies. Current estimates for 2005 predict the number of GlobalPlatform smart cards in circulation exceeds 75 million and an additional 650 million GSM cards utilize GlobalPlatform technology for Over-The-Air application downloads.

GlobalPlatform is an independent, not-for-profit organization and its strategy is defined and prioritized by a Board of Directors. GlobalPlatform is currently chaired by Chairman Robert E. Beer, Vice President Business Development, Datacard Group.

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