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SIMalliance Supports SIM Evolution by Facilitating Remote Firmware Loading

October 2019 by SIMalliance

SIMalliance, the non-profit association which represents the global SIM industry, has published a specification which will support remote firmware loading across removeable, embedded and integrated SIMs.

Standardisation in this area is necessary because the emergence of new SIM form factors, implemented in different types of Secure Element (SE), has led to variations in how service providers maintain and evolve SIM cards once deployed in the field.

SIMalliance’s new specification –Image Delivery Server (IDS) to Open Firmware Loader (OFL) Agent Interfaces Version 1.0.3 – complements a GlobalPlatform fast track specification published in 2017 that defines how Tamper Resistent Element (TRE) firmware can be loaded and managed onto various TRE form factors – including SEs such as removeable, embedded and integrated SIMs - after a device has been issued. SIMalliance has also published an ecosystem framework document which describes the functions and actors involved when loading firmware to a TRE.

Specifically, SIMalliance has defined the interface between the IDS and the OFL Agent (software on the device that communicates with the IDS to load images* onto the TRE). This will enable images to be transferred in a consistent manner to reduce complexity and enhance interoperability across the ecosystem.

* Secure containers that encapsulate the TRE firmware, incorporating OS and apps.

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