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Content for  TS 21.111  Word version:  16.1.0

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1  ScopeWord‑p. 6

This document defines the requirements of the USIM (Universal Subscriber Identity Module) and the IC card for 3G (UICC). These are derived from the service and security requirements defined in TS 22.100 and TS 22.101. The USIM is a 3G application on an IC card. It inter-operates with a 3G terminal and provides access to 3G services. This document is intended to serve as a basis for the detailed specification of the USIM and the UICC, and the interface to the 3G terminal.

2  References

2.1  Normative references

The following documents contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of the present document.
  • References are either specific (identified by date of publication, edition number, version number, etc.) or non-specific.
  • For a specific reference, subsequent revisions do not apply.
  • For a non-specific reference, the latest version applies. In the case of a reference to a 3GPP document (including a GSM document), a non-specific reference implicitly refers to the latest version of that document in the same Release as the present document.
TS 22.100: v3.x.x: "UMTS phase 1" (Release 99).
TS 22.101: "Service principles".
TS 31.101: "UICC-Terminal Interface; Physical and Logical Characteristics".
[4]  Void.
ETSI TS 101 220: "ETSI Numbering System for AIDs".
TS 31.111: "USIM Application Toolkit (USAT)".
TS 33.102: "3G Security: Security Architecture".
TS 51.011: Rel-4: "Specification of the Subscriber Identity Module - Mobile Equipment (SIM - ME) interface".
[9]  Void.
[10]  Void.
ISO/IEC 7816-3: "Information technology - Identification cards - Integrated circuit(s) cards with contacts - Part 3: Electronic signals and transmission protocols".
ISO/IEC 7816-4: "Identification cards - Integrated circuit cards, Part 4: Organization, security and commands for interchange".
[13]  Void.
TS 36.306: "Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); User Equipment (UE) radio access capabilities"


3  Definitions, symbols and abbreviationsWord‑p. 7

3.1  Definitions

For the purposes of the present document, the following definitions apply:


3.3  Abbreviations

For the purposes of the present document, the following abbreviations apply:
Abbreviated Dialling Number
Answer To Reset
Dedicated File
Elementary File
Integrated Circuit Card
Integrity Key
International Mobile Subscriber Identity
Mobile Equipment
Master File
Personal Identification Number
Protocol and Parameter Selection
Subscriber Identity Module
Universal Subscriber Identity Module

4  General requirements

The UICC shall be either a removable hardware module or a non-removable separate hardware module embedded in the ME. The USIM on a UICC shall contain an identity which unambiguously identifies a subscriber.
For access to 3G services, a UICC containing a valid USIM shall be present at all times, other than for emergency calls.
The specifications shall support the security requirements as defined in TS 33.102.
The USIM shall provide storage for subscription and subscriber related information.
The UICC/USIM may also contain applications which use the features defined in the USIM Application Toolkit specification TS 31.111.

5  Security requirements

The USIM shall be used to provide security features. If the UICC is removed from the 3G terminal, the service shall be terminated immediately. The functions of the USIM include authenticating itself to the network and vice versa, authenticating the user and providing additional security functions as defined in TS 33.102.
The USIM shall be unambiguously identified.
Means shall be provided to prevent fraudulent use of stolen UICCs.
It shall not be possible to access data intended for USIM internal use, e.g. authentication keys.
Further details of the following requirements are given in TS 33.102.

5.1  File access conditionsWord‑p. 8

Actions, such as READ, UPDATE on UICC data shall be controlled by access conditions. These shall be satisfied prior to the action being performed.
Since a UICC may contain multiple (3G and non-3G) applications, a flexible method of controlling file access shall be provided.

5.2  User authentication

The USIM shall support means to authenticate the user, to provide, for example, protection against the use of stolen cards. For the USIM, authentication shall be performed by the verification of a numeric PIN of four (4) to eight (8) decimal digits.
A function to disable user authentication may exist which may be inhibited by the application provider, in which case the user shall always use the PIN. Otherwise, the user may decide whether or not to make use of the user authentication function. If disabled, the user authentication function remains disabled until the user specifically re-enables it.
Following correct PIN presentation, the ME may perform functions and actions on USIM data, which are protected by the relevant access condition.
If an incorrect PIN is entered, an indication shall be given to the user. After three (3) consecutive incorrect entries the relevant PIN is blocked, i.e. functions and actions on data protected by the access condition shall no longer be possible, even if between attempts the UICC has been removed, the USIM has been deselected or the ME has been switched off. Once a PIN is blocked, further PIN verifications shall be denied.
The USIM shall support a mechanism for unblocking a blocked PIN. Unblocking of a PIN is performed by using the relevant PIN Unblocking Key.
PINs, but not Unblock PINs, shall be changeable by the user following correct entry of either the current PIN or Unblock PIN.
The Unblock PIN shall consist of eight (8) decimal digits and shall not be changeable by the user. If an incorrect Unblock PIN is presented, an indication shall be given to the user. After ten (10) consecutive incorrect entries, the Unblock PIN shall be blocked, even if between attempts the UICC has been removed, the USIM has been deselected or the ME has been switched off. Unblocking of a blocked PIN shall not be possible.
It shall not be possible to read PINs or Unblock PINs.

5.3  User data stored in ME

Subject to the exception below, all user related information transferred into the ME during network operations shall be deleted from the ME after removal of the UICC, deselection of the USIM, deactivation of the ME, or following an electrical reset of the UICC. This includes any data that was transferred to the ME by USIM Application Toolkit commands.
User related security codes such as PIN and Unblock PIN may only be stored by the ME during the procedures involving such a code and shall be discarded by the ME immediately after completion of the procedure.
Optionally, an ME may retain some less security-sensitive data at UICC removal, USIM deselection or ME switch-off. Such data are e.g. SMS, ADN/SSC, FDN/SSC, LND. These data, when stored in the ME, shall only be readable/retrievable if the same USIM is reactivated (as determined by the IMSI). If the IMSI is retained in the ME for this purpose, it shall be stored securely and shall not be able to be read out.

5.4  Authentication

A means shall be specified to mutually authenticate the USIM and the network by showing knowledge of a secret key K which is shared between and available only to the USIM and in the user's Home Environment. The method is composed of a challenge/response and key establishment protocol combined with a sequence number-based one-pass protocol for network authentication.

5.5  Data integrity of signalling elementsWord‑p. 9

Some signalling information elements are considered sensitive and must be integrity protected. An integrity function shall be applied on certain signalling information elements transmitted between the ME and the network.
The 3GPP Integrity Algorithm (UIA) is used with an Integrity Key (IK) to compute a message authentication code for a given message. The setting of IK is triggered by the authentication procedure. IK shall be stored on the USIM.

5.6  User identity confidentiality

A mechanism shall be specified to provide user identity confidentiality by means of a temporary identity.

5.7  Length of security parameters

In order to allow for enhancements of the security level in 3G, the following requirements shall be covered:
  • all security-related parameters for 3G shall be accompanied by a length indicator;
  • the USIM shall support variable-length security parameters.
If the USIM supports the GSM security mechanisms in addition to 3G security, fixed length security parameters according to TS 51.011 shall be supported in addition.

6  Logical issues

6.1  Application selection

In a multiapplication environment, a flexible application selection method is required. The application identifier defined in ETSI TS 101 220 [5] should be used for application selection. Direct application selection, including selection by partial DF name and the EF DIR concept of ISO/IEC 7816-4 [12] shall be followed. In particular, a mechanism for the ME and the UICC shall be specified in order to allow the user, when the ME is in idle mode, to select and activate one application amongst those which are available and supported by the ME (this will permit the user to choose, for instance, between 2 different USIM applications). At switch on, the last active USIM shall be automatically selected. The last active USIM shall be stored on the UICC. By default if there is no last active USIM defined in the UICC, the user shall be able to select the active USIM amongst those available on the UICC.

6.2  Simultaneous access

A mechanism shall be specified for simultaneous access to several files or applications.

7  Service RequirementsWord‑p. 10


7.2  Data transfer

A mechanism allowing highly secure transfer of applications and/or associated data to/from the UICC/USIM shall be specified in line with the requirements in TS 22.101. This requires a secure transfer mechanism.

7.3  Application execution environment

An application execution environment may exist on the UICC/USIM which includes functionality defined in TS 31.111.

7.4  Profile exchange

A mechanism for the ME, the USIM and the network to exchange service capabilities shall be specified. The following exchange of service capabilities may occur:
  • ME services capabilities may be provided to the USIM/UICC;
  • USIM/UICC services capabilities may be provided to the ME (and thus potentially to the network);
  • network services capabilities may be provided to the USIM/UICC via the ME.

7.5  Version identification

A means for identification of the version of the USIM shall be provided.

8  Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics shall be in accordance with the specifications in TS 31.101.

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