GlobalPlatform technology deployed 17.7bn secure elements on secure chip technology

GlobalPlatform, the association standardising the management of applications on secure chip technology, says it has ‘conservatively estimated’ that a total of 17.7 billion secure elements (SEs) based on GlobalPlatform specifications were deployed globally between 2010 and 2015. That figure represents 41% of all SE shipments, as reported by Eurosmart, in the same period.

This scale of standardisation across the global SE market demonstrates the value that an open, interoperable multi-application management infrastructure delivers to the expanding international secure digital services industry. GlobalPlatform’s standardised infrastructure empowers digital service providers, regardless of vertical or geography, to develop services once and deploy them across different markets, devices and channels.

GlobalPlatform technology is implemented across a wide range of markets worldwide, such as government and enterprise (for secure ID and access), transit, healthcare, digital rights management and content protection, connected cars, IoT and consumer wearables. Yet over the past five years, its specifications have been most extensively deployed across SEs issued by the telecoms and banking sectors. A total 14.7 billion SIMs and 2.8 billion banking cards, in circulation since 2010, are estimated to be based on GlobalPlatform technology.

Kevin Gillick, executive director of GlobalPlatform, commented: “This is a very significant announcement, which shows just how far the secure chip technology industry has advanced in recent years. Standardised products mean wider interoperability, increased efficiencies, quicker development times and result in a far more competitive global marketplace. To report that nearly half of all SEs are currently based on open and standardised technology, therefore not only represents a milestone for GlobalPlatform, but is positive news for the ecosystem at large.

Kevin Gillick, executive director of GlobalPlatform
Kevin Gillick, executive director of GlobalPlatform

“We live in a world where digital services are becoming more prevalent by the day. Since GlobalPlatform was formed in 1999, our members have worked tirelessly to develop and promote standardisation across all SE form factors, and more recently the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).

Many global industries have already been transformed by this revolution and many more will benefit from GlobalPlatform’s infrastructure in years to come, as digital services continue to evolve and standardisation continues to play a vital role in enabling an ever more sophisticated ecosystem.”

To support its efforts to standardise the SE and facilitate global interoperability, GlobalPlatform has created an open and thoroughly evaluated compliance ecosystem for the SE. This has been made available to all interested players within the ecosystem, who wish to seek and provide assurance that services provided on the SE will behave as intended when deployed in the field.

The GlobalPlatform Compliance Program evaluates the functional behavior of a product against the requirements outlined by its configurations and associated specifications to achieve market interoperability.

The program is currently focused on the UICC, financial cards and ID cards and is being advanced to support secure elements, including smart microSDs and the eUICC. This work effort promotes industry interoperability and offers a scalable infrastructure without compromising security.

GlobalPlatform is also leading industry efforts to standardise the trusted execution environment (TEE), to meet the business critical demands of service providers for diverse use cases such as content protection, payment and other secure services.

A TEE is a secure area of the main processor of a connected device that ensures sensitive data is stored, processed and protected in an isolated, trusted environment. More information on GlobalPlatform’s TEE standardisation efforts, including its TEE compliance program and certification scheme, can be found on the GlobalPlatform website.

GlobalPlatform’s estimations are based on Eurosmart’s SE shipment figures for 2010-2015, published in May 2016.

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