|Title of Invention||
"SIM CHIPCARD FOR MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK
|Abstract||SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)-chipcard for GSM-type cellular telephones, containing data processing means (20), comprising storage means (200) which make it possible to store data containing at least identification data of a subscriber of a telecommunication network. Electrical contacts (24) on the surface of the chipcard enable data exchange between said processing means (20) and a mobile communication station (1), in which the card may be inserted in a removable fashion. The chipcard further contains at least a coil, enabling the establishment of communication between said processing means and an external device (3), located outside said mobile communication station, via radio waves.|
|Full Text||The present invention relates to a SIM chipcard for mobile telecommunication network.
It relates to the problem of communication
between a chipcard and an external device, particularly a chipcard of the SIM-
type, intended to be used, for instance, in a cellular phone, for example of the GSM-format.
In mobile telephone networks, such as the GSM-network (Global System for Mobile Communication), for instance, the identity of the subscribers is stored in a chipcard referred to as a SIM-card (Subscriber Identity Module). The SIM-card is removable, so that a user may receive his calls on the mobile device of his choice by moving the SIM-card from one device to another. Furthermore, methods are known for loading in different ways a SIM-card with a monetary amount as well as for charging telephone communication fees to this amount. Consequently, the mobile stations (MS) are composed of two elements, the mobile device and the SIM-chipcard.
Today there are two standard formats of SIM-cards. The full-size format corresponds to the size of a credit card, while the plug-in format, which is adapted especially to the miniaturised portable telephones, has a size of approximately 25 mm by 10 mm. The functionality of cards in these two formats is identical.
Generally, SIM-cards contain data processing means, in most cases a microcontroller integrated in a chip. These data processing means comprise a section with read-/write-memory (intermediate-memory) and/or read-only-memory, which makes it possible to store programs and/or data, particularly identification data of the subscriber owning the card, as well as calculating and processing means, capable of executing different algorithms, specifically,
algorithms enabling the execution of subscriber identification and communication encryption.
This architecture of the SIM-cards, wherein certain aspects are standardised within the framework of the GSM-standard, is very "open" since various systems of value-added services (VAS) were considered, which systems are able to fully profit from the functionality of these cards. Specifically, numerous services were considered which use the memory available on the SIM-card and/or the processing possibilities of the card's microcontroller for extending the functionality of the wireless telephone.
New data or new programs, necessary for the execution of these value-added services, may generally be loaded onto the card in one of the following three ways:
1) Through insertion of the card in a suitable read-/write-device for
chipcards. Typically, data loaded onto the card prior to its delivery to a client is
loaded in this fashion. However, due to the fact that read-/write-devices for
chipcards are not widespread, this method cannot be generally used in an easy
fashion for updating or completing information registered on the card, after the
card has been distributed. Furthermore, since the card must be removed from
the mobile station, before it can be inserted into another device, this approach
is not very practical, particularly in the case of the very small plug-in cards
which cannot be handled very practically.
2) Through direct manual entry of data on the keyboard of the mobile
station. Owing to the heavily reduced size of keyboards normally used for
mobile telephones and because of the limited number of keys, this approach is
only appropriate for the entry of very short data, for instance a password or a
yes-/no-type answer during execution of programs by the card's
microcontroller, but by no means for the entry of complete programs into the
3) The data and/or programs can be loaded remotely into the mobile
station, for instance, in the form of short messages (e.g. an SMS short
message or USSD data or a similar datagram) containing a header which enables the mobile station to recognise the short message as such. Subsequently, the data can be transferred by the mobile equipment into the card. This transmission can take place in both directions. The patent document EP689368, filed in the name of the applicant, describes a technique which makes it possible to remotely load data and programs into a mobile station in a transparent fashion. However, this type of transmission can only take place from another station, connected to the mobile radio network, for instance, from another mobile telephone. Moreover, the transmission can only take place at the cost of communicating in the mobile radio network, which is generally subject to fees.
The patent application PCT/CH96/00464, filed in the name of the applicant, describes a method for ordering products or information by means of a mobile station. A code uniquely identifying a product and its supplier must be entered into the mobile station, before it is transmitted to the product supplier by means of short messages, together with identification data of the subscriber, via the mobile radio network. The product code must comprise a large number of alphanumeric characters, in order for the product and the product supplier to be identified uniquely. Furthermore, control characters (parity) are necessary to recognise and correct possible errors in the product code. None of the means mentioned above appear to be really appropriate for comfortably entering this type of information into the mobile station
On the other hand, a certain number of new value-added services require that the data or programs stored in a SIM-card may be accessed from an external device, for instance from another telephone.
Various patent documents, particularly documents classified in the group H04M-001/00 of the international patent classification system, describe systems which enable the entry of data, for example dial pulses or dial tones, into a telephone handset. However, these documents, for example DE2427527 or US4130738, generally require adaptations of the telephone handset and, therefore, cannot be used for exchanging data with a conventional mobile station. Moreover, these documents describe only a one-way communication,
generally, from an external device to the telephone handset. This is particularly the case for the patent document EP0506544. Finally, these documents generally do not relate to the transmission of data or programs into the memory section of a SIM-chipcard inserted in a mobile station.
Consequently, it is an object of this invention to propose a device and a method for communication, which are suitable for two-way transmission of data and programs to or from a chipcard.
It is an additional object of this invention to propose a telecommunications system which does not have the shortcomings of the systems of the prior art.
According to the invention, these objects are particularly achieved by means of a chipcard having the features of the characterising portion of patent claim 1, a mobile station having the features of the characterising portion of patent claim 7, a data processing device having the features of the characterising portion of patent claim 14, and a method having the features of the characterising portion of one of the patent claims 20 or 26.
Specifically, the objects of the invention are achieved by means of a chipcard, for instance a chipcard having at least one wireless interface, which makes it possible for the card's processing means to directly communicate with an external device located outside the mobile communications device, neither the electrical contacts of the chipcard nor the mobile station being passed.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the wireless interface has at least one coil and, consequently, the direct communication between the SIM-chipcard and an external device takes place through electromagnetic waves.
In this fashion, data can be directly written into the chipcard or read from the card by an external device, for example another wireless telephone or any data processing device whatsoever.
An advantage of the invention is that it can be applied without the necessity of any imperative changes of the mobile communication equipment. Thus, a chipcard having a wireless interface according to the invention can be distributed by a network administrator to those subscribers who have subscribed to a value-added service suitable for benefiting from the possibilities of these cards, and the card can be directly used by these subscribers by simply inserting it in a conventional mobile station. Consequently, it is not necessary to replace or change the existing equipment, the chipcard, which can be produced at a very low cost, being the exception.
Accordingly, the present invention relates to SIM chipcard comprising: data processing means responsible for the card's SIM-functionality and containing storage means which make it possible to store data containing at least identification data for a subscriber in a mobile telecommunications network; electrical contacts on the surface of the SIM chipcard, which make it possible to exchange data between the said processing means and a mobile station, in which the SIM chipcard may be inserted in a removable fashion; at least one further interface which enables the data transmission between the said data processing means and an external device; characterised in that the said further interface is a wireless interface, which makes it possible to transmit data between the said processing means and an external device located outside the mobile station directly and without passing electrical contacts when the SIM chipcard is inserted in the mobile station, this contactless data transmission being controlled by the mobile station via the said electrical contacts. -
The present invention also relates to various methods and services which can be applied thanks to the card according to the present invention.
The present invention will be better understood with the aid of the description, given by way of example and illustrated by means of the appended figures:
Figure 1 shows a schematic and perspective view of a mobile station, in which a chipcard according to the invention is inserted, and of an external device according to the invention.
Figure 2 shows a schematic view of a chipcard according to the invention.
Although the description, given by way of example, relates specifically to the special case of a chipcard of the SIM-type (Subscriber Identity Module) used in combination with a portable telephone of the GSM-type, it is important to understand that the card may just as well be used in combination with every other type of mobile station, for instance with the GSM, UMTS, PCN, NMT, TAGS, PDC, DCS 1800 types or with any other standard of mobile communications, as well as with every type of chipcard used in a mobile communication network for storing subscriber identity information.
Figure 2 illustrates in schematic fashion an embodiment of a SIM-chipcard according to the invention. The chipcard 2, in this example a card of
the credit card format (full-size), has a conventional microcontroller 20 which is embedded in the plastic carrier 25 of the card and which is responsible for the SIM-functionality of the card. The microcontroller 20 has a read-/write- and/or a read-only-memory section 200 as well as a data processing section 201, which are combined in a single integrated circuit. The microcontroller 20 is responsible for the application of the card's SIM-functionality, as described, for instance, in the article "SIM Cards" by T. Grigorova and I. Leung, which was published in Telecommunication Journal of Australia, vol. 43, No. 2, 1993, pages 33 to 38, as well as for new functionality loaded onto the card at a later point in time. The chipcard also has contact means, for instance an area 24 with eight metallic contacts on the surface of the card, by means of which the card communicates with the mobile station 1, into which the card is inserted. The electrical energy supply of the card, or at least of the microcontroller 20, is provided by the communication station 1 via the contacts 24.
According to the invention, the chipcard 2 has a second integrated circuit 21 responsible for the direct communication with an external device. The second integrated circuit is connected with the microcontroller 20 via an interface 22. Moreover, the chipcard 2 has a coil 23 which is connected to the second integrated circuit 21 and embedded in the plastic carrier 25 of the chipcard. The coil 23 may be manufactured, for example, by coiling up a wire or by means of any other appropriate technique. Nowadays, integration of a coil into a chipcard is well mastered and is described, for instance, in the patent applications W091/16718 and W095/33246 (both registered in the name of Gustafson). In the case of a chipcard of the full-size format, the coil is preferably laminated in between two layers of plastic carriers 25 forming the card. In the case of a plug-in-SIM-card, the coil may be embedded into the plastic carrier, or attached to the outside of this carrier by means of an adhesive, or by any other appropriate means.
Owing to this interface 21, 23, the chipcard 2 inserted into a mobile station 1 may communicate directly with an external device 3, represented in a symbolic fashion and also provided with a coil or an antenna 30, via electromagnetic waves, preferably via radio waves at a frequency close to approximately 120 KHz. The maximum communication distance depends on the
characteristic of the coils 23, 30, as well as on the transmitting power, which is chosen such that too much strain on the energy supply of the station 1 and the card 2 can be avoided. For instance, a range of multiple meters can be realised by means of conventional techniques without big problems. It is important to be careful that the receiving area 10 for the SIM-card in the station 1 is not shielded electromagnetically around the coil so that a radio link may be established.
In this fashion, data and/or programs can be exchanged between the external device 3 and the chipcard 2 in both directions. Thereby, it becomes possible to remotely load data or programs into the memory 200 of the chipcard, to use or access this memory from an external device, or to establish any dialogue or monologue between the processing means 20, 21 on the card and any external device 3 suitable for this purpose. The communication between the chipcard 2 and the external device 3 takes place without using the mobile radio network (e.g. a GSM- or UMTS-network), to which the station 1 belongs.
In this example, the chipcard is provided with a conventional microcontroller 20, having storage means 200 and processing means 201, as well as with a communication module 21, the microcontroller 20 and the communication module 21 being implemented in the form of two separate integrated circuits. This arrangement makes it possible to use standard microcontrollers 20, which are available at low cost, and to add to them a specific communication module. However, one skilled in the art will realise that it is also possible to integrate the communication module 21 with the microcontroller 20 into the same integrated circuit or, for example, to implement a part of the read-/write and/or read-only-memory in the form of a separate integrated circuit.
In the same way as the microcontroller 20, the communication module 21 may be supplied with energy by the station 1 via the contacts 24. In a preferred embodiment, the communication module is energetically dependent on the microcontroller 20 and on the communication station 1, and it is supplied with energy by means of the coil 23. In this case, a storage capacitor, for
storing the energy supplied via the coil 23, is preferably contained in the chipcard. A back-up battery (accumulator), fed by the station or via the coil 23, may also be present in the card. It is also possible to arrange two coils in the card 2, one for the actual communication with the external device 3 and the other for the energy supply to the module 21.
Depending on the application, the external device 3 may be any apparatus provided with an interface 30, which interface makes it possible to directly communicate with the card 2 via radio waves without using the mobile radio network (e.g. a GSM- or UMTS-network). In the simplest case, the external device 3 may consist of an additional chipcard according to the invention, inserted into another mobile station 1. Thus, the invention makes it possible to exchange any type of data or programs which are stored in the SIM-cards of the two apparatuses. Depending on the type of SIM-card and depending on the administration programs of the two cards, it is possible, for instance, to transfer or copy programs and/or data from one card to the other, said programs and/or data extending the functionality of the card or providing access to new services. In the case that the card contains a monetary amount from which communication fees are deducted, it is possible to transfer the complete or partial remainder of the amount from one card to the other by means of an appropriate communication program and, thereby, load a chipcard with amounts available on another card.
In an application variant of the invention, the external device 3 is a computer or a terminal provided with an appropriate radio interface 30. In this case, the device 3 is preferably provided with data entry means not illustrated, for instance with a keyboard and with data display means not illustrated, for instance with a display (screen). Furthermore, the device 3 is preferably connected to a communication network 31, for instance with an Intranet or with the Internet via a modem not illustrated, or with any type of fixed or mobile communication network. Data or programs entered into device 3 may then be easily copied into the chipcard 2 via the radio interface 30, 23. In the opposite direction, data stored in the chipcard may be transmitted to the display of the device 3, and may be displayed there.
An interactive dialogue, consisting of a sequence of communications in both directions, is also possible between the card 2 and a computer 3. A possible application of such a dialogue relates to the selection of an option from a menu, shown in the display of an external device 3, by means of a mobile telephone. In this case, the display of the device 3 shows a menu, for example a list of products or information offered for sale. The user of a mobile station 1 according to the invention may control the position of a cursor in this menu by using the cursor movement keys 13 on the keyboard of his mobile telephone. The cursor movement instructions are transmitted from the keyboard to the chipcard 2, and from there they are sent to the device 3 by means of the coil 3. To validate the selected menu option, for instance to order a product, the user uses a confirmation key on his keyboard, for instance the # key. The confirmation command is transmitted to the device 3 in the same fashion. Then, the external device 3 executes a routine corresponding to the selected option. For instance, the executed routine may comprise the establishment of communication with the supplier in the fixed or mobile communication network, with which the device 3 is connected via a modem, for example, as well as the transmission of the order to this supplier. In a variant, the routine executed with the confirmation of the menu option includes the emission of a response via the interface 30 to the chipcard 2. For instance, the response includes an identification code of the selected product. At least a portion of the data received in this response, for instance the identification code of the ordered product, is then stored in the section of the intermediate memory 200 of the chipcard 2. The application program loaded into the chipcard may then send a message to the product supplier, for instance a short message (e.g. an SMS short message or USSD data or a similar datagram) containing the product identification code. Various other possibilities of product orders are described in the patent application PCT/CH96/00464, among others.
Naturally, the chipcard 2 according to the invention not only can be used to control the position of an object, but also to control multiple characteristics of one or multiple objects, for instance position, colour, shape, function, visibility, etc.
In the case where the menu in the display of the device 3 corresponds to an Intranet or Internet home page, for instance displayed by an appropriate browser, communication between the chipcard and the device 3 preferably contains Java instructions (registered trademark by SUN Microsystems) which can be directly interpreted by said browser. On the other hand, it is also desirable that the processing means 20, 21 in the card can also execute Java instructions so that direct communication based on instructions of this well known programming standard is made possible. Other preferably object-oriented languages, such as Corba or C++, could also be used.
The external device 3 could, for example, also be a monetary device, for instance an automatic teller machine, an electronic cash machine, or a cash register in a store. For the case where the external device 3 is an electronic cash machine, direct communication via the coils 23, 30 can make it possible, for example, to reload from the machine the monetary amount stored on the chipcard 2. This is advantageous because the SIM-card can be reloaded without having to be removed from the telephone handset 1 and without establishing a radio communication that is subject to a fee. A financial transaction may also take place in the opposite direction by charging the monetary amount stored in the chipcard 2 with a given amount and by directly transmitting this given amount to the external device 3 by means of the wireless interface according to the invention, the external device being, for instance, a machine or a cash register in a department store. A transaction of shopping payments in a store equipped with a cash register 3, provided with interfaces 30 for communicating with chipcards according to the invention, may comprise the following steps:
• Direct transmission of the payable amount by the cash register 3
to the chipcard 2.
• Temporary storage of the payable amount in the memory 200 of
• Execution of a routine by the microcontroller 20, displaying the
payable amount on the display 12 of the mobile station 1.
• In case of agreement, confirmation of this amount by the client, for
instance by pressing the # key.
• Direct transmission of this confirmation command to the device 3
by means of the interface 23-30.
For example, the monetary amount stored in the chipcard 2 may be charged instantaneously with the payable amount. In the case that the monetary amount in the chipcard 2 is sufficient to pay the transaction, the card may be charged with the transaction amount, which may be transferred to the device 3 via the interface 23, 30 according to any type of protocol and according to the same rules of security and confidentiality as proven, for example, for transactions of electronic cash.
In a variant, the transaction amount may be transferred onto an account of the owner of the device 3 by any bank or financial institution of which the subscriber is a client. For that purpose, the program loaded in the chipcard 2 may contain an instruction for the emission of a short message (e.g. an SMS short message or USSD data or a similar datagram), in the case where the amount shown in the display 12 is confirmed, said message containing a debit command and being emitted by the mobile station 1 or by the device 3 to a banking establishment.
The external device 3 may also be an access control device, for instance a device of the electronic doorkeeper type which makes it possible to control entries and exits in protected locations, for example in a manufacturing plant or within the fenced-in area of an amusement park. For this application, the chipcard 2 may be loaded with an electronic key to be stored in the memory 200. To get access to a restricted area in this location, it is thus necessary that a direct communication of the described type is established between the chipcard 2 and the device 3 by means of the coil 23, 30. Access to the restricted area is granted only if, based on this communication, it turns out that the electronic key stored in the card 2 is correct and that its owner has the right to enter the protected area. The access method may include the emission of a message by either the communication station 1 via the mobile radio network or
by the access control device 3 via its own communication network 31, the message being a short message (e.g. an SMS short message or USSD data or a similar datagram), for instance to a central computer, not illustrated, which maintains and registers movements (changes of locations) within the area. Maintenance of the movements within the area may result, for instance, in billing the subscriber or debiting the account of the subscriber with an amount depending on the various entries that occurred. In this application, it is advantageous that the electronic module is exclusively supplied with electricity by means of the coil 23, so that access is even possible when the batteries of the mobile station 1 are run down.
One skilled in the art will understand that these applications are merely given by way of non-restrictive examples. Expressed in more general terms, the invention relates to all types of methods which include a step of direct communication with a chipcard and, if need be, a step of conventional communication via a conventional radio network.
In a variant embodiment, the communication of data stored in the chipcard 2 to an external device 3 takes place via an interface located in the mobile device 1 rather than directly in the chipcard 2. The communication may take place, for example, by means of an antenna, a coil or an infrared sender-receiver, integrated on the casing of the wireless telephone 1. However, this embodiment requires alterations of apparatus 1 and, consequently, cannot be applied in an easy fashion by subscribers who are equipped with conventional communication stations 1 without this wireless interface.
1. SIM chipcard for mobile telecommunication network (2)
data processing means (20) responsible for the card's SIM-functionality and containing storage means (200) which make it possible to store data containing at least identification data for a subscriber in a mobile telecommunications network;
electrical contacts (24) on the surface of the SIM chipcard, which make it possible to exchange data between the said processing means (20) and a mobile station (1), in which the SIM chipcard (2) is inserted in a removable fashion;
at least one interface which enables the data transmission between the said data processing means (20) and an external device (3);
characterised in that the said interface is a wireless interface (21,23), which makes it possible to transmit data between the said processing means (20) and an external device (3) located outside the mobile station (1) directly and without passing electrical contacts when the SIM chipcard is inserted in the mobile station (1), this contactless data transmission being controlled by the mobile station (1) via the said electrical contacts (24).
2. SIM chipcard as claimed in claim 1, wherein the said wireless
interface contains at least one coil (23), which enables the
establishment of communication between the said processing means (20) and the said external device (3) via electromagnetic waves.
3. SIM chipcard as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the said
processing means comprise a microcontroller (20) responsible for the
said SIM-functionality of the card, at least an electronic module (21)
connected to the said coil (23) and responsible for the direct
communication with the said external device (3), and an interface (22)
between the said microcontroller and the said electronic module.
4. SIM chipcard as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the
electrical power supply of the said electronic module and of the said coil
is provided by the said mobile station (1) via the said electrical contacts
5. SIM chipcard as claimed in claim 4, wherein the said electrical
power supply of the said electronic module (21) and of the said coil (23)
is provided by the said external device by interposing the said coil, so
that radio communication between the SIM chipcard (2) and the
external device (3) is possible even if the batteries of the mobile station
(1) are run down.
6. SIM chipcard as claimed in any one of the preceding claims,
wherein the processing means (20, 21) are capable of executing
instructions in the Java language.
7. Mobile station (1) comprising means for communicating in a
mobile telecommunications network and a receiving point (10) for
inserting a removable SIM chipcard (2), as claimed in claim 1 which is intended for storing data containing at least the identification data of a subscriber of the said mobile telecommunications network, characterised by at least one wireless interface (21, 23) enabling a data transmission between the said SIM chipcard (20), inserted in the mobile station, and an external device (3), located outside the mobile station (1), without using the said mobile telecommunications network, whereby this data transmission can be controlled by the mobile station (1)-
8. Mobile station as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the
said wireless interface contains at least one coil (23), which makes it
possible for the said SIM chipcard (2) to communicate with the said
external device (3) via electromagnetic waves.
9. Mobile station as claimed in the preceding claim, wherein the
said coil (23) is integrated in the said SIM chipcard (2).
10. Mobile station as claimed in claim 8, having electrical batteries,
and wherein the said wireless interface (21, 23) is supplied with energy
by the said external device (3) by interposing the said coil (23) so that
radio communication between the SIM chipcard (2) and the external
device (3) is possible even if the said electrical batteries are run down.
11. Mobile station as claimed in any one of the claims 8 to 10,
wherein the said receiving point (10) is not shielded electromagnetically
to the outside.
12. Mobile station as claimed in claim 7, wherein the said wireless
interface contains at least one infrared transmitter-receiver on the
housing of the said station.
13. Mobile station as claimed in any one of the claims 7 to 12,
wherein it has a confirmation key (11) and control means (13) for a
14. Mobile station as claimed in any one of the claims 7 to 13,
wherein the said data transmission can be controlled with the keyboard
of the mobile station (1).
15. Data processing device (3), containing a wireless interface (30),
which wireless interface (30) makes it possible to communicate directly
with a SIM chipcard (2) as claimed in any one of the claims 1 to 6,
which SIM chipcard (2) is inserted into a mobile station (1) as claimed
in any one of the claims 7 to 14, without using the said mobile radio
16. Data processing device as claimed in claim 15, wherein the said
interface contains at least a transmitter-receiver (30) which enables the
establishment of communication with a SIM chipcard (2) as claimed in
any one of the claims 2 to 6 via electromagnetic waves.
17. Data processing device as claimed in any one of the claims 14 or
15, wherein it contains the following: means for displaying a multiple-
choice menu, and means for changing the position of a cursor in the
said menu, respectively for executing a method corresponding to the
choice made in the said menu, as the reaction to the cursor movement, respectively confirmation instructions which have been received at the said wireless interface.
18. Data processing device as claimed in any one of the preceding
claims, wherein it contains an interface (31) of the Internet- /Intranet-
19. Data processing device as claimed in any one of the claims 15 to
18, wherein it is integrated in a monetary device.
20. Data processing device as claimed in any one of the claims 15 to
18, wherein it is integrated in an access control device.
21. SIM chipcard (2) substantially as hereinbefore described with
reference to and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
|Indian Patent Application Number||1536/DEL/1998|
|PG Journal Number||10/2008|
|Date of Filing||04-Jun-1998|
|Name of Patentee||SWISSCOM MOBILE AG|
|Applicant Address||SCHWARZTORSTRASSE 61, CH-3050 BERN, SWITZERLAND.|
|PCT International Classification Number||H04Q 7/32|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|