Securing connected
and mobile services

OMAPI Specification Updated to Reflect Growth in Dual SIM Devices and to Enhance Communication Between Mobile Apps and Secure Elements

11 February 2016SIMalliance, the global non-profit industry association which simplifies secure element (SE) implementation to drive secure mobile services, has published an updated version – v3.2 – of its OMAPI Specification. OMAPI v3.2 incorporates changes to accommodate the growing number of dual SIM devices on the market and enhances the ability of mobile applications to communicate with SEs within a device.

The OMAPI Specification, referenced by the GSMA and mandated by EMVCo in devices used for contactless payments, is currently implemented in over 250 models of Android NFC smartphone. It specifies how mobile applications may access different SEs, including the UICC and embedded SEs, within a mobile device.

A key update in v3.2 addresses requirements from ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) and GSMA (GSM Association), to give the mobile application additional control to properly retrieve information from the SE. This change further enhances reliability in the field and hence will benefit service providers, as well as implementers of OMAPI such as modem manufacturers and OEMs.

Further updates respond to the increase in SIM card insertion and removal that results from the growing availability of dual SIM devices on the market. A new mechanism has been introduced that results in mobile applications being automatically notified of the insertion and removal of SEs, reducing the need for the apps to check for changes. This is less resource intensive and thus reduces overhead for service providers.

Together these updates encourage greater standardisation in SE access management across mobile devices and make communication between mobile applications and SEs even simpler for developers to manage.

Hervé Pierre, SIMalliance Chairman, comments: “The OMAPI Specification benefits the entire mobile services value chain. Enabling mobile application developers to utilise a SE within a device in a standardised manner encourages the development of a wide variety of secure applications and services. This in turn enhances the attractiveness of the device platform to customers.

The OMAPI Specification has been developed with input from the entire mobile ecosystem and has become the globally recognised standard which enables mobile applications, across sectors, to connect with all SEs on a device. Because of this, ongoing collaboration on its maintenance is key to its success; feedback from the marketplace and other technical and industry bodies is not only wecome, but essential to ensure that the OMAPI Specification remains relevant in light of industry developments, such as the increasing availability of dual SIM devices.”     

All SIMalliance OMAPI resources – including OMAPI v3.2 – are available, free to download, from the resources page on the SIMalliance website. SIMalliance continues to invite industry feedback on its OMAPI resources. Comments should be sent to


Note to Editors:

About SIMalliance (Security, Identity, Mobility)

SIMalliance is the global, non-profit industry association which simplifies aspects of hardware-based device security to drive the creation, deployment and management of secure mobile services. The organisation promotes the essential role of  a dedicated tamper resistant hardware module in delivering secure mobile applications and services across all devices that can access wireless networks. By identifying and addressing related technical issues, and both clarifying and recommending existing technical standards relevant to the implementation of hardware security, the SIMalliance aims to facilitate and accelerate delivery of secure mobile applications globally.

SIMalliance members represent 90% of the global SIM card market. As such, the SIMalliance’s membership is responsible for delivering the most widely distributed secure application delivery platform in the world (UICC/SIM/USIM).

SIMalliance members are Card Centric Solutions, Eastcompeace, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Incard, Kona I, Morpho, Oasis Smart SIM, Oberthur Technologies, VALID, Watchdata, Wuhan Tianyu and XH Smartcard (Zhuhai) Co. Ltd.

SIMalliance Strategic Partners are Comprion, Linxens and Movenda.

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Lucy Smith
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