Over The Air - OTA: how is the technology that updates software and firmwares

Over The Air – OTA: how is the technology that updates software and firmwares


#Air #OTA #technology #updates #software #firmwares

Over The Air, technology known as OTA, updates software, firmware and devices remotely, which can be embedded in devices as its own, open-source and corporate solution. Because of this, the choice of the OTA solution will depend on the objective you want to achieve with it. See, in the continuation of the article, what the OTA technology is and the characteristics of each of the three solutions mentioned.

  • What is Over The Air Technology – OTA

  • OTA solutions

Over The Air does not imply good or bad decisions, rather it is about the requirements dictated by the software and devices where it will be shipped – what cost, bandwidth, storage capacity and ease of maintenance of the service, to name just a few.

What is Over The Air Technology – OTA

Over The Air – OTA is a technology for distributing software updates (SOTA), Firmware (FOTA), configuration settings and encryption keys, including for mobile set-top box devices (converter, connector, television receiver) or equipment secure voice communication (encryption of two radios), for all users automatically or manually.

  • Requirement to receive updates via OTA: the software or hardware must first support this type of mechanism, that is, it must be able to receive and install the software received over a wireless connection from the provider. As it happens? The update is sent to the cell phone, tablet or other device, even those belonging to the loT (internet of things) category, installs and delivers it ready to use, without the user interfering in the process. In most cases, the device receiving the update automatically turns off and turns on with the validated update. It is not common, but it may happen that the user has to manually turn the device off and on.
  • Can I refuse this type of update? In principle, users do not have much say in this matter, although they may even refuse to adhere to the update method, on the other hand, the ‘channel’ administrator may also refuse to serve a user.

It is worth mentioning that devices Android and iOS have already embarked on Over The Air technology to update the software for some time now, alongside other methods such as iTunes for iOS or Google Play, ROM and PC for Android.

OTA solutions

  • Own solution: it is mainly used to understand and define which OTA solution to adopt for which software, firmware or device – the objective is to study how OTA solutions work and what to do when there is no one that meets the functionalities where it will be applied. This type of solution allows you to deal with challenges and risks while ultimately creating customized solutions.
  • Open-source solution: the option poses less risk, because it has a community behind it, taking care of security very closely, in the implemented solution. Several open source options are already offered, such as Balena (Linux devices), Mender (supports Sota and Fota), Upswift (supporting loT, Linux and RTOS), UpdateHub, the most complete, due to its infrastructure that allows automation of the process as a whole (located in Brazil).
  • Corporate solution: offers agility and can reduce OTA costs, keeping the focus on products with more complexity and the need for robust security for corporate use. This method allows for the abstraction of implementation difficulties, ensuring greater security, avoiding errors caused by tiredness, lack of attention, which are common to happen, facilitating the modifications to be carried out in the product.

Photos: © Gerd Altamann – Pixabay.

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