Lara Barboza February 21, 2020 0 Comments

How can Mobile Operators and MVNOs make the most use of the Device Entitlement Server? Read this blog for the Top Five use-cases.


Introduction to Device Entitlement

The IP Multimedia Services (IMS) standards and deployments have lacked automated over-the-air (OTA) device configuration functionalities, until recently. Without the OTA service configuration, mobile phones cannot use the operators’ IMS services – these include Voice over LTE (VoLTE), Video over LTE (ViLTE), Voice over WiFi, and Rich Communications Service (RCS).

The missing device configuration has caused several problems – the operators have had to hard-code devices’ firmware with the right IMS settings in devices. This has necessitated lengthy co-operation with the device manufacturers. Also, network configuration and testing have been required to tune up the networks to support the handsets. And, in the case of handset operating system or firmware updates, network re-configuration and re-testing was required.  

This is where the Device Entitlement Server steps in.


What’s an Entitlement Server?

Device Entitlement Server (DES) is a mobile network functionality, which solves the IMS service configuration problems by introducing a device and subscriber authentication functionality and an OTA configuration for the service settings.  

Our recent blog describes in detail how does VoLTE device entitlement work – if you want to find out!

The Entitlement Server Use-cases

Here is a rundown of the five most common Entitlement Server use-cases with a brief description – based on our experience from working with several mobile operators and MVNOs.

  1. Configure IMS Services on Apple iPhone

In the first Entitlement Server use-case, DES configures Apple iPhone with the right IMS service settings. The iOS operating system software contains a proprietary framework for managing service entitlements – including a carrier bundle with Device Entitlement Server (DES) details are automatically deployed at regular intervals on all iPhones connected on an operator’s network.

  1. Push IMS Services Update to iPhone

DES can also be used for pushing an IMS service configuration update on iPhones by using the Apple Push Notification Service.  

When the IMS services configurations are updated for a subscriber, DES pushes a notification to the iPhone. The device responds by contacting the DES to get a current IMS services configuration. DES checks the user profile, and if everything is OK, it returns the IMS services configurations.

  1. Use Entitlement Server to Configure Apple Watch

Entitlement Server – Apple Watch Configuration

Apple Watch configuration is one of the most exciting use-cases for operators and MVNOs. You can use DES to entitle an Apple Watch to use IMS services via iPhone paired through Bluetooth.

Everything starts when the subscriber pairs his or her iPhone and Watch via the Bluetooth connection. iPhone initiates a Watch sign-up via DES. If the Watch is allowed to use IMS services, the subscriber is asked to provide further information (this might require a Websheet server). DES sends a request to the SM-DP+ server for an eSIM profile with the appropriate rights. The subscriber can begin using the IMS services once the smartwatch has received an updated SIM profile.

  1. Configure IMS Services on Android – Phones with GSMA RCC.14/15 Support

The GSMA provides standardized specifications for provisioning IMS services on mobile devices over-the-air. This specification is called RCC.14/15, and several Android phones support it.

The Device Entitlement Server can configure the Android handsets according to this specification. Here’s the process in a nutshell – it starts when a subscriber swaps the SIM card or powers up the device. The Android phone automatically registers itself on the IMS network and connects to DES for the right IMS configurations. Given that everything is fine, DES provides the device with the up to date settings. 

Entitlement Server – Android Device Configuration
  1. Configure IMS Services on Android – Phones without GSMA RCC.14/15 support

Some Android handsets do not support the GSMA’s RCC.14/15 specification, and cannot be configured for the IMS service using this over-the-air process (use-case 4).

No need to worry, however. Sicap’s DES provides an alternative solution – Android Carrier Configuration Manager, which operators and MVNOs can use to configure, entitle, and change carrier settings on those Android devices remotely, which are not compatible with the RCC.14/15 specification.

Download the Device Entitlement Server ebook to see how the Android Carrier Configuration Manager works!

Learn more about the Entitlement Server!

 If you want to find out more about the Entitlement Server, you can download the Device Entitlement Server ebook, for further reference. Check what are the latest enhancements on Sicap’s DES, or, simply contact Sicap directly!

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