SIM applications have provided additional value for users by offering a broad variety of possibilities independently of the handset. Based on the IP capability of the OTA platform, LTE enables new or improved services, which opens up new revenue opportunities to MNOs or enables them to provide services to end customers free of charge, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
These services can for example support the increasing demand for exchanging all types of media, information and messages that comes along with the growth of social-network activity among end users.
The new, IP-based OTA allows the implementation of a poll scenario by which an application on the SIM periodically connects to the OTA server and checks for updates. Updates may be performed using a higher-capacity delivery channel, naturally distributed and throttled, but without the need for managing retransmissions. Having the application on the SIM means that a download only starts when the device is within an LTE network and not roaming.
The Dual/Multi IMSI application allows customers to switch to different subscriptions in different countries without the trouble of having to change the SIM. Dual IMSI applications enable a variety of use cases. Apart from the roaming scenario, they also allow users e.g. to switch manually between a private and business subscription with the same MNO. The change of subscription can be performed at the user’s request or automatically if the application detects the need to change the subscription. These policies can be dynamically updated via the OTA server. The application can also allow the right subscription to be selected upon the first activation of a device in a certain region.
IMEI Lock enables operators to define in which device(s) their SIMs are going to operate or not. IMEI Lock can be a standalone application with a preset whitelist or blacklist or a hybrid product that combines an interoperable client deployed on the SIM, standardized Over-the-Air (OTA) communication capability, and a server back-end component for SIM client configuration management. The MNO is able to establish a link between device and SIM at the time of production, specify and remotely configure whitelists and blacklists, and remotely deactivate/activate a SIM card.
The activation applet’s role is to download remote management operations to the SIM card when the mobile subscription is activated. Billing systems are able to send remote file and/or application management operations to the OTA platform when the subscription is sold. Also, on-demand activation of subscriptions may make remote management operations necessary.
The activation applet is initiated by the handset when the handset is first powered up, using the SIM Toolkit interface. It detects that the SIM card is not yet activated, connects to the OTA platform and requests pending downloads. The activation applet is responsible for ensuring that the whole download is successfully retrieved and executed. If the connection fails, the applet performs retries until successful.
The device discovery service, based on a terminal switch detection applet on the SIM card, means that the OTA server is kept up to date on what device the SIM is currently plugged into. The applet is triggered by the device each time it is powered up. It checks the IMEI identity of the device and whether it has changed since the last power-up. If it has, the new device identity is reported to the OTA server. This information can be used by the MNO for a variety of purposes including device management and tailored offers for users of certain handsets.