Device Management

Device Management is a set of technologies, protocols and standards used to allow the remote management of mobile devices, often involving updates of firmware over the air (FOTA). The network operator, handset OEM or in some cases even the end-user (usually via a web portal) can use Device Management, also known as Mobile Device Management, or MDM, to update the handset firmware/OS, install applications and fix bugs, all over the air. Thus, large numbers of devices can be managed with single commands and the end-user is freed from the requirement to take the phone to a shop or service center to refresh or update.

For companies, a Device Management system means better control and safety as well as increased efficiency, decreasing the possibility for device downtime. As the number of smart devices increases in many companies today, there is a demand for managing, controlling and updating these devices in an effective way. As mobile devices have become true computers over the years, they also force organizations to manage them properly. Without proper management and security policies, mobile devices pose threat to security: they contain lots of information, while they may easily get into wrong hands. Normally an employee would need to visit the IT / Telecom department in order to do an update on the device. With a Device Management system, that is no longer the issue. Updates can easily be done "over the air". The content on a lost or stolen device can also easily be removed by "wipe" operations. In that way sensitive documents on a lost or a stolen device do not arrive in the hands of others.


Device management comprises the following operations:

  • Bootstrap provisioning of a mobile device
  • Continuous provisioning of a mobile device
  • Firmware update
  • Firmware lifecycle management
  • Software component management
  • Customer care integration
  • Device diagnostics
  • Device capability management
  • SIM / Smartcard based management
  • Scheduling of management tasks
  • Wireless Informatics

Device Management specifications

The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) specified a platform-independent device management protocol called OMA Device Management. The specification meets the common definitions of an open standard, meaning the specification is freely available and implementable. It is supported by several mobile devices, such as PDAs and mobile phones..


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