Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.


Firmware Over-The-Air

What Does Firmware Over-The-Air Mean?

Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) is a Mobile Software Management (MSM) technology in which the operating firmware of a mobile device is wirelessly upgraded and updated by its manufacturer. FOTA-capable phones download upgrades directly from the service provider. The process usually takes three to 10 minutes, depending on connection speed and file size.


Techopedia Explains Firmware Over-The-Air

Traditionally, the consumer was responsible for updating mobile device firmware via a device-specific service facility or PC download. These inconvenient methods often resulted in inconsistent firmware upgrades and other issues. FOTA allows manufacturers to provide efficient and timely firmware updates for handsets, which increases customer satisfaction and reduces technical support requirements.

FOTA facilitates the following:

  • Allows manufacturers to repair bugs in new units
  • Allows manufacturers to remotely install new software updates, features and services – even after a device has been purchased.

Firmware update announcements may be located in a manufacturer’s website support location, technology forums or blog posts. Information ranges from specific model upgrades to detailed steps for user implementation.

Consumers verify FOTA capability via mobile device settings. FOTA updates are usually accessible via the device menu under phone/device management or software/firmware update.


Related Terms