One of the key benefits of using an eSIM (embedded SIM) over the traditional SIM is remote provisioning.
While in traditional SIM cards we are required to physically replace the SIM card when we want to move between different network operators. However, an eSIM can download and store multiple SIM files from several different networks, and so you can easily switch between networks from the network provider’s app or by scanning a QR code. This is called remote SIM provisioning (RSP).
An entitlement server, however, further enhances RSP by allowing the download of SIM data into the eSIM without using QR codes, simplifying the process for subscribers. The entitlement servers essentially enable the operator to inform devices of which services are currently available to use on their network, as well as enforcing which subscribers can access these services.
Here we will discuss all you need to know about the eSIM entitlement server, its use case, and its benefits for your connectivity.
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What Is an Entitlement Server?
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An entitlement server, or to be more accurate a Device Entitlement Server (DES), is a mobile that enables device entitlement.
Device entitlement, or just entitlement, is a mobile network functionality that allows the mobile network to inform a mobile device about which services are available to use on the network, and also to validate which subscribers can access which services.
Entitlement server is crucial because until recently, devices cannot download device configuration functionalities of IMS (IP Multimedia Services) standards via OTA (over-the-air) download according to the. Thus, devices (smartphones) cannot use IMS services provided by the operators, including but not limited to VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and ViLTE (Video over LTE).
An entitlement server essentially solves this problem by introducing a device and subscriber authentication functionality and an OTA configuration capability.
The role of entitlement servers
An entitlement server’s main role is to validate whether the network supports the advanced network features required by the device and whether the subscriber is authorized to access these features.
The second role, once the validation is complete, is to facilitate the necessary steps to provision the features on both the network and the device.
Entitlement servers are utilized during the device onboarding process, and so typically the entitlement servers will integrate a small web page or web API to display and/or collect information from the subscriber. This information can include current subscription status, collecting payment information, asking consent to terms and conditions, so on.
The goal of using this web page is to allow a smoother device onboarding process as facilitated by the entitlement server, to ensure a seamless user experience.
Common Use Cases for Entitlement Servers
Why are entitlement servers important for both user experience and network performance? Below we will discuss some of the most common use cases of entitlement servers and their benefits.
OTA service updates on smartphones
An entitlement server can be used for pushing service (software) updates on smartphones. On iPhones, for example, the entitlement server can push a service configuration update for the VoLTE service via Apple Push Notification Service. This way, when there is an available update to the VoLTE service, the entitlement server will push a notification to the iPhone.
The device will then reply to the entitlement server to get the service configuration update, and in return, the entitlement server will validate the device’s subscription. When everything is deemed valid, the entitlement server will send the update.
Automated configuration of advanced services on smartphones
Entitlement servers can automatically configure Android and iPhone smartphones with the appropriate settings for the advanced services. For example, configurations for Voice over Wi-Fi and Rich Communication Service (RCS). If necessary, configuration details can be deployed on a regular interval to ensure up-to-date configurations on all smartphones connected to the operator’s network.
Automated configuration for Android phones
Android phones can receive automated configuration based on the GSMA RCC.14 and RCC.15 standards, although not all Android phones support these standard specifications at the moment.
For Android phones that do support RCC.14 and 15, the phone can automatically register itself on the IMS network and connect to the entitlement server. The entitlement server will then validate the subscriber’s identity and will provide the device with up-to-date configurations.
Configuration on wearable devices
The entitlement server is also crucial in enabling wearable devices like Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch to download configurations and updates over the air. For Apple Watches, the subscriber can easily pair the Apple Watch with the iPhone (via Bluetooth), and the iPhone will automatically initiate a Watch provisioning via an entitlement server.
Once the entitlement server has validated that the Apple Watch is indeed allowed to use IMS services, the subscriber might be asked to provide additional information via web-based APIs. The entitlement server will then send an updated eSIM profile to the wearable, and the subscriber can begin using the services right away.
Truphone Entitlement Solution is advanced functionality that allows operators to automatically provision and configure devices including wearables like Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. While in the past enabling an entitlement server required a complex integration between the device and the network (which can be expensive for the network), Truphone entitlement provides a cost-effective solution.
With Truphone entitlement, you don’t need overly complex APIs, but instead, you’ll get simple web-based APIs that work on any device and operating system. You’ll get a cost-effective solution that is also to implement to deploy a fully robust, multi-site, in-network entitlement server solution.