Knox E-FOTA Advanced

Knox E-FOTA is a service that allows enterprise IT admins to remotely control OS version updates and security updates deployed to corporate devices. It requires no interaction with the end user.

Typically, firmware updates are deployed to devices by their service provider through a Samsung Business-To-Consumer (B2C) Firmware-Over-the-Air (FOTA) server. With Knox E-FOTA, your business can instead deploy these updates from a Samsung Business-To-Business (B2B) server.

NOTE—Exceptions include AT&T and Verizon, which provide firmware updates from their own servers and not through Samsung's Knox E-FOTA service.

Previously, enterprises could use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system to set a policy to prevent the latest firmware updates from being installed on enterprise devices. However, MDMs didn't allow enterprises to control which versions are installed.

With Knox E-FOTA, enterprise IT admins can assign devices to groups, select a firmware version for each group, and either force an immediate firmware update or allow firmware updates to occur the next time a device checks if one is needed.

How does Knox E-FOTA work?

When an enterprise IT admin registers a device with a group using Knox E-FOTA, the MDM registers the device with the B2B FOTA server. The MDM then flags the device as a device that needs firmware updates.

Firmware updates are handled by the B2B FOTA server, which means:

  • Device updates are deployed to the device from the B2B FOTA server.
  • The B2B FOTA server then syncs the device information with the B2C FOTA server.

The MDM admin can then fetch a list of available firmware versions from the B2B server, and select an appropriate version to deploy to a group of devices. The target version updates are then delivered to the devices in the device group. The devices download the firmware from the B2B server and install the update.

Downloading firmware versions

Knox E-FOTA gives you access to a list of official firmware released via the general Samsung FOTA service within the last 12 months. Note that an additional firmware list could be provided following an extra consultation.

Firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) is a service that allows IT admins to efficiently and securely deploy firmware updates to a fleet of enterprise mobile devices. When deploying a firmware update, Samsung generates a delta file or a change file for updating a firmware to a new version. This is then released via the general Samsung FOTA server and delivered to enterprise devices over-the-air.

Firmware files are available from the Knox E-FOTA server for an average of 12 months.

Binary flow

This section describes how a firmware update (also called a firmware delta) gets to devices from the Knox E-FOTA Advanced server.

Knox E-FOTA Advanced Cloud

  1. The admin registers devices by providing their IMEIs to the Knox E-FOTA Advanced portal.
  2. The admin installs the Knox E-FOTA Advanced client app on the devices. Starting the app on a device completes the registration process for that device.
  3. The admin sets an update policy to specify how often the client apps will poll the Knox E-FOTA Advanced server for OS updates.
  4. The client app checks (polls) the Knox E-FOTA Advanced server for updates according to the update policy the admin specified.
  5. The Knox E-FOTA Advanced server deploys the OS updates (in the form of firmware delta binaries) to the devices.

Knox E-FOTA Advanced On-premise

A dedicated support engineer for a Knox E-FOTA Advanced On-premise customer supports firmware binary operation. Firmware deliveries are performed through CPCex. There are two update types:

Initial update for a newly added device model

  1. The Knox E-FOTA Advanced On-premise customer adds a new device model and requests firmware delta binaries from a dedicated technical support team from Samsung.
  2. The dedicated technical support team delivers the requested firmware delta binaries within the past 12 months for that device model through CPCex.

Monthly update for existing device models

If there are new firmware delta binaries for a customer’s device models, we deliver them to the customer once a month.

NOTE—In general, the firmware release cycle is once a month for flagship models and quarterly for mass models.