Over The Air(OTA) is a reception technology of free-to-air television broadcasts via an antenna or satellite dish. It contrasts with pay TV. In addition, over-the-air is a standard for the radio transmission of information in mobile communications systems and for the transmission of firmware over the air( FOTA) or updates.
As far as the OTA standard in mobile communications systems is concerned, OTA technology can be used to establish radio links between base stations and mobile stations via the air interface, through which small text files are transmitted by means of short message service( SMS). Corresponding text files can contain information about activations, transactions or ring tones. They can be used to transmit data to the SIM card, automatically configure mobile devices, and update their software via OTA updates. OTA updates can be, for example, TCP/ IP settings for Internet access, Wireless Application Protocol( WAP) settings or MultimediaMessaging Services( MMS).
OTA updates require that the firmware of the corresponding mobile devices support OTA updates. OTA updates are not only used for mobile devices, but increasingly also in automotive technology. OTA technology allows automotive manufacturers to apply updates to all vehicles at once. The standards for OTA updates have been defined by the Open Mobile Alliance( OMA) in OAM Device Management (OMA- DM).