Apparatus and method for shared network
An apparatus and method support user devices (109-113) and multiple core networks (125, 126) with a shared network. A rule set for a user device is associated with a core network (125, 126). Access information associated with a shared network is converted to core network behaviors using the rule set. A network element (400) can be employed to map the shared network information to core network information using the rule set for network uses.
This application is related to application entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ROUTING MESSAGES IN A NETWORK,” Motorola case number CS23238RL, filed on even date herewith and commonly assigned to the assignee of the present application and which is hereby incorporated by reference.
This application is also related to application entitled “METHOD FOR SELECTING A CORE A NETWORK,” Motorola case number CS23737RL, filed on even date herewith and commonly assigned to the assignee of the present application and which is hereby incorporated by reference.
This application is also related to application entitled “WIRELESS ACCESS NETWORK SHARING AMONG CORE NETWORKS AND METHODS,” Motorola case number CS23738RL, filed on even date herewith and commonly assigned to the assignee of the present application and which is hereby incorporated by reference.FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present disclosure is directed to apparatus and methods for supporting operation in a shared network.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Presently, communication systems generally include a network operator serving user devices through a dedicated access network. For example, wireless communication systems in general comprise a Radio Access Network (RAN) and a core network (CN). The RAN includes base stations and associated radio network controllers providing wireless communication links with user device (UD), also referred to herein as user equipment (UE). The core network receives messages from the public switched telephone network (PSTN), other mobile stations, the internet, other core networks, and other network entities. The wireless communication system is coupled to other wireless communications systems, but each respective system typically operated by one operator or carrier. Such systems are currently used for landline, such as cable and twisted wire pair systems, and wireless systems such as Global System for Mobile communication (GSM), other time division multiple access (TDMA) systems, and code divisions multiple access (CDMA) networks for example.
In the case of wireless systems, although each system operator generally uses one type of system, e.g., either CDMA, wideband CDMA (WCDMA) or TDMA, operators may operate multiple systems in a geographic area in an effort to use legacy systems to insure full coverage. For example, an operator may have an analog system and a CDMA system, or an analog system and a TDMA system, or a TDMA system and third-generation system. Additionally, a number of operators may cover the same geographic area, each operator using their own network. Each wireless communication system operates in an assigned frequency band, also called a spectrum, as there are only a finite number of available bands. However, with the current systems the system operator links the RAN to a single core network. The RAN broadcasts a message that includes identifiers for the core network coupled to the RAN, such as a PLMN, location areas and routing areas for the core network, and the like. With such dedicated systems, the RAN can serve only a single core network.
It is desirable for communication systems to allow network operators to share resources. One example of a shared network resource is twisted wire connections and cables connected to residences and offices. This infrastructure is already installed, expensive to replace, and is available to multiple operators if the network owner desires resource sharing. Another example of a network that can be shared is the radio access network where it may be desirable to share resources by allowing multiple core networks, operated for example by different operators, to connect to users through a shared radio network controller (RNC) and its associated base stations. This allows multiple network operators to access subscribers using the same spectrum, and through the same radio access network. For example, a license holder of a particular spectrum may want to sell access via their radio access network to other network operators to offset the cost of the system, while operators who do not have a spectrum license in a geographical area may want to buy access to that spectrum from the license holder.
An additional challenge in wireless systems, such as the emerging universal mobile telephone system (UMTS), to accommodate circuit switched and packet switched data. The routing of messages to one of many core networks is limited by the basis of core network domain type, i.e. packet switched or circuit switched, and not by system operator, as only one system operator uses the radio network and the core network for both circuit switch and packet switched communications.
Thus, there is a need for a method of uniquely supporting a plurality of user devices using different core networks accessed through a single shared access network.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the following figures, wherein like numerals in different figures designate like elements and which embodiments are provided to illustrate various principles and advantages of the invention defined by the claims, and wherein:
Existing shared networks are not able to accommodate multiple core networks where the user devices need to be uniquely controlled for respective core network operators. It is a challenge to accommodate different desired behaviors for different operators with a shared network. For example, existing radio access networks are dedicated to a single operator, and thus establish that operator's desired behaviors from the user devices connected in the system. Where operators have different desired behaviors, the existing system is not able to accommodate different messaging protocols for each user device for the particular operator. An additional problem is providing different location identifiers through a single access network.
The core network and access network can be wireless (wide area network and local area network) or hard-wired (twisted wire or coaxial cable). Wireless, can be UMTS, GSM, and CDMA, wire line, circuit switched and packet switch, telephone and cable. The communication systems of interest are those that facilitate voice or data or messaging services over one or more networks. Examples of two-way systems include cable, land-line, wireless cellular systems, which use analog, CDMA, and TDMA technology, and are known as GSM and Universal Mobile Telecommunication Service (UMTS), 1 G, 2 G, 2.5 G, 3 G, 4 G and beyond systems (where G refers to generation) and variants or evolutions thereof. Furthermore, the systems may be wide area networks, local area networks, or combinations thereof, and the user devices of interest can support short-range communications, long-range communications, or both long and short-range communications. Examples of short range communications include cordless communications systems, pico-networks, wired or wireless LAN systems such as those supporting IEEE 802.11 standard, Blue tooth connections, and the like. Such systems preferably utilize CDMA, frequency hopping, or TDMA access technologies and one or more of various networking protocols, such as TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), IPX/SPX (Inter-Packet Exchange/Sequential Packet Exchange), Net BIOS (Network Basic Input Output System), or integrated digital enhanced network (iDEN™) protocol. Such systems may support trunk or dispatch functions, direct individual or group calling, and support circuit switched, Internet or other connections.
User devices in such systems may include wired telephones, cellular telephones, cordless telephones, so-called internet or internet protocol phones, modems, routers, access points, computers, personal digital assistants, palm top devices, and variations and evolutions thereof.
The instant disclosure includes exemplary devices, systems, and methods, which disclose various embodiments. However, the structure and function disclosed is not intended to limit the invention, but rather to enhance an understanding and appreciation for the inventive principles and advantages. The invention is limited solely by the claims.
Terms used in the specification and claims may be associated by those skilled in the art with terminology appearing in a particular standard, such as CDMA, GSM or 802.11 standards, or such terminology may not appear in a particular standard. Association with a standard is not intended to limit the invention to a particular standard, and variances with the language in a standard does not preclude the invention from applying to such standard. Rather, the terms used are provided solely for the purpose of explaining the illustrated examples without unduly burdening the specification with multiple explanations to accommodate language variations with all possible standards, systems, and networks. It is further understood that the use of relational terms, if any, such as first and second, top and bottom, and the like are used solely to distinguish elements or actions without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities or actions.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that the inventive functionality and many of the inventive principles may be implemented using software programs, hardware circuits such as integrated circuits (ICs), programmable logic devices, or a combination thereof. It is expected that one of ordinary skill, notwithstanding the amount of effort required and the many design choices driven by available time, current technology, and economic considerations, when guided by the concepts and principles disclosed herein will be readily capable of generating and selecting such software programs and/or ICs with minimal experimentation. In the interest of brevity and minimization of any risk of obscuring the principles and concepts according to the present invention, further discussion of such software and ICs, if any, will be limited to the essentials with respect to the principles and concepts used by the preferred embodiments.
With reference now to
Each of the core networks 125, 126 is associated with, for example, a different network operator and supports the network operator's connectivity, including billing, supervision, and feature support, and represents physical circuitry, software, and system functionality. Those skilled in the art will recognize that core networks can include other network entities, which may be software, hardware and/or functional in nature. In the exemplary system, the circuit switched interface to the public switched telephone network is via the MSC 114, 115 and packet switched interface to the internet is via the SGSN 116, 117. Other connectivity paths may be supported. Information exchanged between a particular user device and the core network is routed appropriately via the radio access network. Additionally, although the exemplary embodiment shown in
The base stations 104-108 transmit acceptance messages and broadcast messages. Acceptance messages refer to initial messages including a rule set for a user device, and may for example be a registration accept message such as the location update accept message used in GSM systems. A broadcast message is a message transmitted by the to user devices and responsive to which user devices are expected to exhibit a desired behavior. Such behavior may include performing an operation or refraining from performing an operation.
The system 100 includes exemplary local area networks (LANs). LAN A is illustrated as a wired LAN serving user device 112. LAN B is illustrated as a wireless LAN serving user device 113. It is envisioned that the LANs can be within the coverage area of one of the base stations, and that handoff of user device 113 from the wireless LAN to the cellular network.
An exemplary user device 109 includes a radio transceiver 200 (
Those skilled in that art will recognize that the access network, which in the illustrated example includes base stations, will similarly include a transceiver 210 and controller 212, with memory 213, for communicating with user devices. The base station will include additional circuitry (not shown) for communicating with the RNC.
Operation of the user equipment, also referred to as user devices, (109-110) is illustrated in
The system will include a network element 400, which may be implemented in memory 402 and a controller 404. The controller includes a micro-controller and is connected through a communication interface 406. The communication interface is any suitable interface facilitating communication between the controller and a network entity requiring translation between the core network information and the access network information, and thus facilitates communications with any part of the system 100. The memory 402 can be implemented using any suitable memory, which may be integrated with micro-controller 404 or discrete, and may be volatile or non-volatile. The network element 400 can be located in the core network 125, 126, the radio network controller 102, 103, the base stations 104-108, or other network entities (not shown, but the OMB of
Operation of the network element 400 will now generally be described with respect to
Alternatively to the network element mapping the rule set, it is envisioned that the rule set may be attached to a paging request communicated from the core networks 125, 126 to the access network. The access network can then apply the rule set to determine how the access core network information will be converted to access network information.
A more particular example will now be described with reference to
Operation of a user device 109 (
It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the controller 202 can map the received shared location identity to the core network location identity using a number of methods. One possible embodiment is converting the shared location identity using the rule set. It will also be recognized that location identity can be a network identity for a wired system, and more particularly service set identifier (SSID) for LANs.
Location identities for wireless networks include location areas, used by the MSCs, and routing areas, used by the SGSNs. Thus, broadcasts of location areas 1 and 2 from the base stations BS1-BS6 will be mapped to location area 1 for user devices associated with MSC A, whereas user devices associated with MSC B will map broadcast location are 1 to location areal, and map location area 2 to location area 2. Similarly, user devices associated with core network A will map base stations BS7-BS12 location area transmissions to location area 2. User devices associated with MSC A will map base stations BS7-BS10 location areas to location area 3 and base station BS11 and BS12 location areas to location area 4. It will be recognized that the routing areas used for the SGSN A and SGSN B can be the same or different from the location areas. In the illustrated example of
In summary, the controller 202 will determine if the core network location identity has changed. In other words, when the user device moves from BS3 to BS4 in
The network will periodically determine if it is necessary to establish a connection with a registered device. For example, it may be necessary to page a user device to complete an incoming call. This process is described with respect to
Thus it can be seen that an improved methods and apparatus are disclosed. While this invention has been described with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, various components of the embodiments may be interchanged, added, or substituted in the other embodiments. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A method operating a user device in a shared network, comprising:
- receiving a signaling message that includes a rule set associated with a core network;
- receiving broadcast information including access information associated with a shared network; and
- applying the shared network information received to the core network rule set to determine a behavior of the user device.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the signaling message is a registration accept message.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the signaling message is a location update accept message.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the signaling message is a location update reject message.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the signaling message is a registration reject message.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the access information is a location identity.
7. The method as defined in claim 6, wherein the location identity is a location area, and wherein the user device uses the rule to translate the location area received into a mapped location area for the associated core network.
8. The method as defined in claim 6, where the location identity is the network identity.
9. The method as defined in claim 6, where the location identity is an SSID.
10. The method as defined in claim 6, wherein the location identity is a routing area identity, and wherein the user device uses the rule to translate the routing area received into mapped routing area for the associated core network.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the behavior is transmitting the mapped location area in a routing area update request.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the behavior is transmitting the mapped routing area in a routing area update request.
13. The method of claim 1, wherein the behavior is transmitting a location area update request for a circuit switched network.
14. The method of claim 1, wherein the behavior is transmitting a routing area update request for a packet switched network.
15. The method of claim 1, wherein the behavior is refraining from transmitting a location identity update request.
16. A method of operating a user device in a shared network, comprising:
- receiving a registration accept message associated with a core network through the shared network, the registration accept message including a rule set, the rule set associated with a core network serving the user device through the shared network;
- storing the rule set in the user device;
- receiving a broadcast message from the radio access network, the broadcast message including shared network access information;
- converting the shared network access information using the stored rule set to determine core network access information;
- determining a desired behavior for the user device based on the core network access information.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the desired behavior is transmitting a location update request.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein the desired behavior is transmitting a location update request to a mobile station controller.
19. The method of claim 16, wherein the desired behavior is refraining from transmitting a location update request.
20. The method of claim 16, further comprising receiving a location area identity which is different from a stored location area identity which is stored in the user device, and refraining from transmitting a location update request.
21. A user device, comprising:
- a transceiver to transmit and receive signals, the transmitter receiving a broadcast message from the radio access network, the broadcast message including a broadcast location identity associated with a shared access network; and
- a controller coupled to the transceiver, the controller mapping the shared network access information in the broadcast message to a serving core network location identity using a stored rule set to determine mapped location identity, and detecting a cell reselection event when the mapped location identity indicates that a core network cell reselection is detected.
22. A method of operating a network element to support network sharing, comprising:
- detecting a call establishment event for a target user device;
- determining a current location identity of the target user device;
- mapping the current location identity of the target device to shared access network location identities using a rule set associated with the target user device and the core network; and
- communicating a message according to the mapped access network location identities.
23. The method of claim 22, wherein the step of communicating the message, further comprises the step of sending a request to the radio network controller to transmit the message to the mapped location identities.
24. The method of claim 22, further including the step in a shared access network of determining whether a location update accept communication needs to be sent to the user device.
25. The method of claim 24, wherein the shared access network is a public land mobile network.
26. The method of claim 22, wherein the shared access network is local area network.
27. The method of claim 22, wherein the network element is in a core network, and further including the step transmitting a request to the local area network to broadcast a paging message on the mapped access network identity areas.
28. The method of claim 22, wherein the network element is in the access network, and wherein the step of communicating includes the step in the access network of sending a page from the shared network according to the mapped access network location identities in response to a request from the core network including the core network location identities.
29. The method of claim 22, wherein the core network signaling message is received from a core network element and the rule set is attached to the core network signaling message.
30. A network element, comprising:
- a communication interface between a controller and a system including a shared access network and core networks; and
- a controller coupled to the interface, the controller mapping the shared network access information to serving core network location identities using a stored rule set to determine mapped location identities, and communicating the mapped core network location identities to at least one of the access network and the core network.