System and Method to Enable Subscriber Self-Activation of Wireless Data Terminals

A wireless telephone and messaging system provides Secure Immediate Wireless Access (SIWA) to wireless telephones onto existing wireless networks, such as GSM, CDMA, TDMA, and analog (AMPS). The SIWA protocol uses existing wireless network messaging to exchange information between wireless devices and a network server, referred to herein as an Intelligent Service Manager (ISM). The ISM acts as a gateway between wireless devices and wireless service provider, and provides the wireless devices with an immediate limited or unlimited access to the wireless network. The ISM can also deny access to the wireless network from unauthorized wireless devices.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/178,551 filed Jul. 23, 2008, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/100,791, filed Apr. 6, 2005, which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/136,712 filed Apr. 30, 2002 (granted as U.S. Pat. No. 7,197,301 issued Mar. 27, 2007), which claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent application No. 60/361,816 filed Mar. 4, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The invention relates to telecommunications. More particularly, the invention relates to a method and apparatus for secure, immediate, wireless access in a telecommunications network.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Many useful voice and data wireless applications are not cost-effective for carriers to support because the cost of provisioning the network and devices can be greater than the revenue generated from the service. Implementing instant wireless activation and provisioning eliminates the need for call center agents to provide basic device provisioning and activation services, increasing provisioning speed and accuracy. In addition, the technology infrastructure used for instant activation and provisioning inherently supports Wireless Sessions in which network resources are used only on demand.

This allows carriers to support more customers with the same network resources. The cost-savings resulting from instant wireless activation, provisioning and Wireless Sessions can enable carriers to increase operating margins across all markets, and profitably serve lower ARPU and intermittent-use applications such as prepaid wireless phones. This capability is critical to overall carrier competitive success because of the fast market growth and high overall revenue potential for these applications.

In today's markets, wireless operators are facing three key issues: falling ARPU, the need to reduce acquisition costs and the need to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining customers. Operators are spending millions of dollars in device activation and provisioning costs today, a cost believed to be constant and unchangeable.

Furthermore, the potential of wireless applications is expanding to include a wide variety of high-volume, intermittent wire-less use scenarios such as wireless modems, telemetry transmitters, emergency-only devices and wireless handset rentals for business and vacation travelers. While the overall revenue potential for serving this market is enormous, many of these applications could cost more to provision than the carriers would realize in profits. This is true because wireless carriers commonly come from a landline background, and use the call center-based methodology for service provisioning that is traditional for that market.

The call center-based provisioning process requires the customer to use a landline telephone to access an agent in the carrier's call center. The agent collects information such as the customer's location, credit information, equipment description, and services requested. This information is entered manually into a proprietary system, which relays it to the many internal systems required to provision the wireless network for device activation. The agent may also provide verbal device provisioning instructions to the user, who then activates the device manually.

Some of the information provided to the agent during the provisioning process, such as the customer's address, requires basic data entry on the part of the operator. Other elements require action by the agent, such as checking credit history and ensuring that the device the customer wants to activate is certified and has been purchased through appropriate channels.

When customers sign up for extended service contracts with a set monthly fee, the call center-based approach to provisioning, while expensive, is financially viable. Today, a new class of wireless users is emerging that does not ensure fixed monthly revenue. These users want to take advantage of applications in which wireless use may be pre-paid, infrequent, for emergency only, or machine-to-machine.

While the overall revenue potential for serving this emerging high volume, intermittent-use market is enormous, many of these applications cost more to provision than the carriers would realize in profits under the traditional call center-based provisioning scenario. Even though network costs per user are reduced as more customers are added to the network, there is no corresponding economy of scale on the provisioning side. For these users, the traditional approach to provisioning is not necessarily financially viable for carriers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a wireless device and messaging system that provides Secure Immediate Wireless Access (SIWA) to wireless device onto existing wireless networks, such as GSM, CDMA, TDMA, and analog (AMPS). The SIWA protocol uses existing wireless network messaging to exchange information between wireless devices and a network server, referred to herein as an Intelligent Service Manager (ISM). The ISM acts as a gateway between wireless devices and wireless service providers, and provides the wireless devices with an immediate limited or unlimited access to the wireless network. The ISM can also deny access to the wireless network from unauthorized wireless devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using an SSD update procedure with global challenge according to the invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using an SSD update procedure with unique challenge according to the invention;

FIGS. 3A and 3B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using a data transport bearer according to the invention;

FIGS. 4A and 4B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for GSM systems using a data transport bearer according to the invention;

FIGS. 5A and 5B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for GSM systems using a data transport bearer and session purchase according to the invention; and

FIGS. 6A and 6B is a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for GSM systems using a data transport bearer and session purchase according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the invention comprises a wireless telephone and messaging system that provides Secure Immediate Wireless Access (SIWA) to wireless telephones onto existing wireless networks, such as GSM, CDMA, TDMA, and analog (AMPS). The SIWA protocol uses existing wireless network messaging to exchange information between wireless devices (MS) and a network server, referred to herein as an Intelligent Service Manager (ISM). The ISM acts as a gateway between wireless devices and wireless service providers, and provides the wireless devices with an immediate limited or unlimited access to the wireless network. The ISM can also deny access to the wireless network from unauthorized wireless devices.

One benefit to wireless service providers is lower operational costs increasing marginal returns associated with subscriber acquisition.

Another benefit to wireless service providers is the market opportunity increases the user base by offering wireless communications for new purposes (e.g. telemetry, telematics) as well as new distribution channels (e.g. convenience stores).

A benefit to wireless users is the easy access to services offered by wireless service provider with no preliminary obligations and instant gratification. Furthermore, wireless devices that are configured to work with multiple service providers allow the user to selectively choose between them.

To service providers, the ISM is a trusted gatekeeper that allows them to provide services with an automated subscriber management and network resource assignment.

In comparison to existing over-the-air activation solutions, the herein disclosed SIWA does not require the implementation of extensions to existing wireless network protocols, nor does it require changes to existing wireless network elements, such as BTS, BSC, MSC, VLR, HLR and/or AC. The invention makes an efficient use of Mobile Station ID (MSID, also known as IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity, contained within a personal device, known as a smart token or Subscriber Identity Module (SIM Card)) in GSM, MIN in TDMA and Analog, and MIN or IMSI in CDMA) by allocating them on a session basis where session can be dynamically defined, e.g. time or capacity limits. Business model logic can also include additional information needed to manage sessions. Such information might include rules on account/session expiration, phone number recycling, phone number multiplexing requirements, and interaction with other network-based applications. For example, a conventional prepaid subscription can be defined as a session that starts when a user purchase its initial airtime and end after no airtime is being purchased for a pre-determined time. A telemetry wireless device (a transmitter) example might define a session that start every time the device registers on the network and end when its transmitted message is sent to destination.

An important benefit of the invention is the efficient assignment of MSDN (also known as MSISDN in GSM or MDN in CDMA/TDMA/Analog) on a per need basis.

For purposes of the discussion herein, the wireless device is identified in the figures by the designation MS, the network elements are identified in the figures by the designation BS/MSC/VLR, and the intelligent service manager is identified in the figures by the designation ISM.

The presently preferred embodiment of SIWA is composed of two major layers:

SIWA Abstraction Layer

This layer concerns Wireless Sessions, which provide a limited or unlimited proof to use a particular service. Such limit could be, for example, time based, usage based, content based, or single use. The Wireless Session is comprised of a <SiwaID, SiwaKey> pair, which uniquely identifies the Wireless Session and proves it is authentic, genuine, and valid. Note that the SiwaID is unique among Wireless Sessions and includes the services with which it is associated. The process of acquiring a Wireless Session is referred to herein as a bootstrap process.

In connection with the preferred embodiment of the invention, the abstraction layer primarily concerns the following Wireless Session Operations:

Operations Associated with Session Purchase at First Network Access

SessionPromote—an operation invoked by ISM to provide the user with an option to purchase a session for a service.

SessionPurchase—an operation invoked by user/device to purchase a session for a service.

SessionGranted—an operation invoked by ISM to provide the user with the <SiwaID, SiwaKey> of a valid session.

SessionDenied—an operation invoked by ISM to provide the user with the reason of the purchase failure.

Operations Associated with Service Access

SessionChallenge—an operation invoked by ISM to ask for the authenticity of a session.

SessionProof—an operation invoked by user/device to provide the ISM with a proof of the session authenticity.

SessionApproved—an operation invoked by ISM to approve the user/device use the session.

SessionExpired—an operation invoked by ISM to deny a session due to service expiration.

SessionDepleted—an operation invoked by ISM to deny session due to service to depletion.

SessionFraudulent—an operation invoked by ISM to deny session due to lack of authenticity.

Operations Associated with Session Information

SessionProvideInfo—an operation invoked by user/device to provide session information such as expiration or usage.

SessionInfo—an operation invoked by ISM to provide the user/device with session information, which could be unsolicited as well.

Adaptation Layer

This layer concerns the actual mapping of the logical operations described into the existing wireless network.

Bootstrap Process

The following is a discussion of a typical bootstrap process according to the invention:

Once the device has been powered on and before the first network access attempt, either registration or call origination, the MS checks for the Wireless Session status. If a non-active Wireless Session status is detected, the MS then changes its state to “Bootstrap Process Initiated”. The MS selects a bootstrap network identity and remains in the bootstrap state until a SessionGranted is received. The SessionGranted provides the mobile network identity, that is the assigned Mobile Station ID or MSID. It could also include a new SiwaKey or a derived key, such as an A-Key (e.g. in CDMA/TDMA/Analog). As an enhancement, the SessionGranted returns the bootstrap network identity back to the MS for a limited use, such as one time use or limited time use. This would enable occasional and bursty-data transmitters use the bootstrap network identifier for the duration of the data transmission, therefore conserve network identifiers.

Once provided by the ISM, the newly assigned network identity is programmed into the MS and the MS is required to re-initiate its network access using its new identity. In addition, the ISM can decide to invalidate the provided Wireless Session as a result of an expiration or usage depletion. The MS preferably always checks the Wireless Session status before re-initiating its network access.

The MS selects an MSID for use during the bootstrap process. This MSID is allocated from a plurality of bootstrap MSIDs known to the network. Different bootstrap MSID selection algorithm could apply using different allocation schemes, for example using carrier or national or global specific pools, location sensitive pools, etc. In the case of an MSID collision between two bootstrapping devices, either one of the colliding devices can be rejected from the network, i.e. an authentication failure. Once detected, the MS is required to initiate a new bootstrap process.

Optionally, the MS, once powered on and after scanning the available networks, interacts with the user to select the desired service provider. The MS then selects a bootstrap MSID known by the selected network.

Optionally, the bootstrap process can include a session purchase phase, where the user is acknowledged with a session promotion that could be purchased from the MS itself after certain user information is collected. In this case, the ISM sends a SessionPromote message to the MS. The MS returns a SessionPurchase message with the user information included, and a SessionGranted acknowledges the purchase in case of a successful purchase or a SessionDenied indicates a failure. The purchase phase can use any circuit and non-circuit data transport layer (e.g. SMS, USSD, GPRS, UMTS, CDMA, cdmaOnce and cdma2000) for message exchange between ISM and the MS. It can also be encapsulated in higher Likewise; in case the session was pre-purchased the bootstrap process can include a NULL session purchase phase, in which no SessionPromote or SessionPurchase messages are exchanged.

FIGS. 1A and 1B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using an SSD update procedure and global challenge according to the invention. With regard to FIG. 1, the bootstrap process begins by generating a general bootstrap MSID, which allows the wireless device MS to access the network. The wireless device includes a proof of the SiwaID signed by SiwaKey and the global challenge when registering onto the network. The BS/MSC/VLR forward an authentication request to the Intelligent Service Manager ISM. The ISM responds by initiating an SSD Update process via the network to the wireless device in which the device and ISM exchange additional access information. A unique challenge is used to verify that both sides of the communication, i.e. the wireless device and the ISM are in sync such that session keys between the pair can be derived. A profile is then downloaded to BS/MSC/VLR the network to complete the bootstrap registration process. At this point, the wireless device re-initiates a registration process using its new assigned network ID.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using an SSD update procedure with unique challenge according to the invention. With regard to FIG. 2, the bootstrap process begins by generating a general bootstrap MSID, which allows the wireless device MS to access the network. The BS/MSC/VLR retrieve unique challenge parameters from ISM and explicitly challenge the wireless device that respond with a proof of the SiwaID signed by SiwaKey. The BS/MSC/VLR forward an authentication response to the ISM. The ISM responds by initiating an SSD Update process via the network to the wireless device in which the device and ISM exchange additional access information. An additional unique challenge is used to verify that both sides of the communication, i.e. the wireless device and the ISM are in sync such that session keys between the pair can be derived. A profile is then downloaded to BS/MSC/VLR the network to complete the bootstrap registration process. At this point, the wireless device re-initiates a registration process using its new assigned network ID.

FIGS. 3A and 3B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using a data transport bearer according to the invention. In FIG. 3, the bootstrap process proceeds as with the discussion in connection with FIG. 1 above. However, in this case, the initial identification of the MS can be the electronic serial number ESN signed by handset's manufacturer key. The ISM downloads a profile to the network that enables the transport layer as a service. Thereafter a data connection is established, if required. The data connection could be triggered either by ISM or by the MS. Alternatively, ISM can initiate additional SSD Update process as in FIG. 1 above where the RANDSSD contains a specific command instructing the MS to initiate a data connection to purchase a session. ISM and wireless device mutually authenticate each other and ISM assigns new network ID. An additional signature exchange is used to verify that both sides of the communication, i.e. the wireless device and the ISM are in sync such that session keys between the pair can be derived. At this point, the wireless device re-initiates a registration process using its new assigned network ID.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for GSM systems using a data transport bearer according to the invention. In FIG. 4, the data transport layer can be SMS, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, or a data call using a circuit switch. The data connection may be set-up by the network, or by the wireless device. In the case of SMS, there is no need for a set-up. Further, the system can add a message signature for message integrity. The authentication encryption may include standard cryptographic techniques such as x.509, anonymous RSA, Diffie-Hellman (WTLS) or IKE. Message sequence numbers may also be used to avoid message duplications.

FIGS. 5A and 5B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for GSM systems using a data transport bearer and session purchase according to the invention. In connection with FIG. 5, it should be noted that the session purchase phase may include a promotion of several sessions each offers different service and payment methods where the purchase command preferable includes the chosen service and payment.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are a flow diagram of a bootstrap process for CDMA/TDMA/analog systems using a data transport bearer and session purchase according to the invention. In connection with FIG. 6, it should be noted the initial authentication at the first network access could authenticate the ESN and a manufacturer key thereby certifying the device.

FIGS. 1-6 are now discussed in greater detail with regard to the actual exchange of information between the wireless device MS, the network, BS/MS/VLR, and the intelligent service manager ISM.

In FIG. 1, the MS generate a B-MSID=GenerateBootstrapMSID B-ESN=GenerateBootstrapESN(SiwaID) 10. The BS/MSC/VLR, initiate a global challenge with an OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 11. The MS generates a AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RAND, SiwaKey) 12 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHR] 13 which is forwarded via the network to the ISM using AUTHREQ [B-MSID, B-ESN, RAND, AUTHR] 13. The ISM extracts SiwaID from the B-ESN using SiwaID=ExtractSiwaID(B-ESN) 15, it then checks SiwaID in its database and verifies AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RAND, SiwaKey) 15. ISM then, allocates new MSID (MIN or IMSI) 15 and embed it in RANDSSD=BuildNetCommand (MSID, SiwaKey) 15. ISM generates RANDU and computes AUTHU=Sign-3 (MSID, ESN, RAND, RANDU, SiwaKey) 15 and sends an authreq [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDSSD, RANDU, AUTHU] 16 via the network, which is forwarded as UPDATE-SSD [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDSSD] 17 to the wireless device. The MS extracts the new MSID from RANDSSD using MSID=ExtractNetCommand (RANDSSD, SiwaKey) 18. It will then embed the real ESN into RANDBS using RANDBS=BuildMSCommand (ESN, SiwaKey) and send it to the network using BS-CHALLENGE [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDBS] 19 message which is forwarded as BSCHALL [B-MISD, B-ESN, RANDBS] 20 to the ISM. ISM extract the ESN using ESN=ExtractMSCommand (RANDBS, SiwaKey) 21, generate a signature AUTHBS=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 21 is and a respond with bschall [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHBS] 22, which is forwarded by the network to the MS as BS-CHALLENGE-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHBS] 23. The MS generate a similar signature AUTHBS=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 24 and check both AUTHBS match. It then, sends an UPDATE-SSD-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 25 to the network, which then issues a unique challenge using UNIQUE-CHALLENGE-ORDER [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDU] 26 to the MS. The MS derives new a session keys using [AKey,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN, RAND, RANDU, SiwaID, SiwaKey) 27, a signature AUTHU using AUTHU=Sign-3 (MSID, ESN, RAND, RANDU, SiwaKey) 27 and sends UNIQUE-CHALLENGE-ORDER-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHU] 28 to the network which then matched by the network and an authentication report ASREPORT [B-MSID, B-ESN, “SSD Update Successful”, “Unique Challenge Successful”] 29 is sent to the ISM. ISM then, derive session keys using [A Key,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN, RAND, RANDU, SiwaID, SiwaKey) 30 and respond with as report [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 10 to the network. The VLR then forward the registration request using REGNOT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 32 to ISM who download the service profile to VLR with a regnot [B-MSID, B-ESN, profile] 33 which is then forwarded as REGISTRATION ACCEPT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 34 to the MS. The MS saves the appropriate information Save MSID, Akey, SSDA and SSDB 35 and is then deregister itself from the network using POWER-OFF-REGISTRATION [B-MSID, B-ESN] 36. The ISM cancels the registration with REGCANC [B-MSID, B-ESN] 37 and receives acknowledgement from the network with regcanc [B-MSID, B-ESN] 38 so other MSs may use B-MSID. The BS/MSCNLR, initiate a global challenge with an OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 39 to the MS which computes the authorization, in this case using a CAVE algorithm Compute AUTHR using AUTHR=CAVE (MSID, ESN, SSDA, SSDB) 40 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [MSID, ESN, RANDC, AUTHR] 41 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration 42.

In FIG. 2, the MS generate a B-MSID=GenerateBootstrapMSID B-ESN=GenerateBootstrapESN(SiwaID) 50. It, initiates a REGISTRATION REQUEST [B-MSID, B-ESN] 52 to BS/MSCNLR. The BS/MSCNLR send an AUTHREQ [B-MSID, B-ESN] 53 to ISM in order to authenticate the MS. The ISM extracts SiwaID from the B-ESN using SiwaID=ExtractSiwaID(B-ESN) 54, it then checks SiwaID in its database and generate an RANDU 54 to challenge the MS. ISM then, sends authreq [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDU] 55 to BS/MSCNLR. BS/MSCNLR send UNIQUE CHALLENGE [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDU] 56 to the MS. The MS generates an AUTHU=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RANDU, SiwaKey) 57 and sends a UNIQUE CHALLENGE RESPONSE [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHU] 58 which is forwarded via the network to the ISM using ASREPORT [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDU, AUTHU] 59. ISM verifies AUTHU=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RANDU, SiwaKey) 60 matches the one received from the MS. It then, allocates new MSID (MIN or IMSI) 60 and embed it in RANDSSD=BuildNetCommand (MSID, SiwaKey) 60. ISM generates RANDU2 and computes AUTHU2=Sign-3 (MSID, ESN, RANDU, RANDU2, SiwaKey) 60. It sends an asreport [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDSSD, RANDU2, AUTHU2] 61 via the network, which is forwarded as UPDATE-SSD [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDSSD] 62 to the MS. The MS extracts the new MSID from RANDSSD using MSID=ExtractNetCommand (RANDSSD, SiwaKey) 63. It will then embed the real ESN into RANDBS using RANDBS=BuildMSCommand (ESN, SiwaKey) 63 and send it to the network using BS-CHALLENGE [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDBS] 64, which is forwarded as BSCHALL [B-MISD, B-ESN, RANDBS] 65 to the ISM. ISM extract the ESN using ESN=ExtractMSCommand (RANDBS, SiwaKey) 66, generate a signature AUTHBS=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 66 and respond with bschall [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHBS] 67, which is forwarded by the network to the MS as BS-CHALLENGE-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHBS] 68. The MS generate a similar signature AUTHBS=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RANDU, SiwaKey) 69 and check both AUTHBS match. It then, sends an UPDATE-SSD-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 70 to the network. The BS/MSCNLR issues a unique challenge using UNIQUE-CHALLENGE-ORDER [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDU2] 71 to the MS. The MS derives new a session keys using [AKey,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN, RANDU, RANDU2, SiwaID, SiwaKey) 72, a signature AUTHU2 using AUTHU2=Sign-3 (MSID, ESN, RANDU, RANDU2, SiwaKey) 72 and issues a unique challenge response using UNIQUE-CHALLENGE-ORDER-RES [B-MSID, B-ESN, AUTHU2] 73 to the network which then matched by the network and an authentication report ASREPORT [B-MSID, B-ESN, “SSD Update Successful”, “Unique Challenge Successful”] 74 is sent to the ISM. ISM then, derive session keys using [A Key,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN, RANDU, RANDU2, SiwaID, SiwaKey) 75 and respond with asreport [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 76 to the network. The VLR then forward the registration request REGNOT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 77 to ISM who download the service profile to VLR with a regnot [B-MSID, B-ESN, profile] 78, which is then forwarded as REGISTRATION ACCEPT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 79 to the MS. The MS saves the appropriate information Save MSID, Akey, SSDA and SSDB 80 and is then deregister itself from the network using POWER-OFF-REGISTRATION [B-MSID, B-ESN] 81. The ISM cancels the registration with REGCANC [B-MSID, B-ESN] 82 and receives acknowledgement from the network with regcanc [B-MSID, B-ESN] 83 so other MSs may use B-MSID. The MS then sends REGISTRATION REQUEST [MSID, ESN] 84 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration. In FIG. 3, bootstrap information is generated at the MS using B-MSID=GenerateBootstrapMSID B-ESN=GenerateBootstrapESN (SiwaID) 90 and the network responds OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 91. The MS computes AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RAND, SiwaKey) 92 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDC, AUTHR] 93 which is forwarded by the network to the ISM with AUTHREQ [B-MSID, B-ESN, RAND, AUTHR] 94. The ISM extracts SiwaID using SiwaID=ExtractSiwaID(B-ESN) 95 and check SiwaID in its database. It computes and checks AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, SiwaID, RAND, SiwaKey) 95 and sends authreq [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 96 to BS/MSCNLR. BS/MSCNLR then, respond with REGNOT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 97 to the ISM. ISM downloads the MS profile information with regnot [B-MSID, B-ESN, profile] 98 and REGISTRATION ACCEPT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 99 is forwarded to the MS. At this point, an optional data connection establishment phase 100, either network originated or MS originated, may be executed. For SMS such a connection establishment is not required. ISM sends a message to MS including its own address, an authentication challenge and optionally include a PUBLIC KEY for encryption and ServerCertificate for ISM authentication using [addr=ADDR,ch=CHALLENG EMS+[encrypt=PU BLICKEY|ServerCertificate]] 101. MS may optionally check the ServerCertificate, compute a response using RESPONSEMS=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGEMS, SiwaKey) 102. Optionally, the MS may generate a network challenge to authenticate ISM. The MS may choose to encrypt the message sent to ISM with ISM PUBLICKEY. It then, sends the message using [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,res=RESPONSEMS,me=ESN,ch=CHALLENGENET, PUBLICKEY)] 103. The ISM verifies SiwaID, verifies ESN and checks RESPONSEMS using RESPONSEMS=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGEMS, SiwaKey) 104. It generates a network signature RESPONSENET using RESPONSENET=Sign-3 (SiwaID, CHALLENGENET, SiwaKey) 104. It then allocates new, MSID (MIN or IMSI) and MDN 104. It generates a RAND 104 used to derive session keys and sends a message to MS using [encrypt(msid=MSID,number=MDN,rand=RAND,res=RESPONSENET,SiwaKey)] 105. The MS verifies RESPONSENET=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGENET, SiwaKey) 106, saves MSID and MDN and derives session keys using [A Key, SSDA, SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN, MDN, RAND, SiwaID SiwaKey) 106. It computes a SIGNATURE=Sign-4 (MSID,ESN,RAND,SiwaKey) 106 and sends a message to ISM [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,sign=SIGNATURE, SiwaKey)] 107. The ISM checks SIGNATURE=Sign-4 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 108 and derive session keys [Akey,SSDA, SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID,ESN,MDN,RAND,SiwaID,SiwaKey) 108. At this time, if a data connection has been previously established it may be torn down 109. The MS is then deregisters from the network using POWER-OFF-REGISTRATION [B-MIN,B-ESN] 110. The ISM cancels the registration with REGCANC [B-MSID, B-ESN] 111 and receives acknowledgement from the network with regcanc [B-MSID, B-ESN] 112 so other MSs may use B-MSID. The BS/MSCNLR, initiate a global challenge with an OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 113 to the MS which computes the authorization, in this case using a CAVE algorithm to compute AUTHR using AUTHR=CAVE (MSID, ESN, SSDA, SSDB) 114 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [MSID, ESN, RANDC, AUTHR] 115 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration 116. In FIG. 4, a Bootstrap Process is commenced by MS generating B-IMSI=GenerateBootstrapMSID(SiwaID) 120 and sending LocationUpdateReq [B-IMSI] 121 which is forwarded by the network to the ISM as SendAuthInfoReq [B-IMSI] 122. ISM generate RAND, compute a bootstrap signature using SRES=Sign-1 (B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 123, generate a bootstrap ciphering key using Kc=GenerateCipheringKey(B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 123 and sends this information using SendAuthinfRes [B-IMSI,RAND,Kc,SRES] 124 to VLR. The VLR sends AuthenticateReq [B-IMSI,RAND] 125 to the MS. The MS generates an authentication signature using SRES=Sign-1 (B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 126, generate bootstrap ciphering key using Kc=GenerateCipheringKey(B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 126 and sends authentication result using AuthenticateRes [B-IMSI,SRES] 127 which is then matched by the VLR to SRES provided by ISM 128. An UpdateLocationReq [B-IMSI] 129 is sent to the ISM by VLR. ISM allocates a temporary phone number T-MSISDN 130 and responds by downloading the subscriber's bootstrap profile to VLR using InsertSubscriberDataReq [B-IMSI, T-MSISDN] 131. VLR responds with InsertSubscriberDataRes [B-IMSI, T-MSISDN] 132. ISM sends UpdateLocationRes [B-IMSI] 133 to confirm the registration, which is forwarded to MS by the network using LocationUpdateRes [TMSI, SUCCESS] 134. At this point, an optional data connection establishment phase 135, either network originated or MS originated, may be executed. For SMS such a connection establishment is not required. ISM sends a message to MS including its own address, an authentication challenge and optionally include a PUBLIC KEY for encryption and ServerCertificate for ISM authentication using [addr=ADDR,ch=CHALLENGEMS+[encrypt=PUBLICKEY|ServerCertificate]] 136. MS may optionally check the ServerCertificate, compute a response using RESPONSEMS=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGEMS, SiwaKey) 137. Optionally, the MS may generate a network challenge to authenticate ISM. The MS may choose to encrypt the message sent to ISM with ISM PUBLICKEY. It then, sends the message using [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,res=RESPONSEMS,me=IMEI,ch=CHALLENGENET, PUBLICKEY)] 138. The ISM verifies SiwaID, verifies IMEI and checks MS signature using RESPONSEMS=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGEMS, SiwaKey) 139. It generate a network signature using RESPONSENET=Sign-3 (SiwaID, CHALLENGENET, SiwaKey) 139. It then allocates new MSID (i.e. IMSI) and MSISDN 139. In cases where B-IMSI is an already pre-assigned unique identifier ISM may return B-IMSI back to MS as the allocated IMSI. It generates a RAND 139 used to derive session keys and sends a message to MS using [encrypt(msid=MSID,number=MSISDN,rand=RAND,res=RESPONSENET,SiwaKey)] 140. The MS verifies RESPONSENET=Sign-2 (SiwaID, CHALLENGENET, SiwaKey) 141, saves IMSI and MSISDN. MS may optionally generate session key using Ki=GenerateSessionKey(IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, RAND, SiwaID SiwaKey) 141. This key derivation could be avoided in cases where such a key is pre-assigned. It computes a SIGNATURE=Sign-4 (IMSI, IMEI, RAND, SiwaKey) 141 and sends a message to ISM [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,sign=SIGNATURE, SiwaKey)] 142. The ISM checks SIGNATURE=Sign-4 (IMSI, IMEI, RAND, SiwaKey) 143 and optionally generate session key using Ki=GenerateSessionKey(IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, RAND, SiwaID SiwaKey) 143. At this point, if a data connection has been previously established it may be torn down 144. The MS is then deregisters from the network using IMSI DETACH [B-IMSI] 145, which is acknowledged by VLR using IMSI Detach Res [B-IMSI] 146. The ISM cancels the VLR bootstrap registration with CancelLocationReq [B-IMSI] 147 and receives acknowledgement from the network with CancelLocationRes [B-IMSI] 148 so other MSs may use B-IMSI. The MS initiate a registration with its new IMSI using LocationUpdatereq [IMSI] 149 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration 150.

In FIG. 5, a Bootstrap Process is commenced by MS generating B-IMSI=GenerateBootstrapMSID(NULL) 160 and sending LocationUpdateReq [B-IMSI] 161 which is forwarded by the network to the ISM as SendAuthInfoReq [B-IMSI] 162. ISM generate RAND, compute a bootstrap signature using SRES=Sign-1 (B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 163, generate a bootstrap ciphering key using Kc=GenerateCipheringKey(B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 163 and sends this information using SendAuthinfRes [B-IMSI,RAND,Kc,SRES] 164 to VLR. The VLR sends AuthenticateReq [B-IMSI,RAND] 165 to the MS. The MS generates an authentication signature using SRES=Sign-1 (B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 166, generate bootstrap ciphering key using Kc=GenerateCipheringKey(B-IMSI, RAND, BootstrapKey) 166 and sends authentication result using AuthenticateRes [B-IMSI,SRES] 167 which is then matched by the VLR to SRES provided by ISM 168. An UpdateLocationReq [B-IMSI] 169 is sent to the ISM by VLR. ISM allocates a temporary phone number T-MSISDN 170 and responds by downloading the subscriber's bootstrap profile to VLR using InsertSubscriberDataReq [B-IMSI, T-MSISDN] 171. VLR responds with InsertSubscriberDataRes [B-IMSI, T-MSISDN] 172. ISM sends UpdateLocationRes [B-IMSI] 173 to confirm the registration, which is forwarded to MS by the network using LocationUpdateRes [TMSI, SUCCESS] 174. At this point, an optional data connection establishment phase 175, either network originated or MS originated, may be executed. For SMS such a connection establishment is not required. ISM sends a message to MS including its own address, an authentication challenge and optionally include a PUBLIC KEY for encryption and ServerCertificate for ISM authentication using [addr=ADDR,ch=C HALLENGEMS+[encrypt=PU BLICKEY|ServerCertificate]] 176. MS may optionally check the ServerCertificate, select a purchase session encryption key PURCHASE 177, this could be pre-assigned or using known PKI technique. The MS may choose to encrypt the message sent to ISM with ISM PUBLICKEY. It then, sends the message using [encrypt(siwaid=NULL,res=NULL,me=IMEI,encrypt=PURCHASEKEY, PUBLICKEY)] 178. At Session Purchase Phase 180, ISM and MS start message exchange to promote a session purchase and to collect user's selection and billing information and commit an online purchase transaction. Such a transaction can include credit authorization that may be required for postpaid subscribers. Once purchase transaction has been authorized ISM allocates new SiwaID and generates an associated SiwaKey 181. It then allocates new MSID (i.e. IMSI) and MSISDN 181. In cases where B-IMSI is an already pre-assigned unique identifier ISM may return B-IMSI back to MS as the allocated IMSI. ISM generates a RAND 181 used to derive session keys and sends a message to MS using [encrypt(siwaID=SiwaID,siwakey=SiwaKey,msid=IMSI,number=MSISDN,rand=RAND,PURCHASEKEY)] 182. The MS saves newly assigned SiwaID, SiwaKey, IMSI and MSISDN. MS may optionally generate session key using Ki=GenerateSessionKey(IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, RAND, SiwaID SiwaKey) 183. This key derivation could be avoided in cases where such a key is pre-assigned. It computes a SIGNATURE=Sign-2 (IMSI, IMEI, RAND, SiwaKey) 183 and sends a message to ISM [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,sign=SIGNATURE, SiwaKey)] 184. The ISM checks SIGNATURE=Sign-2 (IMSI, IMEI, RAND, SiwaKey) 185 and optionally generate session key using Ki=GenerateSessionKey(IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, RAND, SiwaID SiwaKey) 185. At this point, if a data connection has been previously established it may be torn down 186. The MS is then deregisters from the network using IMSI DETACH [B-IMSI] 187, which is acknowledged by VLR using IMSI Detach Res [B-IMSI] 188. The ISM cancels the VLR bootstrap registration with CancelLocationReq [B-IMSI] 189 and receives acknowledgement from the network with CancelLocationRes [B-IMSI] 190 so other MSs may use B-IMSI. The MS initiate a registration with its new IMSI using LocationUpdateReq [IMSI] 191 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration 192.

In FIG. 6, bootstrap information is generated at the MS using B-MSID=GenerateBootstrapMSID B-ESN=GenerateBootstrapESN (NULL) 200 and the network responds OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 201. The MS computes AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, NULL, RAND, NULL) 202 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [B-MSID, B-ESN, RANDC, AUTHR] 203 which is forwarded by the network to the ISM with AUTHREQ [B-MSID, B-ESN, RAND, AUTHR] 204. ISM optionally compute and check AUTHR=Sign-1 (B-MSID, NULL, RAND, NULL) 205 and sends authreq [B-MSID, B-ESN, success] 206 to BS/MSCNLR. BS/MSCNLR then, respond with REGNOT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 207 to the ISM. ISM downloads the MS profile information with regnot [B-MSID, B-ESN, profile] 208 and REGISTRATION ACCEPT [B-MSID, B-ESN] 209 is forwarded to the MS. At this point, an optional data connection establishment phase 210, either network originated or MS originated, may be executed. For SMS such a connection establishment is not required. ISM sends a message to MS including its own address, an authentication challenge and optionally include a PUBLIC KEY for encryption and ServerCertificate for ISM authentication using [addr=ADDR,ch=CHALLENGEMS+[encrypt=PUBLICKEY|ServerCertificate]] 211. MS may optionally check the ServerCertificate, select a purchase session encryption key PURCHASE 212, this could be pre-assigned or using known PKI technique. The MS may choose to encrypt the message sent to ISM with ISM PUBLICKEY. It then, sends the message using [encrypt(siwaid=NULL,res=NULL,me=ESN,encrypt=PURCHASEKEY,PUBLICKEY)] 213. At Session Purchase Phase 215, ISM and MS start message exchange to promote a session purchase and to collect user's selection and billing information and commit an online purchase transaction. Such a transaction can include credit authorization that may be required for postpaid subscribers. Once purchase transaction has been authorized ISM allocates new SiwaID and generates an associated SiwaKey 216. It then allocates new MSID (i.e. MIN or IMSI) and MDN 216. ISM generates a RAND 216 used to derive session keys and sends a message to MS using [encrypt(siwaID=Siwal D,siwakey=SiwaKey,msid=MSID,number=MDN,rand=RAND,PURCHASEKEY)] 217. The MS saves newly assigned SiwaID, SiwaKey, MSID and MDN. MS may derives session keys using [Akey,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID, ESN,MDN, RAND,SiwaID, SiwaKey) 218. It computes a SIGNATURE=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 218 and sends a message to ISM [encrypt(siwaid=SiwaID,sign=SIGNATURE, SiwaKey)] 219. The ISM checks SIGNATURE=Sign-2 (MSID, ESN, RAND, SiwaKey) 220 and derive session keys using [Akey,SSDA,SSDB]=GenerateSessionKey (MSID,ESN,MDN,RAND,SiwaID, SiwaKey). At this point, if a data connection has been previously established it may be torn down 221. The MS is then deregisters from the network using POWER-OFF-REGISTRATION [B-MIN,B-ESN] 222. The ISM cancels the registration with REGCANC [B-MSID, B-ESN] 223 and receives acknowledgement from the network with regcanc [B-MSID, B-ESN] 224 so other MSs may use B-MSID. The BS/MSCNLR, initiate a global challenge with an OMT [AUTH=1, RAND] 225 to the MS which computes the authorization, in this case using a CAVE algorithm to compute AUTHR using AUTHR=CAVE (MSID, ESN, SSDA, SSDB) 226 and sends a REGISTRATION REQUEST [MSID, ESN, RANDC, AUTHR] 227 to the network at this point registration continues as a regular registration 228.

Although the invention is described herein with reference to the preferred embodiment, one skilled in the art will readily appreciate that other applications may be substituted for those set forth herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the invention should only be limited by the Claims included below.

Claims

1. A method of activating a wireless device on a wireless network, the method comprising:

maintaining, at an activation system, a pool of temporary international mobile station identity (“IMSI”) numbers;
assigning an IMSI number to the wireless device, wherein the temporary IMSI number falls within a pool of known IMSI numbers, and wherein the wireless device is not activated as a subscriber on the wireless network;
populating an authentication center in the wireless network with a data for generating a security key for the wireless device;
reserving the temporary IMSI number from the pool of known IMSI numbers;
providing, in the wireless network, a detection device configured to identify the wireless device;
configuring the wireless network to identify the detection device as a quasi-home location register for the block of known IMSI numbers;
receiving, at a base station controller, a message from the wireless device, wherein the message comprises the first IMSI number;
identifying the temporary IMSI number of the wireless device;
based on the identification of the temporary IMSI number, identifying the detection device as a quasi-home location register for the wireless device;
receiving, at the detection device, a query from a mobile switching center (“MSC”) for data pertaining to the wireless device;
selecting, from a pool of temporary mobile subscriber international ISDN numbers (“MSISDN”) maintained by the activation system, a temporary MSISDN for the wireless device;
providing to the MSC, in response to the query, the temporary MSISDN assigned to the wireless device and a notification that the wireless device is capable of receiving short messaging service (“SMS”) messages;
forwarding the query from the detection device to the authentication center, so that the authentication center can provide to the MSC the security key for the wireless device;
notifying the activation system that the wireless device has been detected;
transmitting a SMS message from the activation system to the wireless device, the message comprising instructions for registering the wireless device with the wireless network;
assigning, at the activation system, a permanent MSISDN to the wireless device, based on an interaction, via the wireless device, between the user and the activation system;
assigning, at the activation system, a permanent IMSI number to the wireless device;
updating the wireless device with the permanent IMSI number, via an over-the-air provisioning message;
creating, in a home location register, a record corresponding to the wireless device, the record comprising the permanent MSISDN and the permanent IMSI number;
configuring the wireless network to identify the home location register as the home location register for the wireless device;
creating, in the authentication center, a new entry to correlate the security key assigned to the wireless device with the permanent IMSI number assigned to the device;
returning the temporary MSISDN to the pool of temporary MSISDNs, such that the temporary MSISDN can be selected for another wireless device; and
returning the temporary IMSI to the pool of known IMSI numbers, such that the temporary IMSI number can be assigned to another wireless device.

2. A method of activating a wireless device on a wireless network, the method comprising:

assigning a first identification number to the wireless device, wherein the identification number falls within a pool of known identification numbers, and wherein the wireless device is not activated as a subscriber on the wireless network;
providing, in the wireless network, a detection device configured to identify the wireless device;
configuring the wireless network to identify the detection device as a quasi-home location register for the block of known identification numbers;
receiving, at the detection device, a query, from a component of the wireless network, for data pertaining to the wireless device;
assigning, at the detection device, a temporary addressing number to the wireless device;
in response to the query, providing to the component of the wireless network the temporary addressing number;
notifying an activation system that the wireless device has been detected;
assigning, at the activation system, a permanent addressing number to the wireless device; and
creating a record in a home location register corresponding to the wireless device, wherein the record comprises the permanent addressing number.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the component of the wireless network is a mobile switching center (“MSC”), a visited location register (“VLR”), or a combined MSCVLR.

4. The method of claim 2, further comprising:

populating an authentication center in the wireless network with data for generating a security key for the wireless device; and
forwarding the query from the detection device to the authentication center, so that the authentication center can provide, to the component of the wireless network, the security key for to the wireless device.

5. The method of claim 2, wherein the identification number is an international mobile subscriber identity (“IMSI”) number.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein assigning a first identification number to the wireless device comprises assigning the first identification number to a subscriber identity module (“SIM”) card and packaging the SIM card with the wireless device.

7. The method of claim 2, further comprising:

receiving, at a base station controller, a message from the wireless device, wherein the message comprises the first identification number;
identifying the first identification number, based on the message from the wireless device; and
based on an identification of the first identification number, querying the detection device for data pertaining to the wireless device;

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising:

selecting the home location register based on a location of the base station controller receiving the message from the wireless phone.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising:

maintaining a pool of available addressing numbers at the selected home location register;
wherein the permanent addressing number assigned to the wireless device is selected from the pool of available addressing numbers.

10. The method of claim 2, wherein the record is created in the home location register prior to receiving, at the detection device, the query for data pertaining to the wireless device.

11. The method of claim 2, further comprising:

pre-provisioning the home location register with a plurality of paired combinations of addressing numbers and identification numbers; and
assigning a permanent identification number to the wireless device;
wherein assigning a permanent addressing number to the wireless device comprises assigning one of the pre-provisioned addressing numbers to the wireless device, and assigning a permanent identification number to the wireless device comprises assigning to the wireless device an identification number that has been paired with the assigned addressing number.

12. The method of claim 2, wherein assigning a permanent addressing number to the wireless device comprises:

receiving notification that a particular permanent addressing number has been allocated by a wireless service provider to the wireless device;
pre-provisioning the home location register with a paired combination of the particular addressing number and a permanent identification number; and
assigning the particular permanent addressing number to the wireless device.

13. The method of claim 2, wherein assigning a temporary addressing number to the wireless device comprises selecting, from a pool of available temporary addressing numbers, the temporary addressing number.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising, upon assigning the permanent addressing number to the wireless device, returning the temporary addressing number to the pool of available temporary addressing numbers.

15. The method of claim 2, wherein the first identification number is a temporary identification number, the method further comprising:

assigning a permanent identification number to the wireless device.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising:

updating the wireless device with the permanent identification number, via an over-the-air provisioning message.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the record in the home location register further comprises the permanent identification number.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein the pool of known identification numbers comprises a pool of available of temporary identification numbers, wherein assigning the temporary identification number to the wireless device comprises reserving the first identification number from the pool of available temporary identification numbers.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising:

after assigning the permanent identification number to the wireless device, returning the temporary identification number to the pool of available temporary identification numbers.

20. The method of claim 2, wherein the wireless device is selected from the group consisting of a global system for mobile communications (“GSM”) telephone and a code division multiple access (“CDMA”) phone.

21. The method of claim 2, wherein the wireless device is a prepaid wireless phone.

22. The method of claim 2, further comprising:

notifying the component of the wireless network that wireless device to which the temporary addressing number is assigned is capable of receiving messages of a specified type.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the specified type of message is selected from the group consisting of: a short messaging service (“SMS”) type of message and a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (“USSD”) type of message.

24. The method of claim 2, wherein assigning the permanent addressing number to the wireless device comprises sending a message from the activation system to the wireless device.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the message is a short messaging service (“SMS”) message.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein the message comprises information about the permanent addressing number assigned to the wireless device.

27. The method of claim 24, wherein the permanent addressing number is assigned based on a location of the base station controller receiving the message from the wireless device.

28. The method of claim 24, wherein the permanent addressing number is assigned based on input from the user.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein the input from the user indicates a desired region for the permanent addressing number.

30. The method of claim 28, further comprising:

applying a charge to an account associated with the wireless device, as a result of assigning the permanent addressing number based on input from the user.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein an amount of the charge applied to the account is based on a type of input received from the user

32. The method of claim 30, wherein applying a charge to an account associated with the wireless device comprises applying a repeating charge on a periodic basis.

33. The method of claim 24, wherein the message comprises a plurality of permanent addressing numbers from which a user of the wireless device can select the permanent addressing number, and wherein assigning the permanent addressing number to the wireless device further comprises receiving a selection of the permanent addressing number from the user.

34. The method of claim 24, wherein the message comprises an offer to allow a user to specify at least a desired portion of a desired addressing number, and wherein assigning a permanent addressing number to the wireless device further comprises searching for a permanent addressing number comprising at least the desired portion of the desired addressing number.

35. A method of activating a wireless device, comprising:

maintaining, at an activation system, a pool of temporary international mobile station identity (“IMSI”) numbers;
providing the pool of temporary IMSI numbers to a subscriber identity module (“SIM”) manufacturing process;
detecting, in a wireless network, an attempt to register by a wireless device corresponding to one of the temporary IMSI numbers;
based upon detecting the attempt to register, assigning a mobile subscriber international ISDN number (“MSISDN”) to the wireless device and a permanent IMSI number to the wireless device; and
updating the wireless device with the assigned MSISDN and permanent IMSI number.

36. The method of claim 35, wherein assigning an MSISDN to the wireless device comprises allowing a user to select the MSISDN.

37. A system for activating a wireless device, the system comprising:

an activation system comprising a processor and a first computer readable medium, the first computer readable medium having encoded thereon a first set of instructions executable by the first activation system to perform one or more operations, the first set of instructions comprising:
instructions for maintaining a pool of known identification numbers for wireless devices; and
instructions for providing a temporary identification number for use in a wireless device, wherein the first identification number falls within the pool of known identification numbers; and
a detection device in a wireless network, the detection device comprising a second processor and a second computer readable medium having encoded thereon a second set of instructions executable by the detection device to perform one or more operations, the second set of instructions comprising:
instructions for receiving, from a component of the wireless network, a query for data pertaining to the wireless device, wherein the wireless device is not a subscriber on the wireless network;
instructions for assigning a temporary addressing number to the wireless device;
instructions for providing, to the component of the wireless network, the temporary addressing number, in response to the query; and
instructions for notifying the activation system that the mobile device has been detected;
wherein the first set of instructions further comprises:
instructions to assign a permanent addressing number to the wireless device; and
instructions to create, in a home location register, a record corresponding to the wireless device, wherein the record comprises the permanent addressing number.

38. An apparatus, comprising:

a first computer readable medium having encoded thereon a first set of instructions executable by an activation system to perform one or more operations, the first set of instructions comprising:
instructions for maintaining a pool of known identification numbers for wireless devices; and
instructions for providing a temporary identification number for use in a wireless device, wherein the first identification number falls within the pool of known identification numbers; and
a second computer readable medium having encoded thereon a second set of instructions executable by a detection device in a wireless network to perform one or more operations, the second set of instructions comprising:
instructions for receiving, from a component of the wireless network, a query for data pertaining to the wireless device, wherein the wireless device is not a subscriber on the wireless network;
instructions for assigning a temporary addressing number to the wireless device;
instructions for providing, to the component of the wireless network, the temporary addressing number, in response to the query; and
instructions for notifying the activation system that the mobile device has been detected;
wherein the first set of instructions further comprises:
instructions to assign a permanent addressing number to the wireless device; and
instructions to create, in a home location register, a record corresponding to the wireless device, wherein the record comprises the permanent addressing number.

39. A method of activating a wireless device on a wireless network, the method comprising:

assigning a first identification number to an identification module, wherein the identification number falls within a pool of known identification numbers, and wherein the identification module is not activated as a subscriber on the wireless network;
providing, in the wireless network, a detection device configured to identify a wireless device associated with the identification module;
configuring the wireless network to identify the detection device as a quasi-home location register for the block of known identification numbers;
receiving, at the detection device, a query, from a component of the wireless network, for data pertaining to the wireless device;
assigning, at the detection device, a temporary addressing number to the wireless device;
in response to the query, providing to the component of the wireless network the temporary addressing number;
notifying an activation system that the wireless device has been detected;
assigning, at the activation system, a permanent addressing number to the wireless device; and
creating a record in a home location register corresponding to the wireless device, wherein the record comprises the permanent addressing number.

40. The method of claim 39, wherein the identification module is a subscriber identity module (“SIM”) card.

Patent History

Publication number: 20100009659
Type: Application
Filed: Jul 21, 2009
Publication Date: Jan 14, 2010
Inventors: Eran Netanel (Belmont, CA), James F. Lavine (Mill Valley, CA)
Application Number: 12/506,663

Classifications