Advanced Intelligent Billing Network (e.g., A Billing Service Control Processor) Patents (Class 379/114.28)
  • Patent number: 11178559
    Abstract: A method for improving monitoring of cellular sites including receiving base station status for one or more base stations. If a first base station has a down status, the method includes identifying a connection failure with a mediation server associated with the first base station, identifying a neighbor base station to the first base station, determining that the neighbor base station includes recent performance management data associated with the first base station, and determining that the first base station is connected to the mediation server. Based on the determination that the first base station is connected to the mediation server, the method includes updating the base station status for the first base station to be an up status.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: T-MOBILE USA, INC.
    Inventor: Yun Hong Lee
  • Patent number: 10498893
    Abstract: Systems and methods for optimized call handling during e911 calls. Normally, when a user equipment (UE) is connected to a public safety answering point (PSAP)—e.g., is on a 911 call—all incoming calls are automatically routed to voicemail. In contrast, the systems and methods disclosed herein enable calls that were dialed within a predetermined time window of the 911 call to be sent through to call-waiting to enable the user to accept or reject the call. The system can use a “guard timer” to determine whether a call is within the predetermined time window. The system can include a single guard timer for all incoming calls—e.g., “any call made from the UE within the previous X minutes prior to the 911 call.” The system can also include individual guard timers for each call that expire separately relative to the call's proximity to the 911 call.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsin-Fu Henry Chiang, Gunjan Nimbavikar
  • Patent number: 10498774
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improved e911 call handling. The system enables users to create multiple categories of callers. When a user makes a 911 (emergency) call, different categories of users receive different treatment. A call from a public safety access point (PSAP), for example, can receive a recorded message or a text message indicating that the user is already connected to a PSAP. A caller on a favorites list may also receive the same, or similar, treatment. General callers, on the other hand, can be sent to voicemail, as is currently the practice for all callers. The system can enable callers to be informed as to why the user is not answering, rather than being sent to voicemail with no explanation. The system can be used to provide this additional information to family members, business contacts, PSAPs, and other important callers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunjan Nimbavikar, Hsin-Fu Henry Chiang
  • Patent number: 10084914
    Abstract: Systems and methods for optimized call handling during e911 calls. Normally, when a user equipment (UE) is connected to a public safety answering point (PSAP)—e.g., is on a 911 call—all incoming calls are automatically routed to voicemail. In contrast, the systems and methods disclosed herein enable calls that were dialed within a predetermined time window of the 911 call to be sent through to call-waiting to enable the user to accept or reject the call. The system can use a “guard timer” to determine whether a call is within the predetermined time window. The system can include a single guard timer for all incoming calls—e.g., “any call made from the UE within the previous X minutes prior to the 911 call.” The system can also include individual guard timers for each call that expire separately relative to the call's proximity to the 911 call.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: T-Mobile USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsin-Fu Henry Chiang, Gunjan Nimbavikar
  • Patent number: 9848310
    Abstract: A system, method, and computer readable medium comprising instructions for providing temporary callback number for emergency calls is disclosed. A determination is made as to whether a restriction is imposed on a mobile user for incoming calls. A temporary callback number for the mobile user is generated if the restriction is imposed. A request for a callback to the mobile user comprising the temporary callback number is detected. The callback is routed to the mobile user using the temporary callback number.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: West Corporation
    Inventor: John Lawrence Snapp
  • Patent number: 9432825
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described for integrating a gateway in a telecom network environment with charging and payment functionality. The gateway is provided with three points of integration with charging and billing servers. These three points include a payment service, a charging data record listener and a credit control interceptor. The payment service provides an interface for client applications that reside outside of the telecom network to invoke a charging request, to translate the charging request and to relay it to the billing server. The charging data record listener listens for charging data records generated within the gateway and issues offline charging requests to the billing server upon detecting that a particular charging data record has been generated. The credit control interceptor intercepts requests in the communication traffic flowing through the gateway and initiates online charging requests to the billing server upon intercepting said requests.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: ORACLE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Sharath Rajasekar, Phelim O'Doherty, Boris Selitser, Niklas Modin, Daniel Jansson
  • Patent number: 9372963
    Abstract: A method may include receiving, at an application server, a session initiation protocol (SIP) message including a public user identifier (ID) associated a user. The public user ID corresponds to a plurality of user devices. The method also includes determining an applicable order of alerting at least one of the plurality of user devices. The method further includes identifying at least one available user device associated with the user, based on a terminal identifier (ID) associated with each at least one available user device. The method includes selecting a user device from the at least one available user device based on the applicable order of alerting. A SIP invite message, including a terminal ID for the selected user device, is generated. The method includes sending the SIP invite message to the selected user device based on the applicable order of alerting, and receiving a response to the SIP invite message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignees: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc., Cellco Partnership
    Inventors: Priscilla Lau, Mingxing S. Li, Jeffrey R. Evans
  • Patent number: 9282143
    Abstract: Method, apparatuses and computer programs for handling data related to users of a communications system comprising: a database server storing data related to users of the system, and a plurality of service servers. The database server modifies (1103) a first data stored therein for a user according to a received request (1101), and sends a second message (1109) notifying the data modification to a first service server comprising: an identifier of the user, the first data after the modification, and an identifier of a second service server of the system that handle data related to the user. The first service server sends a third message (2105) to the second service server requesting to modify a data held therein in relationship with said user. Features of the invention help in reducing signaling in layered systems, since additional data are communicated in the second message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET L M ERICSSON (PUBL)
    Inventors: Susana Gomez Maturana, Ralf Keller, Daniel Mateos Perez, Santiago Muñoz Muñoz, Enrique Ruiz Lafuente, Andreas Witzel
  • Patent number: 9092791
    Abstract: A method and system of provisioning resources installed in a network element. Resources are installed in the network element. As resources are placed into service, a notification is transmitted to the vendor. The vendor generates an invoice, and the service provider generates a purchase order. Furthermore, a capacity planning system may monitor the system as resources are placed into service. If the amount of spare resources fall below a predetermined limit, the capacity planning system may transmit a request to the vendor for the additional equipment. In this manner, resources may be installed prior to the actual need for the resources. The resources may then be paid for by the service provider as the resources are needed and placed into service, thereby enabling a risk-sharing arrangement between the service provider and the vendor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald D. Day, Donald Pitchforth
  • Patent number: 9002319
    Abstract: Integration of a mobile hotspot into a service provider network is disclosed. A network node establishes a first wireless communication link with a mobile hotspot device. The mobile hotspot device is configured to establish a second wireless communications link with at least one client device. The network node receives an access request message from the mobile hotspot device which comprises credentials provided by the at least one client device. The network node determines that the at least one client device is authorized to access the service provider network through the mobile hotspot device based on the credentials and indicates to the mobile hotspot device that the at least one client device is authorized to access the service provider network through the mobile hotspot device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Bright House Networks, LLC
    Inventor: Leo Cloutier
  • Patent number: 8983430
    Abstract: A method and system are disclosed for location-dependent billing for services that may be available to mobile terminals. A mobile terminal may forwarded to a central unit of a mobile communication network, in which the mobile terminal is logged, a billing rate code that may be obtained from an external location tag. The central unit may select, based on the billing rate code at the external location tag, a billing rate for billing for service(s) available to the user. The mobile terminal may access the external location tag via a local communication connection, which may be set up between the mobile terminal and external location tag, such as using a corresponding wireless interface therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Swisscom AG
    Inventor: Paul Aebi
  • Patent number: 8976782
    Abstract: A communication system providing telephony communication across combined circuit switched and packet switched networks, such as a telephone network and the Internet, which are connectable to terminals, such as telephones and computers, for selective communication therebetween. The communication system includes an authorization and account control object in the packet switched network, multiple gateways between the circuit switched and packet switched networks providing controlled connectivity between those networks, and an information retrieval object in the packet switched network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventors: Eric A. Voit, Edward E. Balkovich, William D. Goodman, Jayant G. Gadre, Patrick E. White, David E. Young
  • Patent number: 8938213
    Abstract: A system, method, and computer program product are provided for processing a charge for a telecommunication. In use, a telecommunication from a service subscriber to a recipient is received. Additionally, it is determined whether both the service subscriber and the recipient are included within one or more billing groups. Further, a charge for the telecommunication is processed, based on the determining.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Amdocs Software Systems Limited
    Inventors: Jackie Assa, Nir Levy
  • Patent number: 8929256
    Abstract: Communication networks and associated methods are disclosed that provide third party charging for SIP sessions. A communication network of the invention comprises a session control function (e.g., an IMS CSCF), a network node (e.g., an IMS application server), and a charging system. The session control function serves a SIP session initiated between a first and second party. The network node identifies a third party to charge for the session. The network node includes a third party identifier for the third party in a SIP message for the session, and transmits the SIP message to the session control function. The session control function generates a charging message, maps the third party identifier to the charging message, and transmits the charging message that includes the third party identifier to the charging system. The charging system then initiates charging of the session to the third party based on the third party identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Yigang Cai, Tienyu Chiu, Eric H. Henrikson, E-Ling Lou, Bharat H. Patel
  • Patent number: 8868031
    Abstract: A method of operating a charging system (22) for a telecommunications network comprises: (1) receiving a charging request in conjunction with a telecommunications activity involving a telecommunications terminal; (2) determining a default account to which a charge resulting from the charging request may be allocated; (3) making a request for an externally-controlled account selection of a selected account; and, (4) finally allocating the charge to the selected account. In an example embodiment and mode the method further comprises, prior to making the request for the externally-controlled account selection of the selected account, making a temporary allocation for a reservation for the telecommunications activity; and performing a default account rating for the telecommunications activity, the default account rating being performed upon assumption of use of the default account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ)
    Inventors: Peter Lindau Nordhammer, Andreas Abrahamsson
  • Patent number: 8849273
    Abstract: The disclosure provides a method for reporting fixed network access information, in which an Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) reports fixed network access information to a Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF), and the PCEF notifies a Policy and Charging Rule Function (PCRF) of the fixed network access information. The disclosure also provides a system for reporting fixed network access information, in which a reporting unit is configured to allow an Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) to report fixed network access information to a Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF), which notifies a Policy and Charging Rule Function (PCRF) of the fixed network access information. According to the disclosure, the fixed network access information can be reported, so that an S9* session still can be established even if the BPCF cannot be aware of access of the UE to the WLAN.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: ZTE Corporation
    Inventors: Tong Rui, Xiaoyun Zhou, Mo Sun
  • Patent number: 8817765
    Abstract: A network operations center is operable with a plurality of wireless mobile routers, each comprising a wide area network wireless interface to access a cellular network provided by a predetermined cellular service provider. Each mobile router is operable to upload and download data via the cellular network, each mobile router is operable to monitor the uploaded and downloaded data to generate usage data. The network operations center comprises: first apparatus operable to manage communications with the plurality of mobile routers, operable to receive the usage data, and operable to access billing data from the predetermined cellular service provider for each of the mobile routers; and second apparatus operable to compare the usage data for each mobile router to corresponding billing data to determine if there is a billing discrepancy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Auto Lot Mobile, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas S Moeller, Ronald W Pashby
  • Patent number: 8818330
    Abstract: A prepaid messaging solution that utilizes a pre-delivery debit query to tariff a short message, coupled with an additional debit query performed once necessary billing information has been acquired. A short message is tariffed prior to message delivery via a pre-delivery debit query to a prepaid server. During message delivery, the prepaid server is queried a second time, following the HLR query performed by the Short Message Service Center (SMSC). This subsequent debit query bills a subscriber for any additional service fees discovered throughout message delivery, e.g., international/roaming fees, etc. If either the pre-delivery debit query or the subsequent debit query indicates that a subscriber has insufficient account balance to deliver a short message, the message is prevented from being delivered. If a message is dropped due to lack of account balance, any funds debited throughout the attempted message delivery may be credited back to the subscriber's prepaid account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Donghong Gao, Lewis Tuttle
  • Patent number: 8718604
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method and an apparatus for providing an alternative telephony service which automatically switches an originating call between a basic telephony network and an alternative telephony network, and a method of inducing a caller or a receiver to subscribe to a service having a cheaper call rate by notifying the caller or the receiver of an inverse call charge which can be reduced according to whether telephony communication is performed using a basic telephony or an alternative telephony. Accordingly, it is possible to automatically connect the telephony communication using the basic telephony or the alternative telephony according to a telephony communication condition of the receiver, and thus reduce inconvenience due to a direct control of the receiver and first select a telephony communication scheme having a cheap call rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: KSEEK Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Young Real Kim
  • Patent number: 8718599
    Abstract: A communication is received via a telecommunications network. A determination is made concerning whether a monetary surcharge is associated with the communication, and a notification is transmitted concerning the determination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Verizon Services Corp.
    Inventor: Manpreet S. Matharu
  • Patent number: 8682289
    Abstract: A prepaid messaging solution that utilizes a pre-delivery debit query to tariff a short message, coupled with an additional debit query performed once necessary billing information has been acquired. A short message is tariffed prior to message delivery via a pre-delivery debit query to a prepaid server. During message delivery, the prepaid server is queried a second time, following the HLR query performed by the Short Message Service Center (SMSC). This subsequent debit query bills a subscriber for any additional service fees discovered throughout message delivery, e.g., international/roaming fees, etc. If either the pre-delivery debit query or the subsequent debit query indicates that a subscriber has insufficient account balance to deliver a short message, the message is prevented from being delivered. If a message is dropped due to lack of account balance, any funds debited throughout the attempted message delivery may be credited back to the subscriber's prepaid account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Donghong Gao, Lewis Tuttle
  • Patent number: 8630397
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for charging control of service usage in an electronic communications system. An invocation of charging control is received from a service client for service usage by a user. Charging related data and rules checked for the user and it is determined whether the session should be charging controlled. In case of a non charging controlled session, a response message is returned to the charging client, indicating that the session is not charging controlled and that the service usage is to be reported at the end-of-session. A report of usage is received—from the client—including information of the usage consumed during the session at the end-of-session.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (publ)
    Inventor: Stefan Karlsson
  • Patent number: 8620262
    Abstract: IMS networks, subscriber databases, and methods are disclosed for providing AoC services in IMS networks. The subscriber database is provisioned with AoC indicators for IMS users that subscribe to AoC services. An S-CSCF in an IMS network receives a first register message from an IMS user, and transmits a second register message to the subscriber database. In response to the second register message, the subscriber database identifies an AoC indicator for the IMS user that is registering, inserts the AoC indicator in a third register message, and transmits the third register message to the S-CSCF. The S-CSCF then stores the AoC indicator for the IMS user. If a signaling message is received for a session involving the IMS user, then the S-CSCF will forward the AoC indicator for the IMS user to an AoC application server, which collects the appropriate AoC information and provides the information to the IMS user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Yigang Cai, Shiyan Hua
  • Patent number: 8620261
    Abstract: An information processing system of the present invention comprises a storage apparatus storing calculation equations for calculating a communication fee corresponding to an identifier of said information terminal regarding first and second subscription courses whose said particular utilization forms are different each other, and storing subscription information including information on a date and time of starting the first subscription course, and an information processing apparatus connected to the storage apparatus through a network. Upon receipt of information on the second subscription course will be selected instead of the first subscription course and a date and time of starting the second subscription course from the information terminal through the network, the information processing apparatus stores received information in the storage apparatus, and changes the calculation equation for calculating the communication fee based on the date and time of starting the second subscription course.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Yukiko Goto
  • Patent number: 8620264
    Abstract: A system that incorporates teachings of the present disclosure may include, for example, a communication device having a controller to associate two or more phone numbers with two or more phone bills, where the controller is adapted to send outgoing phone calls and receive incoming phone calls on multiple telephone numbers assigned to the mobile communication device in accordance with at least one user profile. Other embodiments are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, LP
    Inventor: Mary Anne Hicks
  • Patent number: 8615004
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for enabling a subscriber of VoIP services to register a cellular phone as an on-net device with a defined interface to the VoIP network are disclosed. The present method enables calls placed between originating and terminating subscribers using registered cellular phones to be rerouted between the cellular networks and the VoIP network for call establishment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property II, L.P.
    Inventors: Marian Croak, Hossein Eslambolchi
  • Patent number: 8610576
    Abstract: A system and method for tracking a person at a facility to enable communications. A presence of the person is detected at a location at the facility. Communications intended for the person are associated with the location. The communications are routed to the person at that location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: CenturyLink Intellectual Property LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Sweeney, Kelsyn Donel Seven Rooks, Sr., Michael Clayton Robinson
  • Patent number: 8605874
    Abstract: Communication networks and associated methods and systems are disclosed that provide per-session dynamic charging caps. For a session, the communication network includes a network element adapted to serve the session, a charging system, and a subscriber server adapted to store charging criteria defined for a party to the session. In operation, the charging system receives one or more charging request messages from the network element. Responsive to a charging request message, the charging system identifies the charging criteria defined for the party as stored in the subscriber server, and determines a dynamic charging cap for the session based on the charging criteria. A charging cap is a limited or maximum amount of time and/or money that is charged for an individual session. The charging system then limits the charging for the session based on the dynamic charging cap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventor: Yigang Cai
  • Patent number: 8606223
    Abstract: A group billing component may be adapted to determine whether a source wireless device and a destination wireless device may be members of a group. The group billing component may receive a group identifier, a destination device identifier, and a source device identifier from the source wireless upon initiating communication with the destination wireless device. The group billing component may compare the destination device identifier with a group list that may be indexed by the group identifier. Based on the comparison, the group billing component may determine whether to output a usage fee to a subscriber of the source wireless device. The usage fee may be output if at least one element in the group list does not match the destination device identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: AT&T Mobility II LLC
    Inventors: Gaviphat Lekutai, Coulter C. Henry, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8600344
    Abstract: Integration of a mobile hotspot into a service provider network is disclosed. A network node establishes a first wireless communication link with a mobile hotspot device. The mobile hotspot device is configured to establish a second wireless communications link with at least one client device. The network node receives an access request message from the mobile hotspot device which comprises credentials provided by the at least one client device. The network node determines that the at least one client device is authorized to access the service provider network through the mobile hotspot device based on the credentials and indicates to the mobile hotspot device that the at least one client device is authorized to access the service provider network through the mobile hotspot device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Bright House Networks, LLC
    Inventor: Leo Cloutier
  • Patent number: 8594623
    Abstract: A subscriber portfolio model is created by forming mutually exclusive and completely exhaustive groups of subscribers in a way that maximizes the intra-group similarity and inter-group dissimilarity of the value of a target attribute among subscribers in the groups. The subscriber groups thus generated are self-descriptive, as the groups are defined by the attributes used to form them. A segmenting algorithm groups subscribers along permutations of attributes. Relevant data about subscribers is collected from various sources, correlated, and subscriber identities removed to ensure privacy. After analyzing the aggregated data, a subscriber portfolio model is built. The subscriber portfolio model is created in an iterative process; in each step, a selected subscriber group is subdivided into smaller subscriber groups along different value ranges of a statistically decisive attribute that is selected and evaluated based on specific methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (publ)
    Inventors: László Kovács, Gábor Magyar, Laszlo Toka
  • Patent number: 8565722
    Abstract: A home network may track data usage in real time by a wireless mobile communication device while roaming in a GSM network that is separate from the home network. A Home Location Register (HLR) may receive location information indicative of the location of the wireless mobile communication device in the GSM network. An Online Charging System (OCS) may receive the location information directly or indirectly from the Home Location Register. The Online Charging System may use this location information to determine data rates and cutoff limits which are consistent with subscriber plans and are based on the location of the mobile communication device. This information may be communicated to roaming subscribers in real time and/or used to cut off data communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Cellco Partnership
    Inventors: Ho Yin Cheuk, Miguel Angel Carames, Jay Hsu
  • Patent number: 8542661
    Abstract: A method of operating a network server, for a network comprising a plurality of wireless mobile routers is provided. Each mobile router comprises a wide area network wireless interface to access a cellular network provided by a predetermined cellular service provider and is operable to upload and download data via the cellular network. Each mobile router is operable to monitor the uploaded and downloaded data to generate usage. The method comprises: selectively coupling the server to the plurality of mobile routers via the cellular network; receiving from each of the mobile routers the corresponding usage data; operating the server to access billing data from the service provider for each mobile router; and comparing the usage data for each mobile router to corresponding billing data for each mobile router to determine if there is a billing discrepancy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Autonet Mobile, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas S Moeller, Ronald W Pashby
  • Patent number: 8498613
    Abstract: A method and system for location-dependent billing for services that are available to mobile terminals. A mobile terminal may access a fixably installed external location tag, and may obtain from the external location tag a billing rate code, which may then be forwarded from the mobile terminal to a central unit of a mobile communication network, in which the mobile terminal is logged. The central unit may determine a geographic location identification of the external location tag—e.g., by evaluation of the billing rate code—and may select a billing rate for billing for service(s) available to the user, based on the billing rate code at the external location tag. The mobile terminal may access the external location tag via a local communication connection, which may be set up between the mobile terminal and external location tag, such as using a corresponding wireless interface therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignee: Swisscom AG
    Inventor: Paul Aebi
  • Patent number: 8473379
    Abstract: A charging system includes a rating engine, a session control module, and a charging unit determination module. The session control module receives a request for service units, associated with a charging session, from a client or service element, and obtains one or more input parameters from the request for service units. The charging unit determination module obtains account data associated with the request for service units, determines at least one charging session related parameter based on the one or more input parameters and/or the account data, and pass the at least one charging session related parameter to the rating engine. The rating engine grants service units based on the at least one charging session related parameter, and forwards an indication of the granted service units to the session control module for return to the client or service element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (publ)
    Inventors: Petter Ahlgren, Marcus Karlsson
  • Patent number: 8437738
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for implementing mobile device-based bandwidth throttling. In one aspect, a method includes receiving policy from a wireless carrier that specifies one or more data usage thresholds allotted by the wireless carrier for data transferred over a wireless carrier network during a predetermined period of time, determining an amount of data that has been transferred by the mobile device over the wireless carrier network during the predetermined period of time, determining that the amount exceeds one or more of the data usage thresholds, and throttling the bandwidth of a mobile device over the wireless carrier network based on determining that the amount exceeds one or more of the data usage thresholds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew E. Rubin, Robert J. Greenwalt, III
  • Patent number: 8359049
    Abstract: Directory assistance provides telephone number look up services to callers based on the business or caller name as listed in a telephone directory. In the prior art, directory assistance provides a value-added service to telephone users and an expense that must be charged back to telephone callers or absorbed by telephone carriers. In enhanced directory assistance (EDA) services as described in the disclosure, EDA is further developed to deliver a keyword targeted advertising service to telephone listing owners and advertisers. The present invention provides a method and system to extend EDA services to the wireless messaging systems used by telecommunications operators. The invention further discloses methods to support both one-way and two-way communications on these devices, as well as systems to support the distributed EDA Transaction business model.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Local Corporation
    Inventors: William A. Montemer, Heath B. Clarke
  • Patent number: 8345841
    Abstract: A charging device (100) and method (600) are described herein that can segment subscribers on a service class level and then can further segment those subscribers on an account level by using a service offerings parameter (105). The subscribers use communication services such as circuit switched voice, SMS, MMS and/or GPRS.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ)
    Inventors: Robert Karlsson, Johan Haggman
  • Patent number: 8320878
    Abstract: A communication system comprises network elements (103, 105, 107, 109) and user equipments (101), at least some of which comprise a charging proxy (205). The system further comprises a charging server (111) which includes a topic controller (305) for initializing charging topics where each charging topic is associable with charging data. The charging server (111) furthermore comprises functionality for registering proxies as subscribing proxies or publishing proxies (or both) for the different charging topics. A receiver (301, 311) receives charging data messages from charging proxies and validates a first set of charging data belonging to a first charging topic in response to a first set of charging proxies registered as publishing proxies for the first charging topic. A charging data transmitter (313) transmits the first set of charging data to a second set of charging proxies registered as subscribing proxies for the first charging topic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: Motorola Mobility LLC
    Inventors: Faramak Vakil, Dragan M. Boscovic, Marco Fratti, Surender Kumar
  • Patent number: 8315252
    Abstract: A method and system of mass multimedia messaging in a system having a service provider and a plurality of subscriber communication terminals supported by the service provider, wherein at least some of the subscriber terminals have different messaging capabilities and different message format requirements. The method includes adaptation and handling of a mass multimedia message, and mass multimedia message notification. The system uses a retrieval platform and a processing platform. The retrieval platform generates a unique message identifier for the mass multimedia message, and pre-adapts the message into adapted content messages for the terminal types supported by the service provider. The processing platform formats message notifications for the subscriber terminals based on each terminal's messaging capabilities, with each notification containing the unique message identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: AT&T Mobility II LLC
    Inventors: Justin McNamara, Anastasios L. Kefalas
  • Patent number: 8289885
    Abstract: Communication networks and associated methods are disclosed that provide third party charging for SIP sessions. A communication network of the invention comprises a session control function (e.g., an IMS CSCF), a network node (e.g., an IMS application server), and a charging system. The session control function serves a SIP session initiated between a first and second party. The network node identifies a third party to charge for the session. The network node includes a third party identifier for the third party in a SIP message for the session, and transmits the SIP message to the session control function. The session control function generates a charging message, maps the third party identifier to the charging message, and transmits the charging message that includes the third party identifier to the charging system. The charging system then initiates charging of the session to the third party based on the third party identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Yigang Cai, Tienyu Chiu, Eric H. Henrikson, E-Ling Lou, Bharat H. Patel
  • Patent number: 8265245
    Abstract: A system and method for processing telephone calls and providing enhanced services is presented. The call processing system includes a network control processor for controlling the processing and routing of the calls and for providing enhanced features, and a matrix switch for routing calls from an originating location to a terminating location. Operator consoles can be included to provide operator assistance to the caller. The network control processor comprises a central message processor that receives call data, determines the type of call, determines the processing required, and determines whether operator assistance is required. A call route distributor allocates an operator console to the call if required. A billing server is used to track billing information for the call while it is in progress. A database server is provided for database look-ups and storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Level 3 Communications, LLC
    Inventors: Steven J. Hogan, Kristi T. Feltz, Douglas R. Murdock, Todd A. Goodman, David J. Vercande, Michael R. Tangeman, Eric M. Busch, Raghavan Kripakaran, Madhigubba G. Jayasimha, Keith E. Smith, Mark A. Austin, Dana Bruce Berry
  • Patent number: 8244204
    Abstract: A mechanism is provided to suspend or modify incoming call restrictions for a subscriber station for some time period when it is detected that an emergency call was made by that subscriber station, so as to disable the restriction that would otherwise block completion of an incoming call to that station. This allows a call placed by emergency personnel in response to the emergency call from the subscriber station (i.e. when the emergency personnel calls back the user that is involved in the emergency) to bypass any restrictions setup by the subscriber or by the network that would otherwise block the callback and allows the emergency callback to potentially reach the caller. This approach results in a systematic solution to blocking of emergency callbacks that applies to various kinds of restriction services yet is relatively simple to administer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Cellco Partnership
    Inventors: Ben-Ren Chen, Robert Martin Ephraim, Rohit Satish Kalbag
  • Patent number: 8239454
    Abstract: This invention enables people from the at-home viewing or listening audience of any television or radio broadcast to talk with each other to discuss the program's content on the telephone at any time before, during or after a show. In addition to discussion forums based on broadcast and print media content, the system provides premium priced telephone access to people with specific expertise, e.g., sports stars, politicians and a host of other specialists. Income is earned on a per-minute or flat-rate basis and billed to the caller primarily via credit card or their phone bill. Revenue can be derived from the sale of advertisement, e.g., mentions of the sponsor over the telephone during the initial greeting and within conferences, as well as from the licensing of the service to media networks as a value added service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Inventor: Joseph Palermo
  • Patent number: 8238533
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and apparatus for populating a least cost routing database. In one aspect, a method includes receiving from a carrier a bid for routing a telephone call to a destination; automatically loading the received bid into a least cost routing database to generate an updated least cost routing database; and making the updated least cost routing database accessible for use in determining one or more least cost routes. Further, the received bid can be analyzed to generate a projected business result and the projected business result can be presented to the carrier before loading the received bid into the least cost routing database. Additionally, input can be received from the carrier specifying an historical period and the projected business result can be generated based on data associated with the specified historical period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Cricket Communications, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle Blackwell, Tony Casarez, Kenneth Case, Dan Graf, Percival Verayo
  • Patent number: 8238874
    Abstract: A method for location-dependent billing for a services that are available to a mobile terminal, a local communication connection is set up to a fixably installed external location tag with a corresponding wireless interface between the fixably installed tag and the mobile terminal, the method including the steps of accessing the external location tag and transmitting a billing rate code from the external location tag to the mobile terminal, forwarding the billing rate code from the mobile terminal to a central unit of a mobile communication network, in which the mobile terminal is logged, determining a geographic location identification of the external location tag by evaluation of the billing rate code at the central unit, and selecting a billing rate for billing for the service available to the user based on the billing rate code at the central unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Swisscom AG
    Inventor: Paul Aebi
  • Patent number: 8237551
    Abstract: A system and method for tracking patients to enable communications. A presence of a patient is detected in a room. Communications intended for the patient are associated with the room. The communications are routed to the patient in the room.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: CenturyLink Intellectual Property LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Sweeney, Kelsyn Donel Seven Rooks, Sr., Michael Clayton Robinson
  • Patent number: 8234364
    Abstract: In an internet connection system for connecting a terminal in each of a plurality of predetermined locations to internet accessed by the terminal, each location, in which a terminal in communication is provided, is discriminated. The used communication band is recorded for each location, and a communication fee is determined based on the used communication band recorded for each location. The communication extent of the access line connected via the gateway is compared for each location, and the terminal is connected to internet via the gateway, to which a less communication extent access line is connected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2012
    Assignee: NEC Infrontia Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuomi Ooki, Yoshikazu Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8218742
    Abstract: In an example method of correlating charging data records within an offline charging system, each of a plurality of sources selects a same one of a plurality of charging functions in which to route charging information associated with a given call session or event. In an example, the plurality of sources corresponds to either a plurality of network elements or a plurality of charging data functions. In another example, the plurality of charging functions corresponds to either a plurality of charging data functions or a plurality of charging gateway functions. At the selected charging function, the routed charging information is correlated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Yigang Cai, Chun Guang Xu, Sheng Chen, Hong Wei Sun
  • Patent number: 8213899
    Abstract: Methods are disclosed for identifying the carrier to which a phone, such as a mobile phone, subscribes in real time, at the time a call is originating from or terminating to the mobile phone. Where both parties to a call are subscribers to the same carrier, the methods can be used for applying preferential call rates to intra-carrier calls, e.g., making the calls free. The methods are particularly useful in the telephony networks with local number portability, in which the mere identification of the phone number does not necessarily identify the carrier to which the phone subscribes. The methods can use either existing databases to identify the carrier, such as LERG (Local Exchange Routing Guide) tables, number portability databases, name databases, and home location registers, or a new database can be created correlating mobile phone directory numbers with carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Sprint Spectrum L.P.
    Inventors: Russell G. Kindred, Charles E. Woodson, Thomas M. Sladek, Jim J. Dowell