|Title of Invention||
A WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FOR PRE-LIMITING SERVICE CHARGES ON A SUBSCRIBER'S ACCOUNT DURING A COMMUNICATIONS SET-UP
|Abstract||The invention relates to a wireless communications system for pre-limiting service charges on a subscriber's account during communication set-up between two subscribers. The system comprising a Switching center/service provider (SC/SP); a processor operable in a network, and configured to: communicate a parameter adaptable by the network to specify an intended maximum service charges thereby initiating an user session; store said parameters in the network; store in a subscriber profile the subscriber's maximum service charge information, in respect of said parameter; monitor the charges incurred by the subscriber's ,switching centre/service provider (SC/SP); compare the maximum possible service charge information with the users available balance; convert said maximum possible service charge to a granted time limit for said service; transmit said message to the SC/SP by the network in an apply charging (AC) message; monitor the time of service by the SC/SP for the granted time limit; and terminate said service forcibly in case of exceeding the granted time limit.|
|Full Text||FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to optimum utilization of resource parameters used in a
network for pre-limiting the service charges for a resource utilization / services of
a network. In particular, the present invention relates to a method for setting up
a transmission wireless link and charging for the link on the basis of location.
More particularly, the invention relates to a method for setting up a wireless link
between a first subscriber and a second subscriber in a wireless network wherein
the basis of charging includes the budgetary provision pre-selected by the first
subscriber being converted to time information.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The wireless networks (mobile telecommunications networks, mobile data
communications networks their combinations or other wireless networks) are
having a growing impact on the communications industry. In addition, to enable
provisions of communication services by the service providers, operators of
networks, they provide Network Services / facilities, for example, prepaid
charging for services, for their subscribers as well. There are several types of
networks, including several types of network elements, technologies and
The fast-moving wireless communications market is characterized by regular
changes. At the same time, increasing competition in the field of consumer
goods results in an ever-increasing need to distinguish oneself from one's
Heretobefore, the telecommunications market and consumer goods (outside of
mobile telephones) have little of any relationship. That is, use of, for example, a
mobile telephone does not affect consumer goods, and vice versa. Bringing these
two markets together could be favorable to both the consumer and the market.
The need to support and provide different services has led to the development of
several types of telecommunication networks.
Fujimoto Kazuhiko of NEC corp, and NEC mobiling limited in a Japanese
specification JP2003224881 discloses a method for minimizing call charges in a
transmission terminal, for example in a mobile communication terminal. The
method comprises limiting communication charge in a communication terminal
capable of facilitating management by discriminating limit of use by a useage
time so as to limit a changeable parameter as well as browsing of user
information when the use limit is reached. When a call request comes, a control
section of a communication terminal performs communication limit time
calculation processing, and sets a result of calculated communication limit time
as a speech limit time in the speech. The control section measures the speech
time by using a timer incorporated in the mobile communication terminal at the
start of the speech after that and discriminates whether or not the measured
speech time exceeds the speech limit time. When the measured speech time
exceeds the speech limit time, the communication terminal forcibly terminates
the speech. After the execution of the call termination, the communication
terminal transmits to a dial lock state.
Nguyen Viet Anh of Ericsson Telefon AM L M (SE) in a PCT publication
W09844716 discloses a method in a radio telecommunication system of limiting
charges on a subscriber's account to an available balance. The method begins by
storing the available resources in the subscriber's home location register (HLR)
and storing, in a subscriber profile in the subscriber's HLR, an instruction to
monitor charges incurred by the subscriber's terminal. The instruction includes
the available resources in the subscriber's account. The HLR determines the
charge rate for any useage of the resources to or from the subscriber's terminal,
and converts the available balance to a time limit for the useage by dividing the
available balance by the charge rate. If the subscriber originates an user's
session, the HLR instructs an Originating User terminal to time the useage in an
Origination Request Return Result message. If a terminating message is received
for the subscriber, the HLR instructs a Gateway SC to time the useage in a
Location Request Return Result message. The SC (Gateway or Originating) then
times the useage. If the useage exceeds the time limit, the SC sends a
Notification Invoke message to the HLR with an indication that the time limit
expired. The HLR sends a Notification Return Result message to the SC
instructing the SC to disconnect the call.
Mizutani Koichi of Canon KK in a Japanese specification JP9046401 discloses a
radio telephone set in which the operability with respect to a call
transmission/call reception operation of a mobile set is improved while being
conducted under the condition where the mobile set is placed on a base of a
charging means without imposing a limit onto miniaturization of the mobile set.
The radio telephone set is provided with a charging base to charge a mobile set.
The charging base has a key entry means and a control section, which controls
the mobile set so as to conduct a call transmission/call reception operation in
response to the operation of an on-hook key of the key entry means conducted
while the mobile set is placed on the base.
Kori Takeji; Hattori Takeshi; Sekiguchi Hideo of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
in a Japanese specification JP4057496 discloses a method to apply a charge to a
caller by storing a caller ID in a switchboard, and corresponding to this
information at the time of a call from a mobile radio terminal to limit the caller. A
caller calls a party to be called who has a mobile radio terminal from a terminal,
which the caller has. In this case, the caller ID being the identification number of
the terminal is transmitted to the back of the terminal number of the party to be
called. A pocket bell switchboard receives this call, calls the terminal by radio,
and transfers the caller ID. The terminal calls the party to be called by a buzzer
or the like, calls to the switchboard of a network simultaneously and transfers
the above-mentioned caller ID by providing radio channel. The switchboard calls
the terminal of the caller based on the caller ID received from the terminal, and
provides the line between the terminal and the switchboard. Then, the charge is
applied to the caller who has the caller ID.
To describe a method for minimizing call charges in a user session in any
network, an example will be pertinent in respect of a mobile communication
network as illustrated hereinabove.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
Therefore it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a method for
setting up and charging for a wireless communications link, between a first
communications subscriber in a location and a second communications
subscriber in a communications network, which eliminates the disadvantages of
the prior art.
Another object of the invention is to propose a method for setting up and
charging for a service link, between a first subscriber in a location and a second
subscriber in a wireless communication network in which the network is not
involved whole-time for monitoring the services which is accomplished by the
switching center / service provider.
A further object of the invention is to propose a method for setting up and
charging for a service link, between a first subscriber in a location and a second
subscriber in a wireless communication network which provides a subscriber the
facility of pre-budgeting monetary value of individual service so that the
subscriber does not exceed his budgeted amount and/or can use full value of his
A still further object of the invention is to propose a method for setting up and
charging for a service link, between a first subscriber in a location and a second
subscriber in a wireless communication network which allows a subscriber to
increase his pre-budgeted monetary value of a service during the pendency of
A yet another object of the invention is to propose a method for setting up and
charging for a service link, between a first subscriber in a location and a second
subscriber in a wireless communication network which ensures that a service is
terminated immediately on exhausting the pre-budgeted amount selected by a
subscriber unless increased during the service.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In a wireless telecommunications system, such as herein described, a method of
pre-limiting charges for a service on a subscriber's account to an available
balance, said method comprising the steps of: communicating a parameter
useable in the network to specify an intended maximum service charge; storing
the parameters in the network; storing in a subscriber profile the subscriber's
maximum intended useage information; monitoring parametric charges incurred
by the subscriber's service provider / network station; comparing with the
intended useage information with the available balance; converting said
maximum charge to a granted time limit for said service; transmitting said
message to a switching center; monitoring the time / amount / quality of service
by the Switching center / service provider for the granted time limit; releasing /
disconnecting said service forcibly in case of exceeding the granted time limit.
The wireless communication system may be, but is not limited to, a
radiotelephone such as a cellular phone or two way radio, a paging device, a
personal digital assistant ("PDA"), a hand held computer, an audio-video device
such as television or an MP3-MP4 Player, a Set top box, a network browsing
device, virtual pen or any type of computing or communicating device etc.
In another aspect of the invention, if the location of the first communications
subscriber belongs to a selection of locations, where an network controls set-up
of the wireless communications link, the network provides information required
for location-based charging to the communications network from an external
service logic unit via an open network interface.
In yet another aspect of the invention, a preferential charge tariff is used for
charging if one or more other selected conditions are satisfied.
In a still another aspect of the invention the budgetary provisions made /
selected by the subscriber for a particular service can be increased or decreased
during the service period.
In a further aspect of the invention, the method includes retrieval of the stored
data associated with the external service logic unit to determine the number,
tariff, time of all such services executed under limit service providers provisions.
In a still further aspect of the invention, the method includes all the subscribers
in pre-paid, post-paid and other services.
In a yet further aspect of the invention, the method includes a warning notation
/ warning audio signal before the end of such service.
In another aspect of the invention, the method includes all the subscribers
irrespective of their location i.e. including roaming provisions.
In yet another aspect of the invention, the method includes all the subscribers of
a fixed communication network.
In a further aspect of the invention, the Switching center (SC) / service provider
(SP) and network interact with each other using SS7 (INAP/CAP) protocol, the
SC/SP continuously monitoring the service duration and passes the information
to the network.
With the above and other objects in view, our invention resides in the novel
features of form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts presently
described and pointed out in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
Having thus described the invention in general terms, reference will now be
made to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a message signaling diagram illustrating the flow of messages between
the affected nodes of a wireless communications network as per the prior art for
services terminating at a node operating in the network;
FIG. 2 is a message signaling diagram illustrating the flow of messages between
the affected nodes of a wireless communications network in which the present
invention is implemented for calls originating at a node operating in the network.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE
Referring now in more detail to the drawings, which illustrate the flowchart of
the charging procedure. FIG. 1 shows the function sequence for monitoring the
charges incurred in a switching center / service provider (prior art) given a
service departing a network station (SC) exchange, (mobile originated service).
The service is initiated by a switching center subscriber by actuation of the
network station, is forwarded via a wireless transmission channel to a base
station and from the latter to a switching center /SP via a trunk. During a
service!, the switch center (popularly known as "Exchange") routes the service to
the called party subscriber, i.e. example - for any A-Party calling any B-Party, a
SC (switching centre) is involved in the routing. Fig 2 shows the function
sequence for monitoring the incurred in a switching center /SP as per the aspect
of the present invention. For charging the pre-paid subscribers, SC/SP contacts
"network", which is owned by the same operator. The network maintains the
balance of the subscriber and has the software logic to charge the outgoing calls.
The SC/SP and network interact with each other using SS7 (INAP/CAP) protocol.
SC/SP continuously monitors the servicel duration and passes the information to
the network. The network has the corresponding software logic to convert this
time data to monetary data. The amount is deducted by the network on a
To ensure that a pre-paid service subscriber can access services when enough
money is on his account, the On-line charging procedure is used. The principle of
the On-line charging algorithm is the following:-
a) The prepaid account is held on the network system.
b) SC/SP and network communicates by means of the CAP or INAP
The CAMEL (Customized Application of Mobile Enhanced Logic) Application Part,
or CAP enabler, allows for the implementation of carrier-grade, value added
services such as unified messaging, prepaid, fraud control and Freephone in both
the GSM voice and GPRS data networks. CAMEL is a means of adding intelligent
applications to mobile networks. It builds upon established practices in the fixed
line telephony business that are generally classed under the heading of INAP
(Intelligent Network Application Part). The INAP (Intelligent Network Application
Part) allows for the implementation of carrier-grade, signaling infrastructure
targeted to the world wide fixed telephony market. INAP is a signaling protocol
between a service switching point (SSP), network media resources (intelligent
peripherals), and a centralized network database called a service control point
(SCP). The SCP consists of operator or 3rd party derived service logic programs
and data. The Intelligent Network (IN) is a telephone network architecture that
separates service logic from switching equipment, allowing new services to be
added without having to redesign switch software to support new services. With
IN, the operators are able to implement differentiating, value added services
thereby acquiring competitive advantages in the market since it makes it easier
for a provider to add services and offer customers more service choices. IN is
application independent, meaning that it provides generic, reusable
functionalities that can be integrated and recombined to offer a host of revenue
c) Apply charging (AC) and Apply charging report (ACR)
The facility of charging on basis of the budgetary provisions made by the
subscriber for a particular service can be extended to post-paid and fixed line
subscribers also. In this case the limit value charged will be stored in the
subscribers records of the network and can be produced in the bills.
As per the principle objective of the present invention, for obtaining a charging
process which, is not done purely on the basis of the time information only, but
on the basis of the budgetary provisions made by the subscriber for a particular
service, the subscriber sends an users initiated session string to the SC/SP with
his intended maximum possible service charge. The network connected with the
SC/SP stores this data "Service charge" for that subscriber under the interaction
with the users string generating apparatus. The network also stores, in a
subscriber profile, the subscriber's maximum possible service charge information
and then instructs to monitor charges incurred by the subscriber's network
comparing with the maximum service charge information with the available
balance. The network having the node monitors, controls the operations in the
network to determine and decode the users session string and then uses the
same parameter of the service duration. Thus the network converts said
maximum service charge to a granted time limit for said service. The billing /
charging data are composed, for example, of a plurality of parameters that are
operated according to a formula defined for the service for the service to form a
result about the charges incurred. The network then sends said message to the
MSC in the form of AC message thereafter SC/SP monitors the time of service for
the granted time limit and then releases / disconnects said service forcibly in
case of the service exceeding the granted time limit.
The major advantage of this principle is that the network is not involved for the
whole time during the call because the time supervision is done by the SC/SP.
The subscribers account information (balance etc) is kept in the network
database. Using CAP/INAP protocol messages; network sends an Apply Charging
(AC) message to MSC. This will "grant" a certain amount of time for SC/SP to
continue the service. As soon as this granted time is elapsed, SC/SP will inform
the network with an Apply Charging Report (ACR) message. As the service
continues, AC/ACR message pairs are exchanged between the network and the
SC/SP. After every ACR message is received, network deducts the charge for that
service segment and decides if subscriber can continue with the service. If the
balance is sufficient, one more AC message is sent, else service is disconnected.
In this approach the granted time is calculated by network based on the
As soon as the granted time is near completion / ending, the network can be
programmed for issuance of a prior information by giving a warning note or a
sound signal and the time limit can be extended in multiples of the granted time
or can be extended in multiples of minutes or seconds or the prescribed pulses
by the network.
The system of the invention allows many different applications. One such
application comprises provisions for retrieval of the stored data associated with
the external service logic unit to determine the number, tariff, time of all such
calls executed under pre-limit call provisions.
The method used by the system also allows the preferential charge tariff, used
for charging if one or more other selected conditions are satisfied. Moreover the
facility can be extended to all the subscribers in pre-paid, post-paid and the
subscribers of a fixed networks.
In a mobile communication network, to initiate a pre-limit calling facility, MSC
initiates a call for a subscriber who intends to talk Rs 10, then IN calculates the
time which can be granted by considering the amount of money. The IN will
send this "granted time" in an AC message to the MSC. The MSC will monitor the
call for that duration. If the call proceeds beyond the granted duration, MSC will
release the call forcibly. If the call is released before the "granted time", MSC will
send the ACR to the IN with the "used time" information. IN will then calculate
the money to be deducted and reduces the subscribers balance. The IN can also
send "Granted Time" information in smaller chunks and manage the balance
information with its software intelligence.
Thus, there has been illustrated and described a unique and novel method for
setting up a wireless communications link between a first communications
subscriber at a particular location and a second communications subscriber in a
communications network wherein the charging process is not done purely on the
basis of the time information only, but on the basis of the budgetary provisions
made by the subscriber for a particular service and which therefore fulfills all of
the objects and advantages sought therefor.
It should be understood that many changes, modifications, variations and other
uses and applications of the quiz apparatus will become apparent to those skilled
in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings.
Therefore, any and all such changes, modifications, variations and other uses
and applications which do not depart from the nature and spirit of the invention
are deemed to be covered by the invention which is limited only by the following
1. A wireless communications system for pre-limiting service charges on a
subscriber's account during communication set-up between two
subscribers, the system comprising :
a Switching center/service provider (SC/SP);
a network characterized by a processor configured to:
-communicate a parameter adaptable by the network to specify an
intended maximum service charges thereby initiating an user session;
-store said parameters in the network;
-store in a subscriber profile the subscriber's maximum service charge
information, in respect of said parameter;
-monitor the charges incurred by the subscriber's, switching centre/service
-compare the maximum possible service charge information with the users
-convert said maximum possible service charge to a granted time limit for
-transmit said message to the SC/SP by the network in an apply charging
-monitor the time of service by the SC/SP for the granted time limit; and
-terminate said service forcibly in case of exceeding the granted time limit.
2. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein when one or more other
selected conditions are satisfied, the system allows charging the user a
3. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the system is enabled to
increase or decrease during a service, the budgetary provisions initially
made /selected by the subscriber for a particular call.
4. The system as claimed in claim 1, comprising means for retrieval of the
stored data associated with an external service logic unit to determine the
number, tariff, time of all such calls executed under pre-limit service
5. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the system is enabled to cover
all the subscribers in pre-paid, post-paid and the subscribers of a fixed
telephone network including the subscribers from all locations with
6. The system as claimed in claim 1, comprising means for issuing a warning
notation/warning audio signal before the end of such service.
7. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the switching centre/service
provider (SC/SP) and network are enabled to interact with each other
using SS7 (INAP/CAP) protocol, and wherein the SC/SP is provided with
means for continuously monitor the service duration and pass the
information to the network.
8. A wireless communications system for pre-limiting service charges on a
subscriber's account during communication set-up between two subscribers, the
system as substantially described and illustrated herein with reference to the
|Indian Patent Application Number||892/KOL/2006|
|PG Journal Number||13/2011|
|Date of Filing||04-Sep-2006|
|Name of Patentee||NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS GMBH & CO. KG.|
|Applicant Address||ST.-MARTIN-STR. 76, D-81541, MUNCHEN|
|PCT International Classification Number||G07G1/12; G06Q50/00; G07G1/14|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|