|Title of Invention||
"A SYSTEM FOR SENDING SHORT MESSAGES"
|Abstract||A system for sending short messages using a debiting service with debiting to a recipient, characterized in that it comprises: i - a short message service center for receiving a short message from a sending number addressed to a recipient's number, with the addition of a prefix, the prefix being associated with said debiting service, the short message service center being adapted to forward said short message based on said prefix; ii - a platform, adapted to receive from said short message service center said short message with said prefix, and adapted to check an authorization of the sending number to debit a cost of the short message to the recipient; said platform being further adapted to check if a credit of the recipient is greater than said cost and, if the outcomes of both said checks is positive, to send the short message to the short message service center so that it can be sent to the recipient.|
|Full Text||The present invention relates a system for sending short messages.
DESCRIPTION Technical field
The invention relates in general to the field of mobile telephony, and more particularly to short message services (SMS) and the corresponding billing processes. Prior art
Telephone services which enable a call to be debited to the called party are known; after the call request, if the called party consents to the debiting, ' the connection, is established and the call can take place.
However, at the present time there is only provision for billing the senders of short messages. Clearly, the problems of billing the recipient of a message are fundamentally different from those of voice calls, and in particular the different nature of the information content and the corresponding transmission protocol require ad hoc solutions which are totally unrelated to the existing procedures for managing voice calls debited to the called party.
The object of the present invention is to enable short messages to be sent with the cost debited to the recipient, this debiting . to the recipient being allowed only if the latter has previously authorized the sending number for the operation.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method for sending short messages with debiting to the recipient which enables both the recipient's number and the data for the type of
billing to the recipient to be sent together with the message.
Finally, another object of the present invention is to provide a method for sending short messages with debiting to the recipient which is based on the typical network architecture of SMS management systems and which uses communication protocols which are standard in the mobile telephony field, in order to make the service inexpensive and immediately usable.
These and other objects which will be made clear in the description are achieved by means of a method comprising the following steps.
1. A user wishing to debit the cost of a short message to the recipient of the message provides the number with a prefix, e.g. consisting of a short number, associated with a platform managing the service. For example, if the recipient's number is 3351234567 and the short number is 4888, the user may dial 48883351234567.
2. When it receives the message, the SMS center SMS-C forwards the same to the platform managing the service, keeping the data relating to the recipient number (prefix+number) unchanged.
3. The platform managing the service checks that the recipient of the message has authorized the sending number to debit the cost of the short message to him.
4. The platform also checks, via a suitable interface with the billing systems, that the recipient has sufficient credit for the operation to take place.
5. If the outcome of both checks is positive, the platform sends the message to the recipient.
6. If the authorization check is negative, a courtesy message may be sent to the sender, informing
him that sending with debiting to the recipient is not possible. The recipient may also be informed of the sender's attempt to debit him, and of the procedures for activating the system.
In order to provide an example of how the service can be implemented, without intent to limit the generality of the invention and its possible fields of application, a specific embodiment of the invention is described below with particular reference to Figure 1 attached.
This figure shows the following message flow: (1) User A sends the SMS with debiting to the recipient, by adding a suitable prefix to the recipient's number.
(2), (3) The SMS-C receives the message, recognizes from the prefix that the SMS message should be debited to the recipient and forwards the same to the software platform SW-P, instead that sending directly to the recipient.
(4) The SW-P platform eliminates the prefix from the recipient's number, in order to recognize the user B to which the message has to be sent, and checks the authorizations set by user B.
(5) The SW-P platform checks the credit of user B.
(6) , (7) , (8) If user A is not authorized for the
debiting or user B has insufficient credit, user A
receives the courtesy message.
(9) , (10) , (11) If user A is authorized for the debiting and user B has sufficient credit, the SW-P platform forwards the short message to the SMS-C, so that it can be sent to user B.
For user B, the fact that he is being billed is transparent because the received message shows the
number of user A as the sender, as for a normal short message.
However, the sent message does not go directly to the recipient but is processed by the dedicated SW-P platform. The forwarding of the messages from the SMS-C and the SW-P platform (and vice-versa) can be carried out by a protocol of the IP suite, such as for example by UCP (Universal Computer Protocol).
Since the system evaluates the incoming message as originating from an application if it is identified by a number, a special arrangement can be made for billing the message: the field of the UCP frame relating to the sender is completed with the sender's number in alphanumeric type. The SMS-C recognizes that the sender field is of the alphanumeric type and generates a traffic record (subsequently sent to the billing systems) showing as sender the recipient's number, instead of the sender's number, and therefore enables the appropriate billing policies to be used.
To encode a string as an alphanumeric OAdC field (the sender of the short message), the following steps may be carried out:
1) The string is encoded in the 7-bit GSM alphabet (for example as shown in table in GSM 03.38 or EMI specifications).
2) The "SMS Point-to-Point Packing" compression algorithm (described in the GSM 03.38 specifications) is applied to the result of the encoding.
3) The number of half-octets produced by the compression algorithm is then placed at the head of the resulting string.
4) The resulting string is finally converted to the alphanumeric representation which the UCP protocol
will use for the messages.
Advantages and possible applications of the invention
I - Short message debiting options
Three different options are herein disclosed to determine the modes in which a user can authorize other users to debit short messages to his number:
1. Unlimited: a number configured with this option can debit an unlimited number of messages to the recipient.
2. Numeric: a number configured with this option can debit a maximum number N of messages, determined by the recipient. The number N set initially is decremented on the transit of each short message and, when the value reaches zero, the platform sends a courtesy message to the sender, notifying him that short messages cannot be sent with debiting to the recipient.
3. Time-based: a number configured with this option can debit an unlimited number of messages within a time interval specified by the recipient. If the configured number sends a short message with debiting to the recipient outside the entered time interval, it will receive a courtesy message notifying it that the message cannot be resent.
II - Web management interface
Easier access for the user can be provided by using the World-Wide Web and corresponding browsers.
A web interface enables the users to manage the lists of numbers authorized for debiting. The allowed operations may be, for example:
1. Display of the list of authorized numbers. 2 . Addition of a new number to the list in one of the following modes:
a. Unlimited authorization
b. Numeric authorization
c. Time-based authorization
2. Activation/Disabling of a number already present
on the list.
3. Modification of the entries of numbers present on the list.
4. Removal of a number from the list. III - Service by Short Message
Access via mobile telephone may be also provided. For example, the users can interact with the platform which manages the service by sending special service SMs containing a special keyword. Most typical operations may include:
1. Entry of a new number authorized for debiting in unlimited, numeric or time-based mode.
A user wishing to authorize a new number for debiting may send a short message showing 4888
2. Removal of a number authorized for debiting from the list.
A user wishing to remove a number authorized for debiting from the list must send a short message showing 4888
and insert the keyword for this option into the message.
3. Display of the list of numbers
The user can receive information on the list of numbers which he has configured, by sending a short message to a service number, such as for example 48883, or, as another example, to the number 4888
4. Request for help
The user can send a help request message enabling him to receive a courtesy message containing the instructions for using the service by short messages.
Provision may be also made for billing for the various operations associated with the activation, cancellation, status request or the service management in general. For this purpose, each request may be answered with a courtesy message in which the UCP OADC field (sender of the SMS) is set, together with a short number associated with the billing which is to be applied for the specific service message. For this type of message, the sender field is not put in alphanumeric format; instead, the ordinary numeric format can be used (leaving the UCP OTOA field empty).
The keywords, the courtesy messages and the billing short numbers to be used for the service short messages can be determined from a configuration file of the platform.
1. A system for sending short messages using a debiting service with
debiting to a recipient, characterized in that it comprises:
i - a short message service center (SMS-C) for receiving a short message from a sending number addressed to a recipient's number, with the addition of a prefix, the prefix being associated with said debiting service, the short message service center (SMS-C) being adapted to forward said short message based on said prefix;
ii - a platform (SW-P), adapted to receive from said short message service center said short message with said prefix, and adapted to check an authorization of the sending number to debit a cost of the short message to the recipient (B);
said platform (SW-P) being further adapted to check if a credit of the recipient (B) is greater than said cost and,
the platform send the short message to the short message service center so that it can be sent to the recipient when the outcome of both said checks is positive.
2. A system as claimed in claim 1, wherein said platform is adapted so that,
when at least one outcome of said checks is negative, it sends a courtesy message to a sender of said short message, informing the sender (A) that the debiting service is not possible.
3. A system as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said platform checks a
maximum number of allowed short messages to be debited is greater
4. A system as claimed in claim 3, wherein said platform is adapted to
decrement said maximum number by one.
5. A system as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said platform checks a
sending time of said short message is within a predetermined time
6. A system as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein said
platform is adapted to decrement said credit by said cost.
7. A system as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein said
platform is adapted to check a list of authorized numbers.
8. A system as claimed in claim 7, wherein said platform is adapted to
undergo interaction with users so as to allow said recipient to display or
update said list of authorized numbers.
|Indian Patent Application Number||1922/DELNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||46/2011|
|Date of Filing||06-May-2005|
|Name of Patentee||TIM ITALIA S.P.A|
|Applicant Address||PIAZZA DEGLI AFFARI, 2, I-20123 MILANO, ITALY.|
|PCT International Classification Number||h04m 17/00|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP2003/013195|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-11-24|