EP2067344A1 - Number service - Google Patents

Number service

Info

Publication number
EP2067344A1
EP2067344A1 EP20070823143 EP07823143A EP2067344A1 EP 2067344 A1 EP2067344 A1 EP 2067344A1 EP 20070823143 EP20070823143 EP 20070823143 EP 07823143 A EP07823143 A EP 07823143A EP 2067344 A1 EP2067344 A1 EP 2067344A1
Authority
EP
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
terminal device
telephone number
characterized
user
number register
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP20070823143
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2067344A4 (en )
Inventor
Lauri Isotalo
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Elisa Oyj
Original Assignee
Elisa Oyj
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/57Arrangements for indicating or recording the number of the calling subscriber at the called subscriber's set
    • H04M1/575Means for retrieving and displaying personal data about calling party
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/274Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc
    • H04M1/2745Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/274Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc
    • H04M1/2745Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips
    • H04M1/274516Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously with provision for storing more than one subscriber number at a time, e.g. using toothed disc using static electronic memories, i.e. memories whose operation does not require relative movement between storage means and a transducer, e.g. chips whose content are provided by data transmission or downloaded
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/487Arrangements for providing information services, e.g. recorded voice services, time announcements
    • H04M3/493Interactive information services, e.g. directory enquiries ; Arrangements therefor, e.g. interactive voice response [IVR] systems or voice portals
    • H04M3/4931Directory assistance systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2203/00Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M2203/55Aspects of automatic or semi-automatic exchanges related to network data storage and management
    • H04M2203/554Data synchronization
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42025Calling or Called party identification service
    • H04M3/42034Calling party identification service
    • H04M3/42042Notifying the called party of information on the calling party

Abstract

The invention is related to a number service in a user's terminal device. A method providing the service comprises maintaining a general telephone number register in connection with the user's terminal device (401) in an encrypted format so that the user of the terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register, receiving a search criterion, searching said general telephone number register for data using said search criterion, and providing said searched data for use by the user of the terminal device.

Description

NUMBER SERVICE

The present invention is generally related to the implementation of number services.

Mobile stations usually include a local or private telephone directory, where the user may store numbers he/she considers useful. Such a telephone directory may be stored on a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card or in the mobile station's memory (or both of these).

When a telephone call arrives at the mobile station, the caller's MSISDN number (Mobile Subscriber ISDN number) can be compared to the numbers in the private telephone directory. If a match is found, the user can immediately be shown the name of the caller stored in the private telephone directory for the number in question, whereby the user sees right away who is calling. On the other hand, if the caller's MSISDN number is not found in the private telephone directory, it is only possible to show the caller's number to the user and the user has to search for the caller's name in a number service (in Finland 118, for example) or some external telephone directory to find out the caller's name. In other words, if the caller's name cannot be found in the private telephone directory, the user cannot find out the caller's name immediately, but has to find it out afterwards.

In order to find out an unknown caller's name immediately when a telephone call arrives, an application is provided that inquires the caller's name from a number service by means of an SMS message and shows the name obtained as a response from the number service to the user in connection with the incoming telephone call. The user pays for the use of the application according to the number of number inquiry SMS messages sent. A problem with such a solution is that it may cause the user to incur unpredictable costs as he/she cannot control the number of incoming telephone calls from unknown numbers. In addition, use of the service abroad may cause unexpected costs as the price of SMS messages abroad may be significantly higher than in the home country. Therefore, it is necessary to further develop the implementation of number services.

One basic idea in the present invention is to implement a general telephone number register in a user's terminal device in an encrypted format so that the user of the terminal device does not have direct access to the general telephone number register in question. Information in the general telephone number register in question is provided to the user in certain ways.

The fact that a terminal device holds a general telephone directory or telephone number register in an encrypted format enables the party maintaining the general telephone number register to control its use and, as necessary, bill for its use.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for providing a number service to be executed in a user's terminal device. The method comprises: maintaining a general telephone number register in connection with the user's terminal device in an encrypted format so that the user of the terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register; receiving a search criterion; searching said general telephone number register for data using said search criterion; and providing said searched data for use by the user of the terminal device.

The above-mentioned search criterion may be one or several of the following, for example: a telephone number, a fax number, a name, a company, an address, an e-mail address, an IP address, an SIP address, a domain name, a vehicle registration number, a person number, a date of birth, a social security number, a user identifier, a former name and location information.

In one embodiment of the invention the method further comprises: detecting contact from an unknown number; and processing said unknown number as said search criterion by searching said general telephone number register for data corresponding to said unknown number.

The above-mentioned contact may be a telephone call, an SMS message, a multimedia message, a video call, an instant message, a group message, a push message, or a push call, for example.

In one embodiment of the invention said terminal device comprises a private telephone number register where the user of the terminal device has direct access and the execution of said detection step comprises: detecting contact from some number; searching for said number in said private telephone number register; and if said number cannot be found in the private telephone number register, determining said number to be unknown.

Said search based on an unknown number may be executed conditionally, for example, with the search comprising: offering the user a possibility to execute the search; and executing the search only if the user accepts the offer.

In one embodiment of the invention the method further comprises: storing billing information related to said search; and delivering said billing information to an external billing system.

The above-mentioned billing information may be delivered when a predetermined criterion is met, for example.

The above-mentioned predetermined criterion may comprise at least one of the following, for example: reaching a predetermined billing amount, reaching a predetermined number of searches, expiry of a predetermined period of time, and receiving a billing information request from said external billing system. In one embodiment of the invention the method further comprises: automatically updating information in said general telephone register.

The above-mentioned updating may be executed, for example, by setting up a connection from the terminal device at regular intervals to an application server, said application server having access to an updated general telephone number register; and using said connection to retrieve the updated general telephone number register.

In an embodiment of the invention the terminal device is connected to a data communication network and said updating is executed by delivering an update from said data communication network using OTA (over-the- air) technology.

In another embodiment of the invention said updating is executed by delivering only changed information to the general telephone number register in the terminal device or by delivering an updated general telephone number register to the terminal device to replace the previous version in its entirety.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a terminal device, comprising: a storage medium and data processing means connected to the storage medium, characterized in that said storage medium comprises a general telephone number register in an encrypted format so that the user of said terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register, and in that said data processing means is configured to receive a search criterion, search said general telephone number register for data using said search criterion, and provide said searched data for use by the user of the terminal device. According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a computer program comprising a computer-executable program code that, when executed, controls a device to execute the method according to the first aspect.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided a storage medium to be used in an end user's communication device, characterized in that said storage medium comprises a general telephone number register in an encrypted format.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided a method in a server connected to a data communication network, characterized in that said method comprises: updating from said network element a general telephone number register stored in an encrypted format in connection with a terminal device connected to said data communication network, wherein said updating takes place over said data communication network.

The above-mentioned updating may be executed using OTA (over-the-air) technology, for example. Alternatively, said updating may be executed through a separate application server.

Furthermore, said updating may be executed by delivering only changed information to the general telephone number register in the terminal device or by delivering ari updated general telephone number register to the terminal device to replace the previous version in its entirety.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention, there is provided a server connected to a data communication network, characterized in that the server comprises: means for updating a general telephone number register stored in an encrypted format in connection with a terminal device connected to said data communication network over said data communication network. According to a seventh aspect of the invention, there is provided a computer program comprising a computer-executable program code that, when executed, controls a device to execute the method according to the fifth aspect.

According to an eight aspect of the invention, there is provided a system comprising a terminal device and a server according to the first and the sixth aspect of the invention, respectively.

Various embodiments of the present invention are described in connection with some aspects of the invention. However, corresponding embodiments may also be applicable to other aspects as well.

The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 shows a flow chart of a method according to one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a flow chart of a method according to another embodiment of the invention; Figure 3 shows a flow chart of a method according to yet another embodiment of the invention;

Figure 4 shows a system according to one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 5 shows a device according to one embodiment of the invention; and

Figure 6 shows a device according to another embodiment of the invention.

Figure 1 shows a flow chart of a method according to one embodiment of the invention. The method is suitable for use in a terminal device in connection with which a general telephone number register is stored in an encrypted format so that the user of the terminal device in question does not have direct access thereto. Said general telephone number register may be stored on a SIM card, for example, or in a memory of the terminal device itself. Furthermore, the terminal device in question may comprise a private telephone number register that is freely available to the user. At Step 101 , a new call/contact arrives at the terminal device. The contact may concern a telephone call, an SMS message, a multimedia message or another contact. The other contact may be a video call, an instant message, a group message in, e.g., IRC (Internet Relay Chat) services, or a push message or push call according to POC (Push-to-talk over Cellular) technology, for example. In this example the contact is an incoming telephone call. At Step 102, the caller's MSISDN number is examined and further, at Step 102, it is examined whether the MSISDN number in question can be found in the user's private telephone number register (among telephone numbers stored by the user in the terminal device/on the SIM card). If the number in question is found in the private telephone number register, at Step 104 a number corresponding to it is displayed to the user in connection with the incoming telephone call. In this case, the process ends here.

On the other hand, if the calling party number cannot be found in the private telephone number register, the process proceeds to Step 105, where the general telephone number register* is searched for the number in question. If the number in question is found in the general telephone number register, at Step 106 the user is presented with a possibility to obtain additional information on the calling party. At this stage, the user is thus able to control whether he/she wants to obtain information potentially subject to a charge from the general telephone number register, or not. A more detailed example of presenting the offered possibility will be discussed below in connection with Figure 2.

Depending on the implementation, the user may alternatively be directly provided with the data available in the general telephone register at Step 107 (shown by a dashed line in the figure), whereby data on the calling party is automatically displayed to the user in connection with a call. This alternative may be sensible in the case that the service is provided to the user as a fixed-rate periodical subscription or similar, for example.

If the telephone number in question cannot be found in the general telephone number register at Step 105, the MSISDN number in question may be stored at Step 108 for subsequent use. The missing number may be transmitted to a network operator or the party maintaining the general telephone register, for example, so that information on the number in question can be retrieved later to be added to the general telephone number register.

Figure 2 shows a flow chart of a method according to another embodiment of the invention.

At Step 201 , a user is provided with an offer on a possibility to obtain additional information on a calling party from a general telephone number register. Step 201 may correspond to Step 106 in Figure 1 , for example. The additional information offered may be subject to a charge and the offer may be presented in a display of a telephone, for example. Alternatively, the offer may be presented in some other audiovisual manner, such as using electronically produced speech, for example. Step 202 comprises waiting whether the user accepts the offer. If the user does not accept the offer, at Step 203 it is examined whether the offer has been presented for a predetermined period of time. If the offer has been presented for a predetermined period of time and the user has not accepted it, the presentation of the offer is terminated at Step 204 (the offer is deleted from the display of the telephone). In this case, the process ends here. If the offer has not been presented for a predetermined period of time, the process returns from Step 203 to

Step 202 to wait whether the user accepts the offer.

If the user accepts the offer, the process proceeds to Step 205, where billing information related to the offered data is stored. Further processing of the billing information will be further discussed below in connection with an example shown in Figure 3. Then, at Step 206, the calling party's name and/or other information is displayed to the user. The information may be presented on the display of the telephone, for example, or in some other audiovisual manner, such as using electronically produced speech. Finally, the information retrieved from the general telephone number register may be stored in the user's private telephone number register or another suitable location for subsequent use at Step 207 (shown with a dashed line in the figure). However, Step 207 is voluntary and may also be omitted in the implementation. The user may also be asked whether he/she wants to store the information somewhere.

In one embodiment of the invention a general telephone number register stored in connection with a telephone comprises one or several pieces of the following information: a telephone number, a fax number, a name, a company, an address, an e-mail address, an IP address, an SIP address, a domain name, a vehicle registration number, a person number, a date of birth, a social security number, a user identifier, a former name and location information. The user identifier may be an identifier used in some online service, such as Skype, IRC or Messenger, for example.

In another embodiment of the invention a user is provided with an interface through which the user may at his/her own initiative execute searches in a general telephone number register using some piece of information included in the register as a search criterion in order to find out someone's telephone number, for example. For example, if the user wants to find a telephone number corresponding to a name, he/she may execute a search in the general telephone number register using the name in question and obtain the desired telephone number and possibly other information related to the name in question as a response. Furthermore, the arrangement may be such that a terminal device automatically sets up a connection to the number found for the name in question. If desired, the user may be provided with a possibility to optionally switch such automatic connection set-up on or off. Alternatively, a corresponding search in the general telephone number register may be executed on the basis of an e-mail address, an address or a registration number, for example, if such information is included in the general telephone number register. In other words, any information included in the general telephone register may be used as a search criterion.

Figure 3 shows a flow chart of a method according to yet another embodiment of the invention. At Step 301 , information is collected on charging transactions related to the use of a general telephone number register. The information may be stored in an encrypted file, for example. Step 301 may correspond to Step 205 in Figure 2, for example. Furthermore, charging transactions may also be collected in connection with other searches in the general telephone number register as well. Then, at Step 302, it is examined whether conditions for transmitting charging information are met. A transmission condition may be expiry of a predetermined period of time, exceeding a predetermined number or value of charging transactions, for example, or some other predetermined criterion. If the transmission conditions are not met, the process returns to Step 301 to collect charging information.

On the other hand, if the transmission conditions are met, the process proceeds to Step 303, where the charging information is sent to a billing system 304 of a network operator or another corresponding billing system. The charging transactions are then later retrieved from the network operator's billing system 304 to the user's bill at Step 305.

In addition to or instead of the charging information being sent at the terminal device's initiative, the operator's billing system or another suitable element may also request transmission of charging information at Step 306 (shown with a dashed line in the figure), depending on the implementation. In this case, the transmission condition is the arrival of a charging information request and, when such a request is detected at Step 302, the process proceeds as described to Step 303. Alternatively or in addition to the arrival of a charging information request, a transmission condition may simply be the existence of charging information. In other words, charging information may be sent immediately once a charging information request arrives if charging information has accumulated, but if no charging information has accumulated, it is not necessary to send any information to the billing system or the billing system may be informed that no charging information has accumulated. When charging information is sent as a response to the operator's request, the transmission of charging information to the operator can be performed at a moment that is suitable for the operator. It should be noted that if the use of the general telephone register is provided to the user at a fixed periodical charge, it is not absolutely necessary to deliver charging information to the network operator's billing system. However, the network operator may want statistics on the use of the general telephone register. Such statistics may be collected and transmitted in the same way as charging information but, in this case, the information is not necessarily transmitted to the network operator's billing system but possibly to some other system.

It must be noted in connection with Figures 1 , 2 and 3, that the steps presented and their order are not limiting. Instead, various steps may be performed in a different order, some steps may be omitted and various steps may be repeated several times.

Figure 4 shows a system 400 according to one embodiment of the invention. The system comprises a terminal device 401 , which may be a mobile station, for example. A memory card 402, which may be a SIM card, for example, is coupled to the terminal device. A SIM card with a capacity of 512 megabytes or 1 gigabyte, for example, is suitable for this purpose. The memory card comprises a general telephone number register (not shown in the figure) in an encrypted format.

The terminal device 401 is connected to a data communication network 403. Furthermore, the system comprises a number service element 404, from which the general telephone number register on the memory card 402 can be updated over the data communication network 403. For example, the updating may take place through an application server 405 connected to the data communication network 403 and the number service element 404. In this case, the terminal device 401 (or an application located in the terminal device or on the memory card 402) contacts the application server for performing the update. Alternatively, a connection may be opened by the application server if the terminal device is configured to allow such contacts. The contact may be carried out regularly, at the user's request, or when predetermined criteria are met, for example. The predetermined criteria may be a sufficiently high-speed data transmission connection, for example, and/or a situation where the terminal device is not executing any other task at the same time.

Alternatively, the updating of the general telephone number register may be carried out using OTA (over-the-air) technology, which may generally be used for updating information on the terminal device's SIM card by means of SMS messages. In this case, the number service element is connected to an OTA server 406, which in turn is connected to the data communication network 403 through an SMSC (Short Message Service Center) element 407. In this alternative the updating is usually carried out at the initiative of the number service, but it is also possible that the terminal device or the user of the terminal device requests updating.

It should be noted in this context that the updating may also be carried out otherwise than in the ways according to the presented examples. Furthermore, it should be noted that the updating of the telephone number register may be carried out by only updating changed information (including added and removed data) or by delivering a new register that replaces the old one in its entirety, or by a suitable combination of these.

The ways of updating the telephone number register stored in a terminal device in an encrypted format presented above may also be used to copy/download the telephone number register to the terminal device/a memory card for the first time in connection with the introduction of the service, for example. For example, the terminal device may be connected via a fixed cable connection to a computer, from which the telephone number register may be transferred to the terminal device over the cable connection in question. Other example alternatives include, among others, transfer of the telephone number register over a WLAN, a Bluetooth or an infrared connection or a connection utilizing GPRS or 3G technology, for example. It is possible to utilize BIP (Bearer Independent Protocol) technology, for example, in this connection. These other ways may be also used, as appropriate, for updating the telephone number register after the initialization of the service. It should be noted that a program code/application providing the functionality of the invention may also be downloaded to the terminal device/memory card in the same way as the telephone number register is downloaded to the terminal device/memory card.

Figure 5 shows a device 500 according to one embodiment of the invention, suitable for implementing various embodiments of the invention. The device may be a mobile station or another communication device, for example.

The device 500 comprises a processor 501 for controlling the operation of the device and a memory 502 that comprises a computer program/software 503. The computer software 503 may comprise instructions for the processor to control the device 500, such as an operating system and various applications, for example.

The device 500 also comprises a memory card 504, where a general telephone directory 511 is stored in an encrypted format. The memory card may be detachable or replaceable, or it may be permanently integrated in the device 500. In one embodiment of the invention the memory card 504 is a SIM card. Furthermore, the memory card 504 may comprise a computer program/software 510. The computer software 510 may comprise an application that comprises instructions to control the device 500 for providing the functionality according to the invention.

In order to receive an input from the user and provide outputs to the user, the device 500 comprises a user interface 506, which may comprise a display and a keyboard, for example (not shown in the figure). Furthermore, the device 500 comprises an input/output unit 505, which provides an interface to a data communication network. For example, the interface may be a radio interface to a wireless data communication network, such as a GSM (Global System for Mobile communication), 3G (third-generation), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service), WCDMA (Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access), or WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) network. The interface may also provide a fixed, wired connection to a data communication network.

Figure 6 shows a device 600 according to another embodiment of the invention, suitable for implementing various embodiments of the invention. The device 600 comprises a corresponding processor 501 , memory 502, input/output unit 505 and user interface 506 as the device 500 in Figure 5.

The memory 502 comprises a computer program/software 603. The computer software 603 may comprise instructions for the processor to control the device

600, such as an operating system and various applications, for example.

Furthermore, the computer software 603 may comprise an application that comprises instructions to control the device 600 for providing the functionality according to the invention. The memory 502 also stores a general telephone directory 511 in an encrypted format.

It should be noted that the device 600 may also comprise a memory card (not shown in the figure), similarly to the device 500 in Figure 5.

It can be seen in Figures 5 and 6 that the program code/application controlling the functionality of various embodiments of the invention may be stored on the memory card 504 or in the memory 502 and that the general telephone number register may also be stored on the memory card 504 or in the memory 502. It should be noted that it is not necessary for the program code/application controlling the functionality of the various embodiments of the invention and the general telephone number register to be located "in the same place", but an implementation is possible where the general telephone number register is stored on the memory card and the program code/application controlling the functionality of the various embodiments of the invention is located in the memory of the terminal device, for example.

The characteristic of the various embodiments of the invention that the general telephone number register is stored in connection with the user's terminal device provides the advantage that the user can be provided with the number service without any delay or with a very small delay. It is not necessary to set up a connection or send in inquiry message to an external system from the terminal device, whereby external factors do not delay the service.

When the general telephone number register stored in connection with the terminal device is in an encrypted format, it is possible to only allow access to it through a certain application and, as necessary, only give the right to update the information in the register to an operator or another party providing the service. When the user of the terminal device does not have direct access to the general telephone number register, the user cannot see the information updated in the register directly. Furthermore, the number service provider is able to charge for the use of the service, if desired.

Generally, various embodiments of the invention may be implemented by means of general-purpose components, dedicated components, software or logic or any suitable combination thereof. For example, some characteristics may be implemented as physical components and some characteristics as software that may be executed by a general-purpose processor, a microprocessor or another data processing device, but the invention is not limited to these.

The above specification provides non-limiting examples of some embodiments of the invention. It is apparent to a person skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details presented but that the invention may be implemented in other equivalent ways. For example, it should be appreciated that in the above methods the order of the individual steps may be changed and that some steps may be repeated several times. It should also be appreciated that in this document the terms "comprise" and "include" are open expressions and not intended to be limiting.

Furthermore, some characteristics of the embodiments presented may be utilized without using other characteristics. The above specification as such must only be regarded as an explanation describing the principles of the invention and not limiting the invention. The scope of the invention is only limited by the attached claims.

Claims

Claims
1. A method for providing a number service to be executed in a user's terminal device, characterized in that the method comprises: maintaining a general telephone number register (511) in connection with the user's terminal device (401 , 500, 600) in an encrypted format so that the user of the terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register; receiving a search criterion; searching (105) said general telephone number register for data using said search criterion; and providing (106, 107, 206) said searched data for use by the user.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1 , characterized in that said search criterion is one or several of the following: a telephone number, a fax number, a name, a company, an address, an e-mail address, an IP address, an SIP address, a domain name, a vehicle registration number, a person number, a date of birth, a social security number, a user identifier, a former name and location information.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the method further comprises: detecting contact from an unknown number; and processing (105) said unknown number as said search criterion by searching said general telephone number register for data corresponding to said unknown number.
4. A method as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that said contact is a telephone call, an SMS message, a multimedia message, a video call, an instant message, a group message, a push message, or a push call.
5. A method as claimed in claim 3 or 4, characterized in that said terminal device comprises a private telephone number register where the user has direct access, and by executing said detecting step by: detecting (101) contact from a number; searching (103) said private telephone number register for said number; and if said number cannot be found in the private telephone number register, determining that said number is unknown.
6. A method as claimed in any one of claims 3 to 5, characterized by executing said search based on the unknown number conditionally by: offering (201 ) the user a possibility to execute the search; and executing (206) the search only if the user accepts the offer.
7. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said method further comprises: storing (301) billing information related to said search; and delivering (303) said billing information to an external billing system.
8. A method as claimed in claim 7, characterized by delivering (303) said billing information when a predetermined criterion is met.
9. A method as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that said predetermined criterion comprises at least one of the following: reaching a predetermined billing amount, reaching a predetermined number of searches, expiry of a predetermined period of time, and receiving a billing information request from said external billing system.
10. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said method further comprises: automatically updating information in said general telephone number register.
11. A method as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that executing said updating comprises: setting up a connection from the terminal device to an application server (405) at regular intervals, said application server having access to an updated general telephone number register; and using said connection to retrieve the updated general telephone number register.
12. A method as claimed in claim 10, characterized in that said terminal device is connected to a data communication network and in that executing said updating comprises: delivering an update from said data communication network using OTA
(over-the-air) technology.
13. A method as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 12, characterized by executing said updating by only delivering changed information to the general telephone number register in the terminal device or by delivering an updated general telephone number register to the terminal device to replace the previous version in its entirety.
14. A terminal device (401 , 500, 600) that comprises: a storage medium (402, 502, 504); and data processing means (501 ) connected to the storage medium, characterized in that said storage medium comprises a general telephone number register (511) in an encrypted format so that a user of said terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register (511) and in that said data processing means (501) is configured to receive a search criterion; search said general telephone number register for data using said search criterion; and provide said searched data for use by the user of said terminal device.
15. A terminal device as claimed in claim 14, characterized in that said data processing means (501) is further configured to detect contact from an unknown number, and process said unknown number as said search criterion by searching said general telephone number register for data corresponding to said unknown number.
16. A terminal device as claimed in claim 15, characterized in that said terminal device comprises a private telephone number register where the user has direct access and in that said data processing means (501) is further configured to execute said detecting step by detecting contact from some number; searching said private telephone number register for said number; and if said number cannot be found in the private telephone number register, determining that said number is unknown.
17. A terminal device as claimed in any one of claims 14 to 16, characterized in that said data processing means (501 ) is further configured to execute said search based on the unknown number conditionally by offering the user a possibility to execute the search; and only executing the search if the user accepts the offer.
18. A terminal device as claimed in any one of claims 14 to 17, characterized in that said data processing means (501 ) is further configured to store billing information related to said search; and deliver said billing information to an external billing system.
19. A terminal device as claimed in claimed 18, characterized in that said data processing means (501 ) is further configured to deliver said billing information when a predetermined criterion is met.
20. A terminal device as claimed in claim 19, characterized in that said predetermined criterion comprises at least one of the following: reaching a predetermined billing amount, expiry of a predetermined period of time, and receiving a billing information request from said external billing system.
21. A computer program comprising a computer-executable program code that, when executed, controls a device to execute a method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13.
22.A storage medium (402, 504) to be used in an end user's communication device, characterized in that said storage medium comprises a general telephone number register (511 ) in an encrypted format.
23.A storage medium as claimed in claim 22, characterized in that said storage medium further comprises an application (510) that is configured to receive a search criterion; search said general telephone register for data using said search criterion; and provide said searched data for use by the user of said terminal device.
24.A storage medium as claimed in claim 22 or 23, characterized in that said storage medium is a SIM card.
25.A method in a server (404) connected to a data communication network, characterized in that said method comprises: updating from said network element a general telephone number register stored in connection with a terminal device (401 , 500, 600) connected to said data communication network, said updating taking place over said data communication network (403).
26.A method as claimed in claim 25, characterized by executing said updating using OTA (over-the-air) technology.
27.A method as claimed in claim 15, characterized by executing said updating through a separate application server (405).
28.A method as claimed in any one of claims 25 to 26, characterized by executing said updating by only delivering changed information to the general telephone number register (511 ) in the terminal device or by delivering an updated general telephone number register to the terminal device to replace the previous version in its entirety.
29.A server (404) connected to a data communication network, characterized in that the server comprises: means for updating a general telephone number register (511) stored in an encrypted format in connection with a terminal device (410, 500, 600) connected to said data communication network over said data communication network (403).
30. A computer program comprising a computer-executable program code that, when executed, controls a device to execute a method as claimed in any one of claims 25 to 28.
31. A system comprising a terminal device (401 , 500, 600) and a server (404) connected to a data communication network (403), which terminal device comprises: a storage medium (402, 502, 504); and data processing means (501) connected to the storage medium, characterized in that said storage medium (402, 502, 504) in said terminal device comprises a general telephone number register (511) in an encrypted format so that a user of said terminal device is prevented from having direct access to said general telephone number register (511) and in that said data processing means is configured to receive a search criterion; search said general telephone number register (511) for data using said search criterion; and provide said searched data for use by the user of said terminal device, and in that said server (404) comprises: means for updating the general telephone number register (511 ) in said storage medium in said terminal device (410, 500, 600) over said data communication network (403).
EP20070823143 2006-09-27 2007-09-24 Number service Withdrawn EP2067344A4 (en)

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EP2067344A4 (en) 2010-05-05 application
WO2008037845A1 (en) 2008-04-03 application
FI122715B1 (en) grant
FI20065596A (en) 2008-03-28 application
FI20065596A0 (en) 2006-09-27 application
FI122715B (en) 2012-06-15 application
FI20065596D0 (en) grant

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