US20100041365A1 - Mediation, rating, and billing associated with a femtocell service framework - Google Patents

Mediation, rating, and billing associated with a femtocell service framework Download PDF

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US20100041365A1
US20100041365A1 US12/484,072 US48407209A US2010041365A1 US 20100041365 A1 US20100041365 A1 US 20100041365A1 US 48407209 A US48407209 A US 48407209A US 2010041365 A1 US2010041365 A1 US 2010041365A1
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Prior art keywords
femtocell
associated
communication session
cdr
data
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Abandoned
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US12/484,072
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Robert Wayne Lott
Ravindra Babu Gurajala
Kurt Donald Huber
Judson John Flynn
William Gordon Mansfield
Jefferey Thomas Seymour
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AT&T Intellectual Property I LP
AT&T Mobility II LLC
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AT&T Intellectual Property I LP
AT&T Mobility II LLC
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Priority to US12/484,072 priority patent/US20100041365A1/en
Assigned to AT&T MOBILITY II LLC reassignment AT&T MOBILITY II LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: FLYNN, JUDSON JOHN, HUBER, KURT, MANSFIELD, WILLIAM GORDON
Assigned to AT&T INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY I, L.P. reassignment AT&T INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY I, L.P. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SEYMOUR, JEFFEREY THOMAS, GURAJALA, RAVINDRA BABU, LOTT, ROBERT WAYNE
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L41/00Arrangements for maintenance or administration or management of packet switching networks
    • H04L41/08Configuration management of network or network elements
    • H04L41/0803Configuration setting of network or network elements
    • H04L41/0806Configuration setting of network or network elements for initial configuration or provisioning
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/01Customer relationship, e.g. warranty
    • G06Q30/016Customer service, i.e. after purchase service
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M15/00Arrangements for metering, time-control or time indication ; Metering, charging or billing arrangements for voice wireline or wireless communications, e.g. VoIP
    • H04M15/68Payment of value-added services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M15/00Arrangements for metering, time-control or time indication ; Metering, charging or billing arrangements for voice wireline or wireless communications, e.g. VoIP
    • H04M15/80Rating or billing plans; Tariff determination aspects
    • H04M15/8038Roaming or handoff
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W12/00Security arrangements, e.g. access security or fraud detection; Authentication, e.g. verifying user identity or authorisation; Protecting privacy or anonymity ; Protecting confidentiality; Key management; Integrity; Mobile application security; Using identity modules; Secure pairing of devices; Context aware security; Lawful interception
    • H04W12/06Authentication
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W12/00Security arrangements, e.g. access security or fraud detection; Authentication, e.g. verifying user identity or authorisation; Protecting privacy or anonymity ; Protecting confidentiality; Key management; Integrity; Mobile application security; Using identity modules; Secure pairing of devices; Context aware security; Lawful interception
    • H04W12/08Access security
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W24/00Supervisory, monitoring or testing arrangements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/90Services for handling of emergency or hazardous situations, e.g. earthquake and tsunami warning systems [ETWS]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W60/00Affiliation to network, e.g. registration; Terminating affiliation with the network, e.g. de-registration
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W64/00Locating users or terminals or network equipment for network management purposes, e.g. mobility management
    • H04W64/003Locating users or terminals or network equipment for network management purposes, e.g. mobility management locating network equipment
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W24/00Supervisory, monitoring or testing arrangements
    • H04W24/04Arrangements for maintaining operational condition
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W84/00Network topologies
    • H04W84/02Hierarchically pre-organised networks, e.g. paging networks, cellular networks, WLAN [Wireless Local Area Network] or WLL [Wireless Local Loop]
    • H04W84/04Large scale networks; Deep hierarchical networks
    • H04W84/042Public Land Mobile systems, e.g. cellular systems
    • H04W84/045Public Land Mobile systems, e.g. cellular systems using private Base Stations, e.g. femto Base Stations, home Node B

Abstract

System(s) and method(s) facilitating mediation of information relating to communication sessions, and rating of and billing for communication sessions, in relation to a communication network employing femtocells and base stations, are presented. Call detail records (CDRs) are created containing location information identifying origination or termination locations for communication sessions associated with a user equipment (UE). For data sessions, data event records (DERs) are created to track data usage and specific data services used by the UE. A mediation and rating component receives the CDRs and/or DERs and correlates the respective records to create an enhanced CDR containing information that facilitates determining whether a femtocell or base station served the UE at the origination or termination of a communication session and information relating to data usage when a data service is used. Predefined rating rules are used to facilitate billing the subscriber in accordance with a subscriber rate plan.

Description

    CLAIM FOR PRIORITY
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/061,082, entitled “Femto Cell Service Framework”, filed on Jun. 12, 2008, the entirety of the above-referenced U.S. Provisional Patent Application is incorporated herein by reference. This application is related to the co-filed, co-pending and co-assigned applications entitled “Femtocell Service Registration, Activation, And Provisioning” (Attorney Docket No. 2007-0768/ATTWP192USA) filed on Jun. 12, 2009, and assigned Ser. No. ______, and “Point Of Sales And Customer Support For Femtocell Service And Equipment” (Attorney Docket No. 2007-0768/ATTWP192USB) filed on Jun. 12, 2009, and assigned Ser. No. ______, wherein the entirety of each of the above-referenced non-provisional patent applications is incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The subject innovation generally relates to wireless communications, and, more particularly, to mediation, rating, and billing of voice and data services associated with a femtocell service framework.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Femtocells—building-based wireless access points interfaced with a wired broadband network—are generally deployed to improve indoor wireless coverage, and to offload a mobility radio access network (RAN) operated by a wireless service provider. Improved indoor coverage includes stronger signal and improved reception (e.g., voice or sound), ease of session or call initiation and session or call retention as well. Offloading RAN reduces operational and transport costs for the service provider.
  • Coverage of a femtocell, or femto access point (AP), is typically intended to be confined within the bounds of an indoor compound, in order to mitigate interference among mobile stations covered by a macro cell and terminals covered by the femto AP. Additionally, confined coverage can reduce cross-talk among terminals serviced by disparate, neighboring femtocells as well. Femtocells typically operate in licensed portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and generally offer plug-and-play installation; e.g., automatic configuration of femto AP subsequent to femtocell subscriber registration.
  • Coverage improvements via femtocells also can mitigate customer attrition as long as a favorable subscriber perception regarding voice coverage and other data services with substantive delay sensitivity is attained. In addition, a richer variety of wireless voice and data services can be offered to customers via a femtocell since such service offerings do not rely primarily on the mobility RAN resources. Therefore, a positive, rich customer experience can depend substantially on adequate femtocell service provided by the network operator.
  • When a voice or data session is initiated for a mobile communication device of a subscriber, a call detail record(s) (CDR(s)), such as a SGSN CDR (S-CDR), Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) CDR (G-CDR), or Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR (CSG-CDR), can be created and can contain information, including a location identifier (e.g., location area code (LAC)) that can identify the serving access point (e.g., femtocell, base station) for the mobile communication device, relating to the communication session to facilitate tracking usage associated with the mobile communication device and billing the subscriber for such usage in accordance with the subscriber's rate plan. If the subscriber owns or uses a femtocell as well as other wireless services (e.g., cellular) via a service provider, the subscriber, after initiating a communication session using a mobile communication device while in one location, may move from that location to another location, which can result in a handover from the femtocell to another cell, such as a macro cell. For instance, while in an area served by the femtocell, the mobile communication device can be served by the femtocell, and if the mobile communication device moves out of the femtocell coverage area, the mobile communication device can be handed off to a base station, for example, which can then serve the mobile communication device. However, with regard to data sessions associated with a mobile communication device, it can be difficult to track data usage of particular data services or applications while the mobile communication device is moving in a communication network, particularly when the mobile communication device can be served by a femtocell(s) and/or a base station(s) during a given data session. Conventionally, a CDR does not contain information regarding data usage or the type of or specific service or application used by the mobile communication device during a data session. It can be desirable to know the origination and/or termination points of a communication session (e.g., voice session, data session) associated with a mobile communication device as well as the type of communication (e.g., voice service, data service) to facilitate billing the subscriber in accordance with rate plan of the subscriber as well as refining rate plans.
  • SUMMARY
  • The following presents a simplified summary of the subject innovation in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the subject innovation. This summary is not an extensive overview of the subject innovation. It is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of the subject innovation nor delineate the scope of the subject innovation. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts of the subject innovation in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
  • The subject innovation can provide system(s) and method(s) for mediation, rating, and billing for voice or data services in relation to a femtocell service framework. In an aspect of the subject innovation, from the residence or small business setting a femtocell can connect through the Internet via DSL or cable modem to a femtocell gateway within a service provider network. The femtocell gateway can perform various functions of a UMTS RNC. It can connect to the service provider core network elements (MSS/MGW and SGSN) using standard interfaces (e.g., Iu-CS and Iu-PS interfaces), whereas support of IuR, logical connections to disparate femtocell gateways or RNCs can be either avoided or provided based at least in part on overhead and necessity considerations.
  • In an aspect, for each communication session (e.g., voice session, data session), a call detail record(s) (CDR(s)) (e.g., SGSN CDR(s) (S-CDR(s)), GGSN CDR(s) (G-CDR(s)), Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR(s) (CSG-CDR(s))) can be created that can contain location information identifying an origination and/or termination location(s) for the communication session associated with a user equipment (UE) (e.g., mobile communication device). When the communication session is a data session, a CSG-CDR(s) (also referred to as a data event record(s) (DER(s)) can be created to track data usage and specific data services used by the UE during the data session. In another aspect, a mediation and rating component can receive communication records (e.g., CDRs) associated with the communication session, and can correlate the respective communication records to create an enhanced CDR, as desired, which can contain information that can facilitate determining whether a femtocell or base station served the UE at the origination or termination of a communication session and/or information relating to data usage when a data service is used, for example. As desired, the mediation and rating component can allow raw CDRs to pass through to the rating engine and/or billing system, for example, when the communication session is a voice session, or can drop a CDR(s), as desired (e.g., when the communication session is for a service that is free to all subscribers). A rating engine can determine one or more predefined charging rules that can be applied to the information contained in the enhanced CDR (or raw CDR(s)) in accordance with a rating plan for the subscriber using the UE. In another aspect, as desired (e.g. periodically during a billing cycle, at the end of a billing cycle), a billing system can apply the one or more predefined rating rules to the information in the enhanced CDR (or raw CDR(s)) to facilitate billing the subscriber for the communication session in accordance with the subscriber's rate plan.
  • In still another aspect, the billing system can facilitate synchronizing with other components in the communication network when there is a disconnection of service (e.g., subscriber cancels service relating to femtocell, service provider cancels service relating to femtocell for the subscriber) or a modification of service (e.g., move femtocell to a new location, swap or replace femtocell equipment, etc.) with regard to a femtocell associated with a subscriber.
  • In accordance with various other aspects and embodiments, methods that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice or data services in relation to a femtocell service framework are presented; and devices that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice or data services in relation to a femtocell service framework are presented.
  • To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the subject innovation comprises the features hereinafter fully described. The following description and the annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative aspects of the subject innovation. However, these aspects are indicative of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the subject innovation may be employed. Other aspects, advantages and novel features of the subject innovation will become apparent from the following detailed description of the subject innovation when considered in conjunction with the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic wireless environment (e.g., a network) in which a femtocell can exploit various aspects described in the subject specification.
  • FIG. 2 depicts a high-level block diagram of an example femtocell service framework in accordance with aspects described in the subject innovation.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a block diagram of an example system that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice or data services in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment in accordance with various aspects and embodiments of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 4 depicts a diagram of an example system that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice sessions in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a diagram of an example system that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for data sessions in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 6 depicts a block diagram of an example mediation and rating component in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a block diagram of an example billing system that can be utilized to generate billing records for communication sessions associated with a subscriber using a UE in a communication network, comprising a femtocell(s), in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a flowchart of an example methodology for controlling data rates or rate codings associated with a communication device in a communication network in accordance with various aspects of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a block diagram of an example access point in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a flowchart of an example methodology for mediating, rating and billing for communication sessions associated with a UE and associated subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with various aspects of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 11 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology that can create a call detail record (CDR) to facilitate mediating, rating, and billing for a communication session for a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a flowchart of an example methodology that can rate and generate a billing record for a communication session of a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 13 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology that can rate and generate a billing record for a data session of a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 14 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology that can generate a promotional charging rule(s) associated with a promotional rating model for a voice or data rate plan relating to femto network coverage in a communication network in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 15 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology that can update a femto profile of a subscriber in response to a disconnection or modification in femtocell service to facilitate coordinating providing femtocell services in a communication network in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a diagram of an example system that can facilitate interaction and communication between a communication device, such as an N-Set, and femtocell in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 17 illustrates a diagram of an example call flow for shut down (e.g., disconnection) of a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate shut down of a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 18 depicts a diagram of an example call flow for shut down of a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate shut down of a femtocell and femtocells services associated with a communication environment in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 19 depicts a diagram of an example call flow for cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 20 illustrates a diagram of an example call flow for cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosed subject matter.
  • FIG. 21 illustrates a diagram of an example call flow for modification of a phone number (e.g., CTN) associated with a femtocell in relation to an example system that can facilitate modification of a phone number (e.g., CTN) associated with a femtocell in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The subject innovation is now described with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present subject innovation. It may be evident, however, that the present subject innovation may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order to facilitate describing the present subject innovation.
  • As used in this application, the terms “component,” “system,” “platform,” “service,” “framework,” “interface,” and the like can refer to a computer-related entity or an entity related to an operational machine with one or more specific functionalities. The entities disclosed herein can be either hardware, a combination of hardware and software, software, or software in execution. For example, a component may be, but is not limited to being, a process running on a processor, a processor, an object, an executable, a thread of execution, a program, and/or a computer. By way of illustration, both an application running on a server and the server can be a component. One or more components may reside within a process and/or thread of execution and a component may be localized on one computer and/or distributed between two or more computers. Also, these components can execute from various computer readable media having various data structures stored thereon. The components may communicate via local and/or remote processes such as in accordance with a signal having one or more data packets (e.g., data from one component interacting with another component in a local system, distributed system, and/or across a network such as the Internet with other systems via the signal).
  • In addition, the term “or” is intended to mean an inclusive “or” rather than an exclusive “or.” That is, unless specified otherwise, or clear from context, “X employs A or B” is intended to mean any of the natural inclusive permutations. That is, if X employs A; X employs B; or X employs both A and B, then “X employs A or B” is satisfied under any of the foregoing instances. Moreover, articles “a” and “an” as used in the subject specification and annexed drawings should generally be construed to mean “one or more” unless specified otherwise or clear from context to be directed to a singular form.
  • Moreover, terms like “user equipment,” “mobile station,” “mobile,” “subscriber station,” “communication device,” “access terminal,” “terminal,”“handset,” and similar terminology, refer to a wireless device (e.g., cellular phone, smart phone, computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), set top box, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), etc.) utilized by a subscriber or user of a wireless communication service to receive or convey data, control, voice, video, sound, gaming, or substantially any data-stream or signaling-stream. The foregoing terms are utilized interchangeably in the subject specification and related drawings. Likewise, the terms “access point,” “base station,” “Node B.” “evolved Node B.” “home Node B (HNB),” and the like, are utilized interchangeably in the subject application, and refer to a wireless network component or appliance that serves and receives data, control, voice, video, sound, gaming, or substantially any data-stream or signaling-stream from a set of subscriber stations. Data and signaling streams can be packetized or frame-based flows.
  • In addition, the terms “wireless network” and “network” are used interchangeable in the subject application, when context wherein the term is utilized warrants distinction for clarity purposes such distinction is made explicit.
  • Furthermore, the terms “user,” “subscriber,” “customer,” and the like are employed interchangeably throughout the subject specification, unless context warrants particular distinction(s) among the terms.
  • The following abbreviations are relevant to the subject specification.
  • 3G Third Generation
  • 3GPP Third Generation Partnership Project
  • AGPS Assisted GPS
  • AP Access Point
  • ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
  • AWS Advanced Wireless Services
  • BRAS Broadband Remote Access Server
  • BTA Basic Trading Area
  • CN Core Network
  • CS Circuit-Switched
  • CSCF Call Session Control Function
  • CPE Customer Premise Equipment
  • CPN Customer Premise Network
  • DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  • DSL Digital Subscriber Line
  • DSLAM Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer
  • E911 Enhanced911
  • FCC Federal Communications Commission
  • FL Forward Link
  • GGSN Gateway GPRS Service Node
  • GPRS General Packet Radio Service
  • GPS Global Positioning System
  • GW Gateway
  • HAP Home Access Point
  • HSS Home Subscriber Server
  • ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
  • UE User Equipment
  • UTRAN Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
  • IMS IP Multimedia Subsystem
  • IP Internet Protocol
  • ISP Internet Service Provider
  • MSA Metropolitan Statistical Areas
  • MSISDN Mobile Subscriber ISDN Number
  • MTA Major Trading Areas
  • NAT Network Address Translation
  • NTP Network Time Protocol
  • O&M Operation and Maintenance
  • PC Personal Computer
  • PCS Personal Communications Service
  • PS Packet-Switched
  • PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
  • RAN Radio Access Network
  • RBS Radio Base Station
  • RL Reverse Link
  • RNC Radio Network Controller
  • RSA Rural Service Area
  • SGSN Serving GPRS Support Node
  • SIP Session Initiation Protocol
  • USSD Unstructured Supplementary Service Data
  • VPN Virtual Private Network
  • WAP Wireless Application Protocol
  • XDSL Asynchronous-DSL or Synchronous-DSL
  • Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic wireless environment (e.g., a network) 100 in which a femtocell can exploit various aspects described in the subject specification. In wireless environment 100, area 105 represents a coverage macro cell which is served by base station 110. Macro coverage is generally intended for outdoors locations for servicing mobile wireless devices, like UE 120 A, and such coverage is achieved via a wireless link 115. In an aspect, UE 120 A can be a 3GPP Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) mobile phone; a personal digital assistant (PDA); a computer; an Internet Protocol (IP) television (IPTV); gaming console; set-top box; printer; etc.
  • Within macro coverage cell 105, a femtocell 145, served by a femto access point 130, can be deployed. A femtocell typically covers an area 125 that is determined, at least in part, by transmission power allocated to femto AP 130, path loss, shadowing, and so forth. It should be appreciated that in certain deployment scenarios, area 125 can be substantially the same as 145. Coverage area typically is spanned by a coverage radius that ranges from 20 to 100 meters. Confined coverage area 145 is generally associated with an indoor area, or a building, like a residential or small business setting which can span about 5000 sq. ft. Femto AP 130 typically services a few wireless devices (e.g., subscriber station 120 B) within confined coverage area 145. In an aspect, femto AP 130 can integrate seamlessly with substantially any PS-based and CS-based network; for instance, femto AP 130 can integrate into an existing 3GPP Core via conventional interfaces, such as Iu-CS, Iu-PS, Gi, Gn. Thus, operation with a 3G device and 3G SIM is straightforward with femto AP 130, and seamless when handoff to macro cell, or vice versa, takes place. It is to be noted that substantially all voice or data active sessions associated with users within femtocell coverage (e.g., area 125) are terminated once the femto AP 130 is shut down; in case of data sessions, data can be recovered at least in part through a buffer associated with a femto gateway at the network. Coverage of a suspended or hotlined subscriber station or associated account can be blocked over the air-interface, or through the RAN. However, if a suspended or hotlined customer who owns femto AP 130 is in Hotline/Suspend status, there is no substantive impact to the customers covered through femto AP 130. In another aspect, femto AP 130 can exploit high-speed downlink packet access in order to accomplish substantive bitrates. In yet another aspect, femto AP 130 has a LAC (location area code) and RAC (routing area code) that is different than the underlying macro network. These LAC and RAC are used to identify subscriber station location for a variety of reasons, most notably to direct incoming voice and data traffic to appropriate paging transmitters.
  • As a subscriber station, e.g., UE 120 A, leaves macro coverage (e.g., cell 105) and enters femto coverage (e.g., area 125), as illustrated in environment 100, UE 120 A attempts to attach to the femto AP 130 through transmission and reception of attachment signaling, effected via a forward link (FL)/reverse link (RL) 135; in an aspect, the attachment signaling can include a Location Area Update (LAU) and/or Routing Area Update (RAU). Attachment attempts are a part of procedures to ensure mobility, so voice calls and sessions can continue even after a macro-to-femto transition or vice versa. It is to be noted that UE 120 A can be employed seamlessly after either of the foregoing transitions. In addition, femto networks typically are designed to serve stationary or slow-moving traffic with reduced signaling loads compared to macro networks. A femto service provider (e.g., an entity that commercializes, deploys, and/or utilizes femto access point 130) is therefore inclined to minimize unnecessary LAU/RAU signaling activity at substantially any opportunity to do so, and through substantially any available means. It is to be noted that substantially any mitigation of unnecessary attachment signaling/control is advantageous for femtocell operation. Conversely, if not successful, UE 120 A is generally commanded (through a variety of communication means) to select another LAC/RAC or enter “emergency calls only” mode. It is to be appreciated that this attempt and handling process can occupy significant UE battery, and femto AP capacity and signaling resources as well.
  • When an attachment attempt is successful, UE 120 A is allowed on femtocell 125 and incoming voice and data traffic are paged and routed to the subscriber through the femto AP 130. It is to be noted also that data traffic is typically routed through a backhaul broadband wired network backbone 140 (e.g., optical fiber backbone, twisted-pair line, T1/E1 phone line, DSL, or coaxial cable) associated with broadband network 112. To this end, femto AP 130 is connected to the broadband backhaul network backbone 140 via a broadband modem (not shown) at the location of the femto AP 130. In an aspect, femto AP 130 can display status indicators for power, active broadband/DSL connection, and gateway connection. In another aspect, no landline is necessary for femto AP 130 operation.
  • It is to be noted that as a femto AP 130 generally relies on a backhaul network backbone 140 for routing and paging, and for packet communication, substantially any quality of service handles heterogeneous packetized traffic. Namely, packet flows established for wireless devices (like terminals 120 A and 120 B) served by femto AP 130, and for devices served through the backhaul network pipe 140. It is to be noted that to ensure a positive subscriber experience, or perception, it is important for femto AP 130 to maintain a high level of throughput for traffic (e.g., voice and data) utilized on a mobile device for one or more subscribers while in the presence of external, additional packetized, or broadband, traffic associated with applications (web browsing, data transfer (e.g., content upload), and the like) executed in devices within the femto coverage area (e.g., either area 125 or area 145).
  • FIG. 2 depicts a high-level block diagram of an example femtocell service framework 200 in accordance with aspects described in the subject innovation. Femtocell system framework 200 includes a point of sale system 210 that facilitates purchase of femtocell equipment, or femto access point, and returns and exchange as well. In addition, POS 210 facilitates a customer to add femtocell feature plans to customer that have access to a femto AP or are subscribed to wireless communication plan(s) for a service provider, or network operator, that operates femtocell coverage. In addition, POS 200 manages inventory of femtocell access points and associated equipment. Femto CPE purchased through POS 210 and accounts for femto coverage opened via POS 210 can be configured via account management service 220. This service is typically networked, and can be based off a web-based interface.
  • Various aspects of the subject innovation in connection with POS 210 can include: (i) a femtocell CPE can be purchased by subscriber(s) and non-subscriber(s) of a service provider, or a network operator. (ii) POS 210 can comprise substantially all sales channels that support sales of wireless communication equipment and feature (e.g., femtocell voice and femtocell data add-on features), where such add-on features can be conveyed through catalogues in various media and mechanisms (e.g., direct mail solicitation, advertisement, etc.), or, as desired, resellers (e.g., MVNOs). It is to be noted that POS 210 can implement limitations based at least in part on business and operation considerations that can favor access to add-on features from subscriber(s) with post-paid subscribed service with the network operator. (iii) Furthermore, POS 210 can structure commission schemes for voice, data, and/or add-on features in a conventional manner, or it can implement customized commission schemes to enhance specific markets and retailers, customer segments, business regions, and so forth. (iv) POS 210 can determine policies that make return and exchange of femtocell equipment available in retail stores (e.g., offline locations) rather than via DF or through an online or networked interface. In addition, such policies can regulate warranty execution for femtocell equipment. Return of femto devices can be implemented in a conventional manner, e.g., in accordance with policy for wireless network devices or user equipment, or alternatively in accordance with a custom mechanism(s) dictated by business operation(s). (iv) POS 210 also can implement mail-in rebates, which can be provided to customers who purchase femtocell equipment and meet a set of predefined business criteria. (v) It should be appreciated that to avoid complexity at a time of a purchase (or provisioning), no check is required to be conducted to confirm that a customer has access to a 3G handset(s) or 3G SIM(s).
  • Account management service 220 can provide customers with various configuration tools, such as secure login to an online account for registration and activation of femto AP and associated service, management of acquired femto access service (e.g., settings of voice and data, which can include video-streaming, music-streaming, IP-based television, online gaming, calendar and other organization tools; add-on features; generation and maintenance of femto access lists (e.g., white lists); parental monitor configuration (e.g., creation of voice and data usage logs) . . . ), validation and access to emergency call service like E911 for provided address(es), validation of service provider licensed coverage for provided address(es), network provisioning, and so on. In an illustrative aspect of the subject innovation, address(es) validation can be accomplished through a customized interface to a service provider of geographical location coordinates, or indicators, even though other location services can be utilized, including proprietary or custom made services. It should be noted that substantially all user configurable settings can be handled via customer self-care from the femtocell account management service 220, or provisioning site. Moreover, a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and customer training can facilitate a customer update his/her address when the femto AP (e.g., femto AP 130) is physically displaced. Activation and update to settings can be notified to a customer via email, IM, SMS, and the like.
  • Account management service 220 can facilitate femtocell provisioning through a networked interface, e.g., a self-service or self-care web portal, which can further support aspects of femtocell registration, activation and management thereof, which can include access list(s), e.g., white list(s), configuration. Femtocell provisioning web portal, or networked interfaced, can support consumer and business customers. In addition, femtocell provisioning networked interface, or web portal, can provide information on the femtocell activation process (e.g., to a subscriber) through a set of frequently asked questions, which can be updated at specific time intervals based at least in part on information collected through customer care/support platform 230, for example. Active subscribers with access to an online management account, for example, or substantially any other web-based or networked interface, can access the femtocell provisioning site.
  • Purchase of equipment and account management can be supported via customer care/support platform 230: Customer care agents that operate through platform 230 can facilitate activation/deactivation of service, configuration of white lists, validation and changes of address, adjustment to rate plans for femto coverage, creation of linked femto accounts, etc. Moreover, customer care/support platform 230 agents can add or remove femtocell voice and femtocell data, and femtocell add-on features to or from a customers' account. Product description, pricing, and availability can be available, e.g., over a networked interface or communication framework 205, to all audiences within customer care/support platform. In addition, troubleshooting support information and escalation procedures can be available to appropriate audiences within customer care/support platform 230 based at least in part upon established work group responsibilities. In an aspect of the subject innovation, POS 210 and substantially all channels impacted outside customer care/support platform 230 can leverage off support content available in customer care/support platform 230. In another aspect of the subject innovation customer care/support platform 230 agents can input an address, in which the customer intends to use a femtocell AP, for femtocell spectrum validation, such is a courtesy check that is optional and can be utilized as an instrument to enhance customer experience; such manipulation of femtocell information related to provisioning process for a customer can require a reference to M&Ps to be made.
  • In yet another aspect, customer care/support platform 230 can have access to current rebate programs as well as substantially any promotional campaign associated with femtocell coverage. In a further aspect, customer care/support platform 230 agents can instruct a customer who has lost, or misplaced, their unique femto equipment identifier, and thus cannot activate it, to locate the unique identifier in a purchase receipt, equipment box, or on another device; agents are unable to retrieve a unique identifier through femtocell service network. In a further aspect, customer care/support platform can have visibility into location status, femto device status indicators, account settings, and capability to shutdown or reboot a femtocell, in order to troubleshoot customer issues. It is noted that femtocell troubleshooting can be managed and/or supported by Data Support/PMC.
  • Further to framework 200, femto equipment and service plans purchases, as well as retention of femto service can be managed through billing system 250 in accordance with mediation and rating component 260. Billing system 250 can include charges administration for voice and data service plans, and add-on feature plans (e.g., on-demand video and music, IP-based television shows, multicast conferencing, etc.). Moreover, billing systems 250 can include tracking of SoC in femtocell equipment for active, registered subscribers.
  • Substantially all information associated with subscriber(s) plan and configuration thereof can be stored in femtocell account database 240. Additional operation information associated with substantially any component, system, or platform that is a part of femtocell service framework can be stored in database 240. It should be noted that femtocell account database 240 can exploit substantially any mechanism for efficient data storage and manipulation like multidimensional data schemes, hierarchical representation, data compression based on parsimonious representations, wavelet compression, distributed database deployment. In the latter case, database 240 can comprise various dedicated databases that contain information based in accordance with markets, customer location, customer segments, etc. In an aspect of the subject innovation, femtocell account database is identified as a directory database (DD), or customer directory. DD is a main data repository, or database, for femto account profile for online account management. Profile attributes include, but are not limited to including, status, CTN, equipment ID, addresses and associated geographical indicator(s) (e.g., GPS xy), device label or “nickname” which typically is determined by a subscriber, effective date, expiration date of service, active flag, manual override, CGI, CGI effective date, CGI expiration date. It should be appreciated that xy coordinates of femtocell location addresses obtained through a geographical-indicator service provider, can be stored in a dedicated database within DD. In another aspect, such dedicated database within DD can also store femtocell customer profile(s), white list(s), or unique equipment identifier.
  • Various aspects of billing system 250 and mediation and rating component 260 are presented next. (i) Point of origination billing can be implemented to rate the communication sessions (e.g., voice sessions, data sessions) based on whether the call originated on macro or femto network. (ii) A customer who has voice, data, and add-on features or SoCs can be rated against the features, otherwise the customer's regular voice or data units (e.g., minutes, Kbs) can be decremented accordingly. (iii) Billing system 250 can include a component (not shown) that formats invoice (e.g., bill) presentation so as to display femtocell billed usage via separate identifiers in accordance with the following illustrative and non-limiting types of usage:
  • Femtocell Kb data bucket
  • Femtocell MMS data bucket
  • Femtocell SMS/IM data bucket
  • Femtocell Voice bucket
  • A subscriber can access (e.g., view, or download) his/her billed usage for unlimited femtocell minutes of use (MOU) free of charge. (iv) femtocell coverage/service can be disconnected by end user or by billing system initiated on subscription cancellation, subscriber suspension, lack of invoice payment, etc. (v) Mediation and rating component 260 can operate in accordance with model based at least in part on the assumption that a femtocell site is assigned a unique cell-ID site. Thus, within such a model, voice mediation can rely on MSC, LAC and cell-ID being defined and this combination being unique. To ensure uniqueness of cell-ID a pseudorandom sequence can be associated to the femtocell site, and cell-ID re-use can be utilized throughout a coverage region. Data mediation (e.g., mediation of GPRS/UMTS packet domain) also can rely on the combination of LAC and cell-ID being unique. (vi) Mediation and rating component 260 can utilize femtocell LAC and cell-ID identifiers in MSC CDRs in substantially the same manner as these identifiers are utilized for non-femtocell cell-sites. In addition, mediation and rating component 260 can utilize femtocell LAC and cell-ID identifiers in S-GSN CDRs in substantially the same manner as utilized for non-femtocell cell-sites. In addition, in an aspect of the subject innovation, mediation and rating component 260 can rely on the network providing LAC in GGSN CDR(s) and CSG CDR(s), which also can be referred to as a CSG EDR(s). It is noted that mediation during a correlation process can extract LAC from GGSN CDR or CSG EDR and can include it within IM/MMS CDR(s) for rating. (viii) Mediation and rating component 260 can obtain timely updates of femtocell Cell sites (e.g., through an interface to customer care/support platform 230). (vii) To facilitate mediation, network that services macro cell and femtocell can recognize whether a call was initiated on the macro network or femtocell network.
  • POS 210 and conjunction with billing system 250 can generate commercial reports related to femto equipment sales, femto add-on features engaged or contracted. Such customer intelligence (e.g., information associated with a behavior of a consumer) can be stored in femtocell account database 240, or in a dedicated database therein. Such customer intelligence can be complemented with substantially any information available in database 240, and can be exploited for marketing campaign development and business forecasting, among other possible utilization. In addition, customer care/support platform 230 can manage, at least in part, mobility billing issues that can be identified within billing system 250. A combined billing and support group can manage combined billing customer issues. Generally, IVR can route femtocell subscriber calls to appropriate business (e.g., POS), billings, or consumer care/support systems or platforms for femtocell support.
  • With respect to access list(s), or white list(s), which are an aspect of the subject innovation (not shown), it should be appreciated that a white list is an instrument (e.g., a component) for management of access to femtocell coverage. A white list facilitates access authorization, prioritization and revocation of subscriber(s) or subscriber station(s). As an example, a white list can comprise wireless mobile station numbers approved for coverage through femto access point 130. It is to be noted that substantially any identification token(s), label(s), or code(s) that identify a subscriber station can be employed. White list(s) 220 can be stored in the data storage 245 (e.g., in volatile storage) in the femto AP 130; even though white list(s) 220 can be stored in disparate (e.g., non-volatile) network components like network component administered by a service operator. In addition, interface component 210 can access a subscriber database through network 230, in order to extract identification numbers, codes, tokens, or labels for subscribers/subscriber stations that can be entered in a white list. In an aspect of the subject innovation, white list owners based on subscriber profile as can view which subscriber is actively registered on their femtocell.
  • In a non-limiting example, white list(s) 220 (or any set of numbers, codes or tokens thereon, that comprise a set of mobile phones approved for coverage by femto AP 130) can be portable through accounts or billing groups associated with a set of subscribers to a service operator that administers femto AP 130, or a macro network. As an illustration, femtocell voice and femtocell data add-on features can apply to substantially any femtocell in which a subscriber is incorporated into a white list associated with the femtocell. It should be appreciated that, in an aspect of the subject innovation, as desired, non-subscribers of femto service provider, or network operator, are unable to connect to a femtocell serviced by a femto provider; when a non-subscriber number is added to a white list, the non-subscriber fails to connect to the femtocell. As another illustration, white list(s) 220 can support up to N fields (N a positive integer; e.g., N=50) for unique mobile phone numbers (e.g., MSIDSNs), or any suitable identifying codes or tokens. The number N of fields can be determined, or configured, by a service operator based at least in part on technical aspects (like network resources, quality of service consideration, macro area of coverage (e.g., MSA/RSA), and so on) and commercial aspects (such as promotional considerations, mitigation of customer attrition, gains in market share, etc.) aspects of provision of coverage. As an example, N can be subscriber dependent or femto AP dependent. In an aspect of the subject innovation, white list entries can be pre-populated with IRU, business and consumer account holders, active and suspended, MSISDNs, or substantially any other code or token; a deselect option can also be provided in a pre-populated white list. As an example, it is noted that a white list can be associated with disparate white list(s) at the MSISDN level. Updates to white list(s) can be notifications to a customer via email, IM, SMS, and the like.
  • In an aspect of the subject innovation, when disparity among femtocell and macro cell billing and cost implication occur, a femtocell subscriber can be informed whether or not coverage, or wireless coverage, is provided through a femtocell. In particular, a whitelisted mobile device can be provisioned an updated network indicator display when served through a femtocell. Upon entry in white list(s), network or service provider can convey via SMS, MMS, IM, email, and the like, updated alphanumeric tag requirement(s), or substantially any other requirement(s), to a specific subscriber station. Such requirements can include a femto AP identifier and associated alphanumeric network display. After an update, the subscriber station can display the specified indicator while attached, or camped, on the femto AP.
  • In an aspect of the subject innovation, white list profile parameters that control utilization logic of white list(s) content include, without being limited to including: (i) temporary access, e.g., full access for a specific time interval such as days or hours; (ii) access only within a window of time in a day (e.g., voice and data allowed from 9:00a.m.-6:00p.m., or voice allowed after 9:00p.m. which can facilitate billing schemes already established by an operator/service provider); (iii) access to specific applications such as scheduler, calendar(s), news streaming, authoring tools, gaming, video and music, etc.; and (iv) relative priority of each white list subscriber entry.
  • It should be appreciated that a femtocell subscriber who activated a femto AP (e.g., femto AP 130) is allowed to manage access list(s), or white list(s) of the femto AP within his/her femtocell profile which can be created through account management component 230.
  • In another aspect of the subject innovation, interfaces, or interface components, can be a web-based online graphic user interface (GUI); however, other networked interfaces that facilitates to enter, or configure, information (e.g., addresses, CTNs, add-on feature selection . . . ) are possible; for instance, voice or sound commanded interface(s), touch commanded interface(s), biometric commanded interfaces(s), and the like.
  • Turning to FIG. 3, illustrated is a block diagram of an example system 300 that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice or data services in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with various aspects and embodiments of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect of the subject innovation, from a residence or small business setting, a femtocell (e.g., as illustrated in FIG. 1) can connect through the Internet via DSL or cable modem to a femtocell gateway within a service provider network. The femtocell gateway can perform various functions, including functions of a UMTS RNC. It can connect to the service provider core network elements (e.g., MSS/MGW and SGSN) (not shown) using standard interfaces (e.g., Iu-CS and Iu-PS interfaces), whereas support of IuR, logical connections to disparate femtocell gateways or RNCs can be either avoided or provided based at least in part on overhead and necessity considerations.
  • In an aspect, for each communication session (e.g., voice session, data session), a call detail record(s) (CDR(s)), such as a SGSN CDR (S-CDR), GGSN CDR (G-CDR), or Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR (CSG-CDR), can be created that can contain location information, such as an LAC(s), that can identify an origination and/or termination location(s) for the communication session associated with a UE (e.g., UE 120 A). In an aspect, the predefined range of LACs (e.g., predefined range of LAC values) or a specified number of known LACs can be reserved for and employed with femtocells to facilitate distinguishing femtocells from other APs, such as base stations, when determining what AP(s) served a UE during a given communication session. A table (e.g., look-up table) or other component can be employed to store information relating to the LACs and the table can be referenced to compare a LAC(S) in a CDR(s) to facilitate determining whether the LAC(S) is associated with a femtocell or another AP, such as a base station. When a communication session for a UE is a data session, a data event record (DER) can be created to track data usage, type of data services used by the UE, and specific data services used by the UE.
  • In another aspect, system 300 can include a mediation and rating component 302 that can receive communication records 304, such as the CDRs and/or DERs respectively associated with UEs, and can store the communication records 304 in a database (DB) 306. The DB 306 also can store one or more predefined charging rules 308 that can be employed to facilitate rating communication sessions for a UE in accordance with a specified rate plan associated with the UE and associated subscriber.
  • For example, the one or more predefined charging rules 308 can relate to and be in accordance with unlimited voice plans that allow a subscriber to have unlimited use of voice services in the femto network and/or in the macro network; limited voice plans that allow a subscriber to have a specified amount of use (e.g., specified MOU) in the femto network and/or in the macro network at a specified price, where a fee per unit of use (e.g., MOU) can be applied for any use of voice services beyond the specified amount of use; unlimited data plans that allow a subscriber to have unlimited use of data services in the femto network and/or in the macro network; limited data plans that allow a subscriber to have a specified amount of use (e.g., specified number of kbs of data accessed or downloaded) in the femto network and/or in the macro network at a specified price, where a fee per unit of use (e.g., kb of data accessed or downloaded) can be applied for any use of data services beyond the specified amount of use; or virtually any desired mix of voice plans and/or data plans (e.g., unlimited voice plan in femto network with limited voice plan in macro network, and unlimited data plan in femto network with limited data plan in macro network; unlimited voice plan in femto network with limited voice plan in macro network, and limited data plan in femto network and macro network; limited voice plan in femto network with limited voice plan in macro network, and limited data plan in femto network with limited data plan in macro network, where the respective plans can have the same or different limit amounts; etc.).
  • In another aspect, the voice or data plans can employ virtually any desired pricing, where, for example, an unlimited voice plan for the femto network can have one price and an unlimited voice plan for the macro network can be the same price or a different price, as desired; an unlimited data plan for the femto network can have one price and an unlimited data plan for the macro network can be the same price or a different price, as desired; a limited voice plan for the femto network can have one price and a limited voice plan for the macro network can be the same price or a different price, as desired; a limited data plan for the femto network can have one price and a limited data plan for the macro network can be the same price or a different price, as desired; and/or for units of use beyond the specified amount for a given limited voice or data plan, there can be one price charged for each unit of use beyond the limit for the femto network and a same or different price for each unit of use beyond the limit for the macro network, as desired.
  • In still another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can correlate the respective communication records it receives to create an enhanced CDR, as desired, which can contain information that can facilitate determining whether a femtocell or base station served the UE at the origination or termination of a communication session and/or information relating to data usage when a data service is used. For instance, an enhanced CDR can comprise information (e.g., location identifier, such as an LAC, at origination of the voice session; location identifier at termination of the voice session; time stamps for origination, termination, and/or hand over between cells; length of time of the voice session; number of minutes for the voice session, or respective portions thereof (e.g., femto portion, macro portion); the phone number that was called or phone number of the received call; etc.) from one or more of an S-CDR, G-CDR, or CSG-CDR (e.g., for a data session), or respective portions thereof. In yet another aspect, as desired, the mediation and rating component 302 also can allow raw CDRs to pass through unchanged to a rating engine 310 and/or billing system 312, for example, when the communication session is a voice session, or can drop a CDR(s) when desired (e.g., when the communication session is for use of a service that is free to all subscribers). In an aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 also can perform reconciliation on desired communication records 304 to identify errors and correct identified errors in such communication records 304.
  • In yet another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can employ the rating engine 310 to determine and/or identify one or more predefined charging rules 308 that are applicable with regard to a communication session(s) associated with a subscriber in accordance with the rate plan of the subscriber. For example, as desired, for a voice session associated with a UE, if a subscriber has a femto unlimited voice plan, a billing model can be employed that is mobile originate, where, when the subscriber initiates a voice session in the macro network, the voice session can be rated as under the subscriber's macro voice plan (e.g., charged for MOU), even if the UE of the subscriber is handed off to a femto (e.g., subscriber's femto) during the voice session, and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with that billing model. As another example, if the subscriber has a femto unlimited voice plan and originates a voice session while the UE is on the femto AP and moves such that the UE is handed off to the macro network, the voice session, including the portion of the voice session that was on the macro network, can be rated as within the femtocell (e.g., entire voice session can fall under the femto unlimited voice plan, so that there is no charge for MOU, even for minutes used on the macro network), and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with that billing model. As desired, when a subscriber has an add-on femto feature(s), voice sessions that either originate (e.g., mobile originate (MO)) on the femtocell or voice sessions that terminate (e.g., mobile terminate (MT)) on the femtocell can be rated per the femto feature(s) voice plan, and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with such billing model. In another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can generate a mapping from the femtocell LAC, Cell to the billing identification (BID) and market to facilitate rating and billing with regard to voice sessions associated with a subscriber(s). While the above examples are described with regard to a femto unlimited voice plan, it is to be appreciated that the subject innovation is not so limited, as a specified femto limited voice plan also can be employed instead of a femto unlimited voice plan, as desired.
  • In an aspect, the billing system 312 can receive an enhanced CDR (or a raw CDR(s)), and/or the applicable predefined charging rules 308 or information identifying the applicable predefined charging rules 308, from the mediation and rating component 302. In another aspect, as desired (e.g. periodically during a billing cycle, at the end of a billing cycle), the billing system 312 can apply the one or more predefined charging rules 308, which are applicable to the voice session, to the information contained in the enhanced CDR (or raw CDR(s)) associated with the voice session in accordance with a rating plan (e.g., voice plan) associated with the subscriber using the UE to facilitate generating a billing record or entry for the voice session (and any other communication sessions that have occurred). The billing record or entries can be provided to the subscriber in a desired format(s) (e.g., paper billing, electronic billing, billing can be provided via a web site or message, etc.).
  • In still another aspect, subscribers that have the femto unlimited feature also can be provided a nationwide roaming add-on feature in order to prevent roaming charges to the femtocell subscriber when roaming on a femtocell in another market outside of the home market of the subscriber, and/or can be provided a nationwide free-toll add-on feature in order to prevent toll charges to the femtocell subscriber when roaming.
  • In yet another aspect, with regard to a voice session when a UE is roaming outside of the home market associated with the UE and subscriber, the mediation and rating component 302 can route or provide a CDR(s) associated with the voice session to the serving billing market business (e.g., billing system associated therewith). In an aspect, the billing system (and/or customer care/support platform) can route or provide a CDR(s) for roaming subscribers as part of an out-collect process to an enabler (not shown), and the enabler can direct (e.g., route) the CDR(s) back to the home market associated with the subscriber. To facilitate this, the femto LAC and CELL ranges can be further defined by the network (e.g., a respective LAC range (e.g., range of LAC values) can be employed for a respective market area), market level tables can be provided to the customer care/support platform and/or the mediation and rating component 302 via a suitable process.
  • In still another aspect, the billing system 312 can facilitate synchronizing with other components (e.g., middleware, provisioning gateway, network provisioning component, etc.) in the communication network when there is a disconnection of service (e.g., subscriber cancels service relating to femtocell, service provider cancels service relating to femtocell for the subscriber) or a modification of service (e.g., move femtocell to a new location, swap or replace femtocell equipment, etc.) with regard to a femtocell associated with a subscriber, so that the billing system 312 and the other components are aware of the current state of the femtocell of the subscriber and/or can accordingly update databases and services respectively associated therewith accordingly. A femtocell of a subscriber can be disconnected or otherwise shutdown when initiated by the subscriber, for example, using a website associated with the femtocell or service provider, or a networked interface, (e.g., via OLAM or POC after authentication as a part of secure login) or via the billing system 312, or can be shutdown in response to the femto AP being returned by the subscriber. Also, femto profile entries in a directory database, femto gateway, and E911 service/validation provider can be disabled or expired (e.g., flagged as disabled, expired, or invalid) when the femtocell is shutdown by the subscriber, where CSI and/or middleware (not shown) can initiate such transactions.
  • When there is a modification in relation to a femtocell, such as, for example, when the femtocell is moved to a different location or the femtocell equipment is exchanged for different femtocell equipment, the billing system 312 can update information relating to the femtocell service of the subscriber, where such information can be stored in a subscriber profile associated with the subscriber. For instance, if the femtocell is moved to a different location and the different location has a different location identifier than the current location identifier, the billing system 312 can update the subscriber profile with the new location identifier and can invalidate (e.g., flag as invalid) or remove (e.g., delete) the old location identifier. The billing system 312 can facilitate synchronizing with other components (e.g., middleware, provisioning gateway, network provisioning component, etc.) in the communication network with regard to the change in the location identifier of the femtocell. As further example, if femtocell equipment is exchanged for different femtocell equipment, which can have a different cell identifier than the exchanged femtocell equipment, the billing system 312 can update the subscriber profile with the new cell identifier and can invalidate (e.g., flag as invalid) or remove (e.g., delete) the old cell identifier, and can facilitate synchronizing with other components in the communication network with regard to the change in the cell identifier due to the change in femtocell equipment. As yet example, if the phone number associated with the femtocell is changed from a current phone number, the billing system 312 can update the subscriber profile with the new phone number and can invalidate (e.g., flag as invalid) or remove (e.g., delete) the old phone number, and can facilitate synchronizing with other components in the communication network with regard to the change in the phone number associated with the femtocell.
  • Referring briefly to FIG. 4 (and also FIG. 3), depicted is a diagram of an example system 400 that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for voice sessions in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the system 400 can comprise a UE(s), such as UE 120 A, that can be associated with (e.g., wirelessly connected to) a base station 110 or femto AP 130 depending in part on the location of the UE 120 A in the network. The base station 110 can be associated with (e.g., connected to) a radio network controller (RNC) 402 that can facilitate controlling routing of data between the base station 110 (or other base stations in or associated with a RAN) and an access network. The RNC 402 can be connected to a mobile switching center (MSC) 404 (e.g., 3G MSC) to facilitate routing of data between a communication network, such as a Signaling System 7 (SS7) network 406 or Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) 408, and the UE 120 A if and when served by the base station 110.
  • In another aspect, the femto AP 130 can be associated with the internet 410 (e.g., via wireline connection employing, for example, DSL, T1, cable, etc.) to facilitate connection to a femto network platform 412 that can comprise components, e.g., nodes, gateways, interfaces, servers, or platforms, etc. that can facilitate both packet-switched (PS) (e.g., internet protocol (IP), frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)) and circuit-switched (CS) traffic (e.g., voice and data) and control generation for networked wireless communication. In an aspect, the femto network platform 412 can include a femto access gateway 414 that can facilitate enabling the femto AP 130, and the UE 120 A if and when served by the femto AP 130, to access the femto network platform 412 to facilitate voice and data communications in the femto network. The femto access gateway 414 can be associated with an authentication/AAA/provisioning server(s) 416 that can request or provide data to facilitate operation of the femto network platform 412, including, for example, provisioning (e.g., provisioning registration of a femtocell service account for a subscriber) or authentication (e.g., authentication of a subscriber) aspects. Data, including protocols, user data, and/or other data, associated with the femto network platform 412 can be stored in the femto DB 418.
  • The femto network platform 412 can be connected to the MSC 404 to facilitate routing of data between a communication network, such as the Signaling System 7 (SS7) network 406 or Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) 408, and the UE 120 A if and when served by the femto AP 130. The MSC 404 can be connected to the mediation and rating component 302 to facilitate mediation of CDR(s) associated with voice sessions of a UE 120 A and rating of the voice sessions in accordance with the subscriber's rate plan and applicable charging rules (e.g., 308) when operating in the femto network and/or macro network of system 400, such as more fully described herein, for example, with regard to system 300.
  • The MSC 404 can generate a CDR(s) for each communication session associated with a UE(s), where the CDR(s) can comprise information, including the location identifier (e.g., LAC) associated with the origination of the communication session and the location identifier associated with the termination of the communication session, to facilitate identifying whether the communication session originated while the UE was on the femtocell or macro cell, whether the communication session ended whiled the UE was on the femtocell or macro cell, and/or what portion of the communication session occurred while on the femtocell and what portion of the communication session occurred while on the macro cell. The mediation and rating component 302 can receive the CDR(s) associated with the communication session(s) (e.g., voice session(s)) of the UE from the MSC 404, and can mediate the CDR(s) and reconcile them, as desired, to transpose or modify the CDR(s) so that the CDR(s) can be in a format desired by the billing system 312.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 can be associated with a billing system 312, and can provide the CDR(s) (e.g., as transposed or modified) to the billing system 312 along with rating information (e.g., applicable predefined charging rules, or information identifying the applicable predefined charging rules) to the billing system 312. The billing system 312 can facilitate applying the applicable predefined charging rules (e.g., 308) to information in the CDR(s) relating to the voice session(s) associated with the UE 120 A to facilitate generating a billing for the voice session(s) in accordance with the subscriber's rate plan (e.g., voice plan) and/or performing other desired functions, in accordance with various aspects, such as more fully described herein, for example, with regard to system 300.
  • In another aspect, when a UE is roaming in another market and engages in a voice session, a billing system 418 in the outside market can receive a CDR(s) associated with that voice session and/or other information relating to the voice session from a mediation and rating component (not shown) or other component (not shown) responsible for generating a record regarding the voice session, and the billing system 418 can route or provide the CDR(s) and/or other information to the billing system 312 of the home market of the UE.
  • Referring again to FIG. 3, the system 300 also can mediate and rate data sessions associated with UEs (e.g., UE 120 A), in relation to data sessions in the femto network and/or macro network, and can generate billing for such data sessions to be provided to the subscriber. When the subscriber used the UE to initiates or originates a data session in the macro network, as desired, the mediation and rating component 302 can rate the data session, and the billing system 312 can bill the data session, according to the rate plan for data sessions on the macro network (e.g., according to the macro portion of the rate plan), or as otherwise desired, as provided in the rate plan, in accordance with predefined charging rules 308 based at least in part on the terms of the applicable rate plan. If the subscriber has a femto unlimited data rate plan (or a qualifying limited data rate plan), the billing model can be mobile originate, and thus, when the subscriber initiates or originates a data session on the macro network, the mediation and rating component 302 can rate the data session as under the current rate plan in relation to the macro network (e.g., can be charged for kbs of data downloaded or accessed), even if the UE is handed off the femto AP during the data session, where one or more predefined charging rules 308 can be employed to rate the data session, so that the billing system 312 can bill for the data session accordingly. In an aspect, when the subscriber has a femto unlimited data rate plan (or a qualifying limited data rate plan), the billing model can be mobile originate, and thus, when the subscriber initiates or originates a data session on the femto network, the mediation and rating component 302 can rate the data session as under the femto rate plan, even if the UE is handed off to the macro AP during the data session (e.g., the portion of the data session that occurred while on the macro network will be treated as if it occurred while on the femto network and will not be billed for an unlimited data rate plan or billed against a qualifying limited data rate plan), and the billing system 312 can apply the predefined charging rules 308 to the information relating to the data session to bill the subscriber for the data session accordingly. In another aspect, if the subscriber has a data add-on femto feature(s), the rating can specify that data sessions that either originate (MO) on the femtocell or data sessions that terminate (MT) on the femtocell can be rated per the femto feature(s) rate plan.
  • To facilitate supporting desired billing models for data sessions, location identifiers (e.g., LACs) can be applied in the S-CDRs, G-CDRs, and CSG-CDRs (also referred to as CSG-EDRs or DER(s)). The location identifier(s) contained in a CDR, such as S-CDRs, G-CDRs, and CSG-CDRs, can identify the location (e.g., femtocell, network) of the origination of a data session associated with a UE and/or the location of the termination of the data session to facilitate mediating, rating, and billing in accordance with the applicable rate plan of the subscriber.
  • In an aspect, for each communication session (e.g., voice session, data session), the CDR(s), such as an S-CDR, G-CDR, CSG-CDR, or SMS CDR(s), can be created and can contain location information, such as an LAC(s), that can identify an origination and/or termination location(s) for the communication session associated with a UE (e.g., UE 120 A). In an aspect, the predefined range of LACs (e.g., predefined range of LAC values) or a specified number of known LACs can be reserved for and employed with femtocells to facilitate distinguishing femto APs (e.g., 130) from other APs, such as base stations (e.g., 110), when determining what AP(s) served a UE during a given communication session and determining whether which AP was serving the UE when the session originated and which AP was serving the UE when the session ended. A table (e.g., look-up table) or other component can be employed to store information relating to the LAC(S) and the table can be referenced to compare a LAC(S) in a CDR(s) to facilitate determining whether the LAC(S) is associated with a femto AP or another AP, such as a base station. When a communication session for a UE is a data session, a CSG-CDR(s) can be created to track data usage, type of data services used by the UE, specific data services used by the UE, etc.
  • In another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can receive the communication records 304, such as S-CDR(s), G-CDR(s), and/or CSG-CDR(s), associated with a data session for a UE and can correlate information in the S-CDR(s) and/or G-CDR(s), such as location identifier(s), with information in the CSG-CDR(s), such as location identifier(s), information relating to the application or service (e.g., IM, MMS, video application or service such as VideoShare, etc.) used during the data session and when respective portions of data were communicated (e.g., downloaded) to the UE to facilitate determining what location the data session was originated, what location the data session ended, determining or identifying what portions of data were communicated while the UE was on the femtocell and what portions of data were communicated while the UE was on the macro cell, where the correlated information can be included in an enhanced CDR, as desired. For instance, an enhanced CDR can comprise information (e.g., location identifier, such as an LAC, at origination of the data session; location identifier at termination of the data session; time stamps for origination, termination, and/or hand over between cells; amount of data downloaded or accessed; portion of data downloaded or accessed during portion of data session on the femtocell; portion of data downloaded or accessed during portion of the data session on macro cell; length of time of the data session; number of minutes for the data session, or respective portions thereof (e.g., femto portion, macro portion); type of service or application used; specific service or application used; etc.) from one or more of an S-CDR, G-CDR, or CSG-CDR (e.g., for a data session), or respective portions thereof. In yet another aspect, as desired, the mediation and rating component 302 also can allow raw communication records 304 (e.g., CDRs) to pass through unchanged to a rating engine 310 and/or billing system 312, or can drop a communication record(s) 304 (e.g., CDR(s)) when desired (e.g., when the communication session is for use of a service that is free to all subscribers). The mediation and rating component 302 also can format an enhanced CDR so that respective items of information can be placed in respective fields of the enhanced CDR to facilitate identification of desired items of information by the billing system 312. In an aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 also can perform reconciliation on desired communication records 304 to identify errors and correct identified errors in such communication records 304 prior to evaluating the communication records 304 for rating of the data session.
  • In yet another aspect, the rating engine 310 can determine and/or identify one or more predefined charging rules 308 that are applicable with regard to a communication session(s) associated with a subscriber in accordance with the rate plan of the subscriber. For example, as desired, for a data session associated with a UE, if a subscriber has a femto unlimited data rate plan, a billing model can be employed that is mobile originate, where, when the subscriber initiates a data session in the macro network, the data session can be rated as under the subscriber's macro data rate plan (e.g., charged for kbs of data downloaded or accessed), even if the UE of the subscriber is handed off to a femtocell (e.g., subscriber's femtocell) during the data session, and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with that billing model. As another example, if the subscriber has a femto unlimited data rate plan and originates a data session while the UE is on the femto network (e.g., on the femtocell) and moves such that the UE is handed off to the macro network (e.g., on the macro cell), the data session, including the portion of the data session that was on the macro network, can be rated as within the femtocell (e.g., entire data session can fall under the femto unlimited data rate plan, so that there is no charge for data accessed or downloaded, even for data accessed or downloaded when on the macro network), and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with that billing model. As desired, when a subscriber has a data add-on femto feature(s), data sessions that either originate (e.g., mobile originate (MO)) on the femtocell or data sessions that terminate (e.g., mobile terminate (MT)) on the femtocell can be rated per the femto feature(s) data rate plan, and a predefined charging rule(s) 308 can be generated and employed in accordance with such billing model. While the above examples are described with regard to a femto unlimited data rate plan, it is to be appreciated that the subject innovation is not so limited, as a specified femto limited data rate plan (e.g., qualifying femto limited data rate plan) also can be employed instead of a femto unlimited data rate plan, as desired.
  • In an aspect, the billing system 312 can receive an enhanced CDR (or a raw CDR(s)), and/or the applicable predefined charging rules 308 or information identifying the applicable predefined charging rules 308, from the mediation and rating component 302. In another aspect, as desired (e.g. periodically during a billing cycle, at the end of a billing cycle), the billing system 312 can identify relevant information (e.g., location where data session originated, location where data session ended, what portion of data was accessed or downloaded while on femtocell, what portion of data was accessed or downloaded while on macro cell, etc.) in the enhanced CDR(s) (or a raw CDR(s)), and can apply the one or more predefined charging rules 308, which are applicable to the data session, to the information contained in the enhanced CDR (or raw CDR(s)) associated with the data session in accordance with a rating plan (e.g., data rate plan) associated with the subscriber using the UE to facilitate generating a billing record or entry for the data session (and any other communication sessions that have occurred). The billing record or entries can be provided to the subscriber in a desired format(s) (e.g., paper billing, electronic billing, billing can be provided via a web site or message, etc.).
  • Referring briefly to FIG. 5 (and FIG. 3), illustrated is a diagram of an example system 500 that can facilitate mediation, rating, and billing for data sessions in relation to a femtocell service framework in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the system 500 can comprise a UE(s), such as UE 120 A, that can be associated with (e.g., wirelessly connected to) a base station 110 or femto AP 130 depending in part on the location of the UE 120 A in the network. The base station 110 can be associated with (e.g., connected to) a radio network controller (RNC) 502 that can facilitate controlling routing of data between the base station 110 (or other base stations in or associated with a RAN) and an access network.
  • The RNC 502 can be connected to a SGSN 502 to facilitate communication of data, in accordance with specified protocols, between the RAN (not expressly identified in FIG. 5) and access network (not expressly identified in FIG. 5). The SGSN 502 can be associated with a GGSN 504 that can facilitate communication of data between the access network and a core network (not expressly identified in FIG. 5). The access network also can comprise other components, such as routers, nodes, switches, interfaces, controllers, etc., that can facilitate communication of data between communication devices in the communication network. The GGSN 504 can monitor data sessions of UEs and can generate G-CDRs that can comprise information (e.g., location identifier(s)) relating to the data sessions for UEs. The SGSN 506 can monitor data sessions of UEs and can generate S-CDRs that can comprise information relating to data sessions for UEs, and the CSG 506 can monitor data sessions of UEs and can generate CSG-CDRs that can comprise information relating to data sessions for UEs.
  • In an aspect, the GGSN 504 can be associated with a CSG 506 that can monitor data traffic, including data usage, associated with various data services or applications associated with the CSG 506 and can generate respective CSG-CDRs for respective data sessions by UEs in the communication network, where the CSG-CDRs can be utilized to facilitate billing a subscriber for the data services or applications used by the subscriber. The CSG 506 can obtain and track, and the CSG-CDRs can comprise, information, such as, for example, type of data service or application used, specific data service or application used, URL(S) accessed, date stamp(s) or other time information to indicate the origination and/or termination of access to the data service or application, amount of data accessed or downloaded for a given data session, identification information to identify the subscriber or associated UE using the data service or application, billing rate(s) for using the particular data service or application, etc. The data services or applications can comprise, for example, one or more messaging services 508 that can provide messaging services (e.g., IM, MMS, SMS, etc.) to UEs in the network, a media-net 510 that can provide media (e.g., video, audio, multimedia, visual images, etc.) to UEs in the network, and/or the internet 410 and communication devices associated therewith to facilitate accessing or downloading desired content (e.g., video, audio, multimedia, visual images, textual content, etc.). The GGSN 504, CSG 506, messaging service(s) 508, media-net 510, and internet 410 can be associated with a firewall 512 to facilitate securing respective components from unauthorized access.
  • The messaging service(s) 508 also can monitor data sessions and can generate communication records 304 (e.g., CDRs) that can comprise information relating to the data sessions for UEs. The respective communication records 304 can comprise information, including, for example, the location identifier (e.g., LAC) associated with the origination of the communication session and the location identifier associated with the termination of the communication session, to facilitate identifying whether the communication session originated while the UE was on the femtocell or macro cell, whether the communication session ended whiled the UE was on the femtocell or macro cell, and/or what portion of the communication session occurred while on the femtocell and what portion of the communication session occurred while on the macro cell.
  • In an aspect, the GGSN 504, CSG 506, and messaging service(s) 508 can be associated with the mediation and rating component 302, to facilitate mediating, rating, and billing subscribers for data sessions relating to data services or applications associated with the network. The mediation and rating component 302 can receive information, such as communication records 304 (e.g., CDR(s), such as S-CDR(s), G-CDR(s), or CSG-CDR(s)) from the GGSN 504, CSG 506, or messaging service(s) 508 in relation to data sessions associated with UEs. The mediation and rating component 302 can mediate the communication records 304 to correlate the respective items of information in the respective communication records 304. The mediation and rating component 302 also can transpose or modify the communication records 304 so that they can be in a format (e.g., respective items of data in respective fields in the enhanced CDR) desired by the billing system 312. For instance, the mediation and rating component 302 can generate an enhanced CDR, comprising the mediated information in the desired format, for a data session that can be used to facilitate rating and billing for that data session in accordance with applicable predefined charging rules. In another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 also can perform reconciliation on desired communication records 304 for a data session to identify errors and correct identified errors in such communication records 304 prior to evaluating the communication records 304 for rating of the data session.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 can be associated with a billing system 312, and can provide the enhanced CDR(S) (or raw CDR(s)) (e.g., as transposed or modified) to the billing system 312 along with rating information (e.g., applicable predefined charging rules, or information identifying the applicable predefined charging rules) to the billing system 312. The billing system 312 can facilitate applying the applicable predefined charging rules (e.g., 308) to information in the enhanced CDR(S) (or raw CDR(s)) relating to the data session(s) associated with the UE 120 A to facilitate generating a billing for the data session(s) in accordance with the subscriber's rate plan (e.g., data rate plan) and/or performing other desired functions, in accordance with various aspects, such as more fully described herein, for example, with regard to system 300.
  • In accordance with one non-limiting illustrative example, for a wireless application protocol (WAP) session, a UE of a subscriber can originate the session on the femtocell (e.g., at the residence of the subscriber) associated with an SGSN (e.g., SGSN 502), and then moves the UE (e.g., leaves the residence) and the UE is handed over to the macro network on a new SGSN (not shown), which can result in an update of PDP context that can be sent to the new SGSN. The GGSN 5044 can send a RADIUS update to the CSG 506 regarding the updated PDP context. When the session is ended, the CSG 506 can close the CDR it created for the session with the latest known information, where such information can include location information indicating that the session ended on the macro cell (e.g., LAC indicates macro cell). Conventionally, the result would be that the entire session is billed as occurring on the macro cell. Conversely, in accordance with the subject innovation, the billing system 312 can bill the session as if the session occurred on the femtocell in accordance with a predefined charging rule 308. To facilitate such a billing, during the handover from the femtocell to the macro cell on a new SGSN, the location identifier contained in the data originate message can be maintained in the desired CDR(s) and/or provided to the GGSN 504 to include in a CDR(s), and the location identifier of the data originate message can be included in the CSG-CDR(s) and/or the enhanced CDR(s) created by the mediation and rating component 302 for the session.
  • In accordance with various other aspects, alternatively, to facilitate such a billing outcome for the above example, instead of (or in addition to) maintaining the location identifier of the data originate message, different data rating options can be employed, such as a subscriber will not be provided special unlimited usage with femto unlimited voice add-on feature, or an unlimited data feature can be applied as an add-on feature to the femtocell unlimited rate plan.
  • In accordance with one embodiment of the subject innovation, one or more components (e.g., mediation and rating component 302, rating engine 310, billing system 312) in the network can utilize artificial intelligence (AI) methods to infer (e.g., reason and draw a conclusion based at least in part on a set of metrics, arguments, or known outcomes in controlled scenarios) whether a communication session originated on a femtocell or a macro cell; respective amounts of time a communication session is occurring on a femtocell or a macro cell; a charging rule to apply to a particular communication session; etc. Artificial intelligence techniques typically can apply advanced mathematical algorithms—e.g., decision trees, neural networks, regression analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) for feature and pattern extraction, cluster analysis, genetic algorithm, and reinforced learning—to historic and/or current data associated with systems 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 to facilitate rendering an inference(s) related to the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500.
  • In particular, the one or more components in the network can employ one of numerous methodologies for learning from data and then drawing inferences from the models so constructed, e.g., Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and related prototypical dependency models. General probabilistic graphical models, such as Dempster-Shafer networks and Bayesian networks like those created by structure search using a Bayesian model score or approximation can also be utilized. In addition, linear classifiers, such as support vector machines (SVMs), non-linear classifiers like methods referred to as “neural network” methodologies, fuzzy logic methodologies can also be employed. Moreover, game theoretic models (e.g., game trees, game matrices, pure and mixed strategies, utility algorithms, Nash equilibria, evolutionary game theory, etc.) and other approaches that perform data fusion, etc., can be exploited in accordance with implementing various automated aspects described herein. The foregoing methods can be applied to analysis of the historic and/or current data associated with system 100 to facilitate making inferences or determinations related to system 100.
  • FIG. 6 depicts a block diagram of an example mediation and rating component 302 in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can be utilized to mediate information relating to communication sessions and determine ratings to be applied to the communication sessions associated with UEs in a communication network to facilitate billing subscribers for their communication sessions. The mediation and rating component 302 can comprise a rating engine 310 and DB 306, which can store communication records 304 and charging rules 308, where these respective components can comprise the same or similar features or functions as respectively named and/or numbered components, such as more fully described herein, for example, with regard to systems 300, 400, and 500.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 can include a mediation component 602 that can mediate communication records 304 received by the mediation and rating component 602 from other components, such as an SGSN, a GGSN, a CSG, or a messaging service(s), in the network. The mediation component 602 can evaluate information contained in respective communication records 304 and can correlate the information so that the rating engine 310 and billing system 312 can have detailed information regarding a particular communication session, including information indicating a location where a communication session originated, a location where a communication session ended, length of time of the session, amount of data accessed or downloaded, and/or other information, as disclosed herein. In an aspect, as desired, the mediation component 602 can correlate the information of respective communication records 304 to create an enhanced CDR, where such enhanced CDR can facilitate improved and efficient rating and billing for communication sessions, particularly data sessions.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 also can comprise a reconciliation component 604 that can perform reconciliation on desired communication records 304 to identify errors and correct identified errors in such communication records 304 prior to evaluating the communication records 304 for rating and billing of a given communication session of a subscriber. In an aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can include an identification component 606 that can identify desired information in the communication records 304, including, for example, an enhanced CDR for a communication session, where such desired information can be, for example, the cell (e.g., femtocell, macro cell) on which a communication session for a UE originated, the cell on which a communication session for a UE terminated, the type of communication session (e.g., voice, data), etc. to facilitate rating the communication session and determining one or more predefined charging rules that can be applied to the information in the communication records 304 to facilitate generating a billing for that session.
  • The rating engine 310 can comprise a voice rating engine 608 that can rate a voice session associated with a UE and determine or identify one or more predefined charging rules that can be applied to the information for the voice session to facilitate billing the voice session in accordance with the rate plan of the subscriber associated with the UE. The rating engine 310 also can comprise a data rating engine 610 that can rate a data session associated with a UE and determine or identify one or more predefined charging rules that can be applied to the information for the data session to facilitate billing the data session in accordance with the rate plan of the subscriber associated with the UE.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 also can comprise a format component 612 that can format data in a CDR, such as an enhanced CDR, so that items of data are in respective fields in a format desired by the billing system 312 to facilitate efficient and improved billing for communication sessions associated with UEs in the network.
  • In another aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can comprise a processor component 614 that can work in conjunction with the other components (e.g., rating engine 310, DB 306, mediation component 602, reconciliation component 604, identification component 606, voice rating engine 608, data rating engine 610, etc.) to facilitate performing the various functions of the mediation and rating component 302. The processor component 614 can employ one or more processors, microprocessors, or controllers that can process data, such as information contained in communication records 304, predefined charging rules 308, mediation protocols, rating plan information respectively associated with subscribers, and/or other information, to facilitate mediating information relating to communication sessions and rating those sessions to facilitate billing for such sessions; and can control data flow between the mediation and rating component 302 and other components associated with the mediation and rating component 302.
  • The mediation and rating component 302 also can include a data store 616 that can store data structures (e.g., user data, metadata); code structure(s) (e.g., modules, objects, classes, procedures) or instructions; predefined charging rules; communication records; network or device information like policies and specifications, attachment protocols; code sequences for scrambling, spreading and pilot (e.g., reference signal(s)) transmission; frequency offsets; cell IDs; and so on. In an aspect, the processor component 614 can be functionally coupled (e.g., through a memory bus) to the data store 616 in order to store and retrieve information (e.g., information relating to the predefined charging rules, protocols or algorithms used to mediate communication records for a communication session and/or rating a communication session, etc.) desired to operate and/or confer functionality, at least in part, to the rating engine 310, voice rating engine 608, data rating engine 610, DB 306, communication records 304, charging rules 308, mediation component 602, reconciliation component 604, identification component 606, format component 612, and/or substantially any other operational aspects of the mediation and rating component 302.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a block diagram of an example billing system 312 that can be utilized to generate billing records for communication sessions associated with a subscriber using a UE in a communication network, comprising a femtocell(s), in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the billing system 312 can include an identification component 702 that can identify respective items of information desired by the billing system 312 in order to generate bill records 704 for communication sessions associated with UEs in the network. For instance, the billing system 312 can receive communication records 704 (e.g., enhanced CDR(s)) from the mediation and rating component. The identification component 702 can analyze or scan a communication record(s) 706 associated with a communication session of a UE and can identify a location identifier(s) associated with origination and/or termination of the communication session to facilitate identifying the cell associated with the communication session at origination of the session and/or the cell associated with the session at termination of the session, length of use of the voice or data service, amount of data usage during a data session, what portion of a session and/or usage occurred while on a femtocell and what portion of a communication session and/or usage occurred while on a macro cell, predefined charging rules to apply to a communication session, etc.
  • In an aspect, the billing system 312 can include an evaluator component 708 that can evaluate identified items of information in the communication records 706 associated with a communication session of a UE and/or other information and can apply one or more predefined billing rules 710, comprising one or more predefined charging rules, to relevant items of information in accordance with the rate plan of the subscriber of the UE, and the evaluator component 708 can operate in conjunction with a calculator component 712 to calculate or determine an amount of money or other type of billing amount to charge for the communication session. The billing system 312 can comprise a bill generation component 714 that can generate a billing record 704 that includes the amount of money or other type of billing amount to charge the subscriber, where the billing record 704 can be provided as desired (e.g., paper billing statement, electronic billing statement, billing record 704 available via website or email, etc.).
  • In another aspect, the billing system 312 can contain a promotional component 716 that can generate and manage one or more promotional models, based at least in part on predefined promotional criteria, that can be utilized to facilitate promoting subscriptions to the voice or data services and/or other services associated with or available to the femtocell or UE. The promotional component 716 can evaluate predefined promotional criteria to facilitate creating a promotional model(s) and identifying one or more subscribers or potential subscribers that can qualify for the promotional model(s). The criteria for determining a model and identifying a subscriber or potential subscriber, include, for example, the relative income of the subscribers or potential subscribers, the relative potential value of the subscribers or potential subscribers to the service provider, the cost or potential cost of the promotional model, etc.
  • The promotional component 716 can generate parameters (e.g., type of promotion such as rebate or discount for services, etc.; amount of discount; length of the promotion whether in amount of time and/or amount of voice or data usage; parameter(s) indicating subscribers or potential subscribers that qualify for the promotion; etc.) and parameter values associated with a desired promotional model and/or one or more predefined charging rules (e.g., predefined promotional charging rules) that can be applied to communication sessions that qualify under the promotional model. The promotional model can include, for example, a rebate for purchase of a femtocell or subscription to a rate plan that includes femto service(s), special (e.g., lower) billing rates for certain voice or data services. The promotional component 716 can facilitate implementing the promotional model so that other components (e.g., identification component 702, evaluator component 708, calculator component 712, bill generation component 714) operate in accordance with a promotional model when applicable to a subscriber and services used, and to terminate the promotional model as to a subscriber when the promotional model is expired as to that subscriber. For instance, the promotional component 716 can operate in conjunction with a tracking component 718 to monitor and track voice or data services used by a subscriber under a promotional model (e.g., providing a discount rate for voice or data services for a specified promotional time period) or a rebate period (e.g., for a subscriber to submit required information, such as proof of purchase of a femtocell, in order to qualify for a rebate) to determine whether the promotional model has expired as to that subscriber.
  • In still another aspect, the billing system 312 can include a shutdown component 720 that can facilitate negotiating a shutdown or disconnection of service in relation to a femtocell and femtocell-related subscription of a subscriber. The shutdown component 720 can facilitate synchronizing with other components (e.g., middleware, provisioning gateway, network provisioning component, etc.) in the communication network when there is a disconnection of service (e.g., subscriber cancels service relating to femtocell, service provider cancels service relating to femtocell for the subscriber) with regard to a femtocell associated with a subscriber, so that the billing system 312 and the other components are aware of the current state of the femtocell of the subscriber and/or can accordingly update databases and services respectively associated therewith.
  • The billing system 312 also can contain a processor component 722 that can operate in conjunction with the other components (e.g., identification component 702, evaluator component 708, calculator component 712, bill generation component 714, promotional component 716, tracking component 718, shutdown component 720, etc.) to facilitate performing the various functions of the billing system 312. The processor component 722 can employ one or more processors, microprocessors, or controllers that can process data, such as information in communication records 706, predefined billing rules 710, billing records 704, predefined promotional criteria, or other information relating to billing for data or voice services utilized by respective subscribers in association with the femtocell framework, and can control data flow between the billing system 312 and the mediation and rating component 302 and/or other components associated with the billing system 312.
  • The billing system 312 also can contain a data store 724 that can store data structures (e.g., user data, metadata); code structure(s) (e.g., modules, objects, classes, procedures) or instructions; billing records 704; communication records 706; predefined billing rules 710; predefined promotional criteria; network or device information like policies and specifications; and so on. In an aspect, the processor component 722 can be functionally coupled (e.g., through a memory bus) to the data store 724 in order to store and retrieve information (e.g., billing records 704; communication records 706; predefined billing rules 710, predefined promotional criteria, etc.) desired to operate and/or confer functionality, at least in part, to the identification component 702, evaluator component 708, calculator component 712, bill generation component 714, promotional component 716, tracking component 718, shutdown component 720, and/or substantially any other operational aspects of the billing system 312. It is to be appreciated and understood that certain components, such as, for example, the promotional component 716 or tracking component 718, can reside within the billing system 312 (as depicted), can reside within another component, or can be stand-alone components, as desired.
  • FIG. 8 depicts a block diagram of an example mobile device 800 (e.g., UE) in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the mobile device 800 can be a multimode access terminal, wherein a set of antennas 869 1-869 Q (Q is a positive integer) can receive and transmit signal(s) from and to wireless devices like access points, access terminals, wireless ports and routers, and so forth, that operate in a radio access network. It should be appreciated that antennas 869 1-869 Q are a part of communication platform 802, which comprises electronic components and associated circuitry that provide for processing and manipulation of received signal(s) and signal(s) to be transmitted; e.g., receivers and transmitters 804, multiplexer/demultiplexer (mux/demux) component 806, and modulation/demodulation (mod/demod) component 808.
  • In another aspect, multimode operation chipset(s) 810 can allow the mobile device 800 to operate in multiple communication modes in accordance with disparate technical specification for wireless technologies. In an aspect, multimode operation chipset(s) 810 can utilize communication platform 802 in accordance with a specific mode of operation (e.g., voice, Global Positioning System (GPS)). In another aspect, multimode operation chipset(s) 810 can be scheduled to operate concurrently (e.g., when Q>1) in various modes or within a multitask paradigm.
  • The mobile device 800 also can include a processor(s) 812 that can be configured to confer functionality, at least in part, to substantially any electronic component within the mobile device 800, in accordance with aspects of the subject innovation. As an example, the processor(s) 812 can facilitate enabling the mobile device 800 to measure communication conditions (e.g., Radio Frequency (RF) conditions) associated with the mobile device 800 and transmit feedback information relating to the communication conditions to the base station or femto AP serving the mobile device 800. Further, the processor(s) 812 can facilitate enabling the mobile device 800 to process data (e.g., symbols, bits, or chips) for multiplexing/demultiplexing, modulation/demodulation, such as implementing direct and inverse fast Fourier transforms, selection of modulation rates, selection of data packet formats, inter-packet times, etc.
  • The mobile device 800 also can contain a data store 814 that can store data structures (e.g., user data, metadata); code structure(s) (e.g., modules, objects, classes, procedures) or instructions; feedback information relating to communication conditions associated with the mobile device 800; rate coding information associated with the mobile device 800; encoding algorithms; compression algorithms; decoding algorithms; decompression algorithms; network or device information like policies and specifications, attachment protocols; code sequences for scrambling, spreading and pilot (e.g., reference signal(s)) transmission; frequency offsets; cell IDs; and so on. In an aspect, the processor(s) 812 can be functionally coupled (e.g., through a memory bus) to the data store 814 in order to store and retrieve information (e.g., rate coding information, etc.) desired to operate and/or confer functionality, at least in part, to communication platform 802, multimode operation chipset(s) 810, and/or substantially any other operational aspects of the mobile device 800.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a block diagram of an example AP 900 (e.g., base station 130, femto AP 110) in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. The AP 900 can receive and transmit signal(s) from and to wireless devices like access points (e.g., base stations, femto access points), access terminals, wireless ports and routers, and the like, through a set of antennas 969 1-969 N. It should be appreciated that while antennas 969 1-969 N are a part of a communication platform 902, which comprises electronic components and associated circuitry that can provide for processing and manipulation of received signal(s) and signal(s) to be transmitted. In an aspect, the communication platform 902 can include a receiver/transmitter 904 that can convert signal from analog to digital upon reception, and from digital to analog upon transmission. In addition, receiver/transmitter 904 can divide a single data stream into multiple, parallel data streams, or perform the reciprocal operation.
  • In an aspect, coupled to receiver/transmitter 904 can be a multiplexer/demultiplexer (mux/demux) 906 that can facilitate manipulation of signal in time and frequency space. The mux/demux 906 can multiplex information (e.g., data/traffic and control/signaling) according to various multiplexing schemes such as time division multiplexing (TDM), frequency division multiplexing (FDM), orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), code division multiplexing (CDM), space division multiplexing (SDM). In addition, mux/demux component 906 can scramble and spread information (e.g., codes) according to substantially any code known in the art, e.g., Hadamard-Walsh codes, Baker codes, Kasami codes, polyphase codes, and so on. A modulator/demodulator (mod/demod) 908 also can be part of an operational group, and can modulate information according to multiple modulation techniques, such as frequency modulation, amplitude modulation (e.g., M-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), with M a positive integer), phase-shift keying (PSK), and the like.
  • The AP 900 also can comprise a processor(s) 910 configured to confer and/or facilitate providing functionality, at least partially, to substantially any electronic component in or associated with the AP 900. For instance, the processor(s) 910 can facilitate operations on data (e.g., symbols, bits, or chips) for multiplexing/demultiplexing, such as effecting direct and inverse fast Fourier transforms, selection of modulation rates, selection of data packet formats, inter-packet times, etc.
  • In another aspect, the AP 900 can include a data store 912 that can store data structures; code instructions; information relating to communication conditions associated with a UE served by the AP 900; rate coding information associated with the served UE; system or device information like policies and specifications; code sequences for scrambling; spreading and pilot transmission; floor plan configuration; access point deployment and frequency plans; scheduling policies; and so on. The processor(s) 910 can be coupled to the data store 912 in order to store and retrieve information (e.g., rate coding information, information relating to communication conditions, etc.) desired to operate and/or confer functionality to the communication platform 902, receiver/transmitter 904, mux/demux component 906, mod/demod 908, and/or other operational components of AP 900.
  • In view of the example systems described herein, example methodologies that can be implemented in accordance with the disclosed subject matter can be better appreciated with reference to flowcharts in FIGS. 10-15. For purposes of simplicity of explanation, example methodologies disclosed herein are presented and described as a series of acts; however, it is to be understood and appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not limited by the order of acts, as some acts may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other acts from that shown and described herein. For example, a methodology disclosed herein could alternatively be represented as a series of interrelated states or events, such as in a state diagram. Moreover, interaction diagram(s) may represent methodologies in accordance with the disclosed subject matter when disparate entities enact disparate portions of the methodologies. Furthermore, not all illustrated acts may be required to implement a methodology in accordance with the subject specification. It should be further appreciated that the methodologies disclosed throughout the subject specification are capable of being stored on an article of manufacture to facilitate transporting and transferring such methodologies to computers for execution by a processor or for storage in a memory.
  • FIG. 10 presents a flowchart of an example methodology 1000 for mediating, rating and billing for communication sessions associated with a UE and associated subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with various aspects of the disclosed subject matter. At 1002, a location of at least one of an origination or a termination of a communication session associated with a UE can be identified based at least in part on at least one location identifier associated with the at least one of the origination or the termination of the communication session. In an aspect, one or more communication records (e.g., S-CDR, G-CDR, CSG-CDR, etc.) can comprise information, such as a location identifier(s) (e.g., LAC(s)), that can identify whether a communication session originated on a femtocell or a macro cell and/or whether a communication session terminated on a femtocell or a macro cell to facilitate rating and billing for the communication session.
  • At 1004, the communication session can be rated based at least in part on the at least one location identifier. In an aspect, the mediation and rating component 302 can correlate one or more communication records received in relation to a communication session to facilitate rating the communication session. For instance, the mediation and rating component 302 can correlate the communication records and generate an enhanced communication record (e.g., enhanced CDR) for a communication session. The mediation and rating component 302 can evaluate information, such as the location identifier(s), in the communication record(s) for a session to determine a rating for the session. For example, as desired, and in accordance with a rating plan for the subscriber, if a subscriber has an unlimited data rate plan in regard to the femtocell, a communication session that originates on the femtocell and is handed over to a macro cell and terminates while on the macro cell can be rated as being with the femtocell for the entire duration of the session, even though part of the session was not on the femtocell. Other examples of rating a communication session include those examples disclosed herein. The mediation and rating component 302 can identify one or more predefined charging rules that can be applied, in accordance with the applicable rate plan for the subscriber, to facilitate generating a billing record for the communication session.
  • FIG. 11 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology 1100 that can create a CDR to facilitate mediating, rating, and billing for a communication session for a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. At 1102, a CDR can be created. In an aspect, a CDR, such as a S-CDR, G-CDR, and/or CSG-CDR, can be created in response to an origination of a communication session (e.g., voice session, data session) associated with a UE of a subscriber. At 1104, a location identifier associated with and identifying a location of an origination of the communication session associated with the UE can be received. At 1106, the location identifier associated with and identifying the location of the origination of the communication session can be stored in the CDR.
  • At 1108, voice or data usage associated with the communication session can be tracked during the communication session. At 1110, information relating to voice or data usage associated with the communication session can be stored in the CDR. For instance, information, such as length of time of a communication session, amount of data accessed or downloaded, portion of data accessed or downloaded while on a femtocell, portion of data accessed or downloaded while on a macro cell, voice rates, data rates, etc., can be stored in the CDR. At 1112, a location identifier associated with and identifying a location of a termination of the communication session associated with the UE can be received. At 1114, the location identifier associated with and identifying the location of the termination of the communication session can be stored in the CDR. At 1116, the CDR can be closed. In an aspect, the CDR can be stored in a data store and/or provided to a mediation and rating component 302 for further processing and use.
  • It is to be appreciated and understood that the SGSN, GGSN, and/or CSG each can create a respective CDR for a given communication session associated with a UE, as desired. Thus, there can be more than one CDR, and more than one type of CDR (e.g., S-CDR, G-CDR, CSG-CDR), for a given communication session.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a flowchart of an example methodology 1200 that can rate and generate a billing record for a communication session of a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. At 1202, one or more communication records (e.g., CDR(s), such as S-CDR, G-CDR, and/or CSG-CSR) associated with a communication session of the UE can be received. At 1204, a determination can be made regarding whether the communication session is a voice session or data session. For instance, the communication record(s) can include an indicator that can indicate or identify the type of communication session as a voice session or data session. The communication record(s) can be analyzed to identify the indicator. If it is determined that the communication session is not a voice session, but is instead a data session, methodology 1200 can proceed to reference point A, and in methodology 1300 can proceed from reference point A to mediate, rate, and bill for the data session.
  • Referring again to methodology 1200, if, at reference numeral 1204, it is determined that the communication session is a voice session, at 1206, at least one location identifier can be identified in the communication record(s). In an aspect, a location identifier(s) respectively associated with a location of an origination and/or a termination of a communication session can be stored in a communication record(s) for the voice session (e.g., stored in a location identifier field(s) in the communication record). In another aspect, the communication record(s) can be analyzed or scanned, and a location identifier(s) identifying the location (e.g., femtocell, macro cell) associated with an origination of the voice session and/or the location associated with the termination of the voice session can be identified in the communication record(s) for the voice session. In an aspect, as desired, for a voice session, the communication record(s) can be mediated to correlate the information of respective communication records so that information desired for rating and billing in one communication record can be corresponded and/or associated with other related and desired information of another communication record (e.g., location identification information of one communication record can be linked to information regarding the amount of voice usage). For example, an enhanced communication record (e.g., enhanced CDR) can be generated with the correlated information from respective communication records.
  • At 1208, a value of the at least one location identifier can be compared to reference location identifiers. In an aspect, a range of location identifiers (e.g., range of location identifier values) or specified location identifiers can be reserved for femtocells to facilitate identifying a cell as a femtocell or a macro cell. The location identifier values reserved for femtocells can be stored in a table, for example, and the table can be accessed and referenced to compare the location identifier value of a cell to the location identifier values in the table to determine whether the location identifier value of the cell matches one of the reserved values stored in the table. If the cell is associated with a location identifier having a value falling within the range of location identifiers or being one of the specified location identifiers reserved for femtocells, as stored in the table, the cell can be identified as a femtocell. If the cell is not associated with a location identifier having a value reserved for femtocells, as stored in the table, the cell can be identified as a macro cell.
  • At 1210, at least one charging rule application to the communication session can be identified. In an aspect, the communication session (e.g., voice session) can be rated to facilitate billing for the session, and one or more predefined charging rules can be identified as being applicable to the voice session in accordance with a rate plan of the subscriber associated with the UE. At 1212, the at least one charging rule can be applied to the communication session. In an aspect, the one or more applicable predefined charging rules can be applied to the voice session. The information in the communication record(s) associated with the voice session can be evaluated based at least in part on the one or more applicable predefined charging rules to facilitate determining an amount to bill for the voice session.
  • At 1214, a billing record relating to the communication session can be generated based at least in part on the at least one charging rule and the location identifier value(s). The respective value of the location identifier associated with an origination of the session and/or the termination of the session, and/or other information (e.g., length of voice usage), can be evaluated or compared to the predefined charging rule(s) to determine an amount to be billed for the voice session. In accordance with one non-limiting example, when the subscriber has a femto unlimited voice rate plan (or a qualifying femto limited voice rate plan), the billing model can be mobile originate, and thus, when the subscriber using the UE originates a voice session on the femto network, the mediation and rating component 302 can rate the data session as under the femto rate plan, even if the UE is handed off to the macro AP during the voice session (e.g., the portion of the voice session that occurred while on the macro network will be treated as if it occurred while on the femto network and will not be billed for an unlimited voice rate plan or can be billed against a qualifying limited voice rate plan); and conversely, if the voice session originates on the macro network but is handed over to the femto network and terminates while on the femto network, the voice session can be rated and billed accordingly under the applicable macro rate plan of the subscriber. A billing record, comprising information regarding the amount to be billed for the session, can be generated. The billing record can be provided to desired entities (e.g., subscriber) in a desired format (e.g., electronic billing record available via website).
  • FIG. 13 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology 1300 that can rate and generate a billing record for a data session of a UE associated with a subscriber in a communication network employing a femtocell in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the methodology 1300 can proceed from reference point A, where methodology 1200 left off upon determination that the communication session is a data session.
  • At 1302, respective communication records (e.g., CDR(s), such as S-CDR, G-CDR, and/or CSG-CDR) associated with the communication session (e.g., data session) can be correlated. In an aspect, respective items of information in the respective communication records can be correlated to facilitate generating an enhanced communication record. For instance, information in a S-CDR and/or G-CDR (e.g., location identification information for origination and/or termination of the data session) can be correlated (e.g., linked or associated) to information relating to data usage (e.g., amount of data accessed or downloaded, type of data accessed or downloaded, data rates for accessing or downloading data, etc.), which can be contained in a CSG-CDR. At 1304, an enhanced communication record can be generated based at least in part on respective communication records. The enhanced communication record can be formatted so that the rating engine and the billing system can readily identify desired items of information in the enhanced communication record to facilitate efficient rating and billing with regard to the data session (e.g., respective items of information can be contained in respective fields in the enhanced communication record).
  • At 1306, the enhanced communication record can be analyzed. The enhanced communication record can be analyzed or scanned to facilitate identifying desired items of information in the enhanced communication record. At 1308, at least one location identifier can be identified in the enhanced communication record. In an aspect, one or more location identifiers can be contained in the enhanced communication record, and can be identified via analysis of the enhanced communication record. The one or more location identifiers can respectively be associated with the location (e.g., femtocell, macro cell) associated with origination of the data session and/or termination of the data session. Also, other desired items of information, such as amount of data usage, type of data usage, applicable rate for data usage, etc., can be identified in the enhanced communication record as well.
  • At 1310, a value of the at least one location identifier can be compared to reference location identifiers. In an aspect, a range of location identifiers (e.g., range of location identifier values) or specified location identifiers can be reserved for femtocells to facilitate identifying a cell as a femtocell or a macro cell. The location identifier values reserved for femtocells can be stored in a table, for example, and the table can be accessed and referenced to compare the location identifier value of a cell to the location identifier values in the table to determine whether the location identifier value of the cell matches one of the reserved values stored in the table. If the cell is associated with a location identifier having a value falling within the range of location identifiers or being one of the specified location identifiers reserved for femtocells, as stored in the table, the cell can be identified as a femtocell. If the cell is not associated with a location identifier having a value reserved for femtocells, as stored in the table, the cell can be identified as a macro cell.
  • At 1312, at least one charging rule application to the communication session can be identified. In an aspect, the communication session (e.g., data session) can be rated to facilitate billing for the data session, and one or more predefined charging rules can be identified as being applicable to the data session in accordance with a data rate plan of the subscriber associated with the UE. At 1314, the at least one charging rule can be applied to the communication session. In an aspect, the one or more applicable predefined charging rules can be applied to the data session. The information in the communication record(s) (e.g., enhanced communication record) associated with the data session can be evaluated based at least in part on the one or more applicable predefined charging rules to facilitate determining an amount to bill for the data session.
  • At 1316, a billing record relating to the communication session can be generated based at least in part on the at least one charging rule and the location identifier value(s). The respective value(s) of the location identifier(s) associated with an origination of the session and/or the termination of the session, and/or other information (e.g., amount of data usage; type of data usage; billing rate for data usage; etc.), can be evaluated or compared to the predefined charging rule(s) to determine an amount to be billed for the data session. In accordance with one non-limiting example, when the subscriber has a femto unlimited data rate plan (or a qualifying femto limited data rate plan), the billing model can be mobile originate, and thus, when the subscriber using the UE originates a data session on the femto network, the mediation and rating component 302 can rate the data session as under the femto data rate plan, even if the UE is handed off to the macro AP during the data session (e.g., the portion of the data session that occurred while on the macro network will be treated as if it occurred while on the femto network and will not be billed for an unlimited data rate plan or can be billed against a qualifying limited data rate plan); and conversely, if the data session originates on the macro network but is handed over to the femto network and terminates while on the femto network, the data session can be rated and billed accordingly under the applicable macro data rate plan of the subscriber. A billing record, comprising information regarding the amount to be billed for the data session, can be generated. The billing record can be provided to desired entities (e.g., subscriber) in a desired format (e.g., electronic billing record available via website).
  • FIG. 14 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology 1400 that can generate a promotional charging rule(s) associated with a promotional rating model for a voice or data rate plan relating to femto network coverage in a communication network in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. At 1402, factors associated with a subset of subscribers or potential subscribers can be evaluated based at least in part on predefined promotional criteria. For example, factors, such as relative income of the subscribers or potential subscribers, the relative potential value of the subscribers or potential subscribers to the service provider, the cost or potential cost of the promotional model, etc.
  • At 1404, one or more promotional charging rules can be generated based at least in part on the evaluation of the factors. For instance, a promotional rating model can be created to offer a discounted femto unlimited data rate plan for a specified period of time to subscribers and potential new subscribers meeting a predefined minimum amount of value to the service provider. One or more promotional charging rules can be generated in accordance with the discounted femto unlimited data rate plan so that data sessions qualifying for the discounted femto unlimited data rate plan (e.g., data sessions originating in the femto network) can have the appropriate discount applied and be billed accordingly during the specified time period for the discounted femto unlimited data rate plan.
  • At 1406, the one or more promotional charging rules can be associated with the promotional plan (e.g., discounted femto unlimited data rate plan) associated with the created promotional rating model. The promotional charging rule(s) can be linked to the promotional plan to facilitate implementing the rules when rating and billing communication sessions associated with subscribers that subscribed to the promotional plan. At 1408, the one or more promotional charging rules can be stored. For instance, the one or more promotional charging rules can be stored in the DB 306 in the mediation and rating component 302 and/or data store 724 in the billing system 312. The one or more promotional charging rules, when applicable with regard to a communication session of a subscriber qualifying under the promotional plan, can be retrieved from the DB 306 to facilitate rating the communication session in accordance with the rules and promotional plan, and/or can be retrieved from the data store 724 to facilitate determining an amount to bill, if any, in accordance with the rules and promotional plan.
  • FIG. 15 depicts a flowchart of an example methodology 1500 that can update a femto profile of a subscriber in response to a disconnection or modification in femtocell service to facilitate coordinating providing femtocell services in a communication network in accordance with an aspect of the disclosed subject matter. At 1502, an indication of change in service associated with a femtocell for a subscriber can be received. In an aspect, an indicator or flag can be received, where the indicator or flag can indicate that there has been a change or modification in the femtocell service of the subscriber. The change or modification in femtocell service can be, for example, disconnection of the femtocell service, suspension of the femtocell service, relocating the femtocell from a current location to another location, changing a phone number associated with the femtocell, exchanging femtocell equipment for new femtocell equipment, etc.
  • At 1504, a determination can be made regarding whether the change in service is a disconnection of service or a modification of service. If it is determined that the change in service is a disconnection, at 1506, information relating to the femtocell of the subscriber can be removed from the billing system DB. In an aspect, information relating to the subscriber and/or the femtocell of the subscriber can be removed (e.g., logically removed by flagging the data as invalid or expired; physically removed by deleting the data) from the DB or data store of the billing system. Further, the billing system 312 can facilitate synchronizing with other components (e.g., middleware, provisioning gateway, network provisioning component, etc.) in the communication network when there is a disconnection of service (e.g., subscriber cancels service relating to femtocell, service provider cancels service relating to femtocell for the subscriber) with regard to a femtocell associated with the subscriber, so that the billing system 312 and the other components are aware of the current state of the femtocell of the subscriber and/or can accordingly update databases and services respectively associated therewith.
  • If, at 1504, it is determined that the change in service is related to modification of service, at 1508, the femto profile (e.g., femto subscriber profile) associated with the subscriber can be updated to include information relating to the modification of service for the femtocell. For example, if the modification is relocation of the femtocell to a new location (e.g., subscriber moves to a new residence), the location identifier and/or other information can be updated in the femto profile; if the modification of service is changing of the phone number associated with the femtocell, the femto profile can be updated to associate the femtocell with the new phone number; and/or if the modification of service relates to an exchange or replacement of femtocell equipment, the equipment identifier and/or other information can be updated in the femto profile to reflect the new equipment identifier or other new information.
  • At 1510, the updated femto profile can be stored. In an aspect, the updated femto profile associated with the subscriber can be stored in the DB or data store of the billing system. In another aspect, the billing system 312 can facilitate synchronizing with other components (e.g., middleware, provisioning gateway, network provisioning component, etc.) in the communication network when there is a modification of service with regard to a femtocell associated with the subscriber, so that the billing system 312 and the other components are aware of the current state of the femtocell of the subscriber and/or can accordingly update databases and services respectively associated therewith.
  • Referring to FIG. 16, illustrated is a diagram of an example system 1600 that can facilitate interaction and communication between a communication device, which can be an N-Set, and femtocell in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, the UE 120 A (e.g., mobile communication device) (not shown) can be an N-Set that can operate using any of multiple communication technologies, such as Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) or Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), for example.
  • System 1600 can comprise a billing system 1600 that can generate billings relating to use of the femtocell (e.g., 130) and associated services by a subscriber using a UE, and can facilitate configuring of the UE (e.g., N-Set) to interact, as desired, with the femtocell, as well as perform other functions (e.g., facilitate shut down of a femtocell). The billing system 312 can be associated with (e.g., connected directly or indirectly to) a directory database (DD) 1602 that can store information relating to subscribers and can comprise a plurality of mobility profiles 1604, including a mobility profile 1604 associated with the subscriber, where a mobility profile(s) can be associated with a consumer mobility account profile(s) or business mobility account profile(s). The billing system 312 also can be associated with a middleware component 1606 that can manage service flows for account registration, activation, and profile management in relation to a subscription for the femtocell and associated services by subscribers, as well as other functions relating to femtocells and femtocell services.
  • The middleware component 1606 can be associated with a femtocell account database (DB) 1608 that can store data, including account profiles 1610 of respective femtocell subscribers that can comprise information relating to femtocell subscribers and access lists 1612 (e.g., white lists) of respective subscribers, which can comprise information relating to respective subscribers and their use of a femtocell(s). The middleware component 1606 also can be associated with a network provisioning component 1614 (e.g., network provisioning gateway) that can facilitate registration and activation of accounts relating to femtocells as well as perform other desired functions. The network provisioning component 1614 can be associated with a macro network platform 1616 that can comprise a server(s) 1618 and an Over-The-Air (OTA) server 1620. The network provisioning component 1614 also can be associated with a femto network platform 412 that can comprise a femto access gateway 414, an authentication/AAA/provisioning server(s) 416, and a femto DB 418.
  • In an aspect, updated network indicators can be delivered to the UE to facilitate configuring the UE for operation in macro and femto environments. Such bi-modal operation can involve disparate technologies, e.g., GSM in the macro network and UMTS or LTE in the femto environment. Accordingly, in an aspect of the subject innovation, the delivered updated network indicator(s) can configure circuitry, e.g., SIM card, or ICC, within the UE, in order to enable operation in two or more suitable radio technologies. It is noted that updated network indicator(s) can be delivered, as described hereinafter, when the UE, e.g., 120 A, is included in an access list, e.g., a white list, associated with the femtocell.
  • In another aspect, the network provisioning component 1614 can deliver or can enable delivery of updated network indicator(s) via the OTA server 1620. In still an aspect of the subject innovation, when a subscriber is provisioned femtocell service, the network provisioning component 1614 can send a provisioning transaction to the OTA server 1620, or substantially any OTA platform that can be part of a macro network platform, via, for example, a simple object access protocol (SOAP) application program interface (API) with a specific multi-bit control word value, where the value of the multi-bit control word can facilitate configuring the UE for operation in macro and femto environments. Other values (e.g., OCOS values) and data fields can be set as appropriate as well. Likewise, when a subscriber deletes the femtocell service or deactivates a femtocell access point, the network provisioning component 1614 can send a provisioning transaction to the OTA server 1620 via its SOAP API with a disparate multi-bit control word value (e.g., either the leftmost or rightmost bit in the multi-bit control word, or field, can be set to zero) and with the other values (e.g., OCOS values) or data elements set as appropriate for implementation of an alternative service within the UE.
  • In yet another aspect, when a subscriber is included in an access list 1612, the network provisioning component 1614 can administer provisioning transaction(s) to the OTA server 1620 through a SOAP API, where such transaction(s) at the OTA server 1620 can be implemented via a communication interface (not shown). A provisioning transaction effected among the network provisioning component 1614 and the OTA server 1620 can convey a specified multi-bit word (e.g., a 15-bit word) with a Boolean parameter, e.g., “femtowhitelist,” set to true. Such a transaction generally requires the subscriber's ICCID, which is part of an account profile 1610 and the aforementioned Boolean parameter. In an aspect, middleware component 1606 can deliver a subscriber's telephone number (e.g., customer telephone number (CTN)) and associated Integrated Circuit Card identification (ICCID) by querying directory database 1602 and conveying extracted information (e.g., CTN and associated ICCID) to the network provisioning component 1614. The network provisioning component 1614 can deliver changes to an original access list 1612 in order to initiate a transaction update to the OTA server 1620. For instance, the network provisioning component 1614 can receive an updated access list 1612 associated with the femtocell and the original access list 1612 associated with the femtocell from the middleware component 1606, and the network provisioning component 1614 can send the delta of the access list changes to initiate the transaction update to the OTA server 1620 or OTA platform. As described supra, such transaction update can enable activating, over the air via a wireless link 115, the UE 120 A when the UE 120 A is included within an access list 1612 in order for the UE 120 A to utilize multiple radio technologies (e.g., GSM, UMTS), in particular legacy radio technologies, for example. To deliver updated network indicator(s), the OTA server 1620 can supply the base station 110 with the indicator(s), which can be relayed to the UE 120 A by the base station 110.
  • Turning to FIG. 17, illustrated is a diagram of an example call flow 1700 for shut down (e.g., disconnection) of a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate shut down of a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, a femtocell subscriber can initiate a shut down of the subscriber's femtocell using a website associated with the femtocell provider, or a networked interface, or from a billing system (e.g., 312) upon cancellation of the subscription for the femtocell and femtocell services by the subscriber (or cancellation for other reasons, such as nonpayment by the subscriber). In addition, typically, the femtocell can be shut down once the femto AP is returned by the subscriber.
  • In another aspect, the shut down of the femtocell of the subscriber can be initiated by the subscriber through self service actions on the web page associated with the femtocell provider, or networked interface. The subscriber can access the web page, or networked interface, via Online Account Management Systems for Consumer (OLAM) or Business Customers (POC) after authentication of the subscriber as part of a secure login, for example. In addition, entries in the femto profile associated with the subscriber in the directory database, femto gateway, and E911 service/validation provider can be disabled or expired when the femtocell is shut down (e.g., by a subscriber), where a middleware component (e.g., 1756) can initiate such transactions.
  • Referring to the call flow 1700, at 1702, a subscriber can utilize a customer self service system 1752 (e.g., utilizing a communication device, such as a UE or other type of communication device) to access or otherwise be directed to a web page 1754 at the web site associated with the femto service provider. At 1704, while accessing the web page 1754, a query of the femto profile associated with the subscriber can be entered and transmitted to the middleware component 1756. At 1706, the middleware component 1756 can communicate the query of the femto profile to a customer directory 1758. At 1708, the customer directory 1758 can access and return the femto profile at the web page 1754, via the middleware component 1756. At 1710, a request to shut down the femtocell associated with the subscriber can be received via the web page 1754 from the subscriber and communicated to the middleware component 1756. At 1712, the middleware component 1756 can communicate the request to shut down the femtocell to the network provisioning component 1760 (e.g., network provisioning gateway). At 1714, the network provisioning component 1760 can communicate the request to shut down the femtocell to the femto gateway 1762, and the femtocell of the subscriber can be shut down (and/or femtocell-related services discontinued). At 1716, the femto gateway 1762 can communicate an acknowledgement of the shut down of the femtocell to the network provisioning gateway 1760, which can be forwarded to the middleware component 1756.
  • At 1718, the middleware component 1756 can communicate a request to update the femto profile of the subscriber to disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell to a middleware to provision third party systems 1764. At 1720, the middleware to provision third party systems 1764 can communicate the request to update the femto profile of the subscriber to disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell to an E911 Validation 1766, and the E911 address for the femtocell can be disconnected. At 1722, the E911 Validation 1766 can communicate an acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address of the femtocell to the middleware to provision third party systems 1764. At 1724, the middleware to provision third party systems 1764 can communicate the acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address of the femtocell to the middleware component 1756. At 1726, the middleware component 1756 can communicate a request to update the femto profile, to reflect the disconnection of the E911 address of the femtocell, to the customer directory 1758, and the customer directory 1758 can facilitate updating the femto profile of the subscriber to reflect the disconnection of the E911 address of the femtocell. At 1728, the customer directory 1758 can communicate an acknowledgement of the update of the femto profile of the subscriber, relating to the disconnection of the E911 address, to the middleware component 1760. At 1730, the middleware component 1760 can communicate an acknowledgement that the femtocell is shut down (and/or the E911 address of the femtocell has been disconnected and/or the update of the femto profile of the subscriber) to the subscriber via the web page 1754.
  • Turning to FIG. 18, illustrated is a diagram of an example call flow 1700 for shut down (e.g., disconnection) of a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate shut down of a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, a femtocell subscriber can initiate a shut down of the subscriber's femtocell using a website associated with the femtocell provider, or a networked interface, or from a billing system (e.g., 312) upon cancellation of the subscription for the femtocell and femtocell services by the subscriber (or cancellation for other reasons, such as nonpayment by the subscriber). In addition, typically, the femtocell can be shut down once the femto AP is returned by the subscriber.
  • In another aspect, the shut down of the femtocell of the subscriber can be initiated by the subscriber through self service actions on the web page associated with the femtocell provider, or networked interface. The subscriber can access the web page, or networked interface, via OLAM or POC after authentication of the subscriber as part of a secure login, for example. In addition, entries in the femto profile associated with the subscriber in the Enterprise directory (e.g., directory database), femto gateway, and E911 vendor (e.g., E911 service/validation provider) can be disabled or expired when the femtocell is shut down (e.g., by a subscriber). A driver component or an application can deactivate the femtocell in Security Call Analysis and Monitoring Platform (SCAMP) database for Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The middleware component can initiate such transactions.
  • Referring to the call flow 1800, at 1802, a subscriber can utilize an OLAM or POC 1852 (e.g., utilizing a communication device, such as a UE or other type of communication device) to access or otherwise be directed to Femtocell Online Account Management (FOAM) 1854 associated with the femto service provider. At 1804, a query of the femto profile associated with the subscriber can be entered and transmitted to the middleware component 1856. At 1806, the middleware component 1856 can communicate the query of the femto profile to the Enterprise Directory 1858. At 1808, the Enterprise Directory 1858 can return the femto profile to the middleware component 1856. At 1810, the middleware component 1856 can communicate the femto profile to FOAM 1854. At 1812, FOAM 1854 can communicate a request to shut down the femtocell to the middleware component 1856. At 1814, the middleware component 1856 can communicate the shut down request to the network provisioning component 1860. At 1816, the middleware component 1856 can communicate the shut down request to the RDU 1862 (e.g., femto gateway/gateway node), and the femtocell can be shut down. At 1818, the RDU 1862 can communicate an acknowledgement of the femtocell shut down to the middleware component 1856. At 1820, the middleware component 1856 can communicate acknowledgement of the femtocell shut down to FOAM 1854.
  • At 1822, the middleware component 1856 can communicate a request to disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell of the subscriber and update the profile of the subscriber to disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell to third party provisioning (3PP) middleware component 1864. At 1824, the 3PP middleware component 1864 can communicate the request to disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell of the subscriber and update the profile to the E911 service 1866 (e.g., Intrado) with regard to the E911 disconnect. At 1826, the E911 service 1866 can communicate an acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell and associated profile update to the 3PP middleware component 1864. At 1828, the 3PP middleware component 1864 can communicate the acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell and associated profile update to the middleware component 1856. At 1830, the middleware component 1856 can communicate a request to deactivate down the femtocell of the subscriber to SCAMP 1868, and the femtocell can be deactivated. At 1832, SCAMP 1868 can communicate an acknowledgement of the deactivation of the femtocell to the middleware component 1856. At 1834, the middleware component 1856 can communicate a request to update the femto profile of the subscriber to indicate deactivation of the femtocell to the Enterprise Directory 1858, and the femto profile of the subscriber can be updated to reflect the femtocell shut down or deactivation. At 1836, the Enterprise Directory 1858 can communicate an acknowledgement of the femto profile update to the middleware component 1856. At 1838, the middleware component 1856 can communicate acknowledgement of the femto profile update reflecting the femtocell shut down or deactivation to FOAM 1854.
  • FIG. 19, depicted is a diagram of an example call flow 1900 for cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell can flow from a billing system to a network provisioning component (e.g., switch control). The network provisioning component can identify femtocell subscriber cancellation(s) associated to the femto tracking Service-oriented Communication (SoC) and can communicate the cancellation to the middleware component to initiate a femtocell shutdown process.
  • Referring to the call flow 1900, at 1902, the billing system 1952 can communicate a request to cancel a subscription for a femtocell of a subscriber to the network provisioning component 1954 (e.g., network provisioning gateway). At 1904, the network provisioning component 1954 can communicate a query relating to cancellation of the femtocell subscription to the middleware component 1956. At 1906, the middleware component 1956 can communicate the query for the femto profile of the subscriber in relation to cancellation of the femtocell subscription to a customer directory 1958. At 1908, the customer directory 1958 can return the femto profile of the subscriber to the middleware component 1956. At 1910, the middleware component 1956 can communicate the femto profile of the subscriber to the network provisioning component 1954. At 1912, the network provisioning component 1954 can communicate a request to shut down the femtocell associated with the subscriber to the femto gateway 1960, and the femtocell can be shut down. At 1914, the femto gateway 1960 can communicate an acknowledgement of the shut down of the femtocell to the network provisioning component 1954. At 1916, the network provisioning component 1954 can communicate the acknowledgement of the shut down of the femtocell to the middleware component 1956. At 1918, the middleware component 1956 can communicate a request to update and disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell to the middleware to provision third party systems 1962. At 1920, the middleware to provision third party systems 1962 can communicate the request to update and disconnect the E911 address associated with the femtocell to an E911 Validation 1964, and the E911 address associated with the femtocell can be disconnected from or unassociated with the femtocell. At 1922, the E911 Validation 1964 can communicate an acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell to the middleware to provision third party systems 1962. At 1924, the middleware to provision third party systems 1962 can communicate the acknowledgement of the disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell to the middleware component 1956. At 1926, the middleware component 1956 can communicate a request to update the femto profile associated with the subscriber to indicate that the femtocell is shut down and/or the E911 address has been disconnected or disassociated from the femtocell to the customer directory 1958, and the femto profile of the subscriber can be updated to indicate that the femtocell is shut down and/or the E911 address has been disconnected or disassociated from the femtocell. At 1928, the customer directory 1958 can communicate, to the middleware component 1956, an acknowledgement of the update to the femto file of the subscriber to indicate that the femtocell is shut down and/or the E911 address has been disconnected or disassociated from the femtocell.
  • Turning to FIG. 20, illustrated is a diagram of an example call flow 2000 for cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services in relation to an example system that can facilitate cancellation of a subscription for a femtocell and femtocell services associated with a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with another embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. In an aspect, a femto subscription cancellation associated with a subscriber can flow BAU from a billing system a network provisioning component, and the network provisioning component can identify the femtocell subscriber cancellation(s) associated on the femto tracking SoC. The network provisioning component can sent the femto subscription cancellation to a middleware component to initiate the femtocell shut down process.
  • At 2002, customer care/support platform (CARE) 2052 can communicate a message regarding cancellation of the femtocell subscription to the network provisioning component 2054 (e.g., network provisioning gateway). At 2004, the billing system 2056 (e.g., TLG) can communicate a request to cancel a subscription for a femtocell of a subscriber to the network provisioning component 2054. At 2006, the network provisioning component 2054 can communicate a message or inquiry for the femto profile associated with the subscriber, in relation to the subscription cancellation, to the middleware component 2058. At 2008, the middleware component 2058 can communicate a query or request for the femto profile associated with the subscriber to the Enterprise Directory 2060 (e.g., customer directory). At 2010, the Enterprise Directory 2060 can return the femto profile of the subscriber to the middleware component 2058. At 2012, the middleware component 2058 can return the femto profile to network provisioning component 2054. At 2014, the network provisioning component 2054 can communicate a request to shut down the femtocell of the subscriber to the femto provisioning server 2060 (e.g., RDU), and the femtocell can be shut down. At 2016, the femto provisioning server 2060 can communicate and acknowledgement of the femtocell shut down to the network provisioning component 2054. At 2018, the network provisioning component 2054 can communicate a message regarding the shut down of the femtocell to the middleware component 2058. At 2020, the middleware component 2058 can communicate a request to update and disconnect the E911 address from the femtocell of the subscriber to the 3PP middleware component 2064. At 2022, the 3PP middleware component 2064 can communicate the request to update and disconnect the E911 address from the femtocell of the subscriber to the E911 service 2066 (e.g., Intrado). At 2024, the E911 service 2066 can communicate an acknowledgement of the update and disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell of the subscriber to the 3PP middleware component 2064. At 2026, the 3PP middleware component 2064 can communicate the acknowledgement of the update and disconnection of the E911 address from the femtocell of the subscriber to the middleware component 2058. At 2028, the middleware component 2058 can communicate a request to update the femto profile of the subscriber to indicate that the femtocell is deactivated down to the Enterprise Directory 2060. At 2030, the Enterprise Directory 2060 can communicate an acknowledgement that the femto profile of the subscriber has been updated to reflect that the femtocell is deactivated down.
  • It is to be appreciated and understood that, as desired, other actions can be taken with regard to the cancellation of the femtocell subscription of a subscriber. For example, as desired, the middleware component 2058 can communicate a request to deactivate down the femtocell of the subscriber to SCAMP, and the femtocell can be deactivated down, where the SCAMP can communicate an acknowledgement that the femtocell has been deactivated down to the middleware component 2058. Such action can occur, for example, prior to updating the femto profile or at another time, as desired.
  • Turning to FIG. 21, illustrated is a block diagram of an example call flow 2100 for modification of a phone number (e.g., customer telephone number (CTN)) associated with a femtocell in relation to an example system that can facilitate modification of a phone number (e.g., CTN) associated with a femtocell in a communication environment (e.g., wireless communication environment) in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosed subject matter. A change in a phone number associated with a femtocell and femtocell subscription can be conveyed to a network provisioning component (e.g., network provisioning gateway). The network provisioning component can identify respective subscribers based at least in part on tracking SoC, and can provide extracted information to the middleware component (e.g., Common Service Interface (CSI)). The middleware component can facilitate updating the phone number information in accordance with the new phone number in the directory database and in the femtocell gateway for the associated femto identifications.
  • At 2102, the billing system 2152 can communicate a request to change a phone number of a subscriber (e.g., CTN) to a new phone number to a network provisioning component 2154, where the network provisioning component 2154 can identify respective subscribers based at least in part on tracking SoC. At 2104, the network provisioning component 2154 can communicate a query relating to a femtocell(s) associated with the phone number to the middleware component 2156 (e.g., CSI), where the network provisioning component 2154 can provide extracted information to the middleware component 2156. At 2106, the middleware component 2156 can communicate a query relating to a femtocell(s) associated with the phone number to a customer directory 2158 (e.g., Enterprise Directory). At 2108, the customer directory 2158 can communicate an acknowledgement regarding the query to the middleware component 2156. At 2110, the middleware component 2156 can communicate an acknowledgement regarding the query to the network provisioning component 2154.
  • At 2112, the network provisioning component 2154 can communicate a request to update the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) to a new phone number to the femto gateway 2160 (e.g., RDU), and the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) of the subscriber can be updated to the new phone number. At 2114, the femto gateway 2160 can communicate an acknowledgement of the updating of the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) of the subscriber to the network provisioning component 2154. At 2116, the network provisioning component 2154 can communicate a request to update the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) to a new phone number to the middleware component 2156. At 2118, the middleware component 2156 can communicate the request to update the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) to a new phone number to the customer directory 2158, and the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) of the subscriber can be updated with the new phone number at the customer directory 2158. At 2120, the customer directory 2158 can communicate an acknowledgement of the updating of the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) of the subscriber to the middleware component 2156. At 2122, the middleware component 2156 can communicate an acknowledgement of the updating of the phone number associated with the femtocell(s) of the subscriber to the network provisioning component 2154.
  • In accordance with various other aspects and embodiments of the subject innovation, femtocell equipment (e.g., femtocell) of a subscriber can be exchanged for other femtocell equipment (e.g., a new femtocell). During an exchange of femtocell equipment of a subscriber, the subscriber can login to OLAM or POC, and can be redirected to FOAM. The FOAM can provide an option for the subscriber to exchange the femtocell equipment while retaining the address and access list (e.g., white list) and other profile related data intact for the subscriber. The FOAM can communicate with the middleware component to facilitate exchanging the femtocell equipment and to notify the middleware component of the new femtocell identification associated with the replacement femtocell equipment.
  • The middleware component can trigger a femtocell shut down process for the old femtocell identification of the femtocell equipment being exchanged, where the process can include, for example, querying the customer directory, shutting down the femtocell identification of the old femtocell equipment in the RDU, or femto gateway, and utilizing the network provisioning component to facilitate disconnecting the E911 service/validation provider for the CGI, or middleware component, associated with the femtocell identification of the exchanged femtocell equipment. The middleware component also can trigger registration of a femtocell identification for the new femtocell equipment along with the access list of the subscriber and E911 service/validation provider to the femto network using the customer directory information relating to the femto profile associated with the subscriber. As desired, the GSM/IMTS provider licensed spectrum DB and E911 service/validation provider checks can be bypassed as the address can remain the same for the new femtocell equipment. In an aspect, upon connecting the new femtocell equipment, the subscriber can proceed through an activation process for the new femtocell equipment in accordance with an activation call flow(s).
  • It is to be appreciated and understood that components (e.g., mediation and rating component, rating engine, billing system, UE, base station, femto AP, etc.), as described with regard to a particular system or methodology, can include the same or similar functionality as respective components (e.g., same or similarly named or numbered components) as described with regard to other systems or methodologies disclosed herein.
  • As it employed in the subject specification, the term “processor” can refer to substantially any computing processing unit or device comprising, but not limited to comprising, single-core processors; single-processors with software multithread execution capability; multi-core processors; multi-core processors with software multithread execution capability; multi-core processors with hardware multithread technology; parallel platforms; and parallel platforms with distributed shared memory. Additionally, a processor can refer to an integrated circuit, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a digital signal processor (DSP), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), a programmable logic controller (PLC), a complex programmable logic device (CPLD), a discrete gate or transistor logic, discrete hardware components, or any combination thereof designed to perform the functions described herein. Processors can exploit nano-scale architectures such as, but not limited to, molecular and quantum-dot based transistors, switches and gates, in order to optimize space usage or enhance performance of user equipment. A processor may also be implemented as a combination of computing processing units.
  • In the subject specification, terms such as “data store,” data storage,” “database,” and substantially any other information storage component relevant to operation and functionality of a component, refer to “memory components,” or entities embodied in a “memory” or components comprising the memory. For example, information relevant to operation of various components described in the disclosed subject matter, and that can be stored in a memory, can comprise, but is not limited to comprising, subscriber information; cell configuration (e.g., devices served by an AP) or service policies and specifications; privacy policies; and so forth. It will be appreciated that the memory components described herein can be either volatile memory or nonvolatile memory, or can include both volatile and nonvolatile memory. By way of illustration, and not limitation, nonvolatile memory can include read only memory (ROM), programmable ROM (PROM), electrically programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable ROM (EEPROM), phase change memory (PCM), flash memory, or nonvolatile RAM (e.g., ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM). Volatile memory can include random access memory (RAM), which acts as external cache memory. By way of illustration and not limitation, RAM is available in many forms such as synchronous RAM (SRAM), dynamic RAM (DRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), double data rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM), enhanced SDRAM (ESDRAM), Synchlink DRAM (SLDRAM), and direct Rambus RAM (DRRAM). Additionally, the disclosed memory components of systems or methods herein are intended to comprise, without being limited to comprising, these and any other suitable types of memory.
  • Various aspects or features described herein may be implemented as a method, apparatus, or article of manufacture using standard programming and/or engineering techniques. The term “article of manufacture” as used herein is intended to encompass a computer program accessible from any computer-readable device, carrier, or media. For example, computer readable media can include but are not limited to magnetic storage devices (e.g., hard disk, floppy disk, magnetic strips . . . ), optical disks (e.g., compact disk (CD), digital versatile disk (DVD), Blu-ray disc (BD), . . . ), smart cards, and flash memory devices (e.g., card, stick, key drive . . . ).
  • What has been described above includes examples of systems and methods that provide advantages of the subject innovation. It is, of course, not possible to describe every conceivable combination of components or methodologies for purposes of describing the claimed subject matter, but one of ordinary skill in the art may recognize that many further combinations and permutations of the claimed subject matter are possible. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms “includes,” “has,” “possesses,” and the like are used in the detailed description, claims, appendices and drawings such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term “comprising” as “comprising” is interpreted when employed as a transitional word in a claim.

Claims (21)

1. A system that facilitates mediation, rating and billing associated with a communication session associated with a communication device in a femto network in a communication network, comprising:
a mediation and rating component that correlates information respectively contained in one or more communication records associated with the communication session to facilitate identification, in the one or more communication records, of at least one location identifier respectively associated with at least one of a location of a cell at origination of the communication session or another location of another cell at termination of the communication session; and
a billing system that generates a billing record for the communication session in accordance with a rate determined for the communication session, wherein the rate is determined based at least in part on the at least one location identifier.
2. The system of claim 1, the communication session is one of a voice session or a data session.
3. The system of claim 1, the one or more communication records are one or more call detail records (CDRs), comprising one or more of a Serving General-Packet-Radio-Service (GPRS) Support Node (SGSN) CDR (S-CDR), a Gateway GPRS Service Node (GGSN) CDR (G-CDR), or a Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR (CSG-CDR), wherein the CSG-CDR comprising information relating to data usage associated with a data session.
4. The system of claim 3, the mediation and rating component generates an enhanced CDR by correlation of respective items of information contained in at least two CDRs, including at least one CSG-CDR, associated with the data session, and formats the respective items of information in respective fields in the enhanced CDR to facilitate identification of the respective items of information in the enhanced CDR in order to facilitate generation of the billing record.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein a range of values for location identifiers or specified values for location identifiers are reserved for femtocells to facilitate identification of a femtocell.
6. The system of claim 5, the at least one location identifier is identified as associated with a femtocell when a value of the at least one location identifier is within the range of values for location identifiers or is one of the specified values for location identifiers reserved for femtocells; or the at least one location identifier is identified as associated with a macro cell when the value of the at least one location identifier is not within the range of values for location identifiers or is not one of the specified values for location identifiers reserved for femtocells.
7. The system of claim 1, the mediation and rating component determines a first rate to be applied to the communication session when the communication session originates on a femtocell and is handed off to a macro cell and terminates while on the macro cell, and determines a second rate to be applied to the communication session when the communication session originates on the macro cell and is handed off to the femtocell and terminates while on the femtocell, when a subscriber associated with the communication device has a subscription to a qualifying femtocell rate plan.
8. The system of claim 7, the first rate is determined by deeming that the entire communication session occurred on the femtocell, even though a portion of the communication session occurred while on the macro cell, the second rate is determined by deeming that the entire communication session occurred on the macro cell, even though a portion of the communication session occurred while on the femtocell, wherein the second rate is determined in accordance with a portion of a rate plan relating to macro cell services.
9. The system of claim 8, the mediation and rating component identifies at least one charging rule to apply to the communication session to facilitate generation of a billing record for the communication session.
10. The system of claim 9, the billing system generates a billing record, comprising a fee amount, if any, charged to the subscriber, for the communication session.
11. The system of claim 1, the billing system updates information in a femto subscriber profile associated with a subscriber associated with the communication device in response to a modification of service associated with the subscriber with regard to a femtocell in the femto network, and coordinates with at least one other component to synchronize and update information relating to the subscriber or the femtocell stored at the at least one other component in accordance with the update of information in the femto subscriber profile.
12. The system of claim 1, the billing system evaluates information relating to at least one subscriber or at least one potential subscriber to a rate plan to facilitate generation of a promotional rate plan, comprising at least one promotional charging rule based at least in part on predefined promotional criteria.
13. The system of claim 11, the communication device is at least one of a cellular phone, a smart phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a computer, a television, or a set-top box.
14. A method facilitates mediating, rating and billing associated with a communication session associated with a mobile communication device in a communication network, comprising a femtocell, comprising:
identifying a respective location of at least one of an origination of the communication session or a termination of the communication session associated with the mobile communication device in a call detail record (CDR) based at least in part on one location area code (LAC) associated with the at least one of the origination of the communication session or the termination of the communication session; and
rating the communication session based at least in part on the at least one LAC to facilitate generating a billing record for the communication session in accordance with a specified rate plan associated with a subscriber associated with the mobile communication device.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
receiving one or more CDRs associated with the communication session; and
identifying information contained in the one or more CDRs that indicates whether the communication session is a voice session or a data session; and
determining whether the communication session is a voice session or a data session based at least in part on the identified information.
16. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
receiving at least two CDRs associated with the communication session, wherein the at least two CDRs, comprising at least one of a Serving General-Packet-Radio-Service (GPRS) Support Node (SGSN) CDR (S-CDR) or a Gateway GPRS Service Node (GGSN) CDR (G-CDR), and at least one Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR (CSG-CDR), and wherein the communication session is the data session;
generating an enhanced CDR by correlating respective items of information contained in the at least two CDRs; and
formatting the respective items of information in respective fields in the enhanced CDR to facilitate identifying the respective items of information in the enhanced CDR in order to facilitate generating a billing record for the data session.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
analyzing the enhanced CDR;
identifying the at least one LAC in the enhanced CDR;
comparing a value of the at least one LAC to reference LACs to facilitate determining whether the at least one LAC is associated with the femtocell, wherein the reference LACs have a specified range of values reserved for femtocells;
identifying at least one predefined charging rule applicable to the data session based at least in part on the at least one LAC is associated with the femtocell or a macro cell; and
generating the billing record for the data session based at least in part on applying the at least one predefined charging rule to at least a portion of the respective items of information to facilitate determining a billing amount for the data session.
18. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
rating the communication session at a first rate when the communication session originates on the femtocell and is handed off to the macro cell and terminates while on the macro cell in accordance with the specified rate plan that is a qualifying femtocell rate plan, wherein the communication session is determined to have occurred entirely on the femtocell in accordance with the specified rate plan even though a portion of the communication session occurred on the macro cell; and
rating the communication session at a second rate when the communication session originates on the macro cell and is handed off to the femtocell and terminates while on the femtocell in accordance with the specified rate plan, wherein the communication session is determined to have occurred entirely on the macro cell in accordance with the specified rate plan even though a portion of the communication session occurred on the femtocell.
19. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
creating a CDR in response to the origination of the communication session, wherein the CDR is one of a Serving General-Packet-Radio-Service (GPRS) Support Node (SGSN) CDR (S-CDR), a Gateway GPRS Service Node (GGSN) CDR (G-CDR), or a Content Services Gateway (CSG) CDR (CSG-CDR), wherein the communication session is one of a voice session or a data session, and the CSG-CDR comprising information relating to data usage associated with the data session;
receiving an LAC associated with the origination of the communication session;
storing the LAC associated with the origination of the communication session in the CDR;
tracking at least one of voice usage or data usage during the communication session;
storing information relating to the at least one of voice usage or data usage in the CDR;
receiving a different LAC associated with the termination of the communication session; and
storing the different LAC associated with the termination of the communication session in the CDR.
24. A computer-readable medium having instructions stored thereon that, when executed by a processor, cause a computer to perform the following acts:
identifying a respective location of at least one of an origination of a communication session or a termination of the communication session associated with a mobile communication device in a call detail record (CDR) based at least in part on one location identifier associated with the at least one of the origination of the communication session or the termination of the communication session; and
rating the communication session based at least in part on the at least one location identifier to facilitate generating a billing record for the communication session in accordance with a specified rate plan associated with a subscriber associated with the mobile communication device.
26. An apparatus comprising:
means for identifying a respective location of at least one of an origination of a communication session or a termination of the communication session associated with a communication device in at least one communication record relating to the communication session based at least in part on one location area code (LAC) associated with the at least one of the origination of the communication session or the termination of the communication session; and
means for rating the communication session based at least in part on the at least one LAC to facilitate generating a billing record for the communication session in accordance with a specified rate plan associated with a subscriber associated with the communication device.
US12/484,072 2008-06-12 2009-06-12 Mediation, rating, and billing associated with a femtocell service framework Abandoned US20100041365A1 (en)

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US8504032B2 (en) 2013-08-06
US20100041364A1 (en) 2010-02-18
US20150094012A1 (en) 2015-04-02
US8942180B2 (en) 2015-01-27
US20100027469A1 (en) 2010-02-04
US8655361B2 (en) 2014-02-18
US20130288678A1 (en) 2013-10-31
US8743776B2 (en) 2014-06-03
US9246759B2 (en) 2016-01-26

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