WO1999018707A1 - Method and apparatus for connecting calls and passing announcements during calls to the a- and b-subscriber - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for connecting calls and passing announcements during calls to the a- and b-subscriber

Info

Publication number
WO1999018707A1
WO1999018707A1 PCT/FI1998/000788 FI9800788W WO1999018707A1 WO 1999018707 A1 WO1999018707 A1 WO 1999018707A1 FI 9800788 W FI9800788 W FI 9800788W WO 1999018707 A1 WO1999018707 A1 WO 1999018707A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
call
subscriber
announcement
invention
equipment
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/FI1998/000788
Other languages
Finnish (fi)
French (fr)
Inventor
Mikko Vuorikoski
Original Assignee
Helsingin Puhelin Oyj - Helsingfors Telefon Abp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/38Graded-service arrangements, i.e. some subscribers prevented from establishing certain connections
    • H04M3/382Graded-service arrangements, i.e. some subscribers prevented from establishing certain connections using authorisation codes or passwords
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/487Arrangements for providing information services, e.g. recorded voice services, time announcements
    • H04M3/4872Non-interactive information services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/54Arrangements for diverting calls for one subscriber to another predetermined subscriber

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method and equipment for connecting calls and sending call-active-phase announcements to an A-subscriber (100) and a B-subscriber (101) via a switching exchange (102). According to the invention, a three-party call function is set up between the A-subscriber (100), the B-subscriber (101) and a call/announcement control apparatus (105).

Description

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONNECTING CALLS AND PASSING ANNOUNCEMENTS DURING CALLS TO THE A- AND B-SUBSCRIBER

The present invention relates to a method according to the preamble of claim 1 for connecting calls and sending call-active-phase announcements to A- and B-subscri- bers.

The invention also concerns equipment for connecting calls and sending call-active- phase announcements to A- and B-subscribers.

Using conventional techniques, announcements can be sent to the A-subscriber only when the calling subscriber dials such a B-subscriber number that already is specified to have a link to an announcement to be sent by means of announcement-sending devices connected to a switching exchange. Analogously, the A-subscriber may also be defined to receive an announcement which is sent when, e.g., the telephone set receiver is lifted off-hook provided that such an announcement send function is activated in the switching exchange for said subscriber connection. For the time being, a technique has not been available in the art for setting up calls using a device which is external to the switching exchange equipment and can also serve as a call/announcement-control apparatus.

Currently, the call switching and announcement arrangements external to the switching exchange equipment are conventionally handled in the manner shown in Fig. la, whereby two separate calls must be set up.

It is an object of the present invention to overcome the drawbacks of the above- described conventional techniques and to provide an entirely novel type of method and equipment for connecting calls and sending call-active-phase announcements to A- and B-subscribers.

The goal of the invention is achieved by way of setting up only one call utilizing the standard group (three-party) call function.

More specifically, the method according to the invention is characterized by what is stated in the characterizing part of claim 1. Furthermore, the equipment according to the invention is characterized by what is stated in the characterizing part of claim 5

The invention offers si »gn' ificant benefits

The present invention is most useful therein that it gives network operators an extremely simple method to provide, e.g., call set-up services and, e.g., a so-called advertisement-sponsored freephone service. For instance, if a time control of the duration of the established calls is desired, this function can be simply provided by means of the equipment according to the invention.

As the present equipment uses a conventional analog connection as its user interface, this interface is standardized all over the world thus facilitating the use of the invention in any telephone network having the switching exchanges equipped with the group (three-party) call function.

The invention is easily scalable inasmuch a plurality of equipment disclosed herein can be adapted to perform the same function, whereby the invention will not involve any complications in regard to the connection technology used.

A further benefit of the invention is that the announcement-sending equipment is connected as one of the parties in a three-party call, thus making it possible to utilize all the switching exchange services conventionally provided by the switching exchange types used in Finland and most other countries in setting up, charging and configuring the telephone number groups required for the connections of said three- party call. Hence, the connection of calls and sending of announcements to the A- and B-subscribers as well as the time control of calls can be implemented using extremely simple techniques. As the equipment itself acts as the originator of the three-party call, the call connections will be released automatically in both the A- and B-directions when the call is terminated by the equipment according to the invention. A basic characterizing property of the invention is that the invention allows any subscriber to implement a call-switching and announcement-sending service as simply as by ordering the normal connection installation operations from the telephone network operator.

Since simple computers of a standard configuration without any expensive accessories may be used as the basic hardware of the equipment to be interfaced to a public telephone network, the investment cost of the novel arrangement is only dependent on the quantity of calls and announcements desired to be handled simultaneously.

The invention also permits setting up a freephone call from the A-subscriber to the B-subscriber by virtue of placing the announcement-sending equipment on a freephone call connection.

In the following, the invention will be examined closer with the help of exemplifying embodiments illustrated in the appended drawings, in which

Figure la shows a conventional method of setting up a call complemented with an announcement send function;

Figure lb shows an embodiment of the method according to the invention;

Figure 2 shows in greater detail an embodiment of the invention;

Figures 3 a and 3b show the flow diagram of an embodiment of the method according to the invention; and

Figure 4 shows an operating flow diagram of an embodiment of equipment according to the invention.

According to the invention, a computer with voice-signal handling facilities is inter- faced to a telephone connection. When the A-subscriber calls said connection, the computer can send announcements and set up a call to the number dialled by the A- subscriber. The equipment either identifies the desired B-subscriber from the number dialled by the A-subscriber, or alternatively, requests the B-subscriber number to be entered during the so-called initial dialog, whereby the A-subscriber can dial the number of the B-subscriber. Next, if the desired number of the B-subscriber is included in a group of allowable numbers (cf. a later detailed description of service functions), the equipment sets up a call between the A-subscriber, the B-subscriber and itself utilizing the so-called three-party call function of the switching exchange.

Then, the equipment according to the invention can perform as one of the parties in a three-party call or a conference call, whereby the equipment can send announcements during the progress of the call. The method and/or equipment according to the invention is capable of setting up freephone calls for the A-subscriber provided that the connection on which the equipment is connected is included in a group of freephone call numbers.

The equipment is capable of checking both the A-subscriber number and the B-subscriber number and, resultingly, selecting the announcement(s) to be sent during the progress of the call to the A- and B-subscribers.

As shown in Fig. la, in prior-art systems the sending of announcements is implemented so that the A-subscriber 100 calls a call control unit 103 via a switching exchange 102 of the telephone network thus setting up a first call pi. Subsequently, the call control unit 103 sets up a call p2 via the switching exchange 102 to the B-subscriber 101. The required announcements are sent by the call control unit 102 to the A-subscriber 100 or the B-subscriber 101, or to both.

In the present arrangement illustrated in Fig. lb, the A-subscriber 100 calls via the switching exchange 102 of the common telephone network a call control unit 105 that connects the B-subscriber 101 to a three-party call service, whereby the calls are combined in the switching exchange 102 into a single three-party call pi. During the progress of the call, the call control unit 105 sends the required announcements in a desired manner to both the A-subscriber 100 and the B-subscriber 101.

As shown Fig. 2, a practical implementation of the call/announcement control apparatus 105 shown therein comprises a subscriber line interface unit 108 connected to the switching exchange 102 by means of a desired number of PCM lines, for instance. Thus, the subscriber line interface unit 108 acts as an interface between the switching exchange 102 and the control unit 107 of the call/announcement control apparatus 108. The subscriber line interface unit 108 is connected to the call control unit 107 typically using a local access network (LAN) protocol. Generally, the call control unit 107 comprises a conventional computer running under a standard operating system such as Unix, MS Windows, DOS or the like. The call/announcement control apparatus further includes a voice-signal processing unit 109, possibly operated under a voice-signal processing application 110, which typically is implemented by software means. In Fig. 3 is shown the flow diagram of a practicable method of implementing said voice-signal processing software 110. Blocks 1-4 of the software perform the subscriber analysis and the verification of the A-subscriber identity and authorizations. If the A-subscriber is found lacking sufficient authorization (that is, has not made an agreement for the requested service), the call is terminated. If the subscriber authorization check is positive, the initial announcement is sent to the A-subscriber by blocks 5-9, and next in block 10 is tested whether the B-subscriber has made a corresponding service agreement. If the result is "no", the call attempt is terminated after announcement 11. With a positive result, a three-party call is set up toward the B-subscriber. If the B-subscriber is not accessible, the situation is announced to the other parties and the call attempt is terminated by blocks 13 and 14. Provided that the three-party call can be set up, the program monitors by block 16 for the instant when the A-subscriber hangs up and the call is terminated if the A-subscriber does not continue the call. The connection to the B-subscriber is monitored in block 17 and if the B-subscriber has hung up, the call proceeds via a call end announcement 24 either to call termination 34 or to a new three-party call if so desired by the A-subscriber. If both the A-subscriber and the B-subscriber are still participating the three-party call, block 18 continues to monitor the remaining call time. Lapse of the allocated call time leads to the same call termination routine as hanging-up by the B-subscriber. In the case that the call time has not yet been exhausted, intermediate announcements are sent as needed by blocks 19-21 and 35.

As shown in Fig. 4, the equipment 50 according to the invention may also be described as a block diagram. One functional entity is formed by the setting-up 51 of a three-party call, whereby the successful outcome of the three-party call configuration is handled by block 52. Blocks 53-58 in turn represent steps taken when the three- party call attempt is unsuccessful. The equipment comprises counters 59 serving in block 60 for time counting and control of the overall duration of the announcements and, respectively, in block 61 for time counting and control of the overall duration of the call proper. The conditions of call termination are defined in subblocks 63-65 of block 62. As mentioned, such conditions may include call termination by the A-subscriber or the B-subscriber, or alternatively, lapse of preset call duration. The selection and sending of the announcement to be given are represented by subblocks organized under block 66. The announcement is complemented with a signal tone controlled by block 67. The signal tone may be additionally sent complementing either the intermediate announcement 68 or the call end announcement 69. The selected announcement is sent by block 70 and the menu of announcements is presented by block 71.

The selection of the announcement to be sent is performed by subblocks of block 81. On the basis of subscriber data, the subblocks of block 82 perform subscriber analysis in order to check whether the offered service is allowed to the subscribers. The subscriber analysis also gives information about the service groups into which the subscribers are assigned according to blocks 91-94.

Block 72 includes the operations required for fetching an announcement according to subblocks 73-80.

Since the invention is not hardware-specific, it may be adapted to operate connected over a private telephone line, a Centrex facility or an ISDN connection, provided that the control program of the switching exchange supplier supports the conference call

(or the three-party call) function. The function according to the invention may also be implemented in a local-access network with the provision that the three-party function is available in the network configuration.

Claims

Claims:
1. Method of connecting calls and sending call-active-phase announcements to an A- subscriber (100) and a B-subscriber (101) via a switching exchange (102),
characterized in that
- a three-party call function is set up between the A-subscriber (100), the B-subscriber (101) and a call/announcement control apparatus (105).
2. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that the announcement- sending function is accomplished by setting up a single call (pi) only.
3. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that the control unit (107) of said call/announcement control apparatus (105) is connected to said switching exchange (102) by means of a local-access network technique.
4. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that the call charging is determined on the basis of the charging rate applicable to the call between the
A-subscriber (100) and the call/announcement control apparatus (105).
5. Equipment for connecting calls and sending call-active-phase announcements to an A-subscriber (100) and a B-subscriber (101), said equipment comprising
- a switching exchange (102), and
- a call/announcement control apparatus (105),
characterized in that
- said call control device(\equipment) (105) comprises a line interface unit (108), a voice-signal-processing unit (109) and voice-signal processing software (110) cooperating for the purpose of sending announcements to a plurality of subscribers (100, 101) during a single call (pi).
PCT/FI1998/000788 1997-10-08 1998-10-08 Method and apparatus for connecting calls and passing announcements during calls to the a- and b-subscriber WO1999018707A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
FI973915 1997-10-08
FI973915A FI104453B (en) 1997-10-08 1997-10-08 A method and apparatus for connecting calls and sending call announcements to A- and B-subscriber

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1999018707A1 true true WO1999018707A1 (en) 1999-04-15

Family

ID=8549691

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/FI1998/000788 WO1999018707A1 (en) 1997-10-08 1998-10-08 Method and apparatus for connecting calls and passing announcements during calls to the a- and b-subscriber

Country Status (2)

Country Link
FI (1) FI104453B (en)
WO (1) WO1999018707A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6894045B2 (en) 2001-07-12 2005-05-17 Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company Tetrahydropurinones and derivatives thereof as corticotropin releasing factor receptor ligands

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1991006187A1 (en) * 1989-10-20 1991-05-02 Dufour Jean Pierre Telephone system used for the distribution of advertising messages
US5333186A (en) * 1991-09-05 1994-07-26 At&T Bell Laboratories Telecommunication call billing method and apparatus
US5438616A (en) * 1994-03-02 1995-08-01 Peoples; John T. Method and apparatus for storing telephone numbers and for automatically calling the stored numbers
WO1996014706A1 (en) * 1994-11-04 1996-05-17 Gratistelefon Svenska Ab A method and a device for telecommunication

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1991006187A1 (en) * 1989-10-20 1991-05-02 Dufour Jean Pierre Telephone system used for the distribution of advertising messages
US5333186A (en) * 1991-09-05 1994-07-26 At&T Bell Laboratories Telecommunication call billing method and apparatus
US5438616A (en) * 1994-03-02 1995-08-01 Peoples; John T. Method and apparatus for storing telephone numbers and for automatically calling the stored numbers
WO1996014706A1 (en) * 1994-11-04 1996-05-17 Gratistelefon Svenska Ab A method and a device for telecommunication

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6894045B2 (en) 2001-07-12 2005-05-17 Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company Tetrahydropurinones and derivatives thereof as corticotropin releasing factor receptor ligands

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
FI973915A (en) 1999-04-09 application
FI973915A0 (en) 1997-10-08 application
FI104453B (en) 2000-01-31 application
FI973915D0 (en) grant
FI104453B1 (en) grant

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