WO2007022327A2 - Bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality - Google Patents

Bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007022327A2
WO2007022327A2 PCT/US2006/032074 US2006032074W WO2007022327A2 WO 2007022327 A2 WO2007022327 A2 WO 2007022327A2 US 2006032074 W US2006032074 W US 2006032074W WO 2007022327 A2 WO2007022327 A2 WO 2007022327A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
download
content
traffic
bandwidth rate
network connection
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2006/032074
Other languages
French (fr)
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WO2007022327A3 (en
Inventor
David Kosiba
Original Assignee
Alcatel Lucent
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.)
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Publication date
Priority to US70834905P priority Critical
Priority to US60/708,349 priority
Application filed by Alcatel Lucent filed Critical Alcatel Lucent
Publication of WO2007022327A2 publication Critical patent/WO2007022327A2/en
Publication of WO2007022327A3 publication Critical patent/WO2007022327A3/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W28/00Network traffic or resource management
    • H04W28/16Central resource management; Negotiation of resources or communication parameters, e.g. negotiating bandwidth or QoS [Quality of Service]
    • H04W28/18Negotiating wireless communication parameters
    • H04W28/22Negotiating communication rate
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/10Flow control or congestion control
    • H04L47/15Flow control or congestion control in relation to multipoint traffic
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/80Actions related to the nature of the flow or the user
    • H04L47/803Application aware
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/82Miscellaneous aspects
    • H04L47/822Collecting or measuring resource availability data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/82Miscellaneous aspects
    • H04L47/824Applicable to portable or mobile terminals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/06Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for file transfer, e.g. file transfer protocol [FTP]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/32Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for scheduling or organising the servicing of application requests, e.g. requests for application data transmissions involving the analysis and optimisation of the required network resources
    • H04L67/322Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for scheduling or organising the servicing of application requests, e.g. requests for application data transmissions involving the analysis and optimisation of the required network resources whereby quality of service [QoS] or priority requirements are taken into account

Abstract

A method of facilitating transmission of downloadable content traffic and content traffic of another active content transport service session includes a plurality of operations. An operation is performed for determining a download bandwidth rate specification in accordance with which download traffic is to be transported over a prescribed network connection to a client system during simultaneous transport of the content traffic of another active content transport service session over the prescribed network connection to the client system. Thereafter, an operation is performed for transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server from which the download traffic is to be served. The content download request includes information for identifying the download traffic and information for enabling the download traffic to be transmitted in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.

Description

BANDWIDTH RATE CONTROLLED CONTENT DOWNLOAD

FUNCTIONALITY

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims priority to co-pending United States Provisional Patent Application having Serial No. 60/708,349 filed 08/15/2005 entitled "Rate Controlled Download", having a common applicant herewith and being incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to computer network systems and, more particularly, to approaches for facilitating simultaneous transmission of multiple media content over a network connection to a client system.

BACKGROUND

HypertText Transport Protocol (HTTP) download protocol is a process by which downloadable content may be downloaded via a reliable transport mechanism over an IP-based network. HTTP 1.1, which is the standard protocol for content download over the Internet, does not provide for controlling the rate at which the download progresses. Examples of such content (i.e., media content) include, but are not limited to, vjdeo, voice and/or data files. The rate at which such content is downloaded using HTTP 1.1 is controlled by the protocol itself dependent upon available network bandwidth. In accordance with known implementations of such HTTP download protocol (e.g., HTTP 1.1), a server from which such content is downloaded delivers the content as fast as it can and as fast as allowed by the protocol (i.e., at the limit of available network bandwidth). There are other known content downloading protocols for downloading content besides HTTP (e.g., SMS (push), WAP, etc.). But, like HTTP 1.1, none of these other known content downloading protocols provide a mechanism to limit the rate at which downloadable content is downloaded.

In the current era of HTTP downloading protocol and wireless networks with bandwidth intensive client applications, many applications are now performing more than one task at the same time. One common situation is where a rich streaming media application allows a user to receive streaming media while browsing related information. For example, while a user listens to a live streaming audio clip, an end- user application allows the user to simultaneously download a related audio clip. In a wired (i.e., non-wireless) network connection where the bandwidth limit is usually not an issue, such simultaneous streaming and browsing (i.e., simultaneous file reception) can be done seamlessly without the user seeing any change in performance in a streaming portion of the media application. However, in a bandwidth-limited network such as a wireless network, it may not be possible to perform multiple simultaneous network intensive processes (e.g., streaming and downloading processes) depending ona specifϊedQuality of Service (QoS) specification applied to content being processed by such processes. For example, if QoS settings are such that the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) traffic is given higher priority than User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic, a rich media streaming application will suffer whenever there is a download application downloading content in parallel with the rich media streaming application streaming content.

For a streaming-only application such as that shown in the FIG. 1 (i.e., prior art), bandwidth utilization is controlled by content being streamed, hi the case where 58kbps content is being streamed, the overall network bandwidth consumed is the content bandwidth plus the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) overhead (e.g., 64kbps total). Thus, in this example, the overall network utilization is constrained by the bandwidth requirements of the content being streamed. For a combined download/streaming application such as that shown in FIG.2

(i.e., prior art), available network bandwidth is shared between both a streaming application and a download application. Accordingly, depending on what bandwidth is available to the client application and what QoS policy is place, download traffic may take over a majority of the available network bandwidth that is required for a useful streaming session in terms of the priority given to download traffic (e.g., TCP traffic) and streaming traffic (e.g., UDP traffic or RTP traffic). In this case, much of the streaming traffic may be lost (i.e., as depicted by the size reduction of the arrow representing streaming traffic), thus adversely affecting as-delivered quality of the streaming content.

It is disclosed herein that streaming and downloading are two types of content transport services . Therefore, an approach for managing network resource utilization such that a bandwidth rate applied to a content download service of a client system is regulated for enabling a second instance of a content transport service to proceed simultaneously with the content download service in an essentially uninhibited manner would be advantageous, desirable and useful with respect to conventional approaches ibr facilitating simultaneous content transport service sessions.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Embodiments of the present invention provide a mechanism for implementing content download where a client (receiver of the downloaded content) or some other mechanism, other than the network or HTTP protocol itself, controls a download bandwidth rate at which specified download content is downloaded. Such a mechanism is useful in a bandwidth-limited network (i.e., a wireless network) where it would normally not be possible to perform multiple network intensive processes (e.g., streaming and downloading) simultaneously because of QoS settings of the network. For example, if the QoS settings are such that the download traffic (e.g., TCP traffic) is given higher priority than the streaming traffic (e.g., UDP traffic or RTP traffic), a streaming application will exhibit less than desired or required performance whenever there is a download application operating in parallel with the streaming application (i.e., as depicted in FIG. 2). The present invention overcomes such adverse considerations.

In one embodiment of the present invention, a method of managing transmission of downloadable content includes a plurality of operations. An operation is performed for determining a download bandwidth rate specification in accordance with which desired downloadable content is to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection to a client system. Download traffic comprising the downloadable content is defined herein to be content traffic of first instance of a content transport service. Thereafter, an operation is performed for providing the download bandwidth rate specification to a download server from which the downloadable content is to be downloaded. The operation of providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes associating the download bandwidth rate specification with the desired downloadable content.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a method of facilitating transmission of streamable content and downloadable content includes a plurality of operations. An operation is performed for determining a maximum download bandwidth rate at which download traffic is to be transported over a prescribed network connection to a client system during simultaneous transmission of streaming traffic over the prescribed network connection to the client system. Thereafter, an operation is performed for transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server from which the download traffic is to be served. The content download request includes information for identifying the download traffic and information for enabling the download traffic to be transmitted in accordance with the maximum download bandwidth rate.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a client system comprises at least one data processing device, a wireless network interface coupled to the at least one data processing device, at least one client application including instructions processable by the at least one data processing device, and an apparatus from which the instructions are stored and from which the instructions are accessible by the at least one data processing device. The instructions are configured for enabling the at least one data processing device control transmission rates of downloadable content during simultaneous transmission of streaming content. The instructions provide for an operation for determining a download bandwidth rate specification for enabling desired downloadable content to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection of the wireless network interface while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported over the prescribed network connection in accordance with a prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) specification. Thereafter, the instructions provide for an operation for transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server from which the downloadable content is to be downloaded. The content download request includes information for identifying the desired downloadable content and information for enabling the desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification. Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment, determining a download bandwidth rate specification includes determining minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for content traffic for a second instance of a content transport service and/or a maximum available bandwidth of a prescribed network connection.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a download bandwidth rate specification includes a maximum download bandwidth rate for enabling desired downloadable content to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection to a client system while enabling content traffic of a second instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported at a minimum acceptable quality level over a prescribed network connection to a client system.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a minimum acceptable quality level is designated in a Quality of Service (QoS) specification associated with a prescribed network connection, streamable content and/or a client system.

hi at least one embodiment of the present invention, providing a download bandwidth rate specification includes transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server.

hi at least one embodiment of the present invention, a content download request includes information for identifying desired downloadable content and information for enabling the desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with a download bandwidth rate specification.

hi at least one embodiment of the present invention, determining a download bandwidth rate specification includes determining a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for content traffic of a second instance of a content transport service. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, determining a download bandwidth rate specification includes determining a range of download bandwidth rates wherein the range of download bandwidth rates includes a maximum download bandwidth rate for enabling desired downloadable content to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection to a client system while enabling content traffic of a second instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported in accordance with a prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) specification over the prescribed network connection to the client system.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, providing (e.g., transmitting) a download bandwidth rate specification includes providing a range of download bandwidth rates.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, an operation is performed for determining a minimum download bandwidth rate at which downloadable traffic is to be transported over a prescribed network connection to a client system while content traffic of a second instance of a content transport service is being simultaneously transported over the prescribed network connection to the client system.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, information enabling download traffic to be transmitted in accordance with a download bandwidth rate specification includes a minimum download bandwidth rate.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, an operation is provided for preparing a content download request for reception prior to transmitting a content download request.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, preparing a content download request includes providing header information within the content download request that instructs a download' server to download downloadable content in accordance with at least one of a maximum download bandwidth rate, a minimum download bandwidth rate and a range of download bandwidth rates.

These and other objects, embodiments, advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent.upon further review of the following specification, associated drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing a prior art embodiment of a streaming-only application implemented on a network system including a wireless channel.

FIG.2 is a diagrammatic view showing a prior art embodiment of a combined download/streaming application implemented on a network system including a wireless channel.

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic view showing an embodiment of a combined download/streaming application in accordance with the present invention, which is implemented on a network system including a wireless channel.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view showing an embodiment of a server-push arrangement in accordance with the present invention, which is implemented on a network system including a wireless channel.

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view showing an embodiment of a download sequence in accordance with the present invention, which is implemented in accordance with HTTP 1.1.

FIG. 6 is a flow chart showing an embodiment of a method for facilitating bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention.

FIG.7 is a block diagram view showing an embodiment of a wireless client in accordance with the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of content traffic for a combined download/streaming application in accordance with the present invention. The content traffic includes streaming traffic 102 and download traffic 104. The streaming traffic corresponds to streaming content served by a streaming server 106 and the download traffic 104 corresponds to download content served by a download server 108. The content traffic (102, 104) is served to a wireless client 110 through the Internet 112 and a wireless channel 114. One embodiment of the wireless client 110 is a computing system (e.g., personal computing system) having a wireless network interface that established a wireless network connection with a wireless access apparatus 116, thus providing the wireless channel 114 between the wireless client 110 and the wireless access apparatus 116.

The content traffic of FIG. 3 allows a content download process to take place on a network with limited bandwidth (e.g., such as bandwidth limitations associated with the wireless channel 114) in a manner whereby the download process can be configured so it does not consume all available bandwidth of a respective network connection. Accordingly, the present invention provides for a mechanism that controls the transmission rate at which a download process takes place over a network connection while another content transport process is being performed using the same network connection. In doing so, the present invention provide a means of regulating transmission of download content (e.g., TCP traffic) such that is doesn't consume all available network resources of a network connection thereby allowing simultaneous transmission of content traffic (e.g., TCP traffic, UDP traffic or RTP traffic) for another active instance of a content transport service (e.g., content streaming service or content downloading service) to proceed in an essentially uninhibited manner. Through such bandwidth rate controlled download functionality, the present invention limits bandwidth available to download traffic to enhance network resource utilization during simultaneous transmission of content traffic (i.e., streaming traffic) of another active instance of a content transport service.

FIG.4 shows an embodiment of content traffic for a server-push arrangement in accordance with the present invention, which provides for external download bandwidth rate control of a download server. The content traffic consists of download traffic 202, which corresponds to download content served by a messaging server 208. The messaging server 208 is an embodiment of a download server in accordance with the present invention. The content traffic (i.e., download traffic 202) is served to a wireless client210 through Internet 212 and wireless channel214. One embodiment of the wireless client 210 is a computing system (e.g., personal computing system) having a wireless network interface that established a wireless network connection with a wireless access apparatus 216, thus providing the wireless channel 214 between the wireless client 210 and the wireless access apparatus 216. hi such a server-push arrangement, content download from the messaging server 208 is not client-initiated. Rather, it is a server-push that is scheduled. For example, an application service provider has a desire to update content on a subscriber's (i.e., user's) wireless client during off-peak hours. And in doing so, a process for facilitating such update should not utilize any significant amount of network resources (i.e., including available bandwidth), hi this case, the messaging server 208 is configured to push the download content to the wireless 210 at a specific maximum download bandwidth rate, thereby allowing optimal use of network resources.

Accordingly, facilitating bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention requires informing a download server from which required download content is to be served to not attempt to server the required download content as fast as the network/protocol will allow, but rather that it should be served at a bandwidth rate not greater than a specified maximum rate. Such informing may be implemented using any number of approaches. In one embodiment, this functionality is configured for all download traffic (e.g., TCP traffic) on the download server from which such download traffic originates. Thus, specified download content in accordance with the present invention is all download content from a given download server or, alternatively, download content meeting one or more prescribed conditions (e.g., download content requested by a certain subscriber, download content of a certain identification, download content requested at a certain time, etc). In another embodiment, a client application informs the download server of the maximum download bandwidth rate to use when making an initial download request for download content corresponding to the download traffic.

Referring now to FIGS. 5, a content download mechanism is shown for providing bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention, which is referred to herein as the mechanism 300. As depicted, the mechanism 300 is implemented using HTTP, which is a stateless request-response protocol. However, it is disclosed herein that a mechanism for providing bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention may be implemented using other known and/or yet to be devised content download protocols.

In accordance with the content download mechanism 300, a content download instance is initiated by a client via a wireless client by making a request 302 (i.e., a HTTP GET request) to a download server for receiving specified download content (i.e., desired download content) that serves the specified download content. The specified download content is contained in download content information 304 of the request 302. A download bandwidth rate specification is contained in download bandwidth rate information 306 of the request 302. As depicted, download content information 304 and the download bandwidth rate information 306 are in the form of HTTP header entries. The download bandwidth rate information 306 is non-standard (i.e., not in a conventional HTTP GET request) and is configured for allowing a wireless client (or non-wireless client for that matter) to convey to the download server a rate or possibly a range of rates at which the download process is to take place. Without such download bandwidth rate information 306, the download server would deliver the download content as fast as the download protocol and/or network connection would allow because, in a conventional implementation of a HTTP GET request, there is nothing that limits the bandwidth rate at which download content is served and/or transmitted. After receiving the request 302, the download server responds by delivering download traffic 308 that includes the desired download content (i.e., transmits a file comprising the required download content). The download traffic is transmitted from the download server in the context of the same network connection (e.g., Internet Protocol (IP) connection) as that over which the request 302 was transmitted. The download server delivers the download content at a download bandwidth rate 310 dependent upon the download bandwidth rate specification of the request 302.

Turning now to FIG. 6, an embodiment of a method for facilitating bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention is shown, which is referred to herein as the method 400. The method 400 begins with a wireless client performing an operation 402 for receiving a content download command. The wireless client is an embodiment of a client system in accordance with the present invention. The content download command is a notification that a user of the wireless client has the desire to download required download content (i.e., desired download content) from a remote system. The content download command corresponds to a user of the wireless client initiating a content download session on a download application of the wireless client. In response to receiving the content download command, the wireless client performs an operation 404 for assessing other content transport services in view of the command for receiving the desired downloaded content. Examples of assessing such other content transport services include, but are not limited to, determining whether another content transport service session is currently active on a prescribed network connection of the wireless client, determining whether another content transport service session will be active on the prescribed network connection of the wireless client when the content download session is initiated on the prescribed network connection, determining what is a size of a file comprising the desired download content and determining whether a content transport application for another type of content transport service resides on the wireless client. In one embodiment, if another instance of a content transport service session is currently active on the prescribed network connection, if another instance of a content transport service session will be active on the prescribed network connection when the download session is initiated on the prescribed network connection, if the size of the file comprising the desired download content is of a prescribed size and/or if a content transport application for another type of content transport service resides on the wireless client, then the method 400 will proceed accordingly with implementation of rate controlled downloading of the desired download content.

Dependent upon the assessment of the other content transport services, the method 400 either proceeds with bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality or the method 400 ends. In the case where such assessment does not reveal conditions that require rate controlled downloading of the desired download content, the methoji 400jsnds. In the case where such assessment reveals conditions that require rate controlled downloading of the desired download content, the wireless client performs an operation 406 for computing a download bandwidth rate specification in accordance with which desired downloadable content is to be downloaded over the prescribed network connection to the wireless client while content traffic for another instance of a content transport service is simultaneously being transported over the prescribed network connection to the wireless client. The operations of assessing other content transport services and computing download bandwidth rate specification jointly represent an embodiment of determining a download bandwidth rate specification in accordance with the present invention. In one embodiment, the download bandwidth rate specification is a maximum download bandwidth rate for enabling the desired downloadable content to be downloaded over the network connection to the client system while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported at a minimum acceptable quality level over the prescribed network connection to the wireless client. It is disclosed herein that, in one embodiment, the minimum acceptable quality level is designated in a Quality of Service (QoS) specification associated with the prescribed network connection, the other instance of the content transport service and/or the wireless client. In another embodiment, the download bandwidth rate specification is a range of download bandwidth rates (e.g., maximum, minimum and average). In computing the download bandwidth rate specification, factors such as, for example, Quality of Service settings, a size of the file comprising the desired download content, a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for other content transport traffic (e.g., streaming content traffic) and a maximum available bandwidth of the prescribed network connection are taken into consideration.

In response to the download bandwidth rate specification being computed, the wireless client performs an operation 408 for preparing a content download request which is to be transmitted for reception by a download server from which the desired download content will be served. The content download request includes information for identifying the desired downloadable content and information for enabling the desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification. In one embodiment, preparing the content download request includes providing header information within the content download request that instructs the download server to download the downloadable content in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.

The wireless client performs an operation 410 for transmitting the content download request over the prescribed network connection for reception by the download server after preparing the content download request. Transmitting the content download request from the wireless client for reception by the download server is one embodiment of providing the download bandwidth rate specification to the download server. In another embodiment, providing the download bandwidth rate specification to a download server includes directly (e.g., manually) configuring the download server with the download bandwidth rate specification. Such configuring includes associating the download bandwidth rate specification with desired downloadable content (e.g., all or a portion of content downloadable from the download server).

In response to the download server performing an operation 412 for receiving the content download request, the download server performs an operation 414 for processing the content download request. Processing the content download request includes, but is not limited to, assessing the information for identifying the desired downloadable content and the information for enabling the desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification. Thus, such processing enables the download server to transmit the desired download content for reception by the wireless client over the prescribed network connection in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification (i.e., at a bandwidth rate not greater than a specified maximum download bandwidth rate). After processing the content download request, the download server performs an operation 416 for transmitting (i.e., downloading) the desired downloadable content from the download server for reception by the wireless client in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification and the wireless client performs an operation 418 for receiving the desired download content. In one embodiment, such downloading of the desired wireless content is performed while other content transport traffic (e.g., streaming content traffic) is being transported over the prescribed network connection to the client system. The downloadable content is carried by download traffic on the prescribed network connection and the other content is carried by other content transport traffic on the prescribed network connection.

FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of a wireless client in accordance with the present invention, which is referred to herein as the wireless client 500. As will be discussed in greater detail below, the wireless client 500 is configured for carrying out bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention. For example, in one embodiment, the wireless client 500 is suitably configured for enabling the method 400 discussed above in reference to FIG. 6 to be carried out.

The wireless client 500 includes a data processing device 505, memory 510, a wireless network interface 515 and user interface components 520. The data processing device 505, the memory 510, wireless network interface 515 and user interface components 520 are interconnected for enabling interaction therebetween. The user interface components 520 enable a user of the wireless client to facilitate information input and output functionality (i.e., inputting of information to the wireless client by the user and outputting of information to the user from the wireless client). A visual display, a keyboard and a mouse are examples of the user interface components 520. The wireless network interface 515 provides for communication between the wireless client 500 and other elements of a wireless network over a wireless network connection. The memory 510 has instructions 525 residing thereon that represent functionality capable of being implemented via the wireless client 500.

The data processing device 505 accesses the instructions 525 from the memory 510, interprets the instructions 525 and outputs commands corresponding to interpretation of the instructions 525. A skilled person will have an appreciation for interaction and functionality of the data processing device 505, the memory 510, wireless network interface 515 and user interface components 520. Furthermore, the skilled person will have an appreciation for various types of user interface components (e.g., keyboards, visual display devices, pointing devices and the like). Thus, further details of the elements of the wireless client outside of the context of the present invention will not be discussed.

The instructions 525 for, among other functionality, carrying out bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality in accordance with the present invention. It is disclosed herein that the instructions 525 may be standalone instructions (e.g., a separate application or utility) or instructions that are integral with those forming a download client application or a client application of another type of content transport service (e.g., a streaming client application). The instructions 525 are accessible from within the memory 515 and are processable by the data processing device 505. Broadly, the instructions 525 are configured for enabling the data processing device 205 to facilitate the method 500 disclosed above in reference to FIG. 6. More specifically, in one embodiment, the instructions 525 are configured for enabling the data processing device 205 to facilitate the operations of determining download bandwidth rate specification for enabling desired downloadable content to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection of the wireless network interface while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported over the prescribed network connection in accordance with a prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) specification, preparing the content download request for reception prior to transmitting the content download request and transmitting the content download request for reception by a download server from which said downloadable content is to be downloaded.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the present invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments maybe utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Claims

CLAIMSWHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A method, comprising: determining a download bandwidth rate specification in accordance with which desired downloadable content is to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection to a client system; and providing the download bandwidth rate specification to a download server from which said downloadable content is to be downloaded, wherein said providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes associating the download bandwidth rate specification with said desired downloadable content.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein determining the download bandwidth rate specification includes determining at least one of a maximum available bandwidth of the prescribed network connection and a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported at a minimum acceptable quality level over the prescribed network connection to the client system.
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the download bandwidth rate specification includes a maximum download bandwidth rate for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded over the prescribed network connection to the client system while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported at a minimum acceptable quality level over the prescribed network connection to the client system.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein the minimum acceptable quality level is designated in a Quality of Service (QoS) specification associated with at least one of the prescribed network connection, said content traffic and the client system.
5. The method of claim 3 wherein: providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes transmitting a content download request for reception by the download server; and the content download request includes information for identifying said desired downloadable content and information for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
6. The method of claim 3 wherein determining the download bandwidth rate specification includes determining a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for said content traffic.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein: determining the download bandwidth rate specification includes determining a range of download bandwidth rates; the range of download bandwidth rates includes a maximum download bandwidth rate for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded over the prescribed network connection to the client system while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported in accordance with a prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) specification over the prescribed network connection to the client system; and providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes providing the range of download bandwidth rates.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes transmitting a content download request for reception by the download server; and the content download request includes information for identifying said desired downloadable content and information for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
9. The method of claim 8, further comprising: preparing the content download request for reception prior to transmitting the content download request, wherein preparing the content download request includes providing header information within the content download request that instructs the download server to download said downloadable content in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
10. The method of claim 8, further comprising: transmitting said desired downloadable content from the download server for reception by the client system in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification during simultaneous transport of said content traffic over the prescribed network connection to the client system, wherein the content download request includes information for causing said desired downloadable content to be transported over the prescribed network connection.
11. The method of claim 1 wherein: said providing the download bandwidth rate specification includes transmitting a content download request for reception by the download server; and the content download request includes information for identifying said desired downloadable content and information for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
12. A method, comprising: determining a maximum download bandwidth rate at which download traffic is to be transported over a prescribed network connection to a client system during simultaneous transmission of streaming traffic over the prescribed network connection to the client system; and transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server from which said download traffic is to be served, wherein the content download request includes information for identifying said download traffic and information for enabling said download traffic to be transported in accordance with the maximum download bandwidth rate.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein the maximum download bandwidth rate enables said download traffic to be transported over the prescribed network connection to the client system while enabling said streaming traffic to be simultaneously streamed at a minimum acceptable quality level over the prescribed network connection to the client system.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein the minimum acceptable quality level is designated in a Quality of Service (QoS) specification associated with at least one of the prescribed network connection, said streaming traffic and the client system.
15. The method of claim 12, further comprising: deteπnining a minimum download bandwidth rate at which said downloadable traffic is to be transported over the prescribed network connection to the client system while said streaming traffic is being simultaneously streamed over the prescribed network connection to the client system, wherein said information enabling said download traffic to be transmitted in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification includes the minimum download bandwidth rate.
16. The method of claim 12, further comprising: preparing the content download request for reception prior to transmitting the content download request, wherein preparing the content download request includes providing header information within the content download request that instructs the download server to transmit said download traffic in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
17. A client system, comprising: at least one data processing device; a wireless network interface coupled to said at least one data processing device; at least one client application including instructions processable by said at least one data processing device; and an apparatus on which said instructions are stored and from which said instructions are accessible by said at least one data processing device; wherein said instructions are configured for enabling said at least one data processing device to facilitate: determining a download bandwidth rate specification for enabling desired downloadable content to be downloaded over a prescribed network connection of the wireless network interface while enabling content traffic for another instance of a content transport service to be simultaneously transported over the prescribed network connection in accordance with a prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) specification; and transmitting a content download request for reception by a download server from which said downloadable content is to be downloaded, wherein the content download request includes information for identifying said desired downloadable content and information for enabling said desired downloadable content to be downloaded in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
18. The client system of claim 17 wherein determining the download bandwidth rate specification includes determining at least one of at least one of a maximum available bandwidth of the prescribed network connection and a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for said content traffic to be simultaneously transported at a minimum acceptable quality level over the prescribed network connection to the client system.
19. The client system of claim 17 wherein determining the download bandwidth rate specification includes determining a minimum acceptable bandwidth requirement for said content traffic.
20. The client system of claim 17 wherein: the instructions are further configured for preparing the content download request for reception prior to transmitting the content download request; and preparing the content download request includes providing header information within the_content download request that instructs the download server to download said downloadable content in accordance with the download bandwidth rate specification.
PCT/US2006/032074 2005-08-15 2006-08-15 Bandwidth rate controlled content download functionality WO2007022327A2 (en)

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