WO2009023324A2 - Technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in ip-based communication sessions - Google Patents

Technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in ip-based communication sessions Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009023324A2
WO2009023324A2 PCT/US2008/063628 US2008063628W WO2009023324A2 WO 2009023324 A2 WO2009023324 A2 WO 2009023324A2 US 2008063628 W US2008063628 W US 2008063628W WO 2009023324 A2 WO2009023324 A2 WO 2009023324A2
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Prior art keywords
ue
user equipment
caller
alert
communication
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PCT/US2008/063628
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French (fr)
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WO2009023324A3 (en )
Inventor
L. Scott Bloebaum
Charles Liu
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Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ab
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/26Push based network services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42025Calling or Called party identification service
    • H04M3/42034Calling party identification service
    • H04M3/42042Notifying the called party of information on the calling party
    • H04M3/42051Notifying the called party of information on the calling party where the notification is included in the ringing tone
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L65/00Network arrangements or protocols for real-time communications
    • H04L65/10Signalling, control or architecture
    • H04L65/1066Session control
    • H04L65/1069Setup

Abstract

A technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in IP-based communication sessions is disclosed. According to one embodiment, the technique may be realized as a method comprising the steps of: receiving, from a first user equipment (UE A), a request to initiate a communication session with a second user equipment (UE B), the request further including information associated with a caller-originated alert to be provided to the second user equipment (UE B); notifying the second user equipment (UE B) of the communication session and the incoming caller-originated alert, the notification being transmitted via a first communication channel; and causing a phonepage server (D) to transmit, via a second communication channel, the caller-originated alert to the second user equipment (UE B) for rendering thereon to alert a user associated with the second user equipment (UE B).

Description

TECHNIQUE FOR DELIVERING CALLER-ORIGINATED ALERT SIGNALS IN IP-BASED COMMUNICATION SESSIONS

RELATED APPLICATIONS This patent application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No.

60/917,992, filed May 15, 2007, and U.S. Patent Application No. 1 1/761 ,591 , filed June 12, 2007, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates generally to a method and apparatus for exchanging information in a communication system. More specifically, the invention relates to a technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in IP-based communication sessions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION With the convergence of voice and data communication networks, portable communication devices are increasingly likely to support several communication modes, as well as a number of communication-related applications. Single-purpose cellular phones and alphanumeric pagers have given way to complex mobile devices supporting voice communications, e-mail, and instant messaging. A typical device often includes a camera, a music player, and sound recorder, and may include a global positioning system (GPS) receiver. Many of these devices and their supporting wireless networks now enable simultaneous use of multiple communication modes. Thus, a device user today might engage in a voice call and simultaneously send or receive text messages, digital images, video clips, or the like.

A few applications have been developed to take advantage of this simultaneous availability of multiple communications modes. In particular, several patents and patent application publications describe a so-called Phone Pages system, in which the generation and transfer of multimedia data objects is triggered by various communication-related events. These data objects, or Phone Pages, thus supplement a primary communication session, such as a voice call, an e-mail exchange, or an instant message conversation. The Phone Pages concept is described in the following patents and patent application publications, the contents of which are each incorporated by reference herein: U.S. Patent No. 6,922,721 , titled "Exchange of Information in a Communication System" and issued on July 26, 2005 to Minborg et al.; U.S. Patent Application Publication 2005/0271041 A1 , titled "Exchange of Information in a Communication System" and filed on June 1 , 2005 by Minborg et al.; U.S. Patent No. 6,996,072, titled "Method and Apparatus for Exchange of Information in a Communication Network" and issued on February 7, 2006 to Minborg; U.S. Patent No. 6,977,909, titled "System and Method for Exchange of Information in a Communication Network" and issued on December 20, 2005 to Minborg; and U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0114845, also titled "System and Method for Exchange of Information in a Communication network" and filed on November 14, 2005 by Minborg.

The communication techniques and systems described in the preceding references provide a variety of enhancements to conventional modes of communication, facilitating the convenient exchange of various data objects between users of communications devices. These enhancements may be quite valuable both for promoting personal relationships and for supporting business and enterprise communications. However, if unrestrained, the increased flow of data objects may be overwhelming, both for system users and for the system itself.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the above identified deficiencies of identifying and finding a data object and navigating between a set of data objects by applying a novel connection between a data-communications network and a telecommunications network.

In one aspect of the present invention a technique for connecting a dialed B-party number to a data object is described. A data object can for example be graphical, text, sound, voice, animations, static or dynamic pictures, or any combination. The connecting of a B-party number to a specific data object, hereafter referred to as phonepage, will allow an A-party direct access to information that a B-party wishes to display to a calling party. The phonepage resides in a memory in a telecommunications network, or in a memory in a data-communications network connected thereto. The phonepage may have a similar appearance to an Internet web page, but may also take other appearances. The displaying of the phonepage may be made dependent upon the capabilities of the A-party user equipment.

Dependent on the type of equipment used by the A-party, the node storing the phonepages may, upon detection of type of equipment, select the most advantageous way of displaying a selected data object.

Also, dependent on the A-party user equipment, the phonepage may provide different levels of interaction possibilities, i.e., only display information, or be a fully interactive data object with a duplex communication between the A-party and the node housing the memory in which the phonepage is stored. The phonepages may be configured to be displayed automatically or by indication from the A-party. In a variant of the invention also a B-party has the same capabilities of obtaining phonepages upon reception of an A-number in conjunction with an incoming call.

In another aspect of the present invention, a node in a data-communication or telecommunication system is described. The node consists of at least a database memory including at least indications of the phonepages and upon access from a remote request, respond with said indication.

The transfer of the indication to a calling A-party may be dependent on type of connection and access technology used in the connection. For example in a connection where both circuit switched and packet switched communication is simultaneously possible, the indication may be transferred on a packet switched communication resource and, e.g., voice communication may be initiated on the circuit switched communication resource. In other types of connections, two data flows may be set-up on one or several simultaneous packet switched communication resources, e.g., speech and data transfer. Another example is when voice communication is initiated over a circuit switched communication resource and the phonepage indications are transferred over a packet switched channel with limited performance such as an SMS channel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be more thoroughly described and features and advantages will become readily apparent by reading the following detailed description, where references will be made to the accompanying figures, where:

Figure 1 illustrates an overview of a communication network according to one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a block diagram illustrating an exemplary system for delivering caller- originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 shows a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method for delivering caller- originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 4 shows a block diagram illustrating an exemplary user equipment for requesting and/or receiving caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention is described below in reference to a wireless telecommunications system providing voice and data services to a mobile device. Various systems providing voice and data services have been deployed, such as GSM networks (providing circuit-switched communications) and GPRS (providing packet-switched communications); still others are currently under development. These systems may employ any or several of a number of wireless access technologies, such as Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDA), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Time Division Duplex (TDD), and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD). The present invention is not limited to any specific type of wireless communications network or access technology. Indeed, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the network configurations discussed herein are only illustrative. The inventive techniques disclosed herein may be applied to "wired" devices accessing conventional voice or data networks, as well as wireless devices. The invention may be practiced with devices accessing voice and/or data networks via wireless local area networks (WLANs) or via one or more of the emerging wide-area wireless data networks, such as those under development by the 3rd- Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). Figure 1 illustrates an exemplary communications system in which the present invention may be employed. Communications device 100 communicates with other devices through base station 1 10, which is connected to wireless network 120. Wireless network 120 is in turn connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) 125 and the Internet 130. Wireless device 100 can thus communicate with various other devices, such as wireless device 135, conventional land-line telephone 140, or personal computer 145. In Figure 1 , wireless device 100 also has access to data server 150 via the Internet 130; data server 150 may be configured to provide access through Internet 130 to data or applications stored in storage device 160. Storage device 160 may comprise one or more of a variety of data storage devices, such as disk drives connected to data server 150 or one or more other servers, a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives (RAID) system, or the like.

Communications device 100 may be a cordless telephone, cellular telephone, personal digital assistant (PDA), communicator, computer device, or the like, and may be compatible with any of a variety of communications standards, such as the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) or one or more of the standards promulgated by 3GPP. Communications device 100 may include a digital camera, for still and video images, as well as a digital sound recorder and digital music player application. Communications device 100 may also support various applications in addition to voice communications, such as e-mail, text messaging, picture messaging, instant messaging, video conferencing, web browsing, and the like. Communications device 100 also includes a wireless local-area network (WLAN) transceiver configured for communication with WLAN access point 170. WLAN access point 170 is also connected to Internet 130, providing communications device 100 with alternative connectivity to Internet-based resources such as data server 150.

Also connected to wireless network 120 is location server 180. Location server 180 is typically maintained by the operator of wireless network 120, but may be separately administered. The main function of location server 180 is to determine the geographic location of mobile terminals (such as mobile terminal 100) using the wireless network 120. Location information obtained by location server 180 may range from information identifying the cell currently serving mobile terminal 100 to more precise location information obtained using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

Other technologies, including triangulation methods exploiting signals transmitted from or received at several base stations, may also be used to obtain location information. Triangulation techniques may include Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) technology, which utilizes measurements of a mobile's uplink signal at several base stations, or Enhanced- Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) technology, which utilizes measurements taken at the mobile terminal 100 of signals sent from several base stations. GPS-based technologies may include Assisted-GPS, which utilizes information about the current status of the GPS satellites derived independently of the mobile terminal 100 to aid in the determination of the terminal's location.

In some embodiments, the various systems and methods described herein facilitate the selective delivery of data objects to a communication device, such as mobile terminal 125, in communication with another device, such as mobile terminal 100. The data object may be transferred from one device to the other, e.g., from mobile terminal 100 to mobile terminal 125, or from a data object server, such as server 150 or server 180, in response to a request from either of the communication devices.

Typically, the users of the communication devices are engaged in a communication session, which may comprise a voice call (whether circuit-switched or packet-switched), an instant message (IM) session, or any other modes of communication such as those described herein or combinations thereof. In some embodiments, one or both of the communication devices may include a module or application that is able to determine the occurrence of a communications-related trigger event in the communication device and to thereafter transmit and/or receive data, such as data specifically related to the trigger event. The trigger event may comprise, for example, any of the following events or combinations thereof:

• the establishment of a session or call between the devices;

• the arrival or departure of a device in a multi-party communication session;

• activation by the user of one or both of the communication devices (e.g., an explicit request by one user for transfer of a data object to the other); • timer-based periodic or random trigger event in communication device;

• crossing a geographic boundary, such as a boundary established by the user of one of the communication devices; or

• other events related to the communication, such as those described in U.S. Patent No. 6,996,072.

Other trigger events might include, but are not limited to:

• An outgoing call is or is about to be initiated.

• A called party answers a call.

• A called party is busy. • A called party does not answer after a pre-determined time or number of rings.

• A called party rejects a call.

• A called party is unavailable (e.g., an addressed mobile phone is out of coverage). • An incoming call is imminent or has just started.

• A conference call is or is about to be initiated.

• A call is disconnected.

• A call is conducted (under which several triggering events can be generated). • A party is placed on hold.

• The location of a party has changed.

• A communication device is switched on or off.

• A special-function button is pressed on a communication device.

• A button or other user interface device is activated in response to a query. • A voice mail, text message, e-mail, instant message, or the like is received.

• A voice mail, text message, e-mail, instant message, or the like is received.

While many of the preceding trigger events are related to traditional voice communications, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many analogous trigger events will apply to other communication modes, such as instant messaging, e-mail, video conferencing, "chat" sessions, and so on.

According to one aspect of the present invention, while a first user equipment (UE) such as a mobile device or stationary device is attempting to establish a communication session (e.g., a voice call session or an instant messaging session) with a second UE, the first UE may cause a customized alert signal to be sent to the second UE, prior to the establishment of the communication session, to alert the user of the second UE of the upcoming communication session. Specifically, upon selection of the second UE for communication, the first UE may transmit a call setup request to a communication server and also indicate to the communication server the intent to send a customized alert signal. This customized alert signal may be referred to generally as "a caller-originated alert" or "a caller-originated alert signal," wherein the word "caller" refers to a party who initiates a communication session but is not limited to voice calls. The communication server may initiate the call setup with the second UE and instruct it to wait for the caller-originated alert signal. The communication server may also contact a PhonePage server to cause it to deliver the caller-originated alert signal to the second UE. The second UE may then render the caller-originated alert signal to alert its user of the communication session.

Referring to Figure 2, there is shown a block diagram illustrating an exemplary system 2400 for delivering caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The system 2400 may comprise a first user equipment (UE A), a second user equipment (UE B), a communication server C, and a PhonePage server D. The UE A may be a mobile telephone or a mobile telephone connected to any kind of data equipment, e.g., personal digital assistant (PDA) devices or laptop computer. The UE A may also be a fixed non-mobile device such as a desktop computer, a gaming device, an IP telephone, or other devices which can initiate and receive communications.. The UE A is capable of communicating with other user equipment such as UE B in a variety of ways. For example, UE A may establish a voice call, such as a Voice-over-IP (VOIP) call, with UE B. UE A may also establish a wireless "walkie-talkie" session based on the push-to-talk (PTT) technology. UE A may alternatively establish a data or multimedia communication session (e.g., email, instant messaging, online meeting, document sharing, and file transfers) with UE B. UE B may typically have comparable or at least compatible functionalities in order to communicate with UE A.

Both UE A and UE B may be configured to communicate with the PhonePage server D. The PhonePage server D may comprise a PhonePages number server (PNS) and/or PhonePage web server (PWS). The PhonePage server D may communicate with UE A and UE B via one or more logical channels, typically to receive requests (directly or indirectly) from UE A and to fulfill those requests according to an established messaging or signaling protocol.

The communication server C may be any type of communication equipment that hosts or facilitates communication sessions among two or more user equipment. For example, the communication server C may be a proxy server or a similar network element. The communication session between UE A and UE B may be carried on a packet-switched network. For example, the communication session may be a VoIP call or an instant messaging (IM) session that traverses an IP-based network (e.g., the Internet). Or, the communication session may be a voice call or data session that is partially carried on an IP-based network and partially carried on a telephone (land-line and/or wireless) network. According to one embodiment of the present invention, a first user who is associated with UE A, i.e., User A, may attempt to initiate a communication session with a second user who is associated with UE B, i.e., User B. Prior to establishment of the communication session, User A may select User B either from a locally-stored or online phonebook or buddy list or by directly entering an identifier of User B or UE B. In conjunction with the selection, User A may create or select a caller-originated alert signal that will be used to alert User B of the upcoming communication session. For example, User A may record a personalized voice message or ring-tone or alert signal or, more typically, select a pre-recorded alert signal that is stored locally or online.

Then, UE A may transmit session initiation information to the communication server C to be relayed to UE B. The session initiation information may include the identity of User B or UE B. The session initiation information may also include or be accompanied by a request for a caller-originated alert to be provided to UE B. The request for the caller-originated alert may include an indication of User A's intent to alert User B of the communication session with a caller-originated alert. In addition, the request may also include the identity of or selection criteria for the caller-originated alert to be sent to UE B. Alternatively, the request may include an address or identifier of the PhonePage server D (or another data source) from which the call- originated alert is available. Upon receiving the session initiation information and the request for the caller-originated alert, the communication server C may initiate the communication session with UE B. The communication server C may forward at least a portion of the session initiation information to UE B. The communication server C may further notify UE B of the incoming caller-originated alert and instruct UE B to wait for its arrival. Prior to or while communicating with UE B, the communication server C may contact the

PhonePage server D to forward the identity of UE B and at least a portion of UE A's request for the caller-originated alert. For example, the communication server may forward the identity of the caller-originated alert to the PhonePage server D such that it can locate the pre-stored alert signal. Alternatively, the communication server may only forward the identities of User A and User B to the PhonePage server D and instruct the PhonePage server D to select a suitable, personalized alert signal based on User A's preference(s) and/or other factors. Selection of a pre-recorded alert signal may be done automatically based on one or more factors such as the identity of User B, the proximity of User B to User A, the type/context of the attempted communication session, time of day, and other specific triggering events that may trigger a phonepage request as described above. In some instances, the PhonePage server D may need to retrieve the requested alert signal from another source of data objects.

Once the caller-originated alert has been selected and/or retrieved, the PhonePage server D may contact UE B to initiate transferring the caller-originated alert to UE B without waiting for any request from UE B. According to one embodiment of the present invention, the PhonePage server D may transmit the caller-originated alert to UE B in one data package. Once the data package has been fully downloaded to UE B, UE B may render the caller- originated alert to notify the User B that a communication session with User A is pending. Alternatively, according to another embodiment of the present invention, the caller-originated alert may be streamed to UE B. That is, without waiting for the caller-originated alert to be fully downloaded, UE B may start rendering it to alert User B of the communication session.

If User B has muted alert functions on UE B, for example, during a meeting or in a theater, UE B may reject the incoming caller-originated alert from the PhonePage server D. Alternatively, UE B may still proceed to receive the caller-originated alert signal and then apply User B's settings to determine how UE B renders the alert signal. Both options may be accommodated by a protocol between UE B and the PhonePage server D. The protocol may allow UE B to reject the caller-originated alert or allow the PhonePage server D to override UE B's rejection in case User B does not have the right to reject a certain alert, either for commercial (e.g., condition of service) or regulatory reasons. Upon a successful delivery of the caller-originated alert to UE B, the communication session between UE A and UE B may be fully set up after UE B renders the alert and User B accepts the session initiated by User A. If the PhonePage server D fails to provide the caller- originated alert to UE B as requested, the PhonePage server D may notify the communication server C of the failure status. The communication server C may then instruct UE B either to render a default alert signal to alert User B or to simply forego the step of rendering any alert signal.

The communication between UE A and UE B, via the communication server C, may be carried on a first logical channel at least a portion of which traverses a packet-switched network (e.g., Internet or a private intranet). The communication between the PhonePage server D and UE B may be carried on a second logical channel. The communication between the communication server C and the PhonePage server D may be carried over yet another network channel.

Figure 3 shows a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method for delivering caller- originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

In step 2502, User A (UE A) may select User B (UE B) for communication. The attempted communication session may be any type of IP-based sessions such as voice, data, multimedia sessions, or a combination thereof. For illustration purposes, UE A and UE B will be described hereinafter as mobile telephone devices although they may be any type of user equipment as described above. To select User B for communication, User A may simply choose User B from a list of contacts or enter a mobile phone number associated with User B.

In step 2504, UE A may send a call setup request to a communication server. The communication server may be typically a network element in an IP network that helps call signaling and routing between any two or more user equipment. Depending on the type of communication as well as the specific network or application used, UE A may follow the relevant protocol to send, for example, session initiation messages to the communication server. The communication session is not limited to a one-to-one type of communication, but may be part of a multiple-party communication (e.g., a conference call or an online meeting). That is, either or both of UE A and UE B may simultaneously communicate with other parties.

The call setup request sent to the communication server may also indicate User A's intent to delivery a caller-originated alert, such as a personalized alert signal, to UE B. For example, when dialing the call, User A may indicate whether the attempted communication session will be in a conventional alert mode (i.e., without any caller-originated alert) or a caller- originated alert mode (i.e., with a caller-originated alert). User A may depress one or more assigned keys to indicate a caller-originated alert mode. User A may also include in the call setup request one of the following items: the alert signal itself, an identity of the alert signal, an address or identifier of a PhonePage server from which to download the alert signal, or an instruction to select an alert signal for User B optionally coupled with one or more selection criteria for picking a suitable alert signal.

In step 2506, the communication server may initiate the call setup with UE B. If User B is not available (e.g., offline), the communication server may notify User A of this status. If User B is available, the communication server may notify UE B of the incoming call, for example, by forwarding at least a portion of the session initiation messages from UE A, either as received or with modification. In addition, the communication server may notify UE B of the incoming personalized alert signal and instruct UE B to wait for its arrival.

At substantially the same time, in step 2508, the communication server may contact a PhonePage server to cause the personalized alert signal to be provided to UE B. If the identity of the personalized alert signal has been received from UE A, the communication server may simply forward that identity to the PhonePage server. Otherwise, the communication server may send the identities of Users A and B to the PhonePage server and instruct the PhonePage server to select a pre-stored alert signal according to User A's preferences and/or other factors. In step 2510, the PhonePage server may transmit the personalized alert signal to UE B over a logical channel such as an Internet connection. As mentioned above, the entire personalized alert signal may be delivered to UE B before UE B begins rendering it. Alternatively, the personalized alert signal may be streamed to UE B in a series of data packets which UE B can start rendering without waiting for the entire alert signal to be downloaded. The delivery of the personalized alert signal may follow any IP-based, multimedia streaming or download protocol such as Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP).

In step 2512, the personalized alert signal may be rendered on UE B. Prior to establishment of the communication session with UE A, UE B may play back the personalized alert signal to alert User B of the pending communication session with User A. How UE B handles the session notification and the related alert signal(s) may have already been configured, and the pre-configured rules or preferences may be automatically executed without prompting User B for a selection. For example, UE B may establish default rules for handling incoming calls accompanied by personalized alert signals, and the default rules may either be globally applicable to all callers or vary according to specific callers. Typically, a caller- originated alert may be treated by UE B like any other alert signal or alert signal. For example, the caller-originated alert may be muted when User B is in an environment where quietness is necessary.

In step 2514, the communication server may proceed to establish the communication session between Users A and B. The PhonePage server may report back to the communication server whether the personalized alert signal has been successfully delivered to UE B as requested. If the alert signal delivery is successful, the communication server may cause the call to be set up between UE A and UE B as usual. If the alert signal delivery fails, the communication server might contact another PhonePage server to forward a suitable alert signal to UE B. Alternatively, the communication server may instruct UE B to either use a locally stored alert signal or proceed with the call setup without any alert signal.

Figure 4 shows a block diagram illustrating an exemplary user equipment 2600 for requesting and/or receiving caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The UE 2600 may comprise a central processing unit (CPU) 2650, at least one memory unit 2651 , at least one display 2620, at least one user input device 2652 which may be a keypad, keyboard, touchscreen, or the like, a radio unit 2610, an antenna 261 1 , at least one speaker 2630 for audio outputO, at least one microphone 2640 for audio input. The UE 2600 may further comprise a plurality of programs 2670, including, for example, a browser 2671 that can render at least one type of data object (e.g., voice-based alerts) and an encode/decode unit 2672 that encodes (or encrypts) requests for data objects and decodes (or decrypts) data objects. In addition, in order to implement the provision of customized voice- based alert signals, the UE 2600 may also comprise a caller-originated alert management application 2673 (Alert_Manage), an application for requesting caller-originated alerts 2674 (Alert_Req), and a caller-originated alert preference module 2675 (Alert_Pref). Both the Alert_Manage application 2673 and the Alert_Req application 2674 may be embedded software programs that run automatically or in response to activation. The Alert_Req application 2674 may respond to an express or implied selection of a caller-originated alert signal and automatically generate a request to be sent to a communication server with a call setup request. Selection methods may include the user press of an appropriate dedicated or non-dedicated ("soft") selection key, completion of the recording of an alert signal, or default instructions and options stored in the UE memory. The Alert_Req application 2674 may include in the request either the caller-originated alert itself or relevant information, such as an identity of the caller- originated alert signal and/or the identity of the called party, to enable a PhonePage server to identify a pre-recorded caller-originated alert signal. The radio unit 2610 may then transmit the request to the communication server. The Alert_Manage application 2673 may be responsible for handling caller-originated alerts that are associated with incoming calls or communication sessions. Generation of the requests for caller-originated alerts and/or the management of any received caller-originated alerts may be conditioned on or related to preference settings that are stored in and/or managed by the Alert_Pref module 2675.

At this point it should be noted that the technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in IP-based communication sessions in accordance with the present disclosure as described above typically involves the processing of input data and the generation of output data to some extent. This input data processing and output data generation may be implemented in hardware or software. For example, specific electronic components may be employed in a UE, a communications server, or similar or related circuitry for implementing the functions associated with delivering caller-originated alert signals in IP-based communication sessions in accordance with the present disclosure as described above. Alternatively, one or more processors operating in accordance with stored instructions may implement the functions associated with delivering caller-originated alert signals in IP-based communication sessions in accordance with the present disclosure as described above. If such is the case, it is within the scope of the present disclosure that such instructions may be stored on one or more processor- readable program storages (e.g., a magnetic or optical disk or solid-state memory), or transmitted to one or more processors via one or more signals.

The present disclosure is not to be limited in scope by the specific embodiments described herein. Indeed, other various embodiments of and modifications to the present disclosure, in addition to those described herein, will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art from the foregoing description and accompanying drawings. Thus, such other embodiments and modifications are intended to fall within the scope of the present disclosure. Further, although the present disclosure has been described herein in the context of a particular implementation in a particular environment for a particular purpose, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that its usefulness is not limited thereto and that the present disclosure may be beneficially implemented in any number of environments for any number of purposes. Accordingly, the claims set forth below should be construed in view of the full breadth and spirit of the present disclosure as described herein.

Claims

CLAIMSWhat is claimed is:
1. A method for delivering caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session, characterized in that the method comprises: receiving, from a first user equipment (UE A), a request to initiate a communication session with a second user equipment (UE B), the request further including information associated with a caller-originated alert to be provided to the second user equipment (UE B); notifying the second user equipment (UE B) of the communication session and the incoming caller-originated alert, the notification being transmitted via a first communication channel; and causing a phonepage server (D) to transmit (2510), via a second communication channel, the caller-originated alert to the second user equipment (UE B) for rendering (2512) thereon to alert a user associated with the second user equipment (UE B).
2. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that at least a portion of the communication session is carried on a packet-switched network.
3. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the at least one portion of the information associated with the caller-originated alert includes an identity of the caller-originated alert.
4. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the method further comprises forwarding an identity of the second user equipment (UE B) and at least one portion of the information associated with the personalized alert signal to the phonepage server (D).
5. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that the at least one portion of the information associated with the caller-originated alert includes an identity of the first user equipment (UE A), and in that the phonepage server (D) selects the caller-originated alert based on a pre-stored preference associated with the first user equipment (UE A).
6. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the caller-originated alert is downloaded from the phonepage server (D) to the second user equipment (UE B) before being rendered (2512) thereon.
7. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the caller-originated alert is streamed from the phonepage server (D) to the second user equipment (UE B) and the rendering (2512) of the caller-originated alert starts before it is fully downloaded.
8. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the method further comprises receiving, from the phonepage server (D), a status to indicate whether the transmission of the caller-originated alert to the second user equipment (UE B) is successful.
9. The method according to claim 8, characterized in that the method further comprises instructing the second user equipment (UE B) to render a default ring-tone if the transmission of the caller-originated alert from the phonepage server (D) to the second user equipment (UE B) fails.
10. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the alert signal is customized based on one or more factors selected from a group consisting of: an identity of the second user, a type of the communication session, and predetermined triggering events associated with the communication session.
11. The method according to claim 1 , characterized in that the second user rejects the caller-originated alert.
12. The method according to claim 11 , characterized in that the phonepage server (D) overrides the rejection of the second user.
13. A system for delivering caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session, the system comprising a communication server (C), a phonepage server (D), a first user equipment (UE A), and a second user equipment (UE B), characterized in that: the first user equipment (UE A) is configured to transmit (2504), to the communication server (C), a request to initiate a communication session with the second user equipment, the request further including information associated with a caller- originated alert to be provided to the second user equipment (UE B); the communication server (C) is configured to notify (2506) the second user equipment (UE B) of the communication session and the incoming caller-originated alert, the notification being transmitted via a first communication channel; the communication server (C) is further configured to contact (2508) the phonepage server (D) for the caller-originated alert; the phonepage server (D) is configured to transmit (2510), via a second communication channel, the caller-originated alert to the second user equipment (UE B); and the second user equipment (UE B) is configured to render (2512) the caller-originated alert to alert a user associated with the second user equipment (UE B).
14. A user equipment (2600) for delivering caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session, the user equipment (2600) comprising a processor (2650) operatively coupled to at least one memory unit (2651 ), a user interface (2620, 2630, 2640, 2652), and a communication unit (2610), characterized in that the processor (2650) is configured to: transmit (2504), to a communication server (C), a request to initiate a communication session with a second user equipment; cause the communication server (C) to notify (2506) the second user equipment (UE B) of the communication session and an incoming caller-originated alert; and cause the caller-originated alert to be transmitted (2510), from a phonepage server (D), to the second user equipment (UE B) for rendering thereon to alert a user associated with the second user equipment (UE B).
15. A downloadable application or module for delivering caller-originated alert signals in an IP-based communication session, the downloadable application or module being stored on a computer-readable media, characterized in that the downloadable application or module is executable to perform: receiving, from a first user equipment (UE A), a request to initiate a communication session with a second user equipment, the request further including information associated with a caller-originated alert to be provided to the second user equipment (UE B); notifying (2506) the second user equipment (UE B) of the communication session and the incoming caller-originated alert, the notification being transmitted via a first communication channel; and causing a phonepage server (D) to transmit (2510), via a second communication channel, the caller-originated alert to the second user equipment (UE B) for rendering thereon to alert a user associated with the second user equipment (UE B).
PCT/US2008/063628 2000-01-19 2008-05-15 Technique for delivering caller-originated alert signals in ip-based communication sessions WO2009023324A3 (en)

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