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System and method for host and os agnostic management of connected devices through network controlled state alteration

Info

Publication number
WO2012106330A1
WO2012106330A1 PCT/US2012/023312 US2012023312W WO2012106330A1 WO 2012106330 A1 WO2012106330 A1 WO 2012106330A1 US 2012023312 W US2012023312 W US 2012023312W WO 2012106330 A1 WO2012106330 A1 WO 2012106330A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
device
network
networks
connectivity
plurality
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2012/023312
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Biju Nair
Sumeet S. Paul
Sanida D. Bratt
Original Assignee
Synchronoss Technologies, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/18Selecting a network or a communication service
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/16Discovering, processing access restriction or access information

Abstract

A method and system for establishing network connectivity with a device is disclosed. A connectivity platform detects a plurality of networks. A network policy of each of the plurality of networks is determined. A signal quality of each of the plurality of networks is determined. The network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks is analyzed. A connection is established between the device and the first network of the plurality of networks based on the analysis of the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR HOST AND OS AGNOSTIC MANAGEMENT OF CONNECTED DEVICES THROUGH NETWORK CONTROLLED

STATE ALTERATION

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 61/437,907 filed 31 January 201 1 , which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to management of network connectivity for devices.

[0003] Existing connectivity management solutions for managing connectivity of devices to networks are very dependent on the actual devices and/or specific operating systems being used by the devices. As a result, custom development and integrated testing for each new device is required, even if there are only slight differences between a new device and an existing device. Custom development and testing of each new device increases costs significantly and also increases the time to market for new devices. Thus, mobile operators are not able to efficiently market new products in a timely fashion and consumers experience the increase in costs due to custom

development procedures and testing. Additionally, as network resources and bandwidth are not infinite, the demand for these resources from devices may far exceed supply in the future. Connected devices and network operators will need to manage the state of these devices in order to assist in management of the usage of all available resources.

[0004] Furthermore, existing solutions place a large burden on mobile network operators where changes to back office systems of the mobile network operator triggers changes in the corresponding devices that connect through the mobile network operators. These solutions are not easily sustainable and do not scale in an environment where mobile network operators anticipate connected devices of all varieties to coexist on their networks.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention provides a method for establishing network connectivity with a device. A connectivity platform detects a plurality of networks. A network policy of each of the plurality of networks is determined. A signal quality of each of the plurality of networks is determined. The network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks is analyzed. A connection is established between the device and the first network of the plurality of networks based on the analysis of the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.

[0006] In a further embodiment, detecting a plurality of networks comprises detecting a plurality of networks capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.

[0007] In a further embodiment, determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks comprises receiving the network policy of each of the plurality of networks from a policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.

[0008] In a further embodiment, determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises receiving signal quality data associated with each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.

[0009] In a further embodiment, analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises comparing the network policies of each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device and comparing the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device. The optimal network may be the first network.

[00010] In a further embodiment, a connection is established between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network. [00011] In a further embodiment, a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device is determined in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer. The connection of t he device is then transferred from the first network to the second network.

[00012] In a further embodiment, a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device is selected to establish the connection between the device and the first network. An instruction is transmitted to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.

[00013] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is accessed by a device via an HTTP accessible user interface.

[00014] In a further embodiment, the device is associated with a device policy, and an instruction may be transmitted to the device to override the device policy and the network policy of the first network.

[00015] In a further embodiment, analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises determining at least one policy implementation factor of the device, and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.

[00016] In a further embodiment, analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises determining a device state of the device, and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.

[00017] In a further embodiment, analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises analyzing content being

transmitted to or being requested by the device and selecting an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.

[00018] In an embodiment, a system for establishing network connectivity with a device is disclosed. A policy server stores network policies associated with a plurality of networks and a device policy associated with the device. A connectivity platform is configured to detect the plurality of networks, deternnine the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks from the policy server, determine a signal quality of each of the networks, analyze the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, and establish a connection between the devices and a first network of the plurality of networks.

[00019] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is configured to detect the plurality of networks which are capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.

[00020] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to receive the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks from the policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.

[00021] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to receive the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.

[00022] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to compare the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device, and compare the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device. The optimal network may be the first network.

[00023] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to establish a connection between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network.

[00024] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to determine a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer, and transfer the connection of the device from the first network to the second network.

[00025] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to select a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network, and transmit an instruction to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.

[00026] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is accessed by the device via an HTTP accessible user interface.

[00027] In a further embodiment, the device is associated with a device policy and the connectivity platform is further configured to transmit an instruction to the device to override the device policy and use the network policy of the first network.

[00028] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to determine at least one policy implementation factor of the device, and select an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.

[00029] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to determine a device state of the device, and select an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.

[00030] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is further configured to analyze the content being transmitted to or being requested by the device, and select an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.

[00031] In an embodiment, a computer readable medium encoded with computer program instructions establishing network connectivity of a device is disclosed. The computer program instructions when executed by a processor, causes the processor to perform the steps comprising: detecting a plurality of networks, determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks, determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, and establishing a connection between the device and a first network of the plurality of networks based on the analyzing.

[00032] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of detecting a plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising detecting a plurality of networks capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.

[00033] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising receiving the network policy of each of the plurality of networks from a policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.

[00034] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising receiving signal quality data associated with each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.

[00035] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising comparing the network policies of each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device, and comparing the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device. The optimal network may be the first network.

[00036] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising establishing a connection between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network.

[00037] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising determining a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer, and transferring the connection of the device from the first network to the second network. [00038] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising selecting a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network, and transmitting an instruction to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.

[00039] In a further embodiment, the connectivity platform is accessed by a device via an HTTP accessible user interface.

[00040] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising transmitting an instruction to the device to override a device policy associated with the device and use the network policy of the first network.

[00041] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising determining at least one policy implementation factor of the device, and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.

[00042] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising determining a device state of the device, and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.

[00043] In a further embodiment, the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising analyzing content being transmitted to or being requested by the device, and selecting an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks. [00044] In a further embodiment, a method and system for establishing network connectivity with a device comprises a connectivity platform that detects a plurality of networks. A network policy of each of the plurality of networks is determined. A signal quality of each of the plurality of networks is determined. A plurality of connections is established between the device and the plurality of connections. All except one of the plurality of connections between the device and the plurality of networks is terminated. Termination is based on determining which network is most capable for data to be transmitted or requested from the device, or which one of the networks offers a highest data throughput rate. Signal degradation may be detected in the one unterminated connection. A wake-up signal may be transmitted to a plurality of transceivers to wake and determine signal quality with respective networks capable of connecting with the plurality of receivers. Based on the determined signal quality, a new network is selected for connection. The new network may be selected based on signal quality of which network is best suited for data transmission of specific data content or highest data throughput signal. Each of the transceivers may be set to wake-up at a predetermined time to check signal quality with at least one of the plurality of networks.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00045] FIG. 1 illustrates a system including a network connectivity platform facilitating automatic establishment of network connections between devices and networks, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[00046] FIG. 2 illustrates a method for establishing connectivity between a device and a network using a connectivity platform, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[00047] FIG. 3 illustrates a system including a network connectivity platform and associated components to further illustrate features of the connectivity platform, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[00048] FIG. 4 illustrates a system including a host computing device which interfaces with the device, an update and policy server, and network in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. [00049] FIG. 5 illustrates a high-level diagram of a computing device for implementing device connectivity management, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[00050] With the advent of ubiquitous mobile broadband availability and the increasing number of devices supporting network connectivity, systems for managing all aspects of connectivity must be more flexible and device agnostic - independent of device type and device operating system.

[00051] The present invention is directed to a method and system for management of network connectivity for devices. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention described herein facilitate efficient management of network connectivity for devices by leveraging the state of the device and managing the network connectivity of devices through a user interface that is device and platform agnostic. Mobile operators will be able to speed time to market and launch specific services with devices in mind. Consumers will experience an improved out of box experience. Consumers, for example, will be able to purchase a consumer electronic device or computing device in any retail or internet electronic store without requiring any special knowledge or need to purchase equipment to be able to connect and authenticate their device with a mobile broadband network. The embodiments described herein along with supporting figures are meant to provide an understanding of a network connectivity platform, and it is understood that embodiments of the present invention may be performed within a computing system using data stored within the computing system.

[00052] FIG. 1 illustrates a system including a network connectivity platform facilitating automatic establishment of network connections between devices and networks, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Devices 102A, 102B, and 102C may be any device configured to connect to networks to receive data, including, but not limited to, mobile communication devices, computing devices, or any device supporting radio transceivers capable of communicating with different networks. Typically, users of devices 102A, 102B, and 102C must manually connect to any of networks 106, 108, and 1 10 using a platform resident on the device. Networks 106, 108, and 1 10 may be, but not limited to, a Wi-Fi, LTE, EV-DO, HSPA, 3G, or 4G network. In the embodiments described herein, devices 102A, 102B, and 102C instead may establish connectivity automatically via connectivity platform 1 12 which resides within cloud network 104.

[00053] Connectivity platform 1 12 leverages information from various sources, including devices such as devices 102A, 102B, and 102C, and networks 106, 108 and 1 10, along with associated back office systems in order to ensure more efficient connectivity of devices to networks and more efficient use of network resources.

Connectivity platform 1 12 is accessible by devices 102A, 102B, and 102C thru any HTTP enabled web browser. This allows connectivity platform 1 12 to be device and platform agnostic. More specifically, connectivity platform provides an HTTP accessible user interface, accessible and viewable thru a web browser residing at any of devices 102A, 102B, and 102C. Accessing connectivity platform 1 12 through an HTTP accessible user interface eliminates any requirement of specialized code between mobile network operator (such as networks 106, 108, and 1 10) back office systems, such as activation servers, update management, pricing plan management, and billing systems. This also promotes flexibility at a mobile network operator's back office systems to change those systems as needed without the need to worry about connectivity issues with devices.

[00054] A device, for example, 102A, may access connectivity platform 1 12 to assist in establishing connectivity to one of networks 106, 108, or 1 10. Connectivity platform 1 12 is responsible for selecting an optimal network for connection with device 102A based on a variety of factors including network policies associated with each of the networks, signal quality provided by each of the networks, and in some instances, policies of the device itself, and a state of the device. A state of the device may refer to for example, a geographic location of the device and power consumption of various radio transceivers integrated with the device.

[00055] For purposes of illustration only, FIG. 1 depicts three devices 102A, 102B, and 102C and three networks 106, 108, and 1 10. It is understood that connectivity platfornn 1 12 is capable of interfacing and establishing connections between any number of devices and networks.

[00056] FIG. 2 illustrates a method for establishing connectivity between a device and a network using a connectivity platform, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. At step 202, a device, for example, device 102A, powers on.

[00057] At step 204, connectivity platform 1 12 detects device 102A in response to device 102A powering on, and establishes a connection with device 102A.

[00058] Once connectivity platform 1 12 has established a connection with a device, such as device 102A, the method proceeds to step 206. At step 206, connectivity platform 1 12 detects a plurality of networks. For example, connectivity platform detects networks 106, 108, and 1 10 which are available for connection with device 102A. When detecting a plurality of networks, connectivity platform 1 12 initiates an instruction to device 102A to turn on all radio transceivers. Once radio transceivers of device 102A are on, connectivity platform 1 12 detects all networks capable of establishing a connection with device 102A via any of the radio transceivers of device 102A.

[00059] At step 208, connectivity platform 1 12 determines a network policy of each of the plurality of networks (networks 106, 108, and 1 10). Once connectivity platform 1 12 is connected with a device, any available networks of the plurality of networks will transmit their network policies to the device via connectivity platform 1 12 using a push policy. The push policy is based on the device being active. Thus, if device 102A is active and in communication with connectivity platform 1 12, networks 106, 108, and 1 10 may automatically transmit their network policies to device 102A via connectivity platform 1 12.

[00060] In an alternative embodiment, policies of networks may be stored in a policy server 1 14 associated with connectivity platform 1 12. In this situation, once a connection is established between connectivity platform, and a device, for example, device 102A, connectivity platform 1 12 will receive network policies of each of the available networks from the policy server 1 14, also via a push policy dictating that the policy server 1 14 will transmit the network policies based on the device being active. [00061] Each network policy includes information such as choice of networks to connect to and circumstances meriting a network switch. For example, a network policy associated with network 106 may dictate that if a signal quality of network 106 is insufficient for the type of data requested by device 102A, the connection between device 102A and network 106 should be transferred to network 108.

[00062] At step 210, connectivity platform 1 12 determines a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks (networks 106, 108, and 1 10). After receiving network policies of the plurality of networks, connectivity platform 1 12 must determine the signal quality of data transmission from each of the networks to the device to assist in determining which network is optimal to establish a connection with the device. Signal quality data associated with the networks is received in response to a push policy of the device.

[00063] At step 212, connectivity platform 1 12 analyzes the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks. In analyzing the network policy and signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, connectivity platform 1 12 compares each of the network policies and determines at least one network policy that is compatible with the device. The at least one network policy represents a subset of the network policies of the plurality of networks that is suitable for connection with the device. Certain network policies may not be compatible with device policies and may also not be compatible with particular types of data requested by the device.

[00064] For example, a device policy of device 102A may be stored at the aforementioned policy server 1 14 associated with connectivity platform 1 12. The plurality of network policies may be compared to determine which is compatible with device 102A.

[00065] After comparing the network policies to determine the at least one network policy compatible with the device, the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy or subset of the network policies is compared to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device. Typically, the optimal network is the network with a network policy compatible with the device and with the highest signal quality to facilitate data transfer between the device and the network. [00066] For example, device 102A may wish to receive multimedia data via a 4G network. Network 106 may be a 3G network, and networks 108 and 1 10 may be 4G networks. In comparing network policies, connectivity platform 1 12 will determine that network 106 does not have a network policy consistent with the needs of device 102A. The at least one network policy in this example will be networks 108 and 1 10 which offer 4G connectivity. Connectivity platform 1 12 then determines a signal quality associated with each of networks 108 and 1 10. If, for example, network 108 has a higher signal quality then network 1 10, then connectivity platform 1 12 will select network 108 as the optimal network for establishing a connection with the device.

[00067] At step 214, connectivity platform 1 12 establishes a connection between the device and a network based on the analysis of the network policy and signal quality of each of the plurality of networks. Connectivity platform establishes a connection between device 102A and an optimal network of the plurality of networks. Selection of the optimal network is discussed above with respect to analysis of the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks. With respect to the example discussed above, connectivity platform 1 12 would establish a connection between device 102A and network 108.

[00068] While connectivity platform 1 12 facilitates establishing connectivity between a network and a device, connectivity platform 1 12 maintains an active role even after connectivity is established. Since connectivity platform 1 12 has access to network policies stored in the policy server 1 14, in the event that a device loses connection with a first network, connectivity platform 1 12 may automatically determine a second network to establish a connection with. For example, if device 102A were to lose connection to network 108, connectivity platform 1 12 would establish a connection with a different network in response to detecting that device 102A and network 108 have lost their connection. In doing so, connectivity platform 1 12 may once again detect available networks, determine network policies and signal qualities of the networks, and select a new optimal network on the basis of analyzing the network policies and signal qualities. Connectivity platform 1 12 may also establish a connection with the second network on the basis of the network policy of the first network. For example, the network policy of network 108 specifies that if a connection were lost with a device, the device should then attempt to connect with network 1 10. Thus, if device 102A loses connection to network 108, connectivity platform 1 12 automatically initiates the establishment of a connection between the device and network 1 10.

[00069] Connectivity platform 1 12 may also facilitate connection transfers from a first network to a second network on a proactive basis. For example, connectivity platform 1 12 may continuously monitor the signal quality between a device and the network it is connected to. Based on the monitoring of the signal quality, connectivity platform 1 12 may determine that the signal quality is insufficient for the data needs of the device or that the signal quality has degraded to a level that no longer supports continued data transfer. At this point, connectivity platform 1 12 may determine a new optimal network or second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device. Once the second network is determined, the connection of the device with the first network is transferred to the second network.

[00070] In a further embodiment, either connectivity platform 1 12 or the device may monitor continuously for signal degradation of a connected network. When a signal has been significantly degraded, connectivity platform 1 12 or the device itself may send a wake-up signal to other transceivers of the device to determine a different network to establish connection with. The various transceivers may be set to wake at predetermined periods of time or set to have predetermined wake-up times to check for signal quality of other accessible networks to assist connectivity platform 1 12 and the device. This gives the device and connectivity platform 1 12 the ability to continuously monitor for networks providing better signal quality and automatic network switching whenever degraded signal quality is detected on a connected network.

[00071] In a further embodiment, connectivity platform 1 12 may use an algorithm to analyze the network policies and signal qualities of the networks which also takes into account various device related factors. These factors may include, but are not limited to: device type, specific radio transceiver availability of the device, geographic location of the device, motion information associated with the device, subscription plan of the device, and device specific policies set by a user of the device. For example, if device 102A is a smartphone that is only 3G enabled and not 4G enabled, in analyzing the network policies and signal qualities of the networks to select an optimal network, connectivity platform 1 12 will exclude from consideration any network policies that require 4G connectivity. In another example, connectivity manager 1 12 may use the geographic location of the device to determine the location of the device. If the smartphone device 102A is Wi-Fi enabled, and the geographic location of device 102A is determined to be in a Wi-Fi zone, connectivity manager 1 12 may automatically select a wi-fi network as the optimal network as opposed to a traditional cellular network to facilitate cost savings for the user of device 102A. In yet another example, when selecting an optimal network, connectivity platform 1 12 may use a device policy associated with the device. The device policy may, for example, dictate that a 3G connection should be used for telephone calls, and a 4G connection used for receiving or transferring multimedia, such as video or audio files. Connectivity platform 1 12, in analyzing the network policies and signal qualities to determine an optimal network, will take the device policy into account and attempt to find a network with 3G connectivity if the device us being used for a telephone call, or a network with 4G connectivity if the device is used for transfer of multimedia. These examples illustrate situations where connectivity platform 1 12 establishes a connection between networks and a device not only on the basis of network policies and signal quality, but also on the basis of a device state taking into account device related factors.

[00072] In a further embodiment, connectivity platform 1 12 may select a

transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network. For example, device 102A may be connected with network 108, which provides 4G connectivity. In order to fully take advantage of the 4G connectivity, connectivity platform 1 12 ensures that the appropriate radio transceiver of device 102A for communicating via 4G is selected.

[00073] As most devices on the market currently have multiple wireless

transceiver radios for communicating with networks, as will future devices, multiple radio transceivers that are continuously searching for a signal is a burden on the battery life of the device. Connectivity platform 1 12 may also handle power management of devices, specifically by handling the power drawn from the radio transceivers. Returning to the aforementioned example, after an appropriate transceiver is selected, connectivity platform 1 12 may transmit an instruction to the device to power down all other radio transceivers that are not associated with the connection between device 102A and network 108. The powered down radio transceivers maintain a reduced power consumption state with the ability to wake and draw full power if connectivity platform 1 12 determines that a different radio transceiver is needed for transmission of data.

[00074] In a further embodiment, connectivity platform 1 12 facilitates for intelligent management of content being uploaded and downloaded. Connectivity platform 1 12 can analyze a request for certain content or content types made by a device and select an optimal network to serve the content to the device.

[00075] In a further embodiment, connectivity platform 1 12 facilitates intelligent management of access to connectivity. Connectivity platform 1 12 may ensure that devices are used by authorized users only. Providing access to broadband services by way of "tethering" one device to another device which is already connected to a broadband network is becoming increasingly common. Tethering may be accomplished using Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Infrared, or any other pairing mechanism for interfacing devices with each other. Connectivity platform 1 12 is adapted to intercept any attempted use of a device for tethering, and verify with a service provider billing system first, before establishing connection to a network, to ensure that usage is authorized and used by subscribers paying for the "tethering" service.

[00076] FIG. 3 illustrates a system including a network connectivity platform and associated components to further illustrate features of the connectivity platform, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Connectivity platform 1 12 may also assist with critical activities associated with devices that are integrated with the normal flow of operations of a mobile operator's network. For example, connectivity platform 1 12 may facilitate device and service activation, updates to pricing plan subscriptions, updates to payment plans, device management and maintenance, and installation of new services to the device. Since a device, such as device 102A communicates with connectivity platform 1 12 through a web browser accessible HTTP user interface, connectivity platfornn 1 12 facilitates seamless communication with any back-office servers associated with a mobile operator's network.

[00077] In an embodiment, device 102A may be a newly purchased smartphone that needs device and service activation. Upon a user powering on device 102A, device 102A automatically establishes a connection with connectivity platform 1 12.

Connectivity platform upon detecting the device state of device 102A (new device requiring activation), will select the appropriate network to establish a connection with device 102A. After the connection between device 102A, and, for example, network 106, is established, connectivity platform 1 12 facilitates all device and service activation steps required so that device 102A is ready for use with an appropriate service plan selected by the user. Connectivity platform 1 12 can determine the necessary

information to complete the device and service activation by accessing back office systems 304 and billing systems 306 of the appropriate network.

[00078] In yet another embodiment, device 102A may be a smartphone in need of device maintenance or a software upgrade. Connectivity platform 1 12, by leveraging access to back office systems 304 and billing systems 306 may automatically deliver the device maintenance payload or software upgrade to device 102A from an

appropriate network. Connectivity platform 1 12 will determine the appropriate network based on the capabilities of the device and facilitate the upgrade or maintenance of the device.

[00079] FIG. 4 illustrates a system including a host computing device which interfaces with the device, an update and policy server, and network in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Core connection control logic may be placed within the core of a device in order to make the connection control logic web accessible. For example, in FIG. 4, device 402 includes a device CM (connectivity manager) 404 that includes core connection control logic. Additional security features may be enabled such that a mobile carrier, device OEM (original equipment manufacturer), or third party remote support personnel can securely access device 402 from a host device 406 without compromising the security of either host device 406. Device 402, due to inclusion of a TCP/IP router 408 and HTTP server 410 allows restricted access to information, status, and device configuration controls while limiting certain other information to facilitate efficient access by host device 406.

[00080] Additionally, having core connection control logic within device CM 404 allows device 402 to leverage capabilities available through Personal Area Networking (PAN) built into the devices. PAN support allows multiple devices with device CMs similar to that of device 402 to discover and combine networking resources when in proximity with each other. By way of example, if device 402 is a laptop, and two other devices, a tablet and handset from the same manufacturer are in proximity, each of the aforementioned devices would be able to discover one another over any shared network, such as 4G, 3G, or Wi-Fi. Once the devices are discovered, they may share any available bandwidth based on a subscriber plan in order to optimize plan usage.

[00081] For example, device 402 establishes a Wi-Fi network connection with a PC, such as host device 406. Device 402 may then share the Ethernet backhaul of the PC based on information exchanged between device 402 and any other devices in proximity having a device CM. As a result, all devices may make more intelligent decisions regarding connectivity and network bandwidth usage.

[00082] Host device 406 includes a limited operating system environment of an embedded operating system to increase the effective security of an operating system operating at host device 406. Host device 406 can manage connectivity of device 402 with various networks, such as network 412, through a browser 414 and connectivity management user interface 416 accessible through browser 414. Host device 406 essentially serves as a WWAN (wireless wide access network) to transfer data between network 412 and device 402.

[00083] Connectivity management user interface 416 operates similarly to connectivity platform 1 12 discussed above. For example, connectivity management user interface 416 establishes a connection between device 402 and network 412 based upon device and network policies stored at update and policy server 418. This may facilitate a situation where device 402 may have "instant" access to network 412 after purchasing a single session pass because connectivity management user interface 416 of host device 406 will automatically determine the network to connect with device 402. Certain content may also be easily restricted by host device 406 without any installation of specialized software and without transmission of any data to network 412. Host device 406 also facilitates switching between multiple radio transceiver

technologies supported by device 402.

[00084] For example, device 402 may be a WWAN card that is inserted or interfaced with host device 406 to facilitate connectivity to a network. Traditionally, when external devices such as WWAN cards are inserted into a host device, a virtual CD-ROM is provided to a user of host device 406. The virtual CD-ROM includes an executable that may be run to perform installation and configuration of device 402, drives associated with device 402, and a corresponding host specific connection manager. In accordance with the embodiments described herein, device 402 may be manufactured to include all components necessary within a web services interface associated with device CM 404. A UPNP (universal plug-and-play) 2.0 compatible client may also be included within deice CM 404 to register all available web based services with host device 406.

[00085] Device 402 may also include connectivity management logic stored within device CM 404 to self manage the power state of the device. Device 402 obtains the ability to enact decisions about its own power status. For example, if device 402 is not currently connected to any network, device 402 may enter a reduced power

consumption state while providing a consistent "low power" state to host device 406. this allows host pc 406 to continue making decisions regarding connectivity through content management user interface 416 via browser 414 as if device 402 were still drawing full power. This is particularly useful if there is more than one device connected with host device 406. Thus, devices may control their own power based on their own data transmission needs. Multiple devices may be connected simultaneously, but only one device need be drawing full power at any given moment.

[00086] A host based packet routing scheme facilitates the use of multiple connections to maintain a power advantage. Traditional packet routing schemes depend on one or more network connections to be connected and active throughout the entire routing session. The connectivity management logic stored within device CM 404 allows that to be a logical requirement only and not a physical requirement. Since device 402 can maximize its own power consumption, when no packets are actively being delivered to a specific device for transmission, that device can reduce its power consumption (or proactively disconnect from the network in certain situations), while continuing to present an active connection to the host device 406. This is possible because the TCP/IP stack 408 which is disconnected is not the same stack that transmits the packets originally. Because the packets are transmitted by the host device 406 and routed through device 402, the packets may be cached while device 402 awakens and restores a network connection.

[00087] Furthermore, web based connection manager user interface instructs may use information from a network cloud 420 including an update and policy server 418 as well as local device data to instruct device 402 on potential network availability and establish connections with a network such as network 412, all without the need to implement a complex driver based 802.2 logical link control system. A component may reside in either a host operating system of host device 406 or within connection manager user interface 416, to instruct the devices, when they are in a powered down state, about possible network availability using information from update and policy server 418 as well as any other devices connected to host device 406.

[00088] The above described methods for device connectivity management may be implemented on a computing device using well-known processors, memory units, storage devices, software, and other components. A high level block diagram of such a computing device is illustrated in FIG. 5. Computing device 502 contains a processor 504 which controls overall operation of computer 502 by executing computer program instructions, which define such operation. The computer program instructions may be stored in a storage device 512, or other computer readable medium and loaded into memory 510 when execution of the computer program instructions is desired. Thus, all method steps described above, including the method steps illustrated in FIG. 2, may be defined by the computer program instructions stored in the memory 510 and/or storage 512 and controlled by the processor 504 executing in the computer program

instructions. The computing device 502 also includes network interfaces 506 for communicating with other devices via a network. The computer 502 also includes other input/output devices 508 that enable user interaction with the computing device 502 (e.g., display, keyboard, mouse, speakers, buttons, etc.). One skilled in the art will recognize that an implementation of an actual computing device may contain other components as well, and that FIG. 5 is a high level representation of some of the components of such a computing device for illustrative purposes. In addition, computing device 502 may also perform other functionalities, such as those described above in connection with FIGS. 1 through 4.

[00089] The foregoing Detailed Description is to be understood as being in every respect illustrative and exemplary, but not restrictive, and the scope of the invention disclosed herein is not to be determined from the Detailed Description, but rather from the claims as interpreted according to the full breadth permitted by patent law. It is to be understood that the embodiments show and described herein are only illustrative of the principles of the present invention and that various modifications may be

implemented by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Those skilled in the art could implement various other feature combinations without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.

Claims

Claim 1 . A method for establishing network connectivity with a device, comprising: detecting, by a connectivity platform, a plurality of networks;
determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks;
determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks;
analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks; and
establishing a connection between the device and a first network of the plurality of networks based on the analyzing.
Claim 2. The method of claim 1 , wherein detecting a plurality of networks comprises:
detecting a plurality of networks capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.
Claim 3. The method of claim 1 , wherein determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
receiving the network policy of each of the plurality of networks from a policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.
Claim 4. The method of claim 1 , wherein determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
receiving signal quality data associated with each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.
Claim 5. The method of claim 1 , wherein analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
comparing the network policies of each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device; and comparing the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device.
Claim 6. The method of claim 5, wherein the optimal network is the first network.
Claim 7. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:
establishing a connection between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network.
Claim 8. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:
determining a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer; and
transferring the connection of the device from the first network to the second network.
Claim 9. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:
selecting a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network; and
transmitting an instruction to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.
Claim 10. The method of claim 1 , wherein the connectivity platform is accessed by a device via an HTTP accessible user interface.
Claim 1 1 . The method of claim 1 , wherein the device is associated with a device policy, and further comprising:
transmitting an instruction to the device to override the device policy and use the network policy of the first network.
Claim 12. The method of claim 1 , wherein analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
determining at least one policy implementation factor of the device; and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.
Claim 13. The method of claim 1 , wherein analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
determining a device state of the device; and
selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.
Claim 14. The method of claim 1 , wherein analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks comprises:
analyzing content being transmitted to or being requested by the device; and selecting an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.
Claim 15. A system for establishing network connectivity with a device, comprising: a policy server storing network policies associated with a plurality of networks and a device policy associated with the device;
a connectivity platform configured to:
detect the plurality of networks;
determine the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks from the policy server;
determine a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks; analyze the network polices associated with each of the plurality of networks and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks; and
establish a connection between the device and a first network of the plurality of networks.
Claim 16. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is configured to detect the plurality of networks which are capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.
Claim 17. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
receive the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks from the policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.
Claim 18. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
receive the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.
Claim 19. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
compare the network policies associated with each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device; and
compare the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device.
Claim 20. The system of claim 19, wherein the optimal network is the first network.
Claim 21 . The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
establish a connection between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network.
Claim 22. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
determine a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer; and
transfer the connection of the device from the first network to the second network.
Claim 23. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
select a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network; and
transmit an instruction to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.
Claim 24. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is accessed by the device via an HTTP accessible user interface.
Claim 25. The system of claim 15, wherein the device is associated with a device policy; and wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
transmit an instruction to the device to override the device policy and use the network policy of the first network.
Claim 26. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
determine at least one policy implementation factor of the device; and
select an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.
Claim 27. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
determine a device state of the device; and
select an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.
Claim 28. The system of claim 15, wherein the connectivity platform is further configured to:
analyze content being transmitted to or being requested by the device; and select an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.
Claim 29. A computer readable medium encoded with computer program
instructions for establishing network connectivity of a device, the computer program instructions when executed by a processor, causing the processor to perform steps comprising:
detecting a plurality of networks;
determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks;
determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks;
analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks; and
establishing a connection between the device and a first network of the plurality of networks based on the analyzing.
Claim 30. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of detecting a plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising:
detecting a plurality of networks capable of establishing a connection with the device using at least one transceiver of the device.
Claim 31 . The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising:
receiving the network policy of each of the plurality of networks from a policy server via a push policy based on the device being active.
Claim 32. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the step comprising:
receiving signal quality data associated with each of the plurality of networks in response to a pull policy of the device.
Claim 33. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising:
comparing the network policies of each of the plurality of networks to determine at least one network policy compatible with the device; and
comparing the signal quality of each of the at least one network policy to determine an optimal network for establishing a connection with the device.
Claim 34. The computer readable medium of claim 33, wherein the optimal network is the first network.
Claim 35. The computer readable medium of claim 29, further comprising computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising: establishing a connection between the device and a second network of the plurality of networks in response to the device losing the connection to the first network.
Claim 36. The computer readable medium of claim 29, further comprising computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the steps comprising:
determining a second network of the plurality of networks to establish a connection with the device in response to determining that the connection with the first network is insufficient to support continued data transfer; and
transferring the connection of the device from the first network to the second network.
Claim 37. The computer readable medium of claim 29, further comprising computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the steps comprising:
selecting a transceiver of a plurality of transceivers of the device to establish the connection between the device and the first network; and
transmitting an instruction to the device to power down transceivers not associated with the connection between the device and the first network.
Claim 38. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the connectivity platform is accessed by a device via an HTTP accessible user interface.
Claim 39. The computer readable medium of claim 29, further comprising computer program instructions when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the step comprising:
transmitting an instruction to the device to override a device policy associated with the device and use the network policy of the first network.
Claim 40. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising:
determining at least one policy implementation factor of the device; and selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the at least one policy implementation factor.
Claim 41 . The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising:
determining a device state of the device; and
selecting an optimal network for connection with the device based on the device state.
Claim 42. The computer readable medium of claim 29, wherein the computer program instructions causing the processor to perform the step of analyzing the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks, further causes the processor to perform the steps comprising:
analyzing content being transmitted to or being requested by the device; and selecting an optimal network for the content based on the network policy and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks.
Claim 43. A method for establishing network connectivity with a device, comprising: detecting, by a connectivity platform, a plurality of networks;
determining a network policy of each of the plurality of networks;
determining a signal quality of each of the plurality of networks;
establishing a plurality of connections between the device and the plurality of networks; terminating all except one of the plurality of connections between the device and the plurality of networks.
Claim 44. The method of claim 43, wherein terminating all except one of the plurality of connections between the device and the plurality of networks comprises:
determining based on the network policy of each of the plurality of networks and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks which one of the plurality of networks is most capable for data to be transmitted or requested from the device.
Claim 45. The method of claim 43, wherein terminating all except one of the plurality of connections between the device and the plurality of networks comprises:
determining based on the network policy of each of the plurality of networks and the signal quality of each of the plurality of networks which one of the plurality of networks offers a highest data throughput rate.
Claim 46. The method of claim 43, further comprising:
detecting a signal degradation in the one connection that has not been terminated;
transmitting a wake-up signal to a plurality of transceivers to wake and determine signal quality with respective networks capable of connecting with the plurality of transceivers;
based on the determined signal quality, selecting a new network for connection.
Claim 47. The method of claim 46, wherein selecting a new network for connection is based upon which signal quality is best suited for data transmitted or requested by the device.
Claim 48. The method of claim 46, wherein selecting a new network for connection is based upon which signal quality offers the highest data throughput signal.
Claim 49. The method of claim 43, wherein each of the transceivers is set to wake- up at a predetermined time to check signal quality with at least one of the plurality of networks.
PCT/US2012/023312 2011-01-31 2012-01-31 System and method for host and os agnostic management of connected devices through network controlled state alteration WO2012106330A1 (en)

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