News Column

Patent Application Titled "A System and Method for Using Ad Hoc Networks in Cooperation with Service Provider Networks" Published Online

January 30, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors CHEN, John Anthony (Ashburn, VA); Filippi, Geoff (Ashburn, VA); Gould, Kenneth (Reston, VA); Coughlin, Brian (Reston, VA), filed on September 9, 2013, was made available online on January 16, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Time Warner Cable Enterprises Llc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Internet access has advanced from the early dialup system to take advantage of improving wired and wireless technologies. High capacity data networks are currently offered over cable, fiber connections, and wireless networks. For example, cellular systems operate 30 and 40 networks that utilize new and efficient protocols, such as Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN) among others to provide increasing bandwidth and coverage.

"These improvements in throughput are, however, being matched by increasing demand for services such as audio and video streaming, Internet protocol (IP) television, and games that use the IP to provide significant volumes of data at the highest rates possible. The current standards for multimedia streaming, such as Microsoft Adaptive/Smooth streaming and Apple's HTTP Live Streaming, require additional power and bandwidth for each stream.

"The challenge for IP service providers is to deliver as many services and to support as many customers as possible at a competitive price. The price to the subscriber of an IP service is directly related to the investment in infrastructure needed to provide a satisfactory and competitive service.

"Wired network access devices may be configured to access bandwidth that is provided by the wired service provider and wireless bandwidth that is provided by a wireless service provider or that is more generally accessible and relatively inexpensive or free (a wired device with this capability may be referred to herein as a 'wired multi-network device'). Wireless devices are increasingly able to access bandwidth that is provided by the wireless service provider and other wireless bandwidth that is relatively inexpensive or free (a wireless device with this capability may be referred to herein as a 'wireless multi-network device').

"The most prevalent protocol currently used to provide the non-service provider wireless connectivity is 'WiFi.' A multi-network device (wired or wireless) may communicate over one or more service provider networks (wired or wireless) and over wireless access points that may be located in homes, offices or at so-called 'hotspots.' When connecting to an access point, the multi-network device is in an 'infrastructure mode.'

"Multi-network devices may also have the ability to communicate directly with each other or with a group of devices. This mode of communication is referred to as 'ad-hoc' or 'peer-to-peer' mode. For example, a group of WiFi devices may form a 'mesh' network or a 'peer-to-peer' network. In this mode, there is no master base station or access point.

"For wireless multi-network devices, the WiFi capability provides an alternative network connection when the device is near a WiFi access point (AP) to off-load the mobile network traffic from the relatively more expensive wireless service provider network. However, the off-loading of network traffic from the wireless service provider does little to improve the overall throughput of the service provider network in the face of demands for large data files."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments are directed to using peers to provide additional bandwidth for the communication of a data.

"In an embodiment, multi-network devices communicate with each other as peers while each accesses a service provider network. The multi-network devices each receive the same real-time multimedia stream, be it broadcast or unicast, while sharing stream parity information. The peers may take corrective action to maintain uninterrupted playback of the real-time multimedia stream with no or minimal loss in perceived quality.

"In another embodiment, the peers may cooperate to facilitate bandwidth and power optimization, fast channel switching, and real-time mobile traffic and network analysis, displays and alerts.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device in communication with a service provider via a service provider network and in communication with other peer devices according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device receiving a data stream in cooperation with other peer devices according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device utilizing connectivity with an ad hoc network to notify a network server provider of the unavailability of a link according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram illustrating the use of an ad hoc network to conserve bandwidth and power usage of a service provider network according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device utilizing connectivity with an ad hoc network to deliver both standard and high-definition video content according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating a video stream multiplexing architecture to provide fast channel switching for video content according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 7A is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device utilizing connectivity with an ad hoc network to locate a mobile device according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 7B is a diagram illustrating variables useful in determining the location of a device from data received from other devices.

"FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device utilizing connectivity with an ad hoc network to provide real-time peer assisted mobile traffic analysis and alerts according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating a central record keeping authority for logging exchanges of data among peers according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 10 is a block diagram illustrating a multi-network device utilizing connectivity with an ad hoc network to provide real-time peer assisted wireless network coverage analysis and alerts according to an embodiment.

"FIG. 11 is a component block diagram illustrating a computing device suitable for use in the various embodiments.

"FIG. 12 is a component block diagram illustrating another computing device suitable for use in the various embodiments."

For more information, see this patent application: CHEN, John Anthony; Filippi, Geoff; Gould, Kenneth; Coughlin, Brian. A System and Method for Using Ad Hoc Networks in Cooperation with Service Provider Networks. Filed September 9, 2013 and posted January 16, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3311&p=67&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140109.PD.&OS=PD/20140109&RS=PD/20140109

Keywords for this news article include: Time Warner Cable Enterprises Llc.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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