News Column

Patent Issued for Mobile User Tracking and Application Monitoring across an IuPS Interface

February 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Liubinskas, Tauras (Wilmore, KY); Saraswati, Abhishek (Santa Clara, CA); Thompson, Ted (Boston, MA); Appana, Sudhir (Santa Clara, CA); Banach, Antoni (San Jose, CA), filed on June 20, 2012, was published online on February 4, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8644762, is NetScout Systems, Inc. (Westford, MA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As internet protocol (IP) based networks continue to evolve, an increasing amount of voice and video media traffic is transported. An important functionality of these networks is the transmission of audio and video data using the Real Time Transport (RTP) protocol. RTP is connectionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP) based, and lacks some of the performance management capabilities of connection oriented Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Without the performance management provided by TCP, UDP traffic is vulnerable to network anomalies making accurate classification and monitoring of RTP difficult."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Mobile users move around from cell site or service area to cell site or service area, routing area to routing area, location to location and back again. Tracking a specific user within a specific connection session requires correlating user identification information (globally assigned to the user upon purchase of equipment, for example, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) or temporarily assigned by the mobile networking equipment) taken from packets as a user moves about.

"Tracking user identification information allows monitoring equipment to track users on a IuPS (packet switched interface) as they move from cell site to cell site connecting through different Radio Network Controllers (RNCs) and Serving General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Support Node (SGSNs). During monitoring, user specific data will be tracked to provide mobile service providers with usage information including responsiveness errors and alarms in a routing area or location area, usage, responsiveness in alarms per cell site, and usage, responsiveness and alarms per user. Additional standard information may be tracked per routing area, cell site or user. In addition, in one embodiment, a mobile service provider or application monitor which cell sites a user's device has connected to and packets transmitted to and from a user's device during a session.

"It should be noted that the usage, responsiveness and the errors/alarms can be monitored for IuPS based control messages utilizing Radio Access Network Application Part (RANAP) protocol and GPRS Mobility Management (GMM) as well as application data Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), etc over GPRS Tunneling Protocol U (GTP-U) frames between the RNC and SGSN or RNC and Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) when direct tunneling is involved. In addition, a user device may be tracked without available initial control information.

"The disclosed system and method provide a mobile service provider significant insight into activity at a cell level or service area all the way up to the specific network equipment, e.g., SGSN. In addition, because the user is tracked down to the cell level or service area through monitoring an IuPS interface, the mobile service provider can recreate or simulate user sessions to help troubleshoot problems reported by the user as well as understand what the user is experiencing. In addition, a virtual interface may be utilized to provide an interface for a plurality of routing and location areas. This allows a mobile service provider to view statistics, including usage and response times, based on routing area. The service area information can be available in different upstream packets at the RANAP level so that tables can be maintained on a service area basis as well.

"The features and advantages described in the specification are not all inclusive and, in particular, many additional features and advantages will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in view of the drawings, specification, and claims. Moreover, it should be noted that the language used in the specification has been principally selected for readability and instructional purposes, and may not have been selected to delineate or circumscribe the inventive subject matter."

For more information, see this patent: Liubinskas, Tauras; Saraswati, Abhishek; Thompson, Ted; Appana, Sudhir; Banach, Antoni. Mobile User Tracking and Application Monitoring across an IuPS Interface. U.S. Patent Number 8644762, filed June 20, 2012, and published online on February 4, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=38&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1863&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140204.PD.&OS=ISD/20140204&RS=ISD/20140204

Keywords for this news article include: NetScout Systems Inc.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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