The assignee for this patent application is Vonage Network Llc.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was originally developed as a rudimentary 'one to one' communication system. That is, it is best suited for connecting a first calling party to a second called party based solely upon the identifying information associated with the called party (i.e., a destination or called telephone number). As the number of PSTN users increased, so did the need for enhanced communication abilities and features such as conference calling, providing communications to multiple users at a single location (i.e., Private
"Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technological development in the field of telecommunications that is utilized to transmit voice conversations over a data network using the Internet Protocol (IP) rather than the dedicated PSTN network. Entities (either businesses or individuals) use VoIP by purchasing and installing a minimal amount equipment (a Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) device) to access a VoIP service provider and subscribing to this telecommunication service. After the VoIP service has been subscribed to and depending on the level of service requested, an entity can make phone calls to other VoIP subscribers or to PSTN customers and access a number of features associated with the VoIP service at a reduced cost than that of the PSTN. However in every instance described above, a party must subscribe to a communication provider to gain access to the features, devices and privileges offered. A party usually finds himself having to subscribe to multiple services and obtain multiple devices to gain access to all possible modes of communication and content that is desired. There has been no advancement in exploiting the benefits of VoIP services by those who have previously only been subscribers of PSTN/mobile services and desire to maintain their current PSTN-based mobile devices (e.g., smartphones).
"Therefore, there is need in the art for the ability to access features of one type of communication provider via another without having to obtain a new device and other related ancillary administrative steps."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the subject invention comprise a method and apparatus for gaining access to communication services. According to some embodiments of the subject invention, the method comprises receiving an initial inquiry for communication service access, collecting equipment information based upon the initial inquiry, sending a non-voice communication to said equipment and receiving a request from said equipment to obtain communication service access.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
"So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.
"It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
"FIG. 1 depicts a series of method steps for allowing new subscribers of VoIP-based communication services access to VoIP-based telephony features in accordance with the subject invention;
"FIG. 2 depicts a schematic diagram of a controller that may be used to practice one or more embodiments of the present invention; and
"FIG. 3 depicts a system level diagram of network components that interact with each other to allow for new subscriber access of telephony features in accordance with the subject invention.
"To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical elements that are common to the figures."
For more information, see this patent application: Riley, John; Ma, Kevin; Smires, Daniel T. Method and Apparatus for New Subscriber Access to Telephony Features. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Telecommunications, Vonage Network Llc.
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