News Column

Patent Issued for Prepaid Multi-Line Plan Infrastructure and Methods

February 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- A patent by the inventors Gailloux, Michael A. (Overland Park, KS); Raaf, Kenneth J. (Laguna Niguel, CA); Samson, Kenneth W. (Belton, MO), filed on May 31, 2011, was published online on February 4, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8645238 is assigned to Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Overland Park, KS).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Mobile telephones are electronic devices used for mobile voice or data communication based on network connectivity provided by base stations known as cell towers or sites. A prepaid mobile phone is a mobile phone for which credit is purchased in advance of service use. The purchased credit is used to pay for mobile phone services at the point the service is accessed or consumed. If there is no available credit then access to the requested service is denied by the mobile phone network. Users are able to purchase additional credit and have it assigned to their prepaid account at any time."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In an embodiment, a system is disclosed. The system comprises a processor, a memory, and an application stored in the memory. When executed by the processor, the application determines a consolidated cycle date for a master prepaid account where a cycle date comprises the first day of usage periods for prepaid accounts and where payments for prepaid accounts are due on cycle dates. The application determines that a first prepaid account is associated with a first cycle date for a first usage period and a second prepaid account is associated with a second cycle date for a second usage period where the first cycle date, the second cycle date, and the consolidated cycle date differ from each other. A first prorated amount is determined by multiplying a first fraction times a first periodic payment associated with the first usage period of the first prepaid account where the first fraction comprises a remaining fraction of a current first usage period. A second prorated amount is determined by multiplying a second fraction times a second periodic payment associated with the second usage period of the second prepaid account and where the second fraction comprises a remaining fraction of a current second usage period. The first prorated amount is added to the second prorated amount to determine a first credit. Individual billing is discontinued for the first prepaid account and second prepaid account. The first credit is applied to a first master payment amount payable on the consolidated cycle date under the master prepaid account.

"In an embodiment, a processor implemented method is disclosed. The method comprises creating a master account for consolidation of a first prepaid account and a second prepaid account. The first prepaid account is associated with a first cycle date were the first cycle date is the first day of a first usage period of the first prepaid account. The second prepaid account is associated with a second cycle date where the second cycle date is the first day of a second usage period of the second prepaid account and where the second cycle date differs from the first cycle date. A first prorated amount is determined by multiplying a first fraction times a first periodic payment associated with the first usage period where the first fraction is calculated by dividing a first quantity of days from a first closing date of the first account to the end of the current first usage period by first total number of days in the first usage period. A second prorated amount is determined by multiplying a second fraction times a second periodic payment associated with the second usage period where the second fraction is calculated by dividing a second quantity of days from a second closing date of the second account to the end of the current second usage period by second total number of days in the first usage period, and where the sum of the second prorated amount and the first prorated amount comprises a third credit. The first closing date and the second closing date are determined based on maximizing the third credit where the first closing date, the second closing date, and a third cycle date fall on the same day, where the master account is started and the first prepaid account and the second prepaid account are closed and consolidated into the master account on the third cycle date.

"In an embodiment, a processor implemented method is disclosed. The method comprises receiving a request to change a first cycle of a first prepaid account and a second cycle of a second prepaid account to a third cycle of a third postpaid account where payment for services provided under the first prepaid account and the second prepaid account is henceforth to be made on a postpaid basis under the third postpaid account. A first prorated amount is determined associated with the first prepaid account comprising applying a first daily rate to a first quantity of days from the end of a current first usage period of the first prepaid account to the next payment date of the third postpaid account where the first daily rate is determined by dividing a first periodic prepaid amount paid at the beginning of the first usage period by the quantity of days in the first usage period. A second prorated amount is determined associated with the second prepaid account comprising applying a second daily rate to a second quantity of days from the end of a current second usage period of the second prepaid account to the next payment date of the third postpaid account where the second daily rate is determined by dividing a second periodic prepaid amount paid at the beginning of the second usage period by the quantity of days in the second usage period. A first top-up amount is determined comprising the sum of the first prorated amount and the second prorated amount. The first top-up amount is added to the next due payment of the third postpaid account. Billing of the first prepaid account and the second prepaid account is discontinued. The first periodic prepaid amount and the second periodic prepaid amount is added to the payment amount of the third postpaid account following the next due payment of the third postpaid account and succeeding payments of the third postpaid account.

"These and other features will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Gailloux, Michael A.; Raaf, Kenneth J.; Samson, Kenneth W.. Prepaid Multi-Line Plan Infrastructure and Methods. U.S. Patent Number 8645238, filed May 31, 2011, and published online on February 4, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=28&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1390&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140204.PD.&OS=ISD/20140204&RS=ISD/20140204

Keywords for this news article include: Sprint Communications Company L.P.

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Source: Telecommunications Weekly


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