The patent's inventors are Miller, Deborah (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "A phone can make and receive telephone calls to and from the public telephone network. It does this by connecting to a network provided by a network operator. The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the network of the world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. The PSTN includes telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all inter-connected by switching centers, thus allowing any telephone in the world to communicate with any other. Originally the PSTN was implemented as a network of fixed-line analog telephone systems. However, the PSTN is now almost entirely digital in its core and includes mobile as well as fixed telephones.
"In addition to telephony, modern mobile phones also support a wide variety of other services such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, gaming and photography. Mobile phones that offer these more general computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones.
"Some types of calls are not charged, such as local calls (and Internal calls) dialed directly by a telephone subscriber. In other areas, all telephone calls are charged a fee for the connection. Fees depend on the provider of the service, the type of service being used, i.e., the subscriber's service plan, and the distance between the calling and the called parties. In some circumstances, the caller pays a flat rate charge for the telephone connection and does not pay any additional charge for all calls made.
"Many popular mobile telephone plans allow free in-network calling, free mobile-to-mobile calling, free mobile-to-mobile texting, or other discounts based on whether or not the other party one is communicating with is using a mobile phone or whether the other party is using a specific carrier. Discounts may apply to inbound communication, outbound communication, or other criteria.
"Currently, the only way to take full advantage of carrier-based discounts such as free mobile-to-mobile, etc. is to either specifically ask all the people one converses with for their phone carrier information or to carefully comb through one's monthly bill to see which numbers qualified under the calling program and remember those for the future. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward method a customer can use to determine whether the person they are communicating with is on a mobile phone or what carrier it is on, hence it is difficult to take full advantage of some calling discounts."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "To overcome the limitations described above, and to overcome other limitations that will become apparent upon reading and understanding the present specification, embodiments for providing carrier network determination to deliver real-time customer feedback of call information are disclosed.
"The above-described problems are solved by utilizing well-known databases that map individual phone numbers to the carrier currently servicing that number and lookup the carrier information for the other party during each call. This information may be displayed on the customer's handset device. Furthermore, this called party network carrier information could be used in conjunction with information about the calling party's rate plan to display the actual cost status of the call on the customer's handset.
"An embodiment includes a method for providing real-time feedback of call information. The method includes receiving an indication of initiation of a call at a first communication device, routing information associated with the initiated call to a look-up rating system having access to databases for obtaining look-up rating information, determining a cost of the initiated call based on the obtained look-up rating information and passing the determined cost and associated call information to the first communication device for presenting the determined cost and associated call information at the first communication device.
"In another embodiment, a look-up rating system for providing real-time feedback of call information is disclosed. The look-up rating system includes at least one database for storing information associated with carriers involved with an initiated call, information associated with a service plan associated with devices involved with the initiated call, and parameters associated with the service plan associated with devices involved with the initiated call, a mobile switch for receiving an indication of initiation of a call at a first communication device, the mobile switch further configured for performing call routing for supporting call connections, and a look-up rating system, coupled to the at least one database and the mobile switch, the look-up rating system receiving routing information associated with the initiated call, obtaining from the at least one database look-up rating information associated with the initiated call and determining a cost of the initiated call based on the obtained look-up rating information, wherein the look-up rating system provides the determined cost and associated call information to the mobile switch for routing to the first communication device for presentation of the determined cost and associated call information at the first communication device.
"In another embodiment, a communication device configured for receiving real-time feedback of call information is disclosed. The communication device includes memory for storing data, a processor, coupled to the memory, for providing communication operation functions, and a display, operative coupled to the processor, the display provided for presenting information to a user for enabling execution of communication operation functions, wherein the processor provides an indication of initiation of a call and receives cost and associated call information, the processor presenting the received determined cost and associated call information on the display, the cost and associated call information being based on information associated with carriers involved with the initiated call, information associated with a service plan associated with the communication device and parameters associated with the service plan subscribed to by the communication device.
"In another embodiment, a computer readable medium including executable instructions which, when executed by a processor, provides real-time feedback of call information is disclosed. The executable instructions provide real-time feedback of call information by receiving an indication of initiation of a call at a first communication device, routing information associated with the initiated call to a look-up rating system having access to databases for obtaining look-up rating information, determining a cost of the initiated call based on the obtained look-up rating information and passing the determined cost and associated call information to the first communication device for presenting the determined cost and associated call information at the first communication device.
"These and various other advantages and features of novelty are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the disclosed embodiments, the advantages, and the objects obtained, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated and described specific examples of the disclosed embodiments."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Miller, Deborah; Gravino,
Keywords for this news article include: Telecommunications.
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