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Patent Issued for Devices, Systems and Methods for SMS-Based Location Querying

March 5, 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 McNamara, Justin Michael Anthony (Atlanta, GA); Davis, III, John Potts (Marietta, GA); Rector, Jay Daryl (Loganville, GA), filed on March 4, 2013, was published online on February 18, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8655317, is AT&T Mobility II LLC (Atlanta, GA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to mobile communication networks. More particularly, the present invention relates to providing a GPS location for a mobile communication device.

"Mobile communication devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Cellular transceivers can be found in several portable and fixed devices that can further communicate over other types of networks. Moreover, increasing numbers of mobile communication devices are being equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to enable a device to determine a geographical position or location. The location can be determined solely by the device (standalone GPS) or by using assistance data provided by the network (assisted or A-GPS). This has paved the path for introducing several location-based services.

"Today, location determination over a mobile network can be performed using generally two different methods of communication. Control Plane A-GPS uses traditional call signaling over the Radio Access Network (RAN) as the bearer path for all A-GPS messaging between the mobile device and the network. This typically includes a request for and a return of the location of the mobile communication device, as well as any GPS assistance data that is exchanged. Several problems exist with control plane A-GPS, such as excessive network radio resource consumption, requirement of several data conversions and protocols, etc.

"More recently, the User Plane has been employed for location determination. User Plane A-GPS uses a wireless data connection as the bearer path for all A-GPS messaging between the mobile device and the network. Again, this typically includes the request for and the return of the location of the device, as well as any GPS assistance data that is exchanged. Advantages to this system are that the data connection is ideal for a back-and-forth exchange of different types of location and assistance information.

"However, not all mobile communication devices on the market today are able to communicate across the user plane. Particularly, with respect to proprietary programming on certain devices, based on a contractual deal between a device manufacturer and a network operator, some devices are simply not programmed with the ability to receive assistance data via a Secure User Plane Location (SUPL).

"Therefore, what is needed is an alternative technique for providing a location of a mobile communication device."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention addresses the above-identified problems by providing devices, systems, and methods for determining a position of a mobile communication device by communicating with the device via a Short Messaging System (SMS). A location server on the network receives a query for a location of the device, and attempts to connect to the device via the user plane. If the user plane query is unsuccessful, or if the location server determines by referring to a database that the particular device is unable to communicate across the user plane, then an SMS mechanism is invoked. The location query is submitted to an SMS center, which formats a first SMS message for delivery to the device. The first SMS message is delivered to a designated SMS port on the device. A location logic on the device receives the SMS via the SMS port, extracts the location query, and attempts to calculate a location from received satellite signals. The calculated location is submitted back to the SMS server, either to be forwarded to the location server, or to a network element or device that generated the location query in the first place. Assistance data may additionally be delivered to the mobile communication device via the SMS port.

"In one exemplary embodiment, the present invention is a mobile communication device on a network, the mobile communication device including a processor, a memory in communication with the processor, a transceiver in communication with the processor, a GPS receiver in communication with the processor, and a location logic on the memory. The location logic receives a first short message service (SMS) message from the network via the transceiver, extracts a location query from the first SMS message, retrieves a GPS signal from a GPS satellite, calculates a location for the mobile communication device, and transmits the location to the network via a second SMS message.

"In another exemplary embodiment, the present invention is a system for determining a location of a mobile communication device on a network, the system including a mobile communication device having a GPS receiver, an SMS center in communication with the mobile communication device across the network, a location server in communication with the SMS center, and a GPS satellite in communication with the GPS receiver. A location logic on the mobile communication device receives a first SMS message from the SMS center at a specified SMS port on the mobile communication device, extracts a location query from the first SMS message, retrieves a GPS signal from the GPS satellite, calculates a location for the mobile communication device, and transmits the location to the network via a second SMS message

"In yet another embodiment, the present invention is a method for determining a location of a mobile communication device on a network, the method including receiving a first Short Message Service (SMS) message from the network, extracting a location query from the first SMS message, retrieving a GPS signal from a GPS satellite, calculating a location for the mobile communication device, and transmitting the location to the network via a second SMS message."

For more information, see this patent: McNamara, Justin Michael Anthony; Davis, III, John Potts; Rector, Jay Daryl. Devices, Systems and Methods for SMS-Based Location Querying. U.S. Patent Number 8655317, filed March 4, 2013, and published online on February 18, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=35&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1703&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140218.PD.&OS=ISD/20140218&RS=ISD/20140218

Keywords for this news article include: Industry, AT&T Mobility II LLC, Technology Companies, Wireless Communication Companies.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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