Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2871249 Summary

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(12) Patent Application: (11) CA 2871249
(54) English Title: ALL-DATA MOBILE SUBSCRIBER SYSTEM AND METHOD, AMD MOBILE SMARTPHONE-OVER-DATA DEVICE AND COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED ENVIRONMENT THEREFOR
(54) French Title: SYSTEME D'ABONNE MOBILE TOUT DONNEES ET METHODE, ET DISPOSITIF DE TELEPHONE INTELLIGENT-DONNEES MOBILE ET ENVIRONNEMENT INFORMATIQUE ASSOCIE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • H04W 4/24 (2018.01)
  • H04W 4/26 (2009.01)
  • H04W 4/00 (2009.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • LALIBERTE, BENOIT (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • INVESTEL CAPITAL CORPORATION (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • INVESTEL CAPITAL CORPORATION (Canada)
(74) Agent:
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued:
(22) Filed Date: 2014-11-10
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2016-05-10
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract


Described are various embodiments of an all-data mobile subscriber system and
method,
and mobile smartphone-over-data device and computer-implemented environment
therefor. In some embodiments, a subscriber to a mobile network may gain
access to both
telephony-over-data (e.g. voice and/or SMS) and other traditionally data-based
services
over a combined all-data mobile subscription package via a virtualized
smartphone-over-data
application executed on their mobile device and interfacing through a same
data
network access point to access all network data services and communications.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:
1. A mobile subscriber system comprising:
a mobile data network access point;
a server accessible via said data network access point and operable to execute
a
telephony-over-IP application;
a thin client application executable on each subscriber's mobile communication

device to interface with said telephony-over-data application via said mobile
data
network access point; and
a subscriber account database tracking data consumption by each said
subscriber
interfacing with said telephony-over-IP application via respective executions
of said thin
client application, against a respective all-data mobile subscription account
associated
with each said subscriber.
2. The mobile subscriber system of claim 1 , wherein said telephony-over-
data
application includes a voice-over-data function and a SMS-over-data function,
wherein
said subscriber account database independently tracks data consumption
associated with
each of said voice-over-data function and said SMS-over-data function.
3. The mobile subscriber system of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein said
subscriber
account database further independently tracks data consumption associated with
a Web-
based function implemented via said mobile data network access point.
4. The mobile subscriber system of claim 3, wherein said thin client
application is
further executable to access a current data consumption metric relative to an
overall data
consumption allocation.

37

5. The mobile subscriber system of claim 4, wherein said current data
consumption
metric is subdivided into respective data consumption metrics for voice-over-
data usage,
SMS-over-data usage and Web-based usage.
6. The mobile subscriber system of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein said
thin client
application is further executable by a first subscriber associated with a
first all-data
mobile subscription account to transfer a data consumption allocation quantum
to a
second subscriber associated with a second mobile subscription account.

38

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02871249 2014-11-10
ALL-DATA MOBILE SUBSCRIBER SYSTEM AND METHOD, AND MOBILE
SMARTPHONE-OVER-DATA DEVICE AND COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED
ENVIRONMENT THEREFOR
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
100011 The present disclosure relates to mobile communications, and in
particular, to
an all-data mobile subscriber system and method, and mobile smartphone-over-
data
device and computer-implemented environment therefor.
BACKGROUND
[0002] Mobile communication services are regulated in most jurisdictions
and rely on
a selection of regulated mobile service providers and network operators to
deliver various
mobile telephony and data services, such as mobile telephone services
including
voicemail, call forwarding, conference calls, call transfers and the like;
texting or
messaging services such as SMS (Short Message Service), EMS (Extended Message
Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service); and data services including
Internet
browsing access, e-mail, Webmail, social media applications, content sharing
platforms,
etc.
[0003] Generally, each mobile communication device, which may range from
the
most basic mobile telephony cellphone (e.g. SMS, voice), to the more advanced
smartphone or tablet (e.g. text and multimedia messaging, Internet browsing
and data
sharing platforms/applications, mobile telephony, camera, video, BluetoothTm
connectivity, Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity, etc.), will
interface with
and share voice, text and/or multimedia data over a mobile communication
network (e.g.
a cellular network encompassing both a circuit switched network for voice and
SMS and
a packet switched network for multimedia data) owned and operated by a mobile
network
operator (MNO), also known as a wireless service provider, wireless carrier,
cellular
company, or mobile network carrier. Generally, the MNO is a provider of
wireless
communication services that owns or controls all the elements necessary to
sell and
deliver services to an end user including radio spectrum allocation, wireless
network
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infrastructure, back haul infrastructure, billing, customer care, etc. Each
MNO will also
generally own or control access to a radio spectrum license from a regulatory
or
government entity, and own or control the elements of the network
infrastructure
necessary to provide services to subscribers over the licensed spectrum.
Cellphone users
may also interface with a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), or Mobile
Other
Licensed Operator (MOLO) that does not own the wireless network infrastructure
over
which it provides services to its customers, but that has entered into a
business agreement
with an MNO to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates (e.g.
to make
use of an underused network infrastructure), and set retail prices
independently. The
MVNO may use its own customer service, billing support systems, marketing and
sales
personnel or it may employ the services of a mobile virtual network enabler or
the like.
The MVNO may in some cases seek to market an alternative brand of services,
packages
and/or prices to possibly target an undermarketed share of potential or
current mobile
users in a given area, while using the existing infrastructure provided by the
MNO.
[0004] In general, most MNOs and MVNOs will be involved in the retailing of
mobile communication devices (cellular phones, smartphones, tablets and other
cell-
enabled communication devices) loaded with an operator and user-specific
subscriber
identity or identification module or SIM card for GSM-network enabled devices,
a
removable user identity module or R-U1M card for use on CDMA networks, a
universal
integrated circuit card or UICC for use on UMTS networks, and the like, as
readily
known in the art. For simplicity, focus will be made here on GSM-enabled
devices
common in North America and other parts of the world, though similarities and
equivalents will be naturally known to the skilled artisan in considering
devices and
applications relying on other wireless network standards.
100051 A SIM card basically consists of an integrated circuit that securely
stores the
international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and the related key (Ki) used
to identify
and authenticate subscribers on mobile communication devices. A SIM card also
stores
its unique serial number or integrated circuit card identifier (ICCID),
temporary
information related to the local network (routinely exchanged with the
Location Area
Identity (LAI), a list of the services the user has access to and two
passwords: a personal
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identification number (PIN) for ordinary use and a personal unblocking code
(PUK) for
PIN unlocking. Some operators will lock the SIM to a particular device,
particularly
where a subscriber is bound to a long-term service agreement with the MNO,
while
others will allow different SIM cards to be used with a same device, for
example where a
user seeks to draw services from multiple network operators, for example, in
different
geographic regions. Recent devices also allow for multiple SIM cards to be
used with a
same device, for example in selecting which operator to use for which service,
or in
operating different contact telephony numbers for different regions, for
example.
[0006] In practice, a new subscriber can purchase a new device from a
network
o operator retail that may at times provide such devices at a discounted
rate in exchange for
a long-term subscription commitment from the new subscriber. Subscription
packages
will generally include allocated time or minutes for local, national and/or
international
telephone voice calls sent and/or received in association with a phone number
registered
with the new device's SIM card. This allocated time will often be segregated
into
5 different timeslots such as weekday daytime minutes, evenings and weekend
minutes, or
again providing unlimited telephone voice services during certain off-peak
periods or for
a selected subset of predefined contact numbers. Subscriber packages may also
include a
SMS and/or MMS, i.e. texting component (e.g. number of included outbound
and/or
inbound simple/multimedia messages per month), and a data package generally
20 identifying an included data transfer allotment expressed in
megabytes/gigabytes
(MB/GB) for the user's device. Applicable surcharge rates for overages in
local and/or
long distance telephone voice minutes, text-based messages and/or data usage
are also
generally explicitly defined, as can be additional roaming charges applicable
when the
registered user operates its device outside the operator's home network.
25 [0007] The purchased device will come pre-loaded with an operator-
specific SIM
card that is configured on the spot to uniquely identify the subscriber, the
services
accessible thereto via the operator's home network (and other networks via
roaming
agreements established between the local operator and operators of such other
networks),
and in some configurations, lock the SIM card, and thus the user, to this
particular device
30 and network operator. Alternatively, a user may purchase an operator-
specific SIM card
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for use with an existing phone, and have this SIM card uniquely configured and
activated
as noted above for user and service specificity. Other service options such as
pay-as-you
go, prepaid phones, and the like, operate more or less as noted above, with
the user's
personal identity being intrinsically associated with the device's SIM card
and associated
service restrictions/allocations.
100081 Given the regulated access to available spectrum in many
jurisdictions, often
limited to a restricted subset of operators or the like, competition on mobile
services fees
has been constrained and prices generally remain relatively high despite the
increased
prevalence of such services and the proliferation of subscribers worldwide. In
order to
circumvent some of the more onerous fees associated with telephone voice or
text-based
services offered by network operators, some subscribers have taken to
alternative
technologies and applications, for instance exchanging voice-telephony
communications
for available mobile voice-over-data (e.g. VolP) applications such as SkypeTM
or
FacetimeTM, and exchanging text-based telephony communications for available
text-
based data-network applications such as Blackberry MessengerTM. Regardless,
the
standard operator-subscriber and subscriber-device relationships remain
unchanged and
continue to constrain user flexibility and access to more affordable and/or
flexible
services.
100091 This background information is provided to reveal information
believed by the
applicant to be of possible relevance. No admission is necessarily intended,
nor should be
construed, that any of the preceding information constitutes prior art.
SUMMARY
[0010] The following presents a simplified summary of the general
inventive
concept(s) described herein to provide a basic understanding of some aspects
of the
invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is
not intended
to restrict key or critical elements of the invention or to delineate the
scope of the
invention beyond that which is explicitly or implicitly described by the
following
description and claims.
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[0011] A need exists for an all-data mobile subscriber system and method,
and
mobile smartphone-over-data device and computer-implemented environment
therefor,
that overcome some of the drawbacks of known systems, or at least, provides a
useful
alternative thereto. Some aspects of this disclosure provide examples of such
systems and
methods, in accordance with difference embodiments of the invention.
[0012] In accordance with one broad aspect, there is provided a mobile
subscriber
network in which a subscriber may gain access to both telephony-over-data
(e.g. voice
and/or SMS) and other traditionally data-based mobile services over a combined
all-data
mobile subscription package. In one such embodiment the subscriber gains such
access
via a virtualized smartphone-over-data application executed on their mobile
device and
interfacing through a same data network access point to access all network
data services
and communications.
[0013] In accordance with one aspect there is provided a mobile
subscriber system
comprising: a mobile data network access point; a server accessible via said
data network
access point and operable to execute a telephony-over-IP application; a thin
client
application executable on each subscriber's mobile communication device to
interface
with said telephony-over-data application via said mobile data network access
point; and
a subscriber account database tracking data consumption by each said
subscriber
interfacing with said telephony-over-IP application via respective executions
of said thin
client application, against a respective all-data mobile subscription account
associated
with each said subscriber.
[0014] In accordance with one such aspect, the telephony-over-data
application
includes a voice-over-data function and a SMS-over-data function, wherein the
subscriber
account database independently tracks data consumption associated with each of
said
voice-over-data function and said SMS-over-data function.
[0015] In accordance with one such aspect, the subscriber account
database further
independently tracks data consumption associated with a Web-based function
implemented via said mobile data network access point.
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10016] In accordance with one such aspect, the thin client application
is further
executable to access a current data consumption metric relative to an overall
data
consumption allocation, and optionally, the current data consumption metric is

subdivided into respective data consumption metrics for voice-over-data usage,
SMS-
over-data usage and Web-based usage.
100171 In accordance with one aspect, the thin client application is
further executable
by a first subscriber associated with a first all-data mobile subscription
account to transfer
a data consumption allocation quantum to a second subscriber associated with a
second
mobile subscription account.
[0018] Other aspects, features and/or advantages will become more apparent
upon
reading of the following non-restrictive description of specific embodiments
thereof,
given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
100191 Several embodiments of the present disclosure will be provided,
by way of
examples only, with reference to the appended drawings, wherein:
[0020] Figure 1 is a network diagram of a mobile subscriber system, in
accordance
with one embodiment;
[0021] Figure 2 is a network diagram showing cross-carrier
interoperability between
subscribers, and between subscribers and non-subscribers to a virtualized
smartphone-
over-data system and environment, in accordance with one embodiment;
[0022] Figure 3 is a screenshot of a dialer interface rendered on a
mobile
communication device as part of a virtualized smartphone-over-data environment

executed thereon, in accordance with one embodiment;
100231 Figure 4 is a screenshot of a phone history interface rendered on
a mobile
communication device as part of the virtualized smartphone-over-data
environment of
Figure 3, in accordance with one embodiment;
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[0024] Figure 5 is a screenshot of a user contacts interface rendered on
a mobile
communication device as part of the virtualized smartphone-over-data
environment of
Figure 3, in accordance with one embodiment;
[0025] Figure 6 is a screenshot of a particular contact page of the user
contacts
interface of Figure 5 identifying a selected user as also being a secured user
of the
virtualized smartphone-over-data environment, in accordance with one
embodiment;
[0026] Figure 7 is another screenshot of the dialer interface of Figure 3
during an
ongoing call to the selected secured user identified in Figure 6 and showing a
cumulative
data consumption for the ongoing call, in accordance with one embodiment;
[0027] Figure 8 is a screenshot of a contact group interface rendered on a
mobile
communication device as part of the virtualized smartphone-over-data
environment of
Figure 3 and showing a selected group listing of user contacts and their
current
availability, in accordance with one embodiment;
[0028] Figure 9 is a screenshot of a user account interface rendered on a
mobile
communication device as part of the virtualized smartphone-over-data
environment of
Figure 3 showing a remaining data allocation in the user account, in
accordance with one
embodiment;
100291 Figure 10 is a screenshot of another user account interface
rendered on a
mobile communication device as part of the virtualized smartphone-over-data
environment of Figure 3 showing data allocation add-on and transfer options,
in
accordance with one embodiment;
[00301 Figure 11 is a table showing different illustrative data
allocation packages and
corresponding usage metrics available upon subscription to a mobile network
operator
supporting implementation of a virtualized smartphone-over-data service, in
accordance
one embodiment;
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[0031] Figure 12 is a table showing different illustrative services and
features
available to subscribers of the different illustrative data allocation
packages of Figure 11;
and
[0032] Figure 13 is a flow diagram for inbound telephony with rerouting
option to a
virtualized smartphone-over-data environment.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0033] For simplicity, the following will make general reference to
mobile operators
and carriers to encompass MN0s, VMNOs and other such types of mobile network
operators/carriers.
[0034] General reference will also be made to mobile communication networks
to
encompass different types of networks commonly known as cellular networks or
mobile
telephone networks that are generally directly or indirectly managed, operated
and/or
leveraged by mobile operators to provide mobile services to end users.
Accordingly,
while the description provided herein may focus more specifically on a
particular type of
mobile network (e.g. GSM networks), it will be appreciated that the
embodiments
described herein may also be implemented over different types of mobile
network
architectures, standards and technologies (e.g. CDMA, UMTS, etc.) without
departing
from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.
[0035] Further, the following will make general reference to mobile
communication
devices to encompass different devices amenable for interfacing with and
communicating
over such mobile communication networks. While these devices may also be
amenable
for communicating over other types of wireless communication networks, such as
Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth, NFC, etc., such wireless network communications should not be
confused
with the mobile network considerations described herein. That being said, and
as will be
described in greater detail below, some of the features and functions provided
by
embodiments of the virtualized smartphone environment and telecommunication
services
described below may also be made available to registered users via other data
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connections that may include wireless connections to Wi-Fi networks and the
like, and
standard landline Internet connections.
[0036] In general, the illustrative systems and devices described herein
allow a
subscriber to a given mobile operator to partake in traditional mobile
services using, in
accordance with some embodiments, any mobile communication device
operationally
associated with this mobile operator. In some embodiments, the subscriber is
provided
access to these services by way of a virtualized telephony environment,
generally and
interchangeably referred to as a smartphone-over-IP (SolP) environment or an
Internet
personal communication system (iPCS) client. This thin client environment is
generally
supported if not deployed by the mobile operator to circumvent traditional
voice and text-
based telephony subscription packages through the provision of a complete
telephony-
over-data system that is subject to the same data usage charges and/or rates
applicable in
the context of more standard mobile data communications, such as Internet
browsing,
email, social networking and the like. Accordingly, this virtualized
configuration may
allow the subscriber to take advantage of significantly lower mobile data
network rates,
even or particularly when roaming on another network not directly supported by
the
subscriber's home network operator, while benefiting from various security and

confidentiality enhancements not available with standard mobile telephony.
[0037] In the particular examples provided below, the iPCS system is
implemented
centrally by or in association with the network operator. Generally, the
system is
interactively implemented with the subscriber's current (i.e. logged-in)
mobile device
upon subscriber authentication, which unlocks a virtualized telephony
environment on
this device that interfaces with the network operator's server-based (i.e.
cloud-based)
telephony and other applications over an available mobile data network (i.e.
local or
roaming). Using this centralized implementation, the subscriber may further
benefit from
increased flexibility in terms of device interchangeability, mobility and
personal data
access. For instance, subscribers may gain centralized access to telephony-
related data
such as contacts, call history, text-message history, etc., that can be stored
centrally in
association with the registered user's account and made available via the thin
client
application. This may also promote greater data security by centrally storing
all sensitive
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data on the network operator's server(s) such that unauthorized access to a
subscriber's
phone, be it lost or stolen, will leave them less vulnerable to data losses
and inappropriate
information gathering and usage. Of course, the subscriber may also appreciate
the ability
to use different mobile devices without needing to transfer relevant data
(i.e. traditionally
done by transferring a user's SIM card to a new phone, but only when the old
SIM card is
compatible with the new phone).
[0038] Further, as will be described in greater detail below with
reference to one
particular embodiment, by centralizing telephony functions over a data network
and by
providing access thereto via a subscriber data login authentication process
that is
untethered to the physical device in question, the subscriber can access these
functions
from any mobile device compatible with this data network. In some embodiments,
while
the mobile devices (or SIM card) issued by a given mobile operator may be
integrally
associated with the mobile operator, thus facilitating access to the
operator's centralized
telephony-over-data environment, the issued devices and/or SIM cards may
remain user-
agnostic in that they need not be specifically and uniquely characterised for
association
with a particular subscriber, but rather, a given subscriber may seamlessly
operate any of
the devices issued by the operator (or in the context of a SIM card enabled
device, any
device configured to operate on a SIM card issued by the operator) to gain
authenticated
access to their own telephony services, and that, irrespective of how many
other
subscribers may have common use of this device. Accordingly, subscriber and
usage
flexibility is drastically increased relative to the standard model, and may
provide
innumerable options in respect of subscriber package and access customizations
(e.g.
terms of use, access permissions, restricted usage periods, restricted
application or data
access, geographical permissions/restrictions, etc.), data sharing, device
sharing (e.g.
within a given organisation, business, or family unit, or between friends,
colleagues, etc.)
and the like.
10039] Further, and as will be expanded on further below when describing
one
embodiment of the virtualized SoIP environment, non-subscribers may also gain
access
to the virtualized services offered by the iPCS. For instance, a non-
subscriber may
nonetheless register with the iPCS and load and execute the SoIP environment
on their
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device to benefit from its various advantages while corresponding through this

environment over an pre-existing native carrier data subscription. Various
cross-carrier
implementations and options will be described in greater detail below,
particularly in
considering non-subscriber SoIP environment users and their interactions with
other
subscriber and non-subscriber users, as well as other generally unrelated
telephony
contacts.
Mobile Subscriber Network
100401 With
reference now to Figure 1, and in accordance with an embodiment, a
mobile subscriber system, generally referred to using the numeral 100, will
now be
described. In the context of Figure 1, a subscriber to a given mobile operator
or carrier
operates a mobile communication device 102, such as a mobile phone or tablet,
that
generally combines both telephony (e.g. voice/text) and data (e.g. Internet
browser, e-
mail, etc.) communication capabilities. Generally, the mobile communication
device 102
will include a graphical user interface such as a touchscreen or other
interactive screen, a
processor, a memory and a mobile transceiver operable to exchange voice and
data with
the mobile communication network. As discussed above, different mobile
communication
standards, architectures and technologies may be considered in the present
context, as
should be readily apparent to the person of ordinary skill in the art, without
departing
from the general scope and nature of the present disclosure.
[00411 In this example, the mobile communication device 102 further
includes a
removable computer-readable authentication medium 104, such as a SIM card or
the like,
in this case issued by and thus registered to the designated mobile network
operator.
Generally, the authentication module should be compatible with authentication
in the
mobile communication networks that the subscriber wishes to utilise. In this
example, the
authentication medium 104 is automatically authenticated upon operating the
mobile
device in range of the mobile communication network, be it via a home network
base
station 106 of the mobile operator in question, or via a roaming base station
108 and
network operated by a distinct network operator with which the designated
mobile
operator has an existing roaming agreement. In any event, the authentication
medium will
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be authenticated as being registered with the designated mobile network
operator and
thus automatically gain mobile access to those services associated with this
authentication
medium.
100421 In standard mobile network systems, as noted above, the
subscriber's identity
would be integrally associated with the mobile device's SIM card such that,
upon
network authentication, the subscriber's device would automatically gain
access to the
various mobile services associated with and by the subscriber's designated
mobile
operator service package. Data services could then be accessed and monitored
via the
network operator's respective data service access points identified by
respective access
point names (APN) stored in the mobile device in association with the
authentication
medium (e.g. an Internet APN, MMS APN, etc.), whereas mobile telephony
services such
as voice and SMS-text could be managed and monitored via standard circuit
switched
network management for home and roaming network access. Ultimately, the user's

identity would be managed, and its account appropriately tracked and billed as
a function
Is of the SIM data extracted from the mobile device.
100431 In the example of Figure 1, while the authentication medium 104
is configured
to authenticate registration with the designated mobile network operator, the
authentication medium will generally remain user-agnostic, in that all mobile
devices
issued by the same designated mobile operator will be equally identifiable as
registered
with this mobile operator without specificity as to the mobile subscriber.
Accordingly,
different subscribers may use the same device, and thus the same
authentication module,
without sharing a same subscription package with the designated mobile
operator.
Likewise, a same subscriber may use different devices 102, and thus different
authentication modules 104, to access a same subscription package with the
mobile
operator. This may also expedite the mobile device acquisition process at an
operator's
retail store as the device's authentication medium need not be pre-authorized
and
registered with the subscriber. Rather, a new user may instead seek to open a
new account
with the operator upon accessing the operator's registration page over a
regular Internet
connection, and set the identification data to be used for subsequent
subscriber
authentication, described below.
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100441 In order to authorize and monitor access to and from specific
subscribers, the
designated mobile operator will effectively grant equal initial authorization
to mobile
devices operating on their registered authentication module in the form of
restricted
mobile data access over the mobile communication network via operator switch
110 to a
designated mobile data network access point identified by a common access
point name
112. In the illustrated embodiment, the access point name 112 acts as a mobile
data
gateway that funnels all data communications from the mobile device 102 to the

operator's server(s) 114, where an authentication engine (e.g. via RADIUS
application/protocol) will first seek to authenticate the user of the device
102 as a current
subscriber to the mobile operator and thus authorize access to the various
data network
services enabled by the subscriber's account and profile. In one example, a
client
application 115 on the mobile device 102 will access subscriber identification
data (e.g.
via manual input via a secure password management application) and forward
this data to
the operator's authentication engine for authentication and authorization.
Once
authorized, the mobile subscriber will gain access to one or more data network
applications accessible through the access point name and operator server(s)
and
operable, at least in part, via the user interface of the mobile device.
[0045] In the illustrative embodiments described below with reference to
Figures 3 to
10, the client application 115 consists of a thin client application loaded
and executed on
the client device 102 to implement a virtualized smartphone-over-IP (SoIP)
environment
whereby all accessed functions and features in fact reside and execute on the
system's
server(s) 114, the subscriber interfacing therewith via the virtualized So1P
environment.
Further details as to the virtualization of a SolP environment, both within
the context of
mobile subscribers to the mobile operator system described herein, but also
for the
provision of data-telephony services to non-subscribers that nonetheless load
and execute
the SoIP environment as registered users of the system's various services.
[0046] Ultimately, each user's data consumption as an authenticated
mobile network
subscriber (e.g. when operating a device authenticated as registered with this
network
operator) will be monitored by the operator server(s) for account management,
reporting
and billing purposes. Clearly, where the subscriber is using a device under a
roaming
=
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agreement with another network operator, roaming charges may also be
associated with
the user's account, which in the illustrated embodiment, is at least partially
managed by a
roaming management server 116. However, as will be described in greater detail
below,
such roaming charges may be accounted for within the context of the
subscriber's mobile
data allocation, which may in some embodiments, be indiscriminately consumed
as a
function of actual data usage irrespective of whether the user is operating
the mobile
device over a home network, a local roaming network or a foreign roaming
network.
[0047] In the context of Figure 1, once a subscriber has been
authenticated by the
operator's authentication engine, mobile communications other than those
directed
through the designated network access point will continue to be prohibited.
Accordingly
all mobile data communications must be funnelled through the designated access
point
name 112 to act as a gateway for all mobile applications executed by the
subscriber.
These mobile applications may include, but are not limited to, standard data
network
applications such as email, Internet browsing and the like, but also a voice-
over-data
application (e.g. Vo1P) which may include voice processing and signalization,
and a text-
over-data application (e.g. SMS to data). Accordingly, the subscribers entire
mobile
experience, including both traditional data and telephony-over-data services
may be
provided through a single data network link to the operator APN 112, and
channelled
based on the application at hand via the operator's server(s) 114 while being
exclusively
exposed to data usage tracking and related accounting.
[0048! As external network communications such as standard mobile
telephony will
not be supported by the mobile operator in this system 100, the device 102 and
its related
authentication module 104 will become inoperable over available mobile
communication
networks without subscriber authentication via the operator's access point
name 112.
This feature thus provides an added advantage that, should a subscriber lose
their device
or SIM card, they will be effectively useless to another user without the
subscriber's
identification data (e.g. usemame and password). Applicable security and
confidentiality
features will be discussed in greater detail below, particularly in the
context of the SoIP
environment noted above that may, in some embodiments, be deployed for
implementation by subscribers and non-subscribers alike. Namely, in the
context of a
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virtualized SoIP environment, not only will the operator-registered device
become
communicatively inoperable without proper subscriber authentication, but all
data related
to the exchange of communications via the SolP environment will remain
securely stored
on or in association with the system's server(s) and solely accessible via the
virtualized
environment upon being unlocked post subscriber/user-authentication.
[0049] The embodiment of Figure 1 provides further illustrative detail as
to
illustrative abstraction layers involved in interfacing the mobile device's
thin client
mobile application 115 and those executed on the operator's server(s) 114. In
particular,
the physical and data link layers (L1-L2) may be implemented via UMTS/HSPA(+)
3G //
LTE 850, 1900, 1700 MHz & AWS 1700/2100 MHz; network layers (L3) may be
implemented over TCP/IP, UDP and/or RTP; whereas upper layers (L4-L7) may be
used
for voice-over-data applications and protocols (SIP, RTP) / encrypted text
messages /
encrypted data (e.g. login info), group info., account info, subscriber
profiles, file
transfer, data services and intemet browsing (proxy).
[0050] The following provides various illustrative functions and features
rendered
available and accessible upon implementing an exemplary embodiment of the
mobile
operator system, mobile communication device and virtualized smartphone-over-
data
(Sol P) environment(s)/system/server(s) described above, generically and
interchangeably
referred to herein as an intemet personal communication system (iPCS).
100511 In one embodiment, the iPCS combines traditional PSTN/CLEC phone
services (public switch telephone network / competitive local exchange
carrier) with the
geographically independent and virtual services of VoIP while leveraging the
benefits of
implementing a thin client architecture that uses powerful and sophisticated
cloud-based
services to power a user's telecommunication needs. iPCS therefore integrates
relevant
functions into a native mobile service, merging traditional telephony with
Internet
telephony in a convenient, competitive and secure package. Using this
approach, the
iPCS can assemble an innovative and attractive suite of features and
components.
Furthermore, as introduced above, the iPCS environment and services can be
made to
execute on effectively any mobile device, and that, irrespective of whether
the device is
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registered for mobile services provided by the iPCS operator/carrier. That is,
any user of
a mobile device, irrespective of its native carrier, can load and execute the
virtualized
iPCS/SolP environment on their device and gain access the suite of iPCS
services and
advantages while also gaining access to a phone number from a choice of
multiple
countries (e.g. 58 countries in this example), making it a truly worldwide
communication
service.
Sol P System Security and Confidentiality
[0052] As noted above, all relevant iPCS functionality can be configured
to reside on
the "Cloud", thus turning the Internet enabled device into an access point and
control for
cloud-based functions, while optionally storing all relevant user data on the
cloud
independently of the physical device used to access the services. For
instance, the only
communication device requirement may be that it store and execute an IPCS thin
client
application to access these cloud-based functionalities. Accordingly, a same
subscriber
can use multiple devices via a common IPCS subscription to access and/or move
all IPCS
services from device to device at their choosing by logging out of one device
and in to
another. Users can log in via the thin client application and have immediate
access to all
enabled functions including voice, data, telecommunications management, text,
browsing
and group functions, for example, which enabled functions remain active only
so long as
the user remains logged into his IPCS account. Likewise, functionality can be
added,
modified or updated on the Cloud at any time meaning that users do not have to
update
their device software to benefit from these changes.
100531 Accordingly, the IPCS can provide universal access via a single
point of
contact, thus providing subscribers with universal access regardless of
location or service
provider through their IPCS phone number or through their email which is
registered on
the IPCS system. Therefore an IPCS subscriber can be called or texted anywhere
in the
world via a single point of contact that is integrated into the service and
requires no
additional software and login.
[0054] Amongst others, this can provide the added benefit of receiving
immediate
notification of missed calls upon logging back into the iPCS environment,
irrespective of
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the device used to log back in. This is unlike traditional mobile operator
systems where a
mobile device must be turned on and within a service area to receive such call
log
information. Likewise, missed text messages will be queued in the iPCS
server(s) and
notification thereof received by the user immediately upon logging back into
the system
without delay (i.e. the user will gain immediate remote visualization access
to the text
message stored on the cloud-based text server).
[00551 Furthermore, in the event that a device is lost, there will be no
need to
remotely "erase phone data". If the user is logged off the mobile device when
it is lost,
then there is effectively nothing to erase in respect of phone data usage,
history, contacts,
1() etc. Where a user loses their mobile device while still logged into the
iPCS environment,
then one can simply log out remotely and thus block any further access to user
data.
100561 While the mobile device is effectively reduced to an access point
to iPCS data,
the subscriber may nonetheless chose to downloaded this data at any time to
their current
mobile device. This may include, but is not limited to, subscriber contacts,
call listings,
text messages, multimedia messages (including any embedded multimedia
content),
schedules, notes, etc. On the other hand, if IPCS data is not downloaded to
the mobile
device, upon logging out of the system, there will be no iPCS data on the
mobile device's
internal memory or SIM card, for example (e.g. contacts, call records, text,
browsing
history, email). Subscribers can regain access to all IPCS data stored in
association with
their user profile as such data will automatically sync with the mobile device
upon
subsequent user login. Therefore users have full access to their data each
time they log in
regardless of the device.
[0057] As introduced above, embodiments of the virtualized SoIP
environment and
services can provide for enhanced security and privacy, both in respect of
user data being
securely stored on the iPCS server to limit unintentional access to this data
via the user's
various mobile devices, as noted above, but also in optionally providing
secure
communication channels to those users seeking to take advantage of such
options.
Accordingly, users of the virtualized SoIP environment, and particularly
paying
subscribers to iPCS services can elect to have all functions including voice
and text
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encrypted, for example, via a 128bit encryption (private) key. Much as the
iPCS
environment, the encryption key is not hardware dependent (as in the case of
other
technologies such as Blackberry MessengerTM which relies on the device PIN)
but is
based, in this example, on the unique usemame and password of the iPCS user.
Accordingly, the encryption option follows the user from device to device as
do the
contacts and other information. As the key is known only to the user's device
when in use
and the iPCS server, transmission and receipt of data to and from the iPCS
server is
secure. Likewise, when corresponding with other iPCS users having elected the
enhanced
security option, the transmission and receipt of data such as voice and text
information
between the iPCS server and such other IPCS user's dervices will be equally
secured
through the recipients respective unique username and password.
100581 In one embodiment, each user-specific encryption key will be
simultaneously
generated by the phone and the server when the passphrase is recognized,
whereby an
illustrative algorithm may be employed on the client and server sides of the
virtualized
environment to generate a key based on the passphrase for each new session
with the
server. For example, the encryption key may be changed every session using the
same
algorithm and combining the passphrase with a date and time associated with
each new
session that is synchronized between the server and client.
[0059] Following from the above, and with reference to Figure 2, the
system 100 may
thus be further configured to provide enhanced security for communications
exchanged
between users of iPCS and its virtualized environment. For example, in one
configuration, the mobile operator may provide access to encrypted voice and
text-based
services to users electing to subscribe to such services, possibly in exchange
for a higher
subscription fee and included data usage limits given the higher data
consumption and
processing requirements for encrypted communications. For example, Figure 2
shows a
number of enhanced security subscribers 120 operating registered SoIP-enabled
devices
over a home iPCS carrier network 106 or a roaming carrier network 108, either
way
ultimately securely corresponding with one another (e.g. by voice-over-data or
SM S-
over-data) via respective secure and encrypted connections 122 to the system's
server(s)
114. On the other hand, when corresponding with non-secured contacts 124, such
as non-
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users (e.g. subscribers to other mobile operator networks 108 or general PSTN
109
subscribers), or in the example provided below, non-subscribers that may
nonetheless use
and benefit from the system's SolP virtualization, while communications
between the
secured subscribers 120 and the system's server(s) 114 may still be secured by
encryption, corresponding communications between the system server(s) 114 and
the
devices of these non-secured contacts 124 will not be so secured.
[0060] As will be described in greater detail below with reference to
illustrated
examples, in some embodiments, when corresponding with another secured or
unsecured
user, a corresponding icon or identifier will appear for visualization by the
secured user
as a notice as to the encryption and security status/level associated with
correspondence
directed to such secure and unsecure users, respectively. Therefore, when a
secured user
120 corresponds with an unsecured recipient 124 (e.g. a non-secured iPCS user
or a non-
iPCS user altogether), this secured user 120 may deliberately avoid
transmitting sensitive
information that they would otherwise feel secure in sending to another
secured iPCS
user. Otherwise, where a given contact includes both secure and non-secure
contact
coordinates, a secure user may elect to only communicate sensitive information
to this
given contact via their secure coordinates, and use only their non-secure
coordinates for
less sensitive correspondence.
[0061] Again, for added security and privacy, no texts, call logs etc.
ever reside on
the mobile device being used via the SolP virtualization environment unless
expressly
downloaded thereto by the user. They exist only on the iPCS Cloud. Users can
access or
delete texts, call logs and other data at any time through an iPCS Cloud Web
interface or
on their virtualized phone environment when logged in. Therefore on logout,
the session
ends and there is no data on the phone.
Virtualized SolP Environment
[0062] Following from the previous examples of Figures 1 and 2, and in
accordance
with different embodiments, the mobile communication device 102 will
ultimately gain
access, post-subscriber authentication, to an operable virtualized smartphone-
over-IP
(SolP) environment 200, illustratively depicted by the screenshots of Figures
3 to 10.
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While the SolP environment 200 may be more commonly deployed to and executed
by
SoIP carrier subscribers, the SoIP environment may also be downloaded and
executed by
registered users that subscribe to the mobile services of another native
carrier and thus,
are subject to carrier service fees and charges associated with that other
native carrier.
Irrespective, such registered users may still take advantage of the SoIP
environment and
related features/functions and may eventually seek-out subscription to the
SoIP carrier
using a registered SoIP carrier device.
[0063] For example, in the embodiment of Figure 3, the virtualized
environment 200
includes a softphone application 204 emulating one or more mobile telephony
functions
over the device's native data network and cooperatively operating as a thin
client on the
mobile device 102 in communication with the system's SoIP server(s) 114.
Namely, the
softphone application 204 may be centrally implemented on or in association
with the
SoIP server(s) 114 and provide some of the various features, functions and
advantages
discussed in greater detail below with reference to various exemplary
embodiments.
[0064] Beyond voice-over-data call functions (e.g. accessible via single
touch dialler
function button 205), the illustrative embodiments of Figures 3 to 10 provide
remote SoIP
environment users access to at least one of a centralized voicemail system
(e.g. via single
touch button 206), a centralized call/SMS history listing (e.g. via single
touch button
208), a centralized phone contact listing function (e.g. via single touch
button 210), an
SMS-over-data or instant messaging IM function (e.g. via single touch button
212), a user
group function (e.g. via single touch button 214), a real-time subscriber
account
information function (e.g. via single touch button 216) and a general settings
access
function (e.g. via single touch button 218). The environment 200 will also
generally show
an accessed network identifier 220 (and other connectivity and device
operation indicia)
identifying the mobile network currently being accessed (e.g. either the
subscriber's
home mobile operator network or a roaming network accessible by subscribers of
the
home mobile operator through a pre-established cross-network roaming
agreement, and
that, irrespective of whether the environment is being executed on a SoIP
carrier device
or not), and a registered user authentication indicia 222 identifying that the
user has been
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successfully authenticated with the SoIP server(s) 114 as a registered user of
the SoIP
environment 200.
[0065] The SoIP environment 200 also includes, as part of the dialer
interface 204, a
single touch SoIP environment loggin/logout button 224, for example allowing
users to
quickly log-off the SoIP environment and consequently shut-down access to any
and all
user information on that particular device, which user information will
nonetheless
remain safely stored on the SoIP server(s) 114 and associated databases and
accessible
therefrom upon subsequent user login via the same or another SoIP-enabled
device. To
login, in one embodiment, the user may be directed to a login screen or
interface upon
launching the SolP environment, where usemame and password may be manually
entered
by the user or automatically unlocked and dispatched via one or more security
measures
(e.g. biometric or other access security applications). Alternatively, the
user may be
automatically directed to the softphone interface 204 upon launching the SoIP
interface
200, and access a user registration function via the single touch login/logout
button 224.
[0066] With particular reference to Figure 4, and in accordance with one
embodiment, upon the user successfully logging-in to the SoIP environment, the
user
may gain access via history button 208 to a cloud-based softphone usage
history 226 of
all inbound calls received and outbound calls placed via the SoIP environment
200.
Unlike a standard smartphone, the call history will remain stored on the
system server(s)
114 and can be accessed and managed (e.g. delete entries via trash button 228)
via the
SoIP environment 200 irrespective of which device is used to gain registered
access the
SoIP environment 200 and its call history list 226.
100671 With particular reference to Figure 5, and in accordance with one
embodiment, upon the user successfully logging-in to the SoIP environment 200,
the user
may gain access via contacts button 210 to a searchable/scrollable cloud-based
All
Contacts directory 230, which may include not only entries for contacts that
are also users
of the SoIP service, but also general contact entries either imported manually
or
automatically via an associated contacts import function (e.g. an associated
SoIP user
Web portal function, a device-specific contact transfer function, and
automated social-
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media or mail client contact transfer function, etc.). The cloud-based and
maintained
contact directory 230, much like the call history log of Figure 2, will remain
stored on the
system server(s) 114 and can be accessed and managed via the SoIP environment
200
irrespective of which device is used to gain registered access to the SoIP
environment
200 and its contacts directory 226. In this example, the All Contacts
interface 230 also
provides access to contact Groups via button 231, discussed in greater detail
below.
[0068] While logged into the environment 200, the registered user may
select a given
contact entry, such as by tapping a given entry 232, and gain access to a
detailed contact
entry 234, shown illustratively on Figure 6. The user can then select to place
a SoIP call
directly via the selected contact's mobile phone listing 236, which call will
be directed to
the called party, first over IP via the SoIP network, and then, depending on
whether the
contact number in question is assigned to the SoIP carrier or to another
carrier, and in the
latter case, whether this contact number is nonetheless associated with an
SoIP user, over
an packet or circuit switched network to the recipient. The So1P user may also
use this
interface to automatically select and send an IM/SMS message to the contact,
this
message being routed, as in the context of a voice call, depending on similar
recipient
number associations. Traffic routing to and from the SoIP environment will be
discussed
in greater detail below with reference to Figure 13, which particularly
relates to inbound
call/SMS management and routing options in the context of the herein described
SoIP
environment and supporting native network architecture.
[0069] In the particular example, the selected contact is also a
registered SoIP user,
and thus, can systematically partake in VolP calls via the SolP network, and
that,
irrespective of the device on which this contact is logged into for SoIP
services,
irrespective of which native network carrier he subscribes to for mobile data
network
coverage, and irrespective of which mobile data canier he is currently
actively connected
to, if not in fact connected through another data connection such as Wi-Fi or
broadband
Internet, for example. As noted with reference to Figure 2, this contact's
registered SoIP
status also allows the registered user in this example, upon subscribing to
this feature
with the SoIP carrier, to communicate with this particular contact over
encrypted sessions
on either side of the SoIP server(s) (e.g. via respectively encrypted user-
specific sessions
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using each user's respective passphrase and associated session-specific data).

Accordingly, this contact mobile phone entry 236 includes a "secured
connection"
symbol 238 confirming the security level available upon accessing the contact
with this
number. In fact, the contact entry could include different phone or SMS
contact entries
having different applicable security levels. For example, a traditional PSTN
home or
office phone number may be listed for a given contact and accessible via the
SoIP
environment 200, albeit at the expense of an otherwise available encryption
security
should the call be otherwise made to the listed contact's secure mobile Soil'
number.
Different variations and permutations may also be considered depending on each
0 registered user's subscription package (e.g. selectable encryption
package upgrade),
available data allotments, etc.
[0070] Furthermore, the SoIP environment 200 may be configured so probe
the SoIP
server(s) 114 to identify if a selected contact and user of the SoIP service
is actively
logged into his SoIP environment, and if so, if this contact is also labelled
as available. In
the example of Figure 6, the selected contact has not only a secured
connection icon 238
displayed against the listed mobile SoIP number, but also a green availability
indicia 239
identifying the selected contact as online and available. Otherwise, a red
indicia may
indicate that the selected contact is offline, and a yellow indicia indicate
that he is busy
(e.g. on another call, or self-labeled as such so not to be disturbed). In
these latter cases,
the system may then be configured to allow the user to nonetheless leave a
voicemail to
the selected contact, or again, request that they be notified upon the
selected contact
becoming available. Again, these features may be seamlessly integrated within
the SoIP
environment to provide each SoIP user and their SoIP-enabled contacts combined
access
to enhanced telephony and data communication features and functions otherwise
unavailable using standard mobile telephony network architectures.
[0071] With reference now to Figure 7, upon placing a call to the
selected contact via
the identified secure and available SoIP contact number, the registered user
is returned to
a dynamic rendering of the softphone interface 204 to show the selected
contact's details
via ongoing call portion 240, which may also show the secure connection symbol
238
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confirming end-to-end call encryption, as well as an ongoing data usage metric
242 for
the call in progress.
Group/Administrative Functions
[0072] The iPCS can provide subscribers and subscriber groups alike with
complete
real-time control over accessed functions and features, for example, via a
complete suite
of SoIP management tools as well as available filters and permissions related
to calling,
texting and browsing, for example.
[0073] For instance, the virtualized SolP environment can provide various
features
and functions unique to this environment and specific to the formation of user
groups and
group functions. For example, the SoIP environment can incorporate functions
available
to uniquely defined user groups of specially connected SoIP subscribers/users
that may
consist of family/friends in the case of residential users, employees in the
case of a
company, or other connected individuals (e.g. special interest group,
politically affiliated
groups, professional groups, etc.). Within these groups, connectivity
relationships can be
customized to make communication easier and more efficient. Where all members
of a
particular group subscribe to an enhanced security/encryption service package,
intra-
group communications can be securely stored and maintained on the system
server(s) 114
and encrypted on either side thereof between respective registered user SoIP
environments, and again, irrespective of the device being used by each user.
10074] In the context of individual subscribers, a group can be initiated
by sending
invitations to people they would like in their group (via the invitee's phone
number or
registered email). Invitees can simply accept or reject the invitation. In the
context of
corporate subscribers, customized groups can be established as they wish
within their
corporate environment, and optionally managed via an accessible group
administrator
portal or account on the SoIP server(s). Other group formation and management
functions
and features may also be considered, as will be discussed in greater detail
below.
[0075] Once part of a group, users can gain access to a suite of special
connectivity
features that can be controlled by the individuals (in the case of residential
services) or by
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a telecom manager in the case of an organization, for example. Since these
groups are
formed around cloud-based applications, the suite of services can be expanded
at any
time based on market requirements or trends. Examples of group functions may
include,
but are not limited to:
[0076] Paging: a function that can be enabled for each member of a group
whereby a
message (e.g. up to 30 seconds) can be sent to an individual or multiple
people within the
group and automatically broadcast on the recipient speaker.
10077] Push-to-talk: a function that can allow grouped SoIP-enabled
devices to
operate essentially as walkie-talkies but with enhanced functionality. Under
push-to-talk,
an iPCS sender can broadcast a message to specific individuals, or groups of
individuals,
which message broadcasts on a respective recipient device's speaker.
Recipients can
respond from their device in the same push-to-talk fashion. All recipients are
able to hear
the response. This is ideal for situations such as dispatch where multiple
respondents and
direct communications are required, for example. Furthermore, Push-to-talk
services are
not limited to wireless devices, but may rather work between any SoIP-enabled
devices,
fixed or mobile.
[0078] With reference to Figure 8, and following from the example
discussed above
in accordance with one embodiment, the registered user may gain access, upon
logging
into the SoIP environment 200, to one or more group function interfaces 244,
for example
via one touch group button 214 and/or via the All Contacts' group button 231
(Figure 5).
In this example, the registered user can select a particular contact group of
interest (e.g.
Sales group) using a drop down group menu 246, which then dynamically updates
a
group contact list portion 248 identifying each user contact belonging to this
group.
While such list could include non-SoIP user contacts, it is generally
contemplated in this
example that all contacts forming part of a given group will also be a
registered SoIP
user, though not necessarily an SoIP carrier subscriber. Accordingly, upon
subscribing to
the enhanced security option, a group of users may form a secured group
whereby all
correspondence between this group of users will be encrypted on either side of
the SoIP
server(s) 114 by respective user-specific and session-specific encryption
keys.
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[0079] Next to each group contact identifier, an availability indicia 250
is also
provided, in this example showing a green symbol for users that are logged
into their
SoIP environment and available, a yellow symbol for users that are logged into
their SoIP
environment but currently unavailable (e.g. either actively engaged in an SoIP
environment exchange or deliberately marked as such to identify that they are
currently
too busy to receive a call), and a red symbol for users currently "offline",
that is, not
currently logged to their SoIP environment.
[0080] In this example, the contact group interface 244 provides
different direct
correspondence options between group contacts, such as a paging option 252, a
push-to-
talk option 254, a 2-way communication option 256 (e.g. VoIP), and a tracking
option
258. In the illustrated example, the Push-to-Talk option 252 is selected, and
two group
contacts 260 and 262 identified as "available" are dynamically selected to
participate in
this exchange. Again, all exchanges will be fully encrypted, and any tracking
thereof will
be exclusive stored and maintained on, and later accessible from, a cloud-
based
repository, unless of course otherwise downloaded to a particular device when
allowed
under user/group/administrator settings.
[0081] As noted above, the SoIP service may also allow individuals,
groups and
administrative users to customize service access permissions and restrictions,
and/or
gather informative user access metrics and information, as well as enable
and/or manage
various group or inter-user functions such as data allocation sharing and/or
exchange;
referral incentive, tracking and compensation; and the like. This may be
particularly
attractive to enterprise users in seeking to maintain some control and
understanding as to
how enterprise devices are used by their employees/members.
[0082] For example, a user or group manager may invoke certain
telecommunications
management tools via an administrative SolP environment interface and/or via a
Web
portal to the system's server(s) 114, whereby a managing user can oversee and
control
device/subscription usage permissions/restrictions and have access to
comprehensive real
time usage data. In an organization, devices/subscriptions can be managed as a
group or
individually. In some examples, iPCS may incorporate user-driven real-time
controls
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over all or most =functions and features. This may allow users to customize
their
telecommunications experience to their specific needs at any given time and to
program
the functionalities for unattended control.
100831 Examples of call management functions accessible to individuals,
groups
and/or managers through the iPCS administrative and/or Web interface may
include, but
are not limited to:
-- Time of day permissions/restrictions (when calls can be sent / received);
-- Long distance permissions/restrictions (where calls can be placed);
-Call Filtering (block numbers in or out);
-- Simultaneous ring function controlling which mobile phone will ring when
a specific number is called (e.g. where a same subscription phone number is
shared over multiple devices or between group users that may be concurrently
logged into to SoIP system), which can be programmed by day and time of
day, for example. Accordingly, different devices may ring depending on
whether it is normal or after business hours, or again, in the case of a
support
line, a single number can be set to ring on several devices at once (e.g.
multiple active SoIP environments);
-- Call Forwarding, whereby a call is automatically forwarded to another
number or numbers, and can again be controlled by day and/or time of day;
-- Cascading Functions, whereby a call can be automatically forwarded to a
defined sequence of numbers if the call is not answered;
-- Phone Activation/Deactivation, whereby a particular user access to the
SoIP environment can be activated or deactivated automatically according to
a preprogrammed schedule (e.g. day and/or time of day), or again remotely;
-- 4 digit access and transfer, whereby SoIP-enabled devices within a same
organization regardless of location can be accessed internally by dialing a 4
digit extension, or again transferred using this same 4 digit access; and
-- Do not Disturb, whereby a particular user's SoIP-enabled device may be set
to identify days and/or times of day when a phone will ring or receive other
notifications via their enabled SoIP environment.
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[0084] Examples of text-based or multimedia messaging management
functions
accessible to individuals (e.g. parents), groups and/or managers through the
iPCS
administrative interface and/or Web portal may include, but are not limited
to:
-Day and/or time of day texting permissions/restrictions;
-- Content filtering, for example consisting of an intelligent filtering
algorithm which blocks and reports inappropriate messages between
registered users; and
-- Received and read functions.
10085] Examples of browsing management functions accessible to
individuals (e.g.
to parents), groups and/or managers through the iPCS administrative
interface and/or Web
portal may include, but are not limited to:
- Day and/or time of day browsing permissions/restrictions;
- Content filtering for inappropriate content;
- Website-specific or application-specific filters to block specific web
sites or
platforms (e.g. select social networking sites, YouTubeTm, etc.)
[0086] Examples of real-time or historical usage management (e.g.
statistics)
accessible to individuals (e.g. parents), groups and/or managers through the
iPCS
administrative interface and/or Web portal may include, but are not limited
to:
- Data usage / Data remaining;
- Call records;
- Text entries;
- Web page history; and
- Current users online.
100871 Other features and options may also be considered.
Network Subscription Metrics
100881 As noted above, iPCS allows for the combination of traditional
telephony
features and functionality (e.g. voice and text) with traditional mobile data
services under
a common mobile data service plan. By using an IP-only approach for all
functions and
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features, no voice channels are used or needed, thus simplifying usage metrics
and native
carrier subscription packages, not to mention reduce applicable fees,
particularly when
roaming. For instance, native carrier subscription packages can be set and
managed on a
"per megabyte" basis whereby users purchase megabytes (either prepaid, post-
paid or
based on certain package amounts), and consumes these megabytes over time at a
rate
that will depend on the specific application at hand. Therefore, megabytes
become the
"currency" of iPCS, as opposed to traditional methods that also necessarily
exchange in
minutes, sent/received text messages, etc. For example, using current iPCS
standards, 1
MB of data usage can provide approximately 9 minutes of voice calling, 90 text
messages, or 4 Webpages (bearing in mind that Internet browsing will consume
MBs at a
variable rate according to nature of the content being browsed -- e.g. text
vs. graphics vs.
multimedia vs. HD multimedia). By monitoring or estimating subscriber usages,
one may
allocate or budget a particular amount of MBs per month and select an
appropriate
service package accordingly. Figure 11 provides an example of different iPCS
service
subscription packages that may be offered, and the level of usage that may be
afforded to
subscribers on these subscription packages, whereas Figure 12 provides a list
of
features/functions available under each subscription package, including that
available to
non-native users (e.g. those subscribed to another native carrier but
registered to use the
SolP environment).
[0089] For instance, registered iPCS users operating on another mobile
operator's
network may also benefit from the various advantages of iPCS, but will be
subject to the
data plan charges and allocations provided by their native mobile carrier. In
one
embodiment, such non-native users may be provided free access to iPCS
services, not
only to encourage loyalty transfer to the iPCS mobile operator, but also to
enhance
security and versatility options for existing iPCS mobile operator subscribers
in providing
them access to a greater pool of iPCS users in their contact list.
[0090] iPCS can also service its subscribers irrespective of the device
they are using,
such that any Internet-enabled device with multimedia capability (microphone,
speaker,
interactive screen via touch or mouse) can effectively become a virtualized
smartphone
upon accessing an authenticated data network connection (e.g. landline
(Ethernet),
29
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
wireless (Wi-Fi) and/or mobile (cellular)) to the IPCS server. Accordingly,
complete
roaming and portability is provided, particularly for users of mobile
communication
devices that can access the Internet via the iPCS mobile operator's data
services (or that
of another mobile operator under a separate data plan) via a home or roaming
mobile
network, as well as via other wireless services such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
100911 The iPCS also allows for real time subscriber access to a unitary
data
consumption measure covering all data usages irrespective of the application
(VoIP, text-
over-IP, Internet browsing, email, etc.). In one example, a current data usage
and account
balance is made available to the subscriber in real time via the thin client
SoIP
environment. This may include general information such as overall and/or
function-
specific data consumption, as well as predictive measures for remaining data
allotments,
extra data purchase options, and data transfer options to other users, for
example.
[0092] With reference to Figure 9, and in accordance with one embodiment
following
from previous examples, upon a registered user successfully logging-in to the
SolP
environment 200, the user may gain access via account button 216 to a
subscriber account
interface 263 and various subscriber-account functions. In the particular
example of
Figure 9, the user is first presented with an up-to-date graphical data-usage
indicator 264
that shows a current data consumption relative to an overall subscription
allocation (e.g.
737MB used and 263MB left out of a total monthly data allocation of 1GB), and
further
graphically illustrates a respective colour-coded portion of this consumed
data associated
with each of voice 266, data 268 and text services 270, along with a specific
number of
minutes 272, Web Pages 274 and Text Messages 276 associated with each consumed

portion. The subscriber can then accurately observe consumption trends and
predict
future usage requirements, and adjust the subscription package accordingly,
not to
mention appreciate the overall benefits of an all-over-IP subscription package
over
traditional mobile telephony packages.
100931 In the context of a group administrator portal, a similar display
may be
provided for group-wide usage, for example where a group data allotment can be
shared
between users of a same enterprise group or the like. Such shared group
resources could
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
also be broken down based on each user's personal consumption, and
respectively broken
down into distinct service usage.
[00941 In the present example, the subscriber interface 263 includes a
logout button
278 to log out of the SolP environment on that device, as well as a Transfer
MB button
280 leading the subscriber to a data Purchase/Transfer interface 282, shown
illustratively
in Figure 10.
[00951 With reference to Figure 10, the data purchase/transfer interface
282 reprises
the graphical data consumption graphic 264 of the previous interface, and adds
a real-
time or refreshable current monetary balance in the account 284, and two one-
touch
options 286 to add further data credits to the subscription for the month in
progress. This
interface also includes a MB transfer function portion 288 that includes a
preset or
dynamic drag-selectable MB transfer amount function 290 to identify an amount
of MB
to be transferred (for example relative to an overall monthly allotment), and
a drop-down
menu function 292 allowing selection of a particular data recipient subscriber
from a list
of known subscribers (e.g. defined by the user's membership to a particular
user group or
groups of subscribers, such as linked family members, business partners and/or

employees under an enterprise group setting). Once the amount and recipient
subscriber
has been selected, the transferring subscriber may activate the transfer and
inject the
transferred data allotment in the recipient's account.
100961 Unlike a monetary transfer function, both the transferring
subscriber and the
recipient can accurately predict the relevance and impact of the transferred
data
allotment, both relative to each subscriber's current data usage and in
respect of an
expressed need for added data access. For example, a subscriber wishing to
correspond
with another subscriber may elect to transfer a certain data allotment thereto
prior to or
after placing a voice call in order to mitigate an impact this voice call may
have on the
called parties subscription package. This may also be relevant where a given
subscriber
predicts a substantial data overage for the month in progress and requests a
friendly
transfer from someone underusing their subscription package (e.g. from a
friend,
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
colleague or family member that is on vacation and thus making limited use of
their
current subscription, for example).
[0097] The SoIP environment, or related Web portal, may also track such
transfers,
both in and out, in managing a form of subscription data exchange network,
where one
can actively track data transfers and, for example, suggest account
reconciliations
downstream or that a particular recipient increase their monthly allotment to
address
repetitive requests for data transfers. This may also be particular convenient
in the
context of a working group or enterprise account to manage and oversee
respective data
usages and transfers between employees, colleagues, partners and the like.
[0098] In one embodiment, a referral compensation system may also be put
into place
to reward system subscribers upon successfully referring new subscribers to
the iPCS
network. For example, a subscriber wishing to promote iPCS subscription to one
of its
contacts can input this contact's mobile phone number to a referral engine
that, as a
result, sends a text invitation to this contact with direct option to
subscribe to the iPCS
network, which direct option may automatically link the new subscription back
to the
referrer. However, as the contact is likely to port their mobile number to the
iPCS
network when they subscribe to it, even if this new subscriber does not
subscribe in direct
response to the system's invitation, the referral may nonetheless be tracked
to the original
subscriber, who may be compensated accordingly. In one example, for each month
of
active subscription by each referred subscriber, the referrer may receive a
predefined
bonus data allotment to its account (e.g. 25MB). Other referral techniques and

compensation-based referral incentives may also be considered.
Telephony (Re)routing for Virtualized SoIP Users
[0099] As noted above, the IPCS can also be used as a mobile phone
enhancement for
IPCS users who are also subscribed to another mobile service provider and may
be
locked into a long-term service contract or other commitment. Call numbers
placed from
an IPCS user from another service provider can be vetted through an iPCS
database and,
if the number is an IPCS user and online, the call is completed through IPCS.
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
[00100] For example, in one embodiment, the iPCS mobile operator system may be

configured to implement a dipping process whereby a call can be routed through
and
terminated by an iPCS switch even when originating from and destined to non-
iPCS
subscribers. For instance, in one embodiment, the iPCS system may be
configured to
operate or interface with one or more call termination switches generally
involved in the
termination of regional, national and/or international calls originating from
different
carriers. Accordingly, calls routed through such iPCS-accessible switches can
be
rerouted, as appropriate, to a registered iPCS user's virtualized environment
even when
this user is subscribed to another native carrier, thereby taking full
advantage of iPCS
services and rate options.
1001011 For example, for inbound calls, where the iPCS system has access to
one or
more local call termination switches processing a significant volume of
inbound calls
originating from other local or international carriers (e.g. through various
interconnection
agreements), the termination number associated with such calls as they come
into the
iPCS-accessible switch can be cross checked with a database of IPCS users. If
the
terminating number is associated with an IPCS user, the switch can redirect
the call for
processing through the iPCS system rather than sending it to the native
carrier with whom
the number is registered. As a result, the call is completed via the iPCS data
line and
applicable user data usage rates, rather than using up the user's native
carrier telephony
minutes.
100102] With reference to Figure 13, and in accordance with one embodiment, a
flow
diagram for inbound telephony with rerouting option to a destination user's
virtualized
smartphone-over-data (SoIP) environment will now be described in greater
detail. In this
example, an inbound call/SMS 1302 is initiated and directed to an originating
wired or
wireless service provider 1304. As noted above, the inbound call may be a
local or
international call and, in this example, is directed to a phone number
associated with a
mobile subscriber to a native mobile carrier that does not support a SoIP
environment as
discussed above, but where this subscriber is a registered user to another
native carrier's
SolP environment (e.g. a SolP carrier). Where the inbound call is routed
directly via the
subscriber's native carrier, the call is carried through over the subscriber's
standard native
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
carrier telephony voice/SMS network (e.g. GSM/UMTS/LTE/SMS). However, where
the
call/SMS is routed via the SoIP carrier's destination local exchange carrier
network 1306
and switch 1308, or one administratively associated therewith, the SoIP
carrier's switch
1308 may first dip into an internal SoIP user database to identify if the
called number is
associated with an SoIP user that is currently logged into their SoIP
environment. If so,
the switch 1308 may but need not dip into the mobile carrier subscriber
database 1314
(generally available to all CLEC and ILECs, and used via standard SS7 dipping
protocol
to compile and provide access to up-to-date mobile subscriber carrier
information and the
like for call routing/termination) to identify the subscriber's native
carrier, and rather
automatically reroutes the call/SMS through the SoIP Network 1312. It is
converted for
transmission over IP and directed to the user's SoIP environment running on
the user's
device 1324 via the subscriber's native carrier data (IP) network 1316, or
again via
another available data connection, if not altogether running on another
device. Otherwise,
the switch 1308 dips into the mobile carrier subscriber database 1314 to
identify the
subscriber's native carrier and routes the call/SMS via standard voice/SMS
protocols over
the subscriber's native carrier voice/SMS telephony network 1322 to the user's
device
1324.
[00103] Clearly, where the call/SMS originates from a caller's SoIP
environment, the
call/SMS will be automatically channeled through the SoIP network and, where
the called
party is also a user of the SoIP network, the call/SMS can be appropriately
channeled
over an IP network associated with the called number. Of course, all calls
directed to a
number registered with the SoIP carrier will terminate over IP to the called
party's SoIP
environment.
1001041 Likewise, for outbound long distance calls originating from an
iPCS customer,
the terminating number can be checked with the iPCS database. If the number
corresponds with that of an iPCS user that is registered with another native
carrier, it can
be rerouted through the iPCS interface automatically, resulting in the
recipient benefiting
from his non-native iPCS service including cheaper talk time and long distance
rates (i.e.
data vs. telephony, etc.).
34
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
[00105] Further, this dipping process can also be used when an iPCS
customer initiates
a call outside his home country. All calls can be checked with the iPCS user
database
and, when the termination number is another iPCS customer, international
roaming
charges can be eliminated.
1001061 Naturally, non-native iPCS users also have the option to route long
distance
calls through the iPCS environment as opposed to using direct voice telephony
over their
native carrier network, thus benefiting from iPCS's competitive voice-over-
data rates
rather than to pay the higher voice minute rates applied by their native
carrier. IPCS Text-
over-data services may also be used to like effect.
[00107] Finally, IPCS users anywhere in the world may be able to take
advantage of
the system's international call resolution. When sending a text or placing a
voice call, the
IPCS server resolves the text or call and routes it to the most appropriate
local service. As
an example, a Rogers customer in Canada can place a call or text to an MTS
subscriber in
South Africa via IPCS, rather than incurring the Rogers long distance charge.
The IPSC
call resolution allows it to be treated as a local call or text. This is
regardless of from
where the Rogers client is calling.
Emergency and Location-Based Functions
[00108] The IPCS can also make a number of basic and enhanced emergency
services
available to its users, which make full use of Smartphone functionality. For
example,
Enhanced 911 (or e911) may come as a standard mandatory feature for all iPCS
users.
Due to the roaming nature of cell service, 911 calls using e911 are routed to
an e911
emergency center, which obtains location information from the caller or in the
case of
iPCS, through the phone's GPS capability.
[00109] The iPCS may also be configured to support emergency direct
communications, for example, by having the e911 function automatically
activate the
mobile device's speakerphone to relay a message in the case of an emergency.
This can
be used for example, to notify an iPCS user of an emergency situation such as
a home
break-in, an elderly parent in distress, etc. Emergency Direct Communication
can work in
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CA 02871249 2014-11-10
tandem with other emergency services such as emergency bracelets, alarm
companies,
etc.
[00110] iPCS can also make full use of smartphone GPS functionality and
provide
users with a series of safety and convenience features. For example, e911
location
services can be incorporated into the iPCS service to provide location data to
the e911
service centre in the event of an emergency. For example, based on the phone's
GPS
coordinates, iPCS can resolve the nearest physical address and communicate
this
information to the e911 service centre as well as the mobile devices precise
latitude and
longitude.
[001111 Other GPS usages may also be contemplated. For example, a set of
Convenience Service Buttons can provide for the user with easy assess to
location-based
services searches, such as via single button search access by major category
such as food,
gas, shopping and emergency services, for example.
[00112] While the present disclosure describes various exemplary
embodiments, the
disclosure is not so limited. To the contrary, the disclosure is intended to
cover various
modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the general scope of
the
present disclosure.
36
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A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date Unavailable
(22) Filed 2014-11-10
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2016-05-10
Dead Application 2018-11-13

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2017-11-10 FAILURE TO PAY APPLICATION MAINTENANCE FEE

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Application Fee $400.00 2014-11-10
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2014-12-11
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2015-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2016-11-10 $100.00 2016-11-10
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
INVESTEL CAPITAL CORPORATION
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 2014-11-10 1 14
Description 2014-11-10 36 1,763
Claims 2014-11-10 2 45
Drawings 2014-11-10 12 1,543
Representative Drawing 2016-04-12 1 40
Cover Page 2016-05-11 2 79
Assignment 2014-11-10 5 123
Correspondence 2014-12-11 4 115
Assignment 2014-12-11 5 229
Assignment 2015-07-07 12 379