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Numéro de publicationWO2008029137 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandePCT/GB2007/003352
Date de publication13 mars 2008
Date de dépôt6 sept. 2007
Date de priorité7 sept. 2006
Numéro de publicationPCT/2007/3352, PCT/GB/2007/003352, PCT/GB/2007/03352, PCT/GB/7/003352, PCT/GB/7/03352, PCT/GB2007/003352, PCT/GB2007/03352, PCT/GB2007003352, PCT/GB200703352, PCT/GB7/003352, PCT/GB7/03352, PCT/GB7003352, PCT/GB703352, WO 2008/029137 A1, WO 2008029137 A1, WO 2008029137A1, WO-A1-2008029137, WO2008/029137A1, WO2008029137 A1, WO2008029137A1
InventeursPhilip Mark Lane
DéposantZone Tracker Limited
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes:  Patentscope, Espacenet
Location identification system and method for a mobile communications network
WO 2008029137 A1
Résumé
A location identification system (10) and method for a mobile communications network is disclosed. A database of radio signatures (110) is maintained, each radio signature comprising measurements of predetermined signal attributes received in a zone from base transceiver stations (20, 30, 40) of the mobile communications network, each zone (50-90) comprising a physical area within the mobile communications network selected without reference to the physical infrastructure of the mobile communications network. The system and method receive signal attributes measured from signals received from at least a subset of the base transceiver stations by a user device; and correlate the received signal attributes with those of the radio signatures in the database to identify the zone occupied by the user device.
Revendications  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
Claims
1. A location identification system for a mobile communications network comprising: a database of radio signatures, each radio signature comprising measurements of predetermined signal attributes received in a zone from base transceiver stations of the mobile communications network, each zone comprising a physical area within the mobile communications network selected without reference to the physical infrastructure of the mobile communications network; means for receiving signal attributes measured from signals received from at least a subset of the base transceiver stations by a user device; and, means for correlating the received signal attributes with those of the radio signatures in the database and thereby identify the zone occupied by the user device.
2. A location identification system according to claim 1 , further comprising means for generating new zones on demand, wherein the means for generating new zones is arranged to obtain radio signatures for the generated new zones and to store the radio signatures in the database.
3. A location identification system according to claim 2, wherein the means for generating new zones is arranged to trigger measurement of the radio signatures by one or more mobile measurement systems.
4. A location identification system according to claim 3, wherein the mobile measurement system comprises a user device.
5. A location identification system according to any of claims 2, 3 or 4, further comprising means for intercepting calls over the mobile communications network to a predetermined number, wherein upon intercepting a call to the predetermined number, the means being operative to trigger the means for generating new zones to generate a new zone at the location of the caller, the means for generating new zones being arranged to obtain radio signatures from the user device of the caller during the intercepted call.
6. A location identification system according to any preceding claim, wherein the user device comprises a selected one of: a mobile telephone, a PDA, a mobile communication device, a data communications card or a wireless network device.
7. A location identification system according to any preceding claim, further comprising means for communicating with a maintenance record of an operator of the mobile communications network and being arranged to identify maintenance and/or changes to the mobile communications network and to trigger changes to or updating of the radio signatures stored in the database in dependence on the maintenance and/or changes.
8. A method for location identification in a mobile communications network comprising: compiling a database of radio signatures, each radio signature comprising measurements of predetermined signal attributes received in a zone from base transceiver stations of the mobile communications network, each zone comprising a physical area within the mobile communications network selected without reference to the physical infrastructure of the mobile communications network; receiving signal attributes measured from signals received from at least a subset of the base transceiver stations by a user device; and, correlating the received signal attributes with those of the radio signatures in the database and thereby identify the zone occupied by the user device.
9. A method according to claim 8, further comprising: generating new zones on demand including obtaining radio signatures for the generated new zones and to store the radio signatures in the database.
10. A method according to claim 9, wherein the step of generating new zones comprises triggering measurement of the radio signatures by one or more mobile measurement systems.
11. A method according to claim 10, wherein the mobile measurement system comprises a user device.
12. A method according to any of claims 9, 10 or 11 , further comprising: intercepting calls over the mobile communications network to a predetermined number and, upon intercepting a call to the predetermined number, triggering the . step of generating new zones to generate a new zone at the location of the caller, the step of generating new zones including obtaining radio signatures from the user device of the caller during the intercepted call.
13. A method according to any of claims 8 to 12, further comprising: communicating with a maintenance record of an operator of the mobile communications network; identifying maintenance and/or changes to the mobile communications network; and, triggering changes to or updating of the radio signatures stored in the database in dependence on the maintenance and/or changes.
14. A computer program comprising computer program code means for performing all of the steps of any of claims 8 to 13 when said program is run on a computer.
15. A computer program as claimed in claim 14 embodied on a computer readable medium.
Description  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)

LOCATION IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR A MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a location identification system and method for identifying location of mobile data and voice communication devices such as mobile phones, PDA's, wireless network devices and the like in a mobile communications network.

Background to the Invention

The introduction of the many types of wireless and mobile communications networks that exist today have brought with them many new ways of working and the possibilities of many new services that can be offered. One area of particular interest in this field is the establishment of the location of a mobile terminal, mobile station, user equipment, or customer equipment such as cell phones, mobile phones, 3G data devices, PDA's, smart phones and the like.

Once the location of a user device is known to a reasonable degree of precision, this data can be used to provide location based services to that user and also to support emergency services and the like in assisting the user.

Knowing the location of a user device that a user is using to make an emergency call can significantly speed the response time of emergency services. Similarly, knowledge of the general or specific location of a user device enables location based services such as directed marketing, transport and navigation assistance and the like without the user themselves needing to know where they actually are.

There are many techniques that allow the location of a user device to be established within mobile networks. These include: • GPS triangulation (and also derivatives of GPS such as assisted GPS); • Location identification by cell ID - in cell based communication networks such as mobile telephone networks it is possible to fix the position of a user device to its current cell. This is a very coarse method in that it is generally limited to a cell size ranging in diameter from 100m to 10's of kilometres; • Timing advance - GSM networks, and other time division multiple access

(TDMA) systems, have a timing advance factor to compensate for the variation in range between mobile devices and the base station. The timing advance value allows the location of the user device to be identified relative to the base station by establishing the distance of the user device from the base station. This technique is not particularly accurate as the user device may be anywhere on a ring that is the timing advance value in diameter away from the base station;

• Time of arrival - the time taken for a signal from the user device to travel to a number of base station maybe measured and then a location can be identified via triangulation. This technique is of course subject to errors due to network delay and the like;

• Angle of arrival - in certain wireless mobile/data networks, the angle (bearing) from a base station to the user device can be identified. Triangulation of a number of these measurements from different based station can allow a location to be identified;

• Radio signature comparison - signal strength at the user device from a number of different base station is compared to either a modelled prediction of signal levels or used with drive test data in order to establish the predicted location of the user device; • Hybrid techniques - hybrid techniques typically use a combination of one or more of the above approaches.

In each of these cases the method of location determination is either inefficient, deficient in that it is subject to error or that it cannot locate a user device to a useful degree of precision, or simply so complex that implementation issues cause it to be uneconomic or technologically impossible to be used. Statement of Invention

According to an aspect of the present invention there is provided a location identification system for a mobile communications network comprising: a database of radio signatures, each radio signature comprising measurements of predetermined signal attributes received in a zone from base transceiver stations of the mobile communications network, each zone comprising a physical area within the mobile communications network selected without reference to the physical infrastructure of the mobile communications network; means for receiving signal attributes measured from signals received from at least a subset of the base transceiver stations by a user device; and, means for correlating the received signal attributes with those of the radio signatures in the database and thereby identify the zone occupied by the user device.

The system may further comprise means for generating new zones on demand, wherein the means for generating new zones is arranged to obtain radio signatures for the generated new zones and to store the radio signatures in the database.

The means for generating new zones may be arranged to trigger measurement of the radio signatures by one or more mobile measurement systems.

The mobile measurement system may comprise a user device.

The system may further comprise means for intercepting calls over the mobile communications network to a predetermined number, wherein upon intercepting a call to the predetermined number, the means being operative to trigger the means for generating new zones to generate a new zone at the location of the caller, the means for generating new zones being arranged to obtain radio signatures from the user device of the caller during the intercepted call.

The user device may comprise a selected one of: a mobile telephone, a PDA, a mobile communication device, a data communications card or a wireless network device. The system may further comprise means for communicating with a maintenance record of an operator of the mobile communications network and being arranged to identify maintenance and/or changes to the mobile communications network and to trigger changes to or updating of the radio signatures stored in the database in dependence on the maintenance and/or changes.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for location identification in a mobile communications network comprising: compiling a database of radio signatures, each radio signature comprising measurements of predetermined signal attributes received in a zone from base transceiver stations of the mobile communications network, each zone comprising a physical area within the mobile communications network selected without reference to the physical infrastructure of the mobile communications network; receiving signal attributes measured from signals received from at least a subset of the base transceiver stations by a user device; and, correlating the received signal attributes with those of the radio signatures in the database and thereby identify the zone occupied by the user device.

The method may further comprise: generating new zones on demand including obtaining radio signatures for the generated new zones and to store the radio signatures in the database.

The step of generating new zones may comprise triggering measurement of the radio signatures by one or more mobile measurement systems.

The mobile measurement system may comprises a user device.

The method may further comprise: intercepting calls over the mobile communications network to a predetermined number and, upon intercepting a call to the predetermined number, triggering the step of generating new zones to generate a new zone at the location of the caller, the step of generating new zones including obtaining radio signatures from the user device of the caller during the intercepted call.

The method may further comprise: communicating with a maintenance record of an operator of the mobile communications network; identifying maintenance and/or changes to the mobile communications network; and, triggering changes to or updating of the radio signatures stored in the database in dependence on the maintenance and/or changes.

The present invention seeks to provide a location identification method and system in which a mobile communication network is divided into a number of zones and a boolean response is possible to the query of whether a given user device is present in a selected zone. Fine granularity of zones is possible if desired and granularity can be increased or decreased on demand without needing to change the network infrastructure. Embodiments of the present invention are able to adapt to changes in the environment and to the mobile communication network.

Brief Description of the Drawings Embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is schematic diagram of a mobile communication network 10 suitable for use in embodiments of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a location identification system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a table illustrating an example portion of radio signatures used in embodiments of the present invention; and,

Figure 4 is the schematic diagram of the location identification system of Figure 2 in use.

Detailed Description Figure 1 is schematic diagram of a mobile communication network 10 suitable for use in embodiments of the present invention. Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of a location identification system in operation in the mobile communication network of Figure 1.

A mobile communication network 10 includes a number of base transceiver stations 20, 30 and 40. User devices may access the mobile communication network 10 via any of the base transceiver stations 20, 30 and 40.

When a location identification system or method according to an embodiment of the present invention is implemented, a number of arbitrary zones 50-90 are defined, as illustrated in Figure 2. The zones are not limited to the location of the base transceiver stations 20, 30, 40. In the illustrated embodiment, a location identification node 100 operates the location identification system, although such functionality could be hosted elsewhere, such as in one of the base transceiver stations (BTS) 20, 30, 40 or elsewhere in the network infrastructure or even at a remote location connected by a network such as the internet.

In order to establish the zones, a radio signature for each zone 50-90 is determined.

The radio signature includes a number of attributes that may include:

• signal power level (S) of signals received in the zone from each base transceiver station (BTS);

• signal quality (Q) of signals received in the zone from each base transceiver station (BTS);

• network celi ID (ID) the zone resides in; and,

• timing advance data (TA) with respect to each base transceiver station (BTS) for the zone.

The attributes may vary throughout the zone and in such instances, the zone may be divided into smaller zones to ensure a substantially uniform attribute or alternatively some manner of averaging or heuristic selection of attributes may take place. The radio signature for each zone is measured and stored in a database 110 at the location identification node 100. An example of a portion of the contents of a sample database 110 for zones 50, 60 and 70 is illustrated in Figure 3.

In the illustrated examples, the signal power level in zone 50 of received from base transceiver station (BTS) 20 is S1 , the signal quality is Q1 , cell ID is C1 and timing advance is T1.

The radio signatures can either be measured by each user device when the user registers for the service, or periodically while using the service, determined using a radio propagation modelling tool to predict the parameters or some separate drive test activity can be undertaken (by a measuring system or similar being driven around the various zones to enable measurements to be taken).

Figure 4 is schematic diagram illustrating the system of Figure 2 in operation.

A user device 200 is being used by a user. The user wishes to access a location based service to order a taxi to collect him from his current location. On triggering the location based services at his user device 200, the user device measures the radio signature for each available base transceiver station at its current location and transmits this data to the location identification node 100. At the location identification node 100, the received radio signatures are compared to those within the database 110 and used to match the user devices location to one of the predetermined zones.

In this example, the radio signatures received may be:

Based on the radio signatures, both signatures for BTS 20 and 40 match those in the database 110 for zone 70. Signal power level S for BTS 30 differs from the radio signature compared to that recorded in the database 110.

Various weights and heuristics can be applied when deciding whether the measured radio signatures match those in the database. For example, if a predetermined percentage of the measured attributes match those recorded in the database 110 then the signature may be determined to match. Some of the attributes may have a higher weight in this analysis - for example if the cell ID reported is from a cell a great distance away then this signature could be discounted. A discounted signature may be ignored if there are sufficient other signatures to make the analysis, alternatively a message may be produced on the user device asking the user to move and press an appropriate button triggering a new set of measurements.

Once the zone has been identified (in this case the zone would be identified as zone 70), this data can then be passed on to the operator of the location based service to provide the relevant service (in this case dispatch a taxi to that particular zone).

Zones can be created and modified on demand and do not need to be fixed. For example, granularity of zones maybe dependant on the number of users and the type of service being offered. A user may be offered a location based service via dialling a special telephone number. When there mobile device dials the special number, the location identification node 100 may be arranged to intercept the call and record the radio signature for that location, thereby enabling the provisioning of a zoned service for that location.

In order to accommodate the adjustments and changes that will occur in a mobile communications network, for example due to maintenance and adjustment by network operators, the location identification node may be linked to the network operator's inventory system 210. Upon identifying a change in the inventory system 210, the radio signature for effective zones may be re-acquired when a user device is next in that particular zone. Possible applications for a zone based location based service include:

• offering different tariffs to users when they are within a specific zone such as an office or home. • offering a favourable rate for data connections at specific locations

• offering special rates to guests of hotels

• premium or discount charges could be made at specific locations or events such as sport matches, exhibitions, concerts and the like.

Other technologies and applications such as time based application and charging could also be introduced.

Optionally, the radio signature may be derived from a number of network types so that reliance on a single network or network type is avoided.

In a preferred embodiment, creation of a new zone may be triggered by a user calling a special registration number over the mobile communication network from the area to become the new zone. Preferably in this situation the call would be intercepted by the network operator or location identification node 100. Once the call is intercepted, the radio signature for the new zone is captured from measurements from the user's phone, thereby defining the zone at the user's location. Such a system may be used to provide the home/office zone services described above, for example. It will be appreciated that such a system avoids the need for the system operator to dispatch an operative to perform the measurements to create the new zone.

Citations de brevets
Brevet cité Date de dépôt Date de publication Déposant Titre
WO2001072060A1 *21 mars 200127 sept. 2001Polaris Wireless, Inc.Location determination using rf fingerprinting
EP0982964A2 *17 août 19991 mars 2000Lucent Technologies Inc.Pattern recognition-based geolocation
US5717406 *7 juin 199510 févr. 1998Sanconix Inc.Enhanced position calculation
US6799046 *10 juin 199828 sept. 2004Nortel Networks LimitedMethod and system for locating a mobile telephone within a mobile telephone communication network
US20040152470 *4 févr. 20035 août 2004Spain David StevensonLocation estimation of wireless terminals though pattern matching of signal-strength differentials
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Classifications
Classification internationaleH04W64/00
Classification coopérativeH04W64/00
Classification européenneH04W64/00
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