(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,628,954 Bi
McGowan et al. (45) Date of Patent: Sep. 30,2003
(54) SYSTEM, METHOD, AND PROGRAM FOR CONTROLLING ACCESS TO DATA SERVICES BY A SUBSCRIBER UNIT IN A WIRELESS NETWORK
(75) Inventors: Rosemary McGowan, Richardson, TX (US); Ian MaClean, Dallas, TX (US); Donald Keeler, McKinney, TX (US)
(73) Assignee: Nortel Networks Limited, St. Laurent (CA)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 161 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/656,883
(22) Filed: Sep. 7, 2000
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/152,695, filed on Sep. 7, 1999.
(51) Int. C I. II04Q 7/20
(52) U.S. CI 455/461; 455/433; 455/426;
(58) Field of Search 455/461, 418,
455/419, 432, 433, 434-435, 445, 426, 555, 554, 411, 405; 709/205, 217; 370/352, 356, 466, 335; 379/207.2, 201.02, 201.08, 201.12, 207.11
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,862,334 A * 1/1999 Schwartz 709/223
5,890,064 A * 3/1999 Widergen 455/445
6,044,274 A * 3/2000 Vo 455/461
6,115,737 A * 9/2000 Ely et al 709/203
6,160,874 A * 12/2000 Dickerman et al 379/114.19
6,167,040 A * 12/2000 Haeggstrom 370/352
An improved method and system for accessing wireless data services that reduce messaging and enable roaming subscribers to access data services are described. A wireless communication system in accordance with the present invention includes at least a service control point and a gateway system (e.g., a Gateway Generalized Packet Radio Service Serving Node (GGSN)) that is coupled to a data network. To obtain access to data services, a wireless subscriber unit establishes communication with a gateway system and requests data services from the gateway system. In response to the request, the gateway system queries the service control point regarding authorized data services for the subscriber unit. If the gateway system receives a negative reply from the service control point, then the gateway system denies access to the data services by the subscriber Unit. However, if the gateway system receives a positive reply from the service control point, then the gateway system enables access to the data services by the subscriber unit. In a preferred embodiment, the gateway system tracks the requested data services utilizing pre-defined resource units. In one embodiment, the gateway system tracks service utilization by periodically querying and receiving a reply from the service control point after each pre-defined resource unit has been utilized. In this embodiment, the service control point updates an account balance of remaining resource units in response to receiving the queries and informs the gateway system when data access should be denied.
29 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets