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Details for Patent: 8,611,848

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Details for Patent: 8,611,848

Title:Method and system for providing tiered access to communication network resources
Abstract: Methods and systems automatically allocate cellular communication network resources to emergency response personnel during emergency situations which are detected by call volumes exceeding a predetermined maximum. Access to cellular communication network resources is provided by dedicating a portion of communication channels to emergency response personnel use. By reserving whole communication channels for emergency communication purposes, emergency personnel are able to both initiate and receive calls from both other mobile devices as well as conventional landline telephone stations. Qualified emergency response personnel can preregistered their phones and be assigned personal identification numbers to enable access to allocated network resources. Users can also be registered "on the fly."
Inventor(s): Smith; Clint (Warwick, NY)
Assignee: Rivada Networks LLC (Arlington, VA)
Filing Date:Jul 10, 2012
Application Number:13/545,568
Claims:1. A communication method, comprising: allocating a subset of a plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel, the allocated subset of wireless telecommunication network resources including a communication channel on a base station antenna; allowing general access to the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna so long as no call is made from or to an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; monitoring the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna to determine whether call volume is at or near capacity of the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna; monitoring incoming and outgoing calls to determine whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; disconnecting an ongoing general access call using the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and determining that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device; and connecting the new call to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device via the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to disconnecting the general access call.

2. The communication method of claim 1, wherein determining whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises: recognizing the authorized emergency personnel mobile device as a pre-registered tiered priority access (TPA) authorized mobile device from a mobile device identification value input on the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

3. The communication method of claim 1, further comprising: automatically allocating an additional subset of the plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

4. The communication method of claim 1, further comprising: automatically releasing at least a portion of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is not at or near capacity.

5. The communication method of claim 1, further comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of authorized emergency personnel mobile devices in a coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources notifying them of the availability of telecommunication network resources.

6. The communication method of claim 5, wherein automatically sending a communication message comprises automatically sending at least one of a short message service (SMS) message and a multimedia messaging service (MMS) message.

7. The communication method of claim 5, further comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of general access users within the coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

8. The communication method of claim 5, wherein disconnecting an ongoing general access call in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises: sending a mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call a warning message; receiving user input on the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call in response to sending the warning message; and authorizing the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call as another authorized emergency personnel mobile device and disconnecting a different ongoing general access call in response to receiving the user input.

9. An emergency cellular communication system, comprising: a plurality of base stations which include a plurality of communication channels, each of the plurality of communication channels being capable of establishing voice and data telecommunications links with mobile devices; a central processor coupled to the plurality of base stations, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions to perform operations comprising: allocating a subset of a plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel, the allocated subset of wireless telecommunication network resources including a communication channel on a base station antenna; allowing general access to the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna so long as no call is made from or to an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; monitoring the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna to determine whether call volume is at or near capacity of the communication channel on the base station antenna; monitoring incoming and outgoing calls to determine whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; disconnecting an ongoing general access call using the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and determining that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device; and connecting the new call to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device via the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to disconnecting the general access call.

10. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 9, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions such that determining whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises recognizing the authorized emergency personnel mobile device as a pre-registered tiered priority access (TPA) authorized mobile device in response to receiving a mobile device identification value from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

11. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 9, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions to perform operations further comprising: automatically allocating an additional subset of the plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

12. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 9, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions to perform operations further comprising: automatically releasing at least a portion of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is not at or near capacity.

13. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 9, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions to perform operations further comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of authorized emergency personnel mobile devices in a coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources notifying them of the availability of network resources.

14. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 13, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions such that automatically sending a communication message comprises automatically sending at least one of a short message service (SMS) message and a multimedia messaging service (MMS) message.

15. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 13, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions to perform operations further comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of general access users within the coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

16. The emergency cellular communication system of claim 13, wherein the central processor is configured with processor-executable instructions such that disconnecting an ongoing general access call in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises: sending a mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call a warning message; receiving user input from the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call in response to sending the warning message; and authorizing the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call as another authorized emergency personnel mobile device and disconnecting a different ongoing general access call in response to receiving the user input.

17. A non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium having stored thereon processor-executable software instructions configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations comprising: allocating a subset of a plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel, the allocated subset of wireless telecommunication network resources including a communication channel on a base station antenna; allowing general access to the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna so long as no call is made from or to an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; monitoring the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna to determine whether call volume is at or near capacity of the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna; monitoring incoming and outgoing calls to determine whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device; disconnecting an ongoing general access call using the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and determining that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device; and connecting the new call to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device via the allocated communication channel on the base station antenna in response to disconnecting the general access call.

18. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 17, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations such that determining whether a new call is to or from an authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises recognizing the authorized emergency personnel mobile device as a pre-registered tiered priority access (TPA) authorized mobile device from a mobile device identification value input on the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

19. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 17, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations comprising: automatically allocating an additional subset of the plurality of wireless telecommunication network resources for use by mobile devices of authorized emergency personnel in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and that the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

20. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 17, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations comprising: automatically releasing at least a portion of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is not at or near capacity.

21. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 17, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of authorized emergency personnel mobile devices in a coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources notifying them of the availability of network resources.

22. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 21, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations such that automatically sending a communication message comprises automatically sending at least one of a short message service (SMS) message and a multimedia messaging service (MMS) message.

23. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 21, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations comprising: automatically sending a communication message to a plurality of general access users within the coverage area of the allocated wireless telecommunication network resources in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device.

24. The non-transitory processor-readable tangible storage medium of claim 21, wherein the stored processor-executable software instructions are configured to cause a processor in a cellular communication network to perform operations such that disconnecting an ongoing general access call in response to determining that call volume is at or near capacity and the new call is to or from the authorized emergency personnel mobile device comprises: sending a mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call a warning message; receiving user input from the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call in response to sending the warning message; and authorizing the mobile device associated with the ongoing general access call as another authorized emergency personnel mobile device and disconnecting a different ongoing general access call in response to receiving the user input.
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