(19)
(11)EP 1 360 866 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
05.08.2015 Bulletin 2015/32

(21)Application number: 02727316.8

(22)Date of filing:  21.01.2002
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 28/18(2009.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2002/000768
(87)International publication number:
WO 2002/074000 (19.09.2002 Gazette  2002/38)

(54)

RESOURCES ALLOCATION METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF DELAY SENSITIVE INFORMATION IN A MOBILE COMMUNICATION NETWORK

VERFAHREN UND VORRICHTUNG ZUR RESSOURCENZUTEILUNG FÜR DIE ÜBERTRAGUNG VON ZEITEMPFINDLICHER INFORMATION IN EINEM MOBILKOMMUNIKATIONSNETZWERK

PROCÉDÉ ET DISPOSITIF D'AFFECTATION DES RESSOURCES POUR LA TRANSMISSION D'INFORMATION SENSIBLES AUX RETARDS DANS UN RÉSEAU DE COMMUNICATION MOBILE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LI LU MC NL PT SE TR

(30)Priority: 27.01.2001 GB 0102176

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.11.2003 Bulletin 2003/46

(73)Proprietor: Motorola Mobility LLC
Libertyville, IL 60048 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • QUIRKE, Thomas Michael
    Swindon, Wiltshire SN2 3YE (GB)
  • JEPSEN, Rene Phil
    Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 6JY (GB)

(74)Representative: Jepsen, René Pihl et al
Eltima Consulting Grove House, Lutyens Close' Chineham Court
Basingstoke, Hants RG24 8AG
Basingstoke, Hants RG24 8AG (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 081 974
US-A- 6 125 278
US-A- 6 014 564
  
  • KATZELA I ET AL: "CHANNEL ASSIGNMENT SCHEMES FOR CELLULAR MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS: A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY" IEEE PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS, IEEE COMMUNICATIONS SOCIETY, US, vol. 3, no. 3, 1 June 1996 (1996-06-01), pages 10-31, XP000593925 ISSN: 1070-9916 cited in the application
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Background to the Invention



[0001] The present invention relates to mobile communication systems and particularly to communication of information from one communications device to another, the information having a time period associated therewith corresponding to a tolerable delay associated with transmission of the information.

Summary of the Prior Art



[0002] The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) currently under standardisation will support a combination of different service types and data rates for the transmission of information. Distinct communication channels are defined by separation of codes used by a Wideband-Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) scheme and /or a Time Division-Code Division Multiple Access (TD-CDMA) scheme employed by the UMTS. A UMTS network comprises a plurality of base stations referred to as Node Bs, each Node B supporting a respective cell. Capacity within the each respective cell is interference limited and so as the number of users increases in a given cell, interference levels increase as well. In order to balance needs of a particular user against needs of other users supported in the given cell, Medium Access Control (MAC) is provided to manage allocation of resources (channels), i.e. balance aggregate capacity against individual user capacity.

[0003] Some known MAC algorithms take into account acceptable delay associated with a service and Quality of Service (QoS) parameters of a call in order to determine when to release a resource, the release of the resource being based on a number of factors, for example cell loading, call priority, or prevailing radio conditions. "Channel Allocation Schemes for Cellular Mobile Telecommunications: A Comprehensive Survey" by I Katzela and M Naghshneh (IEEE Personal Communications, June 1996 pages 10-31) describes use of a current location of a mobile terminal in conjunction with QoS parameters in order to determine when to release the resource. However, if the mobile terminal is moving, an optimum instant for releasing the resource may no longer be the optimum instant, because a radio environment in which the mobile terminal is located varies as the mobile terminal moves.

Summary of the Invention



[0004] According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of transmitting information between a mobile terminal and a communications device, the information having a time period associated therewith corresponding to a tolerable delay associated with transmission of the information, the method comprising the steps of: making a prediction of subsequent locations of the mobile terminal to which the mobile terminal is anticipated to move from a previous location during the time period; determining whether a subsequent location is an optimum location for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communication device, and withholding an allocation of a resource for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communications device until the mobile terminal reaches the optimum location.

[0005] Hence, release of resources for transmission of the information can be withheld until the mobile terminal has reached an optimum location having a favourable environment for the reception and/or transmission of data.

[0006] If it is predicted that the mobile terminal will never reach the optimum location, then the resources are released at any time within the tolerable delay period.

[0007] If it is predicted that the mobile station is heading for a location having a less favourable environment then the one it is already in, then the resources are released without delay.

[0008] The step of predicting a subsequent location may comprise the use of Doppler shift measurements, pathloss measurements, a global positioning system and/or maps.

[0009] The optimum location may be defined as being a radio environment having at least one optimum quality of service parameter.

[0010] The communication device may be a base station or "Node B" forming part of a mobile communications system. The base station may be fixed or supported on a moving or moveable platform, eg satellite.

[0011] The method may further comprise the steps of: predicting a subsequent location of the communications device, and allocating the resource in response to the mobile terminal being at the optimum location as a result, at least in part, of movement of the communications device.

[0012] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a resource controller, the resource controller being arranged to determine a first location of a mobile terminal and predict subsequent locations of the mobile terminal to which the mobile terminal is anticipated to move from the first location during a time period corresponding to a tolerable delay associated with transmission of information between the mobile terminal and a communication device; wherein the resource controller is arranged to withhold an allocation of a resource for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communications device until the mobile terminal reaches the optimum location prediction.

[0013] The present invention also provides a computer program product comprising a medium on or in which is recorded a program, which, when executed in a computer-controlled system will perform any of the methods recited herein.

[0014] It is thus possible to provide a method and system, with improved resource allocation ability, for transmitting information between devices. Additionally, the method can be easily incorporated into existing systems in the form of an upgrade. The information can therefore be transmitted at an optimum opportunity during the time period associated with the information, thereby improving the likelihood of accurate receipt of the information.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0015] At least one embodiment of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a communications system constituting an embodiment of the present invention, and

FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of a method for use with the system of Figure 1.


Detailed Description of a Preferred Embodiment



[0016] Throughout the description, like parts will be identified by identical reference numerals.

[0017] Referring to FIG. 1, a UMTS network 100 comprises a core network 102 operably coupled to a Radio Network Controller (RNC) 104, the RNC 104 being coupled to a first Node B 106 and a second Node B 108. A mobile terminal 110 is situated at an initial location 112 and is capable of communicating with the first Node B 106.

[0018] The above communication system will now be described in the context of the mobile terminal 110 following an actual path starting from the initial location 112 having an initial radio environment associated therewith.

[0019] In operation (FIG. 2), the mobile terminal 110 requests transmission of data to the core network 102 for onward routing (step 200). Alternatively, the core network 102 can request transmission of data to the mobile terminal 110, the data being received by the core network 102 from another mobile terminal (not shown) or another host entity (not shown) capable of communicating data through the core network 102 for receipt by the mobile terminal 110.

[0020] The RNC 104 supports a MAC algorithm, the MAC algorithm determining (step 202) a period of time corresponding to an acceptable time delay for the communication of the data between the first Node B 106 and the mobile terminal 110. Additionally, other QoS parameters can be ascertained by the MAC algorithm, for example, by association or encapsulation with the request to transmit data (step 200). Examples of the other QoS parameters are: a peak data rate or a tolerable Bit Error Rate (BER) associated with the communication of the data between the first Node B 106 and the mobile terminal 110.

[0021] The MAC algorithm then estimates (step 204) the initial location 112 of the mobile terminal 110 and predicts a path 113 being followed by the mobile terminal 110 using one or more radio parameter corresponding to a location and/or direction, for example Doppler shift, path loss, an Enhanced Observed Time Difference technique, or a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) signal.

[0022] The MAC algorithm then determines (step 206) whether any point along the predicted path 113 predicted by the MAC algorithm is an optimum location 116. The optimum location corresponds, for example, to a location having an improved radio environment over the initial radio environment at the initial location 112. If a point on the predicted path 113 corresponds to the optimum location 116, the MAC algorithm determines (step 208) whether the mobile terminal 110 has reached the optimum location, assuming that the mobile terminal follows the predicted path 113. If the mobile terminal has not reached the optimum location 116, the MAC algorithm re-calculates the predicted path 113 during the time period and re-determines (step 206) whether any point on the predicted path 113 corresponds to the optimum location 116. The steps of re-calculating the predicted path 113 and determining whether any point on the predicted path corresponds to an optimum location (steps 204, 206) are repeated until either the mobile terminal 110 reaches the optimum location 116 or the MAC algorithm determines that there are no points along the predicted path 113 that corresponds to the optimum location 116. If the predicted path 113 does not comprise any points corresponding to the optimum location 116, the MAC algorithm allocates (step 210) a resource (channel) for communicating the data between the mobile terminal 110 and the first or second Node B 106, 108.

[0023] However, if the mobile terminal 110, whilst travelling along the actual path, reaches the optimum location 116, the MAC algorithm allocates (step 210) the resource for communicating the data. In this example, the mobile terminal 110 is better supported by the second Node B 108 than the first Node B 106 when located at the optimum location, the optimum location being optimum by virtue of the proximity of the second Node B 108 to the mobile terminal 110.

[0024] In order to assist the MAC algorithm, an electronic map can be used in order to enhance generation of the predicted path 113, for example, the map can be used to resolve a choice of two possible predicted paths, the map enabling one of the possible predicted paths to be discounted.

[0025] Although the above example describes the MAC algorithm being supported by the RNC 104, it should be appreciated that the MAC algorithm can be supported by an intelligent network element, for example, the core network 102, the mobile terminal 110 or any other part of the UMTS network 100 (or any other communications network) capable of monitoring communications traffic in a cell/sector supported by the first and/or second Node B 106, 108.

[0026] Additionally, it is envisaged that some or all of the functionality of the first and/or second Node B 106, 108 can be performed by a further mobile terminal (not shown). Consequently, the RNC 104 (or other intelligent network entity) can determine the optimum location with respect to the further mobile terminal (not shown) when the further mobile terminal performs some or all of the functionality of the first and/or second Node B 106, 108.


Claims

1. A method of transmitting information between a mobile terminal and a communications device, the information having a time period associated therewith corresponding to a tolerable delay for the transmission of the information, the method comprising the steps of:

making a prediction of subsequent locations of the mobile terminal to which the mobile terminal is anticipated to move from a previous location during the time period,

determining whether a subsequent location is an optimum location for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communications device, and

withholding an allocation of a resource for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communications device until the mobile terminal reaches the optimum location.


 
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the step of:

allocating the resource when the mobile terminal reaches the optimum location.


 
3. A method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the step of:

allocating the resource before the expiry of the time period if it is predicted that any subsequent location is not an optimum location.


 
4. A method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the step of allocating the resource without delay if it is predicted that there is a degradation in subsequent locations.
 
5. A method as claimed in any preceding Claim, wherein the optimum location corresponds to a radio environment having at least one optimum quality of service parameter.
 
6. A method as claimed in claim 1, further comprising the steps of:

predicting a subsequent location of the communications device, and

allocating the resource in response to the mobile terminal being at the optimum location as a result, at least in part, of movement of the communications device.


 
7. A resource controller, the resource controller being arranged to determine a first location of a mobile terminal and predict subsequent locations of the mobile terminal to which the mobile terminal is anticipated to move from the first location during a time period corresponding to a tolerable delay for the transmission of information between the mobile terminal a communications device, wherein the resource controller is arranged to withhold an allocation of a resource for transmitting the information between the mobile terminal and the communications device until the mobile terminal reaches the optimum location prediction.
 
8. A computer program product comprising a medium on or in which is recorded a program which, when executed in a computer-controlled medium, will perform any of the steps of the methods of Claims 1 to 6.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zum Übertragen von Information zwischen einem mobilen Endgerät und einer Kommunikationsvorrichtung, wobei der Information eine Zeitspanne zugeordnet ist, die einer tolerierbaren Verzögerung für die Übertragung der Information entspricht, wobei das Verfahren die folgenden Schritte aufweist:

Vorhersagen späterer Orte des mobilen Endgeräts, zu denen sich das mobile Endgerät während der Zeitspanne ausgehend von einem vorherigen Ort voraussichtlich bewegen wird,

Bestimmen, ob ein späterer Ort ein optimaler Ort zum Übertragen der Information zwischen dem mobilen Endgerät und der Kommunikationsvorrichtung ist, und

Zurückstellen einer Zuweisung einer Ressource zum Übertragen der Information zwischen dem mobilen Endgerät und der Kommunikationsvorrichtung, bis das mobile Endgerät den optimalen Ort erreicht.


 
2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, weiter mit dem folgenden Schritt:

Zuweisen der Ressource, wenn das mobile Endgerät den optimalen Ort erreicht.


 
3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, weiter mit dem folgenden Schritt:

Zuweisen der Ressource vor dem Ablauf der Zeitspanne, wenn vorhergesagt wird, das jeder beliebige spätere Ort kein optimaler Ort ist.


 
4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, weiter mit dem Schritt des Zuweisens der Ressource ohne Verzögerung, wenn vorhergesagt wird, dass eine Verschlechterung in späteren Orten besteht.
 
5. Verfahren nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei der optimale Ort einer Radiokommunikationsumgebung entspricht, die wenigstens einen optimalen Dienstgüteparameter aufweist.
 
6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, weiter mit den folgenden Schritten:

Vorhersagen eines späteren Ortes der Kommunikationsvorrichtung, und

Zuweisen der Ressource als Reaktion darauf, dass sich das mobile Endgerät zumindest teilweise als Ergebnis einer Bewegung der Kommunikationsvorrichtung an dem optimalen Ort befindet.


 
7. Ressourcensteuereinheit, die dazu ausgelegt ist, einen ersten Ort eines mobilen Endgeräts zu bestimmen und spätere Orte des mobilen Endgeräts vorherzusagen, zu denen sich das mobile Endgerät ausgehend von dem ersten Ort während einer Zeitspanne voraussichtlich bewegen wird, die einer tolerierbaren Verzögerung für die Übertragung von Information zwischen dem mobilen Endgerät und einer Kommunikationsvorrichtung entspricht, wobei die Ressourcensteuereinheit dazu ausgelegt ist, eine Zuweisung einer Ressource zum Übertragen der Information zwischen dem mobilen Endgerät und der Kommunikationsvorrichtung zurückzustellen, bis das mobile Endgerät den vorhergesagten optimalen Ort erreicht.
 
8. Computerprogrammerzeugnis mit einem Medium, auf dem oder in dem ein Programm aufgezeichnet ist, welches, wenn es in einem computergesteuerten Medium ausgeführt wird, jeden beliebigen Schritt der Verfahren nach den Ansprüchen 1 bis 6 ausführen wird.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé de transmission d'information entre un terminal mobile et un dispositif de communication, une période qui correspond à un délai tolerable pour la transmission de l'information étant associée à l'information, le procédé comportant les étapes suivantes:

prédiction d'endroits ultérieurs du terminal mobile auxquels le terminal mobile se déplacera probablement pendant la période à partir d'un endroit antérieur,

détermination si un endroit ultérieur est un endroit optimal pour transmettre l'information entre le terminal mobile et le dispositif de communication, et

report d'une allocation d'une ressource pour transmettre l'information entre le terminal mobile et le dispositif de communication jusqu'à ce que le terminal mobile arrive à l'endroit optimal.


 
2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comportant en plus l'étape suivante:

allocation de la ressource quand le terminal mobile arrive à l'endroit optimal.


 
3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comportant en plus l'étape suivante:

allocation de la ressource avant l'expiration de la période s'il est prédit qu'aucun endroit ultérieur n'est un endroit optimal.


 
4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comportant en plus l'étape d'allocation de la ressource sans délai s'il est prédit qu'il y a une dégradation dans les endroits ultérieurs.
 
5. Procédé selon l'une de revendications précédentes, l'endroit optimal correspondant à un environnement de radiocommunication avec au moins un paramètre de qualité de service optimal.
 
6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comportant en plus les étapes suivantes:

prédiction d'un endroit ultérieur du dispositif de communication et

allocation de la ressource en réponse à ce que le terminal mobile se trouve à l'endroit optimal comme résultat, au moins en partie, d'un déplacement du dispositif de communication.


 
7. Unité de contrôle de ressources, l'unité de contrôle de ressources étant agencée à déterminer un premier endroit du terminal mobile et à prédire des endroits ultérieurs du terminal mobile auxquels la terminal mobile se déplacera probablement à partir du premier endroit pendant une période qui correspond à un délai tolérable pour la transmission d'information entre le terminal mobile et un dispositif de communication, l'unité de contrôle de ressources étant agencée à reporter une allocation d'une ressource pour transmettre l'information entre le terminal mobile et le dispositif de communication jusqu'à ce que le terminal mobile arrive à l'endroit optimal prédit.
 
8. Produit de logiciel d'ordinateur comportant un support sur lequel ou dans lequel un logiciel est enregistré, qui, quand il est exécuté dans un medium contrôlé par ordinateur, effectuera une quelconque des étapes des procédés des revendications 1 à 6.
 




Drawing











Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Non-patent literature cited in the description