(19)
(11)EP 1 964 371 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.10.2015 Bulletin 2015/43

(21)Application number: 06847283.6

(22)Date of filing:  12.12.2006
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 48/08(2009.01)
H04L 29/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IB2006/004055
(87)International publication number:
WO 2007/072227 (28.06.2007 Gazette  2007/26)

(54)

EFFICIENT USE OF THE RADIO SPECTRUM

EFFIZIENTE VERWENDUNG DES FUNKSPEKTRUMS

UTILISATION EFFICACE DU SPECTRE RADIO


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 23.12.2005 GB 0526272

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.09.2008 Bulletin 2008/36

(73)Proprietor: Nokia Technologies Oy
02610 Espoo (FI)

(72)Inventors:
  • RUUSKA, Paivi, M.
    FIN-33230 Tampere (FI)
  • PALIN, Arto
    FIN-37830 VIIALA (FI)
  • REUNAMAKI, Jukka
    FIN-33720 Tampere (FI)
  • KALLIOLA, Kimmo
    FI-00350 Helsinki (FI)
  • JUNTUNEN, Juha, O.
    FIN-02200 Espoo (FI)

(74)Representative: Ruuskanen, Juha-Pekka et al
Page White & Farrer Bedford House John Street
London WC1N 2BF
London WC1N 2BF (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2007/000739
US-A1- 2003 118 049
US-A1- 2006 171 445
US-A1- 2003 035 388
US-A1- 2004 204 071
US-A1- 2006 188 003
  
      
    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

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] Embodiments of the present invention relate to efficient use of the radio spectrum.

    BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION



    [0002] Currently Bluetooth radio communication devices detect other similar radios in the area by performing a Device Discovery procedure that includes the Inquiry procedure. The Bluetooth radio communication device sends an Inquiry message to which other Bluetooth devices in the area respond with an FHS packet.

    [0003] Other communication devices measure energy on a communication channel and use this to predict possible radios in the area, but this method does not give any information of how the radio channel is being used. There are not even guarantees that the predicted radios actually exist. Furthermore, this process does not detect receiving radios.

    [0004] US2004/204071 teaches a protocol and method for establishing wireless data sessions between two wireless devices, each of which support multiple wireless protocols. A common, baseline wireless protocol is used to establish a control channel between the two devices. Once this control channel has been established, each of the wireless devices transmits its wireless capabilities to the other. A wireless data session is then established based on the common capabilities of the wireless devices. Where multiple common protocols are supported, user preferences are utilized to determine which of the commonly supported protocols will be utilized for the wireless data session.

    [0005] US2003/118049 teaches that prior to commencement of data communication between a first entity (e.g., an access terminal) and a second entity (e.g., a radio network), a set of layers and/or protocols is selected for negotiation. For each selected layer and protocol (i.e., each attribute), a list of attribute values considered acceptable to the first entity is determined. The selected attributes and their associated attribute values are sent from the first entity and, in response, a list of processed attributes and their associated lists of processed attribute values are received. Each list of processed attribute values includes attribute values considered acceptable to the second entity. The layers and protocols in the first entity are then configured in accordance with the received list of processed attributes and their associated processed attribute values.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] It would be desirable to improve how a radio communication device discovers how other devices are using the radio spectrum, so that the radio spectrum can be used more efficiently.

    [0007] According to one embodiment of the invention there is provided a communication device comprising: a receiver for receiving information via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device concerning at least a second radio protocol capability of a second communication device, wherein the communication device is external to the first and second communication devices, wherein the first and second communication devices are external to the communication device and wherein the first and second communication device are external to each other; and a controller for controlling communication of the communication device in dependence upon the received information, wherein the received information comprises one or more of the following parameters: performance parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, capacity parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, operational frequency parameter(s) for the second radio protocol and communication parameter(s) for the second radio protocol; wherein the received information comprises an indicator when the second radio capability of the second communication device is active.

    [0008] According to another embodiment of the invention there is provided a method of controlling communications at a communication device comprising: receiving information via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device concerning at least a second radio protocol capability of a second communication device, wherein the communication device is external to the first and second communication devices, wherein the first and second communication devices are external to the communication device and wherein the first and second communication device are external to each other; and controlling communication of the communication device in dependence upon the received information, wherein the received information comprises one or more of the following parameters: performance parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, capacity parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, operational frequency parameter(s) for the second radio protocol and communication parameter(s) for the second radio protocol;
    wherein the received information comprises an indicator when the second radio capability of the second communication device is active.

    [0009] According to embodiments of the invention information is used as opposed to measurement to obtain knowledge of how the radio spectrum is being used. This saves power because each of the radios of a multi-radio device do not have to be started to detect similar radios in the area.

    [0010] In addition, set-up and handover to other radio protocols are faster and more flexible, because some parameters can be communicated via the first protocol before the new radio protocol connection is formed.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] For a better understanding of the present invention reference will now be made by way of example only to the accompanying drawings in which:

    Figure 1 illustrates a number of radio communication devices;

    Figure 2 schematically illustrates a typical multi-radio communication device;

    Fig. 3 illustrates a radio protocol discovery process performed by a first multi-radio device 101 ; and

    Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7 illustrate different configurations of a network.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION



    [0012] The Figures illustrate a communication device 101 comprising: a receiver for receiving information 37 via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device 102 concerning at least a second radio protocol; and a controller 14 for controlling communication of the communication device 101 in dependence upon the received information 37.

    [0013] Figure 1 illustrates a number of radio communication devices 10 at least some of which, including a first device 101 and a second device 102, are multi-radio communication devices. A multi-radio device is a device that has multiple radios that operate using different radio protocols. A device 10 is operable to send via one radio protocol information concerning all the radio protocols that the device supports. A device 10 is capable of receiving such multi-radio protocol information from a number of devices and of storing that information for future use. In particular it is used to select a most appropriate radio protocol for communication.

    [0014] Figure 2 schematically illustrates a typical multi-radio communication device 10. The device 10 comprises a host 12, a radio controller 14 and several radios including a first radio 20, a second radio 22, a third radio 24 and a fourth radio 26. Although, four separate radios are illustrated it is possible that the device 10 comprises any number of radios. Although the radio controller 14 is illustrated as a separate entity from the host 12 for clarity, it may be implemented, for example, either as a separate hardware module or as part of the host as a software module. In the later case, computer program instructions are stored in a memory 2 of the host 12. These computer program instructions when loaded into a processor 4 of the host 12 provide the logic and routines that enable the host 12 to perform the functions of the radio controller 14 as described below.

    [0015] The computer program instructions may arrive at the electronic device via an electromagnetic carrier signal or be copied from a physical entity such as a computer program product, a memory device or a record medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD.

    [0016] In the example illustrated there are four separate radios illustrated. Each radio uses a different radio protocol. A 'radio protocol' in this document means the collection of rules governing the operation of a radio at the physical layer (L1) in the Open System Interconnection (OSI) layer model i.e. the rules that must be satisfied to convey a bit stream. The protocol, for example, specifies the modulation used, the multiple access techniques used (if any), the frequency band etc. Although two radio protocols may have overlapping frequency bands of operation they differ in other aspects of the physical layer. Typically a radio protocol uses its own transceiver, so each of the radios 20-26 has its own radio transceiver comprising a receiver part and a transmitter part. It is possible for radio protocols that operate at the same frequency to share antennas but it is more common for each radio 20-26 to have its own antenna.
    The radios may be provided as a self-contained radio module, which may be user replaceable.

    [0017] In this example, the first radio 20 uses the Bluetooth communication protocol. This protocol uses fast frequency hopping and a frequency of 2.4 GHz.

    [0018] In this example, the second radio 22 uses a 802.11g (Wi-Fi) communication protocol. This protocol uses a frequency of 2.4 GHz.

    [0019] In this example, the third radio 24 uses a cellular telephone communication protocol such as GSM, PCS, CDMA, WCDMA, CDMA2000, PDC etc.

    [0020] In this example, the fourth radio 24 uses an ultra wide band (UWB) communication protocol.

    [0021] Other examples of possible radios include Wi-Max, DECT, etc.

    [0022] The host 12 uses its processor 4 to run applications stored in its memory 2. The host 12, when necessary, requests the radio controller 14 to create/terminate radio communications for an application. The application may or may not request a particular radio protocol. Where the application does not request a particular radio protocol it provides one or more constraints that should be satisfied by the radio protocol assigned to the application. The constraint(s) may be, for example, any one or more of a minimum data rate, a minimum latency of set-up, a minimum quality of service, an estimated duration for the communication, etc

    [0023] The radio controller 14 controls the operation of the radios 20-26. For example, if scheduling between the different radios is needed, the radio controller 14 manages it. The radio controller 14 controls the creation of communication connections by the radios 20-26. It (or the host) determines whether a communication connection that is using one radio protocol should be changed to another radio protocol.

    [0024] The radio controller 14 also stores an information element for each of its radios 20-26. When requested by another device, the radio controller sends all of its information elements to the requesting device via a message sent using a single radio protocol.

    [0025] An information element typically includes parameters that identify the radio protocol it is related to, performance parameter(s), capacity parameter(s), operational frequency parameter(s) and communication parameters. These parameters are obtained and managed by the radio controller 14.

    [0026] A radio protocol parameter may be used to identify the radio protocol (e.g. 0 = WLAN, 1= GSM900...)

    [0027] Performance parameter(s) may be used to describe the current performance of a radio using the identified protocol. For example, a status parameter indicates whether the radio has activity (e.g. 0 = connection, 1 = no connection), an interval parameter indicates when the radio is active (e.g. 0|0=no regularity/not known, 20|5= every 20ms active 5ms), a packet error rate (PER) parameter indicates the average packet error rate which is detected for the radio link and a coexistence parameter indicates whether the radio has coexistence problems (interferences) with the other radios in the device (e.g. 0 = no interferences, 1 some interferences, 2 a lot of interferences).

    [0028] Capacity parameter(s) may be used to describe the current capacity available via the identified radio protocol. For example, a load parameter may indicate how much of the bandwidth is utilized (e.g. 50 = 50%), or how many bits/s are transmitted.

    [0029] Operational frequency parameters may indicate the operating frequencies used by the indicated radio protocol.

    [0030] Communication parameters may be used to provide parameters that are required to make a physical or logical connection. For example, the parameters for a Bluetooth device may include its Bluetooth Device address and clock offset.

    [0031] As illustrated in Fig. 3, a first multi-radio device 101 performs a radio protocol discovery process 30 on a second multi-radio device 102 and a third multi-radio device 103. Each of the second and third multi-radio devices has a radio controller 14 that stores and maintains an information element 31 for each of its radios. Each of the second and third multi-radio devices has a preferred radio protocol for transferring these stored information elements to other devices. In the illustrated example, the preferred radio protocol is the first radio protocol.

    [0032] The host 12 of the first multi-radio device 101 initiates a radio protocol information discovery process 30 via control message 32. This message indicates to the radio controller 14 that the discovery process should start.

    [0033] The radio controller 14 sends a request message 33 to a predetermined one of the radios. In this example, the predetermined or preferred radio is the first radio 20.

    [0034] The first radio 20 connects using the first radio protocol with each of the available devices that support this protocol and sends an information report request message 34 to each device.

    [0035] When a device 10 receives an information report request message at its preferred radio, it forwards it 35 to its radio controller 14. The radio controller 14 accesses the information elements 31 it is storing and maintaining, which identify and characterize its available radio protocols, and sends the information elements 31 to the first radio as a information report reply message 36.

    [0036] The first radio receives the information report reply message 36 and sends 37 it via the first radio protocol to the first radio 20 of the requesting device 101. The first radio 20 of the requesting device 101 forwards 39 the information report 37 to its radio controller 14 , which stores as a collection 38 the information elements 31 contained within the report in association with an identifier of the device from which they were received.

    [0037] Thus the radio controller 14 of the requesting device 101 obtains and stores the information elements 31 of each of the available devices that use the first protocol.

    [0038] Preferably all of the devices 10 use the first radio protocol as a preferred protocol. The first radio protocol can therefore be used as a control channel for sending information and for setting up communications on that or other radio protocols. A short range radio protocol such as Bluetooth is suitable for use as a shared preferred protocol and devices may default to using this as the preferred radio protocol when it is available.

    [0039] However, in other embodiments, the available devices do not all support the first radio protocol. In this embodiment, the requesting device 101 repeats the discovery process 30 but using the second radio protocol as the preferred protocol. After receiving, via the second radio protocol, the information elements from devices that use the second radio protocol as their preferred protocol, the requesting device 101 repeats the discovery process 30 but using the third radio protocol as the preferred protocol. After receiving, via the third radio protocol, information elements from devices that use the third radio protocol as their preferred protocol, the requesting device 101 repeats the discovery process 30 but using the fourth radio protocol as the preferred protocol. After receiving, via the fourth radio protocol, the information elements from devices that use the fourth radio protocol as their preferred protocol, the requesting device 101 terminates the discovery process.

    [0040] It will be appreciated that if every device performs the discovery process, then each device comprises the information elements of every other device. The collection 38 of the information elements 31 may be made more efficient, by enabling the requesting device 101 to request via the first radio protocol not only the information elements of the device addressed but also all the collections of information elements 38 that the device stores.

    [0041] A radio controller 14 of a device 10 uses the collections 38 of information elements it has collected to intelligently select a radio protocol for communication that is suitable in view of the circumstances or to select how a radio protocol is used in view of the circumstances.

    [0042] For example, if the host opens a new application that has certain minimum communication requirements, these requirements (if any) are immediately communicated to the radio controller 14. The requirements may, for example, specify any one or more of: a minimum data rate, a minimum latency of set-up, a minimum quality of service, an estimated duration for the communication etc. These requirements are used as constraints by the radio controller 14 in the selection and set-up of a suitable radio protocol for the application.

    [0043] The radio controller is also aware, via the stored collections 38 of information elements, of how other devices are using different radio protocols, what interference is present on each protocol, what data rate is available for each protocol etc. This information also represents constraints on the radio protocol selection problem.

    [0044] A further constraint that may be used, in addition to the interference on signals transmitted/received by the device 101 that is caused by other devices, is the interference caused by the device 101 itself on other devices. The interference may not be symmetric. For example, if the device 101 has an UWB radio and there is a cellular telephone nearby, the UWB device 101 may be capable of drowning the cellular downlink signal received at the telephone. However, the cellular radio telephone itself may not itself represent a source of interference to the device 101.

    [0045] A constraint concerning interference by others may be satisfied by selecting a different radio protocol and/or by selecting a non-overlapping operational frequency range. A constraint concerning interference on others may be satisfied by selecting a radio protocol that does not interfere and/or selecting a reduced power level and/or by selecting a non-overlapping operational frequency range.

    [0046] A constraint concerning data rate, may be satisfied by selecting a radio protocol with sufficient available bandwidth. For example, if an information element associated with a device indicates that the available bandwidth for a second protocol is low, and the application requires a high bandwidth then communication will not occur with that device via the second protocol, assuming that the devices can use an alternative protocol that provides a higher bandwidth without causing adverse effects on other interfaces, like higher interference levels.

    [0047] A constraint concerning latency may be satisfied by selecting a radio protocol with a quick set-up time.

    [0048] It should be appreciated from the foregoing that although the invention is most useful for devices that have multiple radios, it can also be used by a device with a single radio as the requesting device and/or the responding device. Such a single- radio device may use the information e.g. to detect whether the remote multi-radio device has active radios which cause interference to the single radio device and the characteristics of the interference. With such knowledge of the interference characteristics, single radio device may try to select e.g. frequencies which are not interfered with or schedule the transmission in a way that interference is mitigated.

    [0049] In the foregoing example, a suitable radio protocol and set-up is selected for an application. It is possible for an application to use more that one radio protocol at a time. It is also possible for circumstances to change and a radio protocol and set-up that was considered most suitable at initiation may, over time become less suitable. The radio controller 14 therefore keeps its stored collections 38 of information elements 31 up to date by periodically performing the discovery process 30 and periodically re-testing the requirements for an open application against the available communication options. The updating of the collections 38 of information elements and the re-testing of the application requirements may also occur if there is a deterioration in the current communication connection assigned.

    [0050] If the original radio protocol and set-up remains optimal then there is no change, however, if there is a better set-up or radio protocol then the radio controller hands over communication to the new set-up and/or radio protocol. A hysteresis may be introduced into the handover to prevent repeated switching.

    [0051] The preferred first radio may be used to set-up and use another radio protocol. A connection using the first radio protocol is established quickly and then a handover to the optimal radio protocol and/or set-up occurs. The device sends a handover request via the first radio protocol that contains parameters to setup the desired connection with the other device. After the request has been accepted most probably more signaling is needed using the first radio protocol, e.g. to specify the time when the connection actually changes to other radio.

    [0052] Figure 4 presents an example of a situation when a mobile telephone device 101 has two simultaneous links with different radios between two devices. There is a voice over IP (VoIP) link using wireless local area network (WLAN-IEEE802.11) between an access point 102 and the mobile phone 101. There is a Bluetooth synchronous link between mobile phone 101 and a headset device 103. The Bluetooth link and WLAN link share the same frequency space (2.4 GHz). The mobile phone 101 has to schedule transmissions, but some packets are lost because the transmission interval for VoIP and synchronous connection oriented logical transport (SCO) link are not the same, and the transmission/reception times overlap sometimes.

    [0053] Figure 5 presents a solution for the problem presented in Figure 4. The mobile phone 101 knows from the stored collections 38 of information elements obtained via the discovery process 30 described above that the access point 102 also supports Bluetooth radio protocol. The mobile phone 101 can request radio protocol handover from WLAN to Bluetooth. The link between the access point 102 and the mobile telephone 101 may be an asynchronous connection-oriented logical transport (ACL) link. Scheduling two Bluetooth links is easier than scheduling between two different radio protocols. The mobile phone 101 changes voice coding from VoiP to e.g. CVSD, which is suitable for Bluetooth SCO. The packets will not be lost because of overlapping transmission or reception times, especially if the mobile phone 101 is master of a piconet containing the headset 103 and access point 102.

    [0054] Figure 6 presents another solution for the problem presented in Figure 4. The mobile phone 101 requests radio protocol handover from WLAN to Bluetooth, and also request the access point 102 to use the SCO link. Scheduling two synchronous (e.g. using HV3 packets) Bluetooth links is easy if the mobile phone 101 is the master of a piconet containing the headset 103 and the access point 102 . Packets will not be lost because of overlapping transmission or reception times.

    [0055] Figure 7 presents another solution for the problem presented in Figure 4. The mobile phone 101 knows the radios that the headset 103 and access point 102 support from the stored collections 38 of information elements. In the presented case the mobile phone 101 actually only routes the voice from access point 102 to headset 103. If the headset and access point support the same radio, the mobile phone 101 can request that the access point 103 and headset 102 connect directly with each other using a common shared radio to exchange voice data. The request can be communicated over the preferred radio protocol. Mobile phone 101 can still stay connected to both devices, for example via the preferred radio protocol, for controlling the call, i.e. the mobile phone is informed for example if the call is ended, or when the link between access point and headset deteriorates.

    [0056] In the examples illustrated in Figs 5, 6 and 7, the mobile phone controls the connection made by the access point 102. This is achieved for example by sending a Create_connection_to_device (radio, parameters, data_to_new_device, data_to_me) message to the access point 102. The radio argument indicates the radio that the access point 102 should use for the new connection. The parameters argument indicates the parameters of the device to which the access point 102 should connect. They may include address, clock, type of device. The data_to_new_device parameter describes the data that should be directly communicated to the new device, e.g. voice. The data_to_me argument describes the data that should be directly communicated to the mobile phone 101 e.g. control data.

    [0057] The mobile phone sends Accept_connection_request(radio, parameters, data_to_new, data, to me) to the headset 102. The parameters are the same as in previous command, except that the parameters now describe the access point which is creating (initiates) the new connection.

    [0058] The remote devices can respond to these commands e.g. with accept or reject.

    [0059] As an example of another implementation of the invention, the multi-radio device 101 comprises a Bluetooth radio 20 and an UWB radio 22. It may comprise other radios but that is not important to this implementation.

    [0060] A nearby first multi-radio device 102 comprises a Bluetooth radio 20 and a cellular telecommunications radio 22 and/or a WLAN radio.

    [0061] UWB (Ultra-wideband) is an acronym for an emerging radio technology involving low transmission power spread to a very wide system bandwidth. In radio frequency spectrum regulatory framework, UWB systems are classified to have >500 MHz system bandwidth.

    [0062] UWB radio devices can cause interference in some situations such as when the devices are operated in close proximity to other radio receivers utilizing the same band. UWB devices pose a potential threat especially to future high bit-rate radio systems, often referred to as beyond 3G (B3G) systems, whose operating frequency range is assumed to be between 3 and 6 GHz.
    For future systems with higher frequencies, i.e. above 6 GHz, the interference may also be caused by the UWB harmonics.

    [0063] A short distance between the interfering UWB device 101 and the "victim" device 102 causes an apparent interference effect. Since radio wave transmission attenuates rapidly as a function of propagation distance (power inversely proportional to distance squared), even relatively low interference transmission powers have a considerable remaining effect within close distances. Therefore, when a portable UWB device 101 is placed very close to some other sensitive radio device 102, severe interference will occur. In particular a UWB device 101 is likely to interfere with weak cellular system downlink signals that a nearby mobile phone 102 is trying to receive.

    [0064] UWB systems have already been accepted by the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which allows effective operation approximately between 3 to 10 GHz frequencies with a maximum transmission power spectrum density of -41.3 dBm/MHz. Radio systems outside these operation frequencies are protected with somewhat more stringent transmission power limits. The European Communications Commission (ECC) is currently working on UWB regulation and it is to be expected that the allowed transmission power levels will be lower, especially at bands below 6 GHz, unless some interference mitigation techniques are used in the UWB devices.

    [0065] The UWB device 101 performs the discovery process 30 using the first (Bluetooth) radio protocol before communicating using UWB or before communicating using UWB above a certain power threshold. During the discovery process 30, the nearby multi-radio device 102 provides an information element for its cellular telecommunications radio 22 and/or an information element for its WLAN radio (if any). The information element may, for example, indicate the cellular downlink signal strength (reception power) and the operating frequency used. and also the Tx/Rx times or interval (if the cellular radio has Tx and Rx slots).

    [0066] The radio controller 14 of the UWB device 101 uses the received information elements to avoid, if possible, communication over a frequency range that overlaps with a frequency range or time slots used by a nearby device 102. If this is not possible, the UWB device will if possible transmit with a reduced power level to mitigate interference or, if the victim device 102 is particularly sensitive to interference, the UWB device will not transmit.

    [0067] The potential victim radio device 102 may also detect interference arising from the UWB device and can command the UWB device 101, via the first radio protocol (Bluetooth), to control its transmissions.

    [0068] Although embodiments of the present invention have been described in the preceding paragraphs with reference to various examples, it should be appreciated that modifications to the examples given can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as claimed.

    [0069] Whilst endeavoring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features of the invention believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the Applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon.


    Claims

    1. A communication device (10) comprising:

    a receiver for receiving Information (37) via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device (10) concerning at feast a second radio protocol capability of a second communication device (10), wherein the communication device (10) is external to the first (10) and second (10) communication devices, wherein the first and second communication devices (10) are external to the communication device (10) and wherein the first and second communication devices (10) are external to each other; and

    a controller (14) for controlling communication of the communication device (10) in dependence upon the received Information, wherein the received information comprises one or more of the following parameters; performance parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, capacity parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, operational frequency parameter(s) for the second radio protocol and communication parameter(s) for the second radio protocol;

    wherein the received information comprises an indicator when the second radio capability of the second communication device (10) Is active.


     
    2. A communication device (10) as claimed in claim 1, wherein the receiver is operable to receive information via the first radio protocol directly from the first communication device (10) concerning each of the radio protocols supported by the first communication device (10) or wherein the receiver is operable to receive Information via the first radio protocol directly from the first communication device (10) concerning radio protocols supported by each of a plurality of communication devices (10).
     
    3. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the receiver is operable to receive Information separately, via the first radio protocol, from each of a plurality of further communication devices (10) wherein the information received from a further communication device (10) concerns radio protocols supported by that further communication device (10).
     
    4. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the received information comprises parameters usable for creating a new communication link and/or wherein the received information comprises parameters used for handing-over an existing communication channel from one radio protocol to another radio protocol and/or wherein the received information comprises parameters used for changing how communications are routed within a network.
     
    5. A communication device (10) as claimed in claim 4, wherein the received information comprises parameters for excluding the first communication device (10) as an intermediary routing node for data traffic in a network or the received information comprises parameters for maintaining the first communication device (10) as an intermediary node for control traffic in the network.
     
    6. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the controller (14) is operable to control selection, in dependence upon the received information, of how a third radio protocol is used for communication and/or wherein the controller (14) is operable to control selection, in dependence upon the received information, of how the second radio protocol is used for communication and/or wherein the controller (14) is operable to control selection, in dependence upon the received information, of one of a plurality of radio protocols for communication and/or wherein the controller (14) is operable to control selection, in dependence upon the received information, of one of a plurality of usable frequencies of a radio protocol for communication.
     
    7. A communication device (10) as claimed in claim 6, wherein the selection is based upon interference and/or the selection involves choice of any one or more of: a frequency band, transmission timing, a data rate, a latency for set-up and a transmission power level.
     
    8. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the controller (14) is operable to control communication of the communication device (10) in dependence upon the received information after the opening of a new application.
     
    9. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first radio protocol is used as a control channel and/or wherein the first radio protocol is a low power, short range radio protocol.
     
    10. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the second radio protocol is a cellular telephone protocol and wherein the received information concerning at least a second radio protocol identifies the cellular telephone protocol downlink signal strength.
     
    11. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the receiver is operable to request information from the first communication device (10) before communicating using a third protocol.
     
    12. A communication device (10) as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the receiver is operable to request information from the first communication device (10) before communicating using a third protocol above a power threshold.
     
    13. A communication device (10) as claimed in claim 12, wherein the third protocol is an UWB protocol and the controller (14) is operable to control the communication device (10) to transmit according to the UWB protocol at a particular frequency and/or a particular power level.
     
    14. A method of controlling communications at a communication device (10) comprising:

    receiving information via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device (10) concerning at least a second radio protocol capability of a second communication device, wherein the communication device (10) is external to the first (10) and second communication devices, wherein the first and second communication devices (10) are external to the communication device (10) and wherein the first and second (10) communication device are external to each other; and

    controlling communication of the communication device (10) in dependence upon the received information, wherein the received information comprises one or more of the following parameters: performance parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, capacity parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, operational frequency parameter(s) for the second radio protocol and communication parameter(s) for the second radio protocol;

    wherein the received information comprises an indicator when the second radio capability of the second communication device is active.


     
    15. A computer program comprising computer program instructions which when executed by a computer cause the computer to perform the steps of:

    receiving information via a first radio protocol directly from a first communication device (10) concerning at least a second radio protocol capability of a second communication device, wherein the communication device (10) is external to the first (10) and second communication devices, wherein the first and second communication devices (10) are external to the communication device (10) and wherein the first and second (10) communication device are external to each other; and

    controlling communication of the communication device (10) in dependence upon the received information, wherein the received information comprises one or more of the following parameters: performance parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, capacity parameter(s) for the second radio protocol, operational frequency parameter(s) for the second radio protocol and communication parameter(s) for the second radio protocol; wherein the received information comprises an indicator when the second radio capability of the second communication device is active.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10), die Folgendes aufweist:

    einen Empfänger zum Empfangen von Informationen (37) durch ein erstes Funkprotokoll direkt von einer ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10), die mindestens eine zweite Funkprotokollfähigkeit einer zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) betreffen, wobei sich die Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der ersten (10) und zweiten (10) Kommunikationsvorrichtung befindet, wobei sich die erste und zweite Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) befinden und wobei sich die erste und zweite Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern voneinander befinden; und

    einen Kontroller (14) zum Steuern der Kommunikation der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen, wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen oder mehrere der folgenden Parameter aufweisen: einen oder mehrere Leistungsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Kapazitätsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Betriebsfrequenzparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll und einen oder mehrere Kommunikationsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll;

    wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen Indikator aufweisen, wenn die zweite Funkfähigkeit der zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) aktiv ist.


     
    2. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Empfänger betriebsfähig ist, Informationen durch das erste Funkprotokoll direkt von der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) zu empfangen, die jedes der Funkprotokolle betreffen, die durch die erste Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) unterstützt werden, oder wobei der Empfänger betriebsfähig ist, Informationen durch das erste Funkprotokoll direkt von der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) zu empfangen, die Funkprotokolle betreffen, die durch jede einer Vielzahl von Kommunikationsvorrichtungen (10) unterstützt werden.
     
    3. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Empfänger betriebsfähig ist, getrennt Informationen durch das erste Funkprotokoll von jeder einer Vielzahl von weiteren Kommunikationsvorrichtungen (10) zu empfangen, wobei die von einer weiteren Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) empfangenen Informationen Funkprotokolle betreffen, die durch diese weitere Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) unterstützt werden.
     
    4. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die empfangenen Informationen Parameter aufweisen, die zum Herstellen einer neuen Kommunikationsverbindung nutzbar sind, und/oder wobei die empfangenen Informationen Parameter aufweisen, die zum Übergeben eines vorhandenen Kommunikationskanals von einem Funkprotokoll zu einem anderen Funkprotokoll verwendet werden, und/oder wobei die empfangenen Informationen Parameter aufweisen, die zum Ändern dessen verwendet werden, wie Kommunikationen innerhalb eines Netzwerks geroutet werden.
     
    5. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die empfangenen Informationen Parameter zum Ausschließen der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) als zwischengeschalteten Routingknoten für den Datenverkehr in einem Netzwerk aufweisen oder die empfangenen Informationen Parameter zum Beibehalten der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) als einen zwischengeschalteten Knoten zur Steuerung des Verkehrs im Netzwerk aufweisen.
     
    6. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen die Auswahl zu steuern, wie ein drittes Funkprotokoll zur Kommunikation verwendet wird, und/oder wobei der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen die Auswahl zu steuern, wie das zweite Funkprotokoll zur Kommunikation verwendet wird, und/oder wobei der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen die Auswahl von einem einer Vielzahl von Funkprotokollen zur Kommunikation zu steuern, und/oder wobei der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen die Auswahl von einer einer Vielzahl von nutzbaren Frequenzen eines Funkprotokolls zur Kommunikation zu steuern.
     
    7. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 6, wobei die Auswahl auf Störungen beruht und/oder die Auswahl die Wahl von einem oder mehreren des Folgenden umfasst: ein Frequenzband, ein Sendetiming, eine Datenrate, eine Latenz zum Aufbau und einen Sendeleistungspegel.
     
    8. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, die Kommunikation der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen nach dem Öffnen einer neuen Anwendung zu steuern.
     
    9. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das erste Funkprotokoll als ein Steuerkanal verwendet wird und/oder wobei das erste Funkprotokoll ein Kurzstrecken-Funkprotokoll mit niedriger Leistung ist.
     
    10. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das zweite Funkprotokoll ein Mobiltelefon-Protokoll ist und wobei die empfangenen Informationen, die mindestens ein zweites Funkprotokoll betreffen, die Abwärtsstrecken-Signalstärke des Mobiltelefon-Protokolls kennzeichnen.
     
    11. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Empfänger betriebsfähig ist, Informationen von der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) anzufordern, bevor mittels eines dritten Protokolls kommuniziert wird.
     
    12. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Empfänger betriebsfähig ist, Informationen von der ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) anzufordern, bevor mittels eines dritten Protokolls oberhalb eines Leistungspegels kommuniziert wird.
     
    13. Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) nach Anspruch 12, wobei das dritte Protokoll ein UWB-Protokoll ist und der Kontroller (14) betriebsfähig ist, die Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) zu steuern, entsprechend dem UWB-Protokoll auf einer bestimmten Frequenz und/oder einem bestimmten Leistungspegel zu senden.
     
    14. Verfahren zum Steuern von Kommunikationen an einer Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10), das die folgenden Schritte aufweist:

    Empfangen von Informationen durch ein erstes Funkprotokoll direkt von einer ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10), die mindestens eine zweite Funkprotokollfähigkeit einer zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung betreffen, wobei sich die Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der ersten (10) und zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung befindet, wobei sich die erste und zweite Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) befindet und wobei sich die erste und zweite (10) Kommunikationsvorrichtung extern voneinander befinden; und

    Steuern der Kommunikation der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen, wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen oder mehrere der folgenden Parameter aufweisen: einen oder mehrere Leistungsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Kapazitätsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Betriebsfrequenzparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll und einen oder mehrere Kommunikationsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll;

    wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen Indikator aufweisen, wenn die zweite Funkfähigkeit der zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung aktiv ist.


     
    15. Computerprogramm, das Computerprogramm-Befehle aufweist, die, wenn sie durch einen Computer ausgeführt werden, den Computer veranlassen, die folgenden Schritte auszuführen:

    Empfangen von Informationen durch ein erstes Funkprotokoll direkt von einer ersten Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10), die mindestens eine zweite Funkprotokollfähigkeit einer zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung betreffen, wobei sich die Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der ersten (10) und zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung befindet, wobei sich die erste und zweite Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) extern von der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) befinden und wobei sich die erste und zweite (10) Kommunikationsvorrichtung extern voneinander befinden; und

    Steuern der Kommunikation der Kommunikationsvorrichtung (10) in Abhängigkeit von den empfangenen Informationen, wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen oder mehrere der folgenden Parameter aufweisen: einen oder mehrere Leistungsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Kapazitätsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll, einen oder mehrere Betriebsfrequenzparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll und einen oder mehrere Kommunikationsparameter für das zweite Funkprotokoll; wobei die empfangenen Informationen einen Indikator aufweisen, wenn die zweite Funkfähigkeit der zweiten Kommunikationsvorrichtung aktiv ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de communication (10) comprenant :

    un récepteur pour recevoir des informations (37) via un premier protocole radio depuis un premier dispositif de communication (10) relatives à au moins une capabilité de deuxième protocole radio d'un second dispositif de communication (10), dans lequel le dispositif de communication (10) est externe aux premier (10) et second (10) dispositifs de communication, dans lequel les premier et second dispositifs de communication (10) sont externes au dispositif de communication (10) et dans lequel les premier et second dispositifs de communication (10) sont externes l'un à l'autre ; et

    un contrôleur (14) pour commander les communications du dispositif de communication (10) en fonction des informations reçues, les informations reçues comprenant un ou plusieurs des paramètres suivants : un ou des paramètres de performance du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de capacité du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de fréquence opérationnelle du deuxième protocole radio et un ou des paramètres de communication du deuxième protocole radio ;

    dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent un indicateur quand la deuxième capabilité radio du second dispositif de communication (10) est active.


     
    2. Dispositif de communication (10) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le récepteur est exploitable pour recevoir des informations via le premier protocole radio directement du premier dispositif de communication (10) relatives à chacun des protocoles radio pris en charge par le premier dispositif de communication (10) ou dans lequel le récepteur est exploitable pour recevoir des informations via le premier protocole radio directement depuis le premier dispositif de communication (10) relatives aux protocoles radio pris en charge par chacun d'une pluralité de dispositifs de communication (10).
     
    3. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le récepteur est exploitable pour recevoir des informations séparément, via le premier protocole radio, depuis chacun d'une pluralité d'autres dispositifs de communication (10), dans lequel les informations reçues depuis un autre dispositif de communication (10) concernent des protocoles radio pris en charge par cet autre dispositif de communication (10).
     
    4. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent des paramètres utilisables pour créer une nouvelle liaison de communication et/ou dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent des paramètres utilisés pour transférer un canal de communication existant d'un protocole radio à un autre protocole radio et/ou dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent des paramètres utilisés pour changer la manière dont les communications sont routées dans un réseau.
     
    5. Dispositif de communication (10) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent des paramètres pour exclure le premier dispositif de communication (10) comme noeud de routage intermédiaire du trafic de données dans un réseau ou les informations reçues comprennent des paramètres pour maintenir le premier dispositif de communication (10) comme noeud intermédiaire pour le trafic de commande dans le réseau.
     
    6. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander la sélection, en fonction des informations reçues, de la manière dont un troisième protocole radio est utilisé pour les communications et/ou dans lequel le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander la sélection, en fonction des informations reçues, de la manière dont le deuxième protocole radio est utilisé pour les communications et/ou dans lequel le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander la sélection, en fonction des informations reçues, de l'un d'une pluralité de protocoles radio pour la communication et/ou dans lequel le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander la sélection, en fonction des informations reçues, de l'une d'une pluralité de fréquences utilisables d'un protocole radio de communication.
     
    7. Dispositif de communication (10) selon la revendication 6, dans lequel la sélection est basée sur l'interférence et/ou la sélection implique le choix de n'importe lequel ou de plusieurs : d'une bande de fréquences, d'une synchronisation de transmission, d'un débit de données, d'un temps d'attente de réglage et d'un niveau de puissance de transmission.
     
    8. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander la communication du dispositif de communication (10) en fonction des informations reçues après l'ouverture d'une nouvelle application.
     
    9. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le premier protocole radio est utilisé comme canal de commande et/ou dans lequel le premier protocole radio est un protocole radio de faible puissance, de courte portée.
     
    10. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le deuxième protocole radio est un protocole téléphonique cellulaire et dans lequel les informations reçues concernant au moins un deuxième protocole radio identifient la force du signal de liaison descendante du protocole téléphonique cellulaire.
     
    11. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le récepteur est exploitable pour demander des informations au premier dispositif de communication (10) avant de communiquer en utilisant un troisième protocole.
     
    12. Dispositif de communication (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le récepteur est exploitable pour demander des informations au premier dispositif de communication (10) avant de communiquer en utilisant un troisième protocole au-dessus d'un seuil de puissance.
     
    13. Dispositif de communication (10) selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le troisième protocole est un protocole UWB et le contrôleur (14) est exploitable pour commander au dispositif de communication (10) de transmettre en fonction du protocole UWB à une fréquence particulière et/ou à un niveau de puissance particulier.
     
    14. Procédé de commande des communications dans un dispositif de communication (10) comprenant :

    la réception d'informations via un premier protocole radio directement depuis un premier dispositif de communication (10) relatives à au moins une capabilité de deuxième protocole radio d'un second dispositif de communication, dans lequel le dispositif de communication (10) est externe aux premier (10) et second (10) dispositifs de communication, dans lequel les premier et second dispositifs de communication (10) sont externes au dispositif de communication (10) et dans lequel les premier et second dispositifs de communication (10) sont externes l'un à l'autre ; et

    la commande des communications du dispositif de communication (10) en fonction des informations reçues, les informations reçues comprenant un ou plusieurs des paramètres suivants : un ou des paramètres de performance du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de capacité du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de fréquence opérationnelle du deuxième protocole radio et un ou des paramètres de communication du deuxième protocole radio ;

    dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent un indicateur quand la deuxième capabilité radio du second dispositif de communication est active.


     
    15. Programme informatique comprenant des instructions de programme informatique qui, lorsqu'elles sont exécutées par un ordinateur amènent l'ordinateur à exécuter les étapes consistant à :

    recevoir des informations via un premier protocole radio directement depuis un premier dispositif de communication (10) relatives à au moins une capabilité de deuxième protocole radio d'un second dispositif de communication, dans lequel le dispositif de communication (10) est externe aux premier (10) et second dispositifs de communication, dans lequel les premier et second dispositifs de communication (10) sont externes au dispositif de communication (10) et dans lequel les premier et second (10) dispositifs de communication sont externes l'un à l'autre ; et

    commander les communications du dispositif de communication (10) en fonction des informations reçues, les informations reçues comprenant un ou plusieurs des paramètres suivants : un ou des paramètres de performance du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de capacité du deuxième protocole radio, un ou des paramètres de fréquence opérationnelle du deuxième protocole radio et un ou des paramètres de communication du deuxième protocole radio ;

    dans lequel les informations reçues comprennent un indicateur quand la deuxième capabilité radio du second dispositif de communication est active.


     




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    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.

    Patent documents cited in the description