(19)
(11)EP 3 203 774 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/48

(21)Application number: 17154332.5

(22)Date of filing:  02.02.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 28/18(2009.01)
H04W 72/04(2009.01)

(54)

ASSIGNMENT OF NETWORK RESOURCE TO A DEVICE

ZUWEISUNG VON NETZWERKRESSOURCEN ZU EINER VORRICHTUNG

ATTRIBUTION DE RESSOURCE RÉSEAU À UN DISPOSITIF


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 02.02.2016 FI 20165072

(43)Date of publication of application:
09.08.2017 Bulletin 2017/32

(73)Proprietor: Telia Company AB
169 94 Solna (SE)

(72)Inventors:
  • JALKANEN, Tero
    04300 TUUSULA (FI)
  • SARAJISTO, Tomi
    00790 HELSINKI (FI)

(74)Representative: Berggren Oy, Helsinki & Oulu 
P.O. Box 16 Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 10A
00101 Helsinki
00101 Helsinki (FI)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 993 231
US-A1- 2009 040 937
  
      
    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

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The invention concerns in general the technical field of network resource management. More particularly, the invention concerns assignment of network resource to a device.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Mobile terminals are nowadays capable of utilizing network resources based on different network technologies. The utilization of network resources provides the terminal a communication channel for transferring and receiving data to and from the network.

    [0003] It is also known that a mobile terminal may be set to operate as a base station for other mobile terminals. Typically, such a situation is that the mobile terminal is connected to a mobile communications network through one network technology. Additionally, a short range communication is enabled in the mobile terminal and the mobile terminal is set on a state that it operates as a base station establishing a short range communication network, such as Wi-Fi network, in the area where the mobile terminal resides. Now, one or more other terminals may be connected to the short range communication network provided by the mobile terminal and in such manner the other terminals may access to a data network though the mobile terminal is being connected to the mobile communication network.

    [0004] An example of a prior art solution is disclosed in a document EP 1 993 231 A1 in which it is described an allocation solution for network resource in communication network. In the allocation a current network performance parameter is taken into account in a selection of service levels, and the selected service level is sent to a user terminal. Network resources for a user service are allocated accordingly.

    [0005] One drawback of the prior art solutions is that the provision of network resources by the mobile terminal is static in nature. This refers to the fact that the terminal may only provide the network resources to the network into which it is connected to. Furthermore, the prior art solutions only enable the provision of the network resources free-of-charge, or at least in a manner, that the provider, i.e. the mobile terminal operating as base station, does not get any compensation on the provision.

    [0006] Hence, there is need to introduce solutions that mitigate at least some of the above described drawbacks at least partly.

    SUMMARY



    [0007] The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide basic understanding of some aspects of various invention embodiments. The summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is neither intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention nor to delineate the scope of the invention. The following summary merely presents some concepts of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to a more detailed description of exemplifying embodiments of the invention.

    [0008] An objective of the invention is to present a method, a terminal and a computer program product for assigning at least some capacity of a network resource to a device. Another objective of the invention is that the method, the terminal and the computer program product enable negotiation of the assignment of the network resource between different entities being involved in the method.

    [0009] The objectives of the invention are reached by a method, a terminal and a computer program product as defined by the respective independent claims.

    [0010] According to a first aspect, a method for assigning at least part of a capacity of at least one network resource to a device through a negotiating network terminal is provided, wherein the method comprises: detecting at least one network resource, obtaining, by attaching to a mobile communication network, at least one parameter value from the at least one network resource wherein the at least one parameter value represents at least one characteristic of the at least one network resource in question, comparing the obtained at least one parameter value of the at least one network resource to at least one comparison value, in response to the comparison selecting the at least one network resource whose the obtained at least one parameter value meets best the at least one comparison value; and wherein the method further comprises: delivering a signal indicating an availability of a capacity of the selected at least one network resource on at least one condition, assigning at least part of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource to the device in response to a receipt of an acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the at least one condition.

    [0011] The detection may be based on recognition of a broadcast network identifier.

    [0012] The at least one network resource to be attached may at least partly be selected on basis of a network preference list stored in a subscriber identity module accessible by the negotiating network terminal.

    [0013] The delivery of the signal indicating the availability of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource may be performed by at least one of the following: broadcast, in response to a request by the device. The delivery of the at least one condition, in turn, may be performed by one of the following: embedding the at least one condition in the broadcast signal, delivering in response to a request by the device.

    [0014] Further, the acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the predetermined condition may be received from at least one of the following: the device, a third party node.

    [0015] The at least one condition of the at least one network resource relates to at least one of the following: bandwidth, latency, amount of transferable data, price, security aspect, protocol version.

    [0016] According to a second aspect, a negotiating network terminal is provided, the negotiating network terminal comprising at least one processor and at least one memory including computer program code, and the at least one memory and the computer program code configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the negotiating network terminal at least to perform: detect at least one network resource, obtain, by attaching to a mobile communication network, at least one parameter value from the at least one network resource wherein the at least one parameter value represents at least one characteristic of the at least one network resource in question, compare the obtained at least one parameter value of the at least one network resource to at least one comparison value, in response to the comparison select the at least one network resource whose the obtained at least one parameter value meets best the at least one comparison value; and wherein the negotiating network terminal is further caused to perform: deliver a signal indicating an availability of a capacity of the selected at least one network resource on at least one condition, assign at least part of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource to the device in response to a receipt of an acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the at least one condition.

    [0017] Further, the negotiating network terminal may be configured to perform the detection on basis of recognition of a broadcast network identifier.

    [0018] The negotiating network terminal may be configured to perform the selection of the at least one network resource to be attached at least partly on basis of a network preference list stored in a subscriber identity module accessible by the negotiating network terminal.

    [0019] The negotiating network terminal may be configured to perform the delivery of the signal indicating the availability of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource by at least one of the following: broadcast, in response to a request by the device.

    [0020] The negotiating network terminal may be configured to perform the delivery of the at least one condition by one of the following: embedding the at least one condition in the broadcast signal, delivering in response to a request by the device.

    [0021] Alternatively or in addition, the negotiating network terminal may be configured to receive the acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the predetermined condition from at least one of the following: the device, a third party node.

    [0022] According to a third aspect, a computer program product comprising program instructions which when executed by a negotiating network terminal cause the negotiating network terminal to perform the method as described above in the context of the first aspect.

    [0023] Various exemplifying and non-limiting embodiments of the invention both as to constructions and to methods of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific exemplifying and non-limiting embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

    [0024] The verbs "to comprise" and "to include" are used in this document as open limitations that neither exclude nor require the existence of unrecited features. The features recited in dependent claims are mutually freely combinable unless otherwise explicitly stated. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the use of "a" or "an", i.e. a singular form, throughout this document does not exclude a plurality.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES



    [0025] The embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings.

    Figure 1 illustrates schematically an example of an environment in which the present invention may be implemented to.

    Figure 2 illustrates schematically a method according to an embodiment of the invention.

    Figure 3 illustrates schematically an embodiment of the present invention as a signal diagram.

    Figure 4 illustrates schematically another example of an environment in which the present invention may be implemented to.

    Figure 5 illustrates schematically an example of a negotiating network terminal.


    DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLIFYING EMBODIMENTS



    [0026] The specific examples provided in the description given below should not be construed as limiting the scope and/or the applicability of the appended claims. Lists and groups of examples provided in the description given below are not exhaustive unless otherwise explicitly stated.

    [0027] Figure 1 illustrates schematically an example of an environment in which the present invention may be implemented to. A transceiver terminal called a negotiating network terminal 110 resides in an area where one or more network resources are available for use. The negotiating network terminal 110 is configured, and equipped with necessary means, to monitor and detect the network resource, or resources, in the area it resides. In the example as illustrated in Figure 1 there are two mobile communication networks 120, 140 (MCN - Mobile Communication Network) and one short range wireless network (here Wi-Fi) 130 available for the negotiating network terminal 110. In order to detect the available network resources the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to monitor one or more radio channels in order to detect networks, e.g. with network identifiers. In other words, as it comes to mobile communication networks the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to detect mobile communication networks by recognizing the network identifiers broadcast within the area. In response to the detection the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to select at least one mobile communication network to be attached. The selection may e.g. be based on a so called network preference list that is stored in a memory of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) residing in the negotiating network terminal 110. The preference list may, but is not limited to, define one or more mobile communication networks into which the negotiating network terminal equipped with SIM may or may not attach. Moreover, one or more further criterion may be set for selecting the mobile communication network, such as the negotiating network terminal shall primarily attempt to attach to a network providing the highest signal strength to the negotiating network terminal 110. In some embodiment the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to select more than one mobile communication network to be attached to, especially if the terminal comprises a plurality of radio parts. The attachment may then be concurrent to a plurality of networks. As it comes to Wi-Fi, or other short-range communication networks, the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to attach to the network in question. The attachment may be possible if the Wi-Fi network is accessible without any credentials or if the terminal, or the user of the terminal, is aware of the required credentials to the network. The attachment shall primary in this context be understood as a mechanism to obtain information from the one or more networks for purposes as will be described. This may require an attachment to one or more mobile communication network as defined in corresponding specifications as well as an attachment to one or more short-range communication network e.g. through an access right procedure. The present invention is applicable with any network type, for example Sigfox, LoRa or any other long-range network may be provided for attachment in addition or alternatively to Wi-Fi, for example.

    [0028] In response to the detection and an attachment the negotiating network terminal 110 may initiate a negotiation towards at least one of the detected networks 120, 130, 140. The negotiation may comprise, but is not limited to, obtaining with a query at least one parameter value from the network resource, or network resources. The at least one parameter value advantageously represents at least one characteristic of the network resource in question. Some examples of the at least one characteristic may be, but is not limited to, bandwidth, latency, amount of transferable data, price, security aspects, protocol versions in use or any combination of the characteristics. The combination covers also any derivation of at least two characteristics, such as price per predetermined amount of transferred data, for instance. As may be seen above the negotiation primarily relates to a utilization of the network resource in question for data connection. As the negotiating network terminal 110 is configured to obtain the at least one parameter value from the at least one available network resource the parameter value shall be utilized for a selection of the network resource to be utilized. In order to make the selection the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to compare the obtained parameter value received from one or more network resources to one or more comparison value. The at least one comparison value is arranged accessible to the negotiating network terminal 110. For example, it may be stored in a memory of the negotiating network terminal 110 or be obtainable from a network node, such as a server, into which the negotiating network terminal 110 has access either directly or indirectly. The comparison value may be fixed or changing dynamically through a predefined scheme. According to an embodiment of the invention the one or more comparison values may be defined by a user and, thus, representing a user preference. For example, the user may define that he/she requires a service that has a certain parameter value and sets that as the comparison value. For example, a price for a certain service that is acceptable to the user in question may be set as the comparison value by the user. An outcome of the comparison may be that the negotiating network terminal selects at least one available network resource for further use, as will be described. For example, the selected network resource may be the network resource whose the at least one parameter value meets best the at least one comparison value, i.e. fulfills the user preference. As a result, the negotiating network terminal 110 is aware of an optimal network resource to be used if necessary. In some further embodiment of the invention the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to generate a signal to the selected network resource, i.e. to a network node, which signal indicates that the negotiating network terminal 110 may utilize the selected network resource at some point of time. The signal may also indicate that the negotiating network terminal 110 is willing to reserve an amount of communication capacity from the network resource in question.

    [0029] The negotiation, as described above, may be a part of the attachment to the network in question. Alternatively or in addition, the negotiation may be arranged to be performed in response to the attachment to the one or more networks. For example, the negotiating network terminal 110 may comprise an installed application software that, when executed, is configured to signal a request of parameter value or values to a network element. The network element may be configured to response by providing one or more pre-agreed parameter values to the negotiating network terminal. The negotiation may be performed with one or more networks that the negotiating network terminal has detected and been attached to.

    [0030] Further, in response to the negotiation and the selection of the network resource the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to, according to an embodiment of the invention, advertise an availability of the selected network resource or resources. The advertisement of network resource availability may e.g. be implemented with a short-range communication technology, such as with Bluetooth. For example, in response to the negotiation and the selection of a network resource possibly to be utilized the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to broadcast an advertisement signal indicating that it may provide network resources to third parties. Naturally, prior to the advertisement the negotiating network terminal 110 may have switched on the radio part providing the communication technology, such as Bluetooth, for the advertisement either automatically instructed by an internal application or in response to a manual instruction provided e.g. by the user of the negotiating network terminal 110. As a result, the negotiating network terminal 110 operates as a broadcaster of the network resource availability within the area defined by the radio technology used for the advertising.

    [0031] Some aspects of the invention relate to the advertisement signal. The signal may advantageously be structured so that it comprises information, such as an indicator, on that it is an advertisement signal of available network resources. The advertisement signal may also comprise information on a condition on which the network resource or resources is available for use through the negotiating network terminal 110. The information on the condition may be embedded, for example, in a header field, or fields, of the advertisement message, which information may be read by a device 150 receiving the advertisement signal, and e.g. shown to the user of the device.

    [0032] As a result of the advertisement the negotiating network terminal 110 may receive a request from a device 150 to utilize the advertised network resource or resources.

    [0033] Alternatively, the negotiating network terminal 110 may directly receive a request, or at least an indication, from a device 150 that the device 150 needs at least one network resource to be used via the negotiating network terminal 110. The negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to deliver a signal to the device 150 which signal indicates an availability of a capacity of the selected network resource on a predetermined condition. In this embodiment of the invention the device 150 may be configured to broadcast network resource request message through a communication channel that may be listened by at least one negotiating network terminal 110. Again, the communication channel may be implemented with a short-range communication technology, such as Bluetooth, for example.

    [0034] Next some aspects of the predetermined condition defined and provided by the negotiating network terminal 110 are given. The predetermined condition provided to the device 150 by the negotiating network terminal 110 may e.g. relate, but is not limited to, to bandwidth, latency, amount of transferable data, price, operator, communication technology or any combination of the characteristics as mentioned. An example of the condition may be that the condition indicates that the negotiating network terminal 110 may provide to the device 150 a network capacity X Mbit/s with a price of Y euros / Z minutes. In other words, the negotiating network terminal 110 may assign at least part of the capacity of the selected network resource to the device 150 if the device 150 accepts the predetermined condition. Hence, in response to an acknowledgement of the acceptance of the condition from the device 150 the negotiating network terminal 110 may assign a capacity of the network resource to the device 150. The assignment may request signaling with the selected network resource in order to connect the negotiating network terminal 110 to the network resource in question. As a result, the negotiating network terminal 110 is arranged to operate as a router between the device 150 and the selected network resource.

    [0035] The negotiating network terminal 110 may operate as a router over the same short-range communication technology over which the negotiation is performed or alternatively it may be configured to initiate base station functionality over another communication technology, such as Wi-Fi, and allow the device 150 to connect to it over the Wi-Fi. Furthermore, in some implementation of the invention the negotiating network terminal 110 may comprise better mobile network connection quality e.g. due to better hardware, such as antenna, than the device 150. In such a situation the described negotiation / advertisement procedure may also be applied causing the device 150 to use mobile communication network services at least partly through the negotiating network terminal 110. For example, LTE device-to-device (D2D) communication arrangement may be applied herein in which the negotiating network terminal 110 and the device 150 are mutually connected over D2D connection that utilizes network resources, such as time-frequency allocation, of the LTE mobile communication network, but wherein the negotiating network terminal performs the communication towards the base station, i.e. eNodeB, on behalf of the device 150. In other words, the negotiating network terminal 110 performs LTE-to-LTE gateway operation.

    [0036] For sake of clarity, the device 150 may be a mobile terminal that is capable of establishing a connection, such as a short range connection or any other as described above, to and with the negotiating network terminal 110.

    [0037] The present invention does not take any standpoint, nor limit it, as it comes to a possible mechanism in which the device 150 compensates the negotiating network terminal 110 of the assignment of network resources. As an example, the transaction may be performed through a payment service into which both the negotiating network terminal and the device have access. The payment service may e.g. be a bitcoin system or PayPal, for instance. Furthermore, any block-chain type distributed solution may be applied as a compensation mechanism wherein the devices 110, 150 are configured to automatically exchange information between the seller and the buyer. The block-chain type solution may comprise, but is not limited to, steps of identifying the parties involved in the interaction and agreeing the compensation on the offered services. A database may be configured to collect the generated information i.e. the transactions.

    [0038] The compensation does not necessarily refer to monetary compensation but may also cover any other type of compensation. For example, the compensation may be provided by a third party, such as from a telecom operator whose network node is involved in the assignment of network resources. In such a case the third party may motivate the seller to provide the network resource by introducing such compensation means that attract users of the negotiating network terminals to operate as sellers. For example, if the third party is a telecom operator it may use vouchers of their services, such as voice call service, as compensation means.

    [0039] Figure 2 schematically illustrates a method according to an embodiment of the invention. The method as illustrated comprises steps as follows:

    210: detecting at least one available network resource in the area where the negotiating network terminal resides;

    220: obtaining at least one parameter value from the at least one available network resource wherein the at least one parameter value represents a characteristic of the network resource in question;

    230: comparing the obtained at least one parameter value of each of the at least one available network resource to at least one comparison value;

    240: selecting, in response to the comparison, the at least one available network resource whose the obtained at least one parameter value meets best the at least one comparison value;

    250: receiving a request of a network resource from the device;

    260: delivering a signal indicating an availability of a capacity of the selected network resource on a predetermined condition;

    270: assigning at least part of the capacity of the selected network resource to the device in response to a receipt of an acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the predetermined condition.



    [0040] As discussed, prior to the receipt of the request in step 250 the negotiating network terminal 110, or even the device 150, may be configured to advertise either the availability of the network resource or a need of network resource, correspondingly. The advertisement signaling may comprise information on a condition to use a radio resource thought the negotiating network terminal 110. In such case, there is no need to deliver the condition information in step 260.

    [0041] Figure 3 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the present invention as a signal diagram. The Figure 3 illustrates the signaling after the negotiating network terminal 110 has detected one or more communication networks 120, 130, 140, i.e. network resources, and possibly attached to at least one of them. Next, the negotiating network terminal 110 is configured to send a query 310 to one or more networks 120, 130, 140 in order to obtain more or more parameter values. As said the parameter values may advantageously represent at least one characteristic of the network resource in question. The query is sent to an applicable network element that is able to provide the parameter value. For example, the network element may be, but is not limited to, a base station, a base station controller, a register in the network, a network management node (e.g. MME), a server accessible over the network or a combination of these. In response to the query the network provides the requested information 315. The negotiating network terminal 110 may perform query-response procedure with all the detected networks (shown as circle arrow in Figure 3). As already described, the negotiating network terminal 110 may compare the obtained parameter value with corresponding comparison value and in response to the comparison phase the negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to select at least one network resource. The negotiating network terminal 110 may be configured to indicate the selection 320 to the network. In response to the indication the network may send an acknowledgment 325 to the indication and possibly the negotiating network terminal 110 may access to the network in question. The selection may also comprise a procedure to reserve network resources with certain characteristics, such as with certain price and bandwidth.

    [0042] Next, the negotiating network terminal 110 may or may not advertise availability of the network access in the manner as described. At some point the negotiating network terminal 110 may receive a query 330 from a device 150 regarding utilization of the selected network resource. In the example as shown in Figure 3 the negotiating network terminal 110 is configured to provide an offer i.e. inform the device 150 on at least one condition set for the use of the selected network resource 335 through the negotiating network terminal 110. The device 150 may request a new offer from the negotiating network terminal 110, or from any other negotiating network terminal accessible by the device 150 (shown as circle arrow in Figure 3). In response to one or more offers the device 150 may select at least one of the offered network resources and signal the acceptance of the at least conditions 340 set for the utilization of the network resource to the negotiating network terminal 110. The negotiating network terminal 110 may, in response to the acceptance, acknowledge 345 the selection to the device 150. The acknowledgement may also comprise some further information, such as instructions or invitation, to access the offered network resources. The instruction and/or the invitation may e.g. comprise a link to access to an application residing in the negotiating network terminal 110 for initiating router functionality in the negotiating network terminal 110. Finally, the device 150 may access to network resources provided by the selected network 120, 130, 140 through the negotiating network terminal 110.

    [0043] The procedure as depicted with signals 320, 325 and 327 in Figure 3 are not necessary to be performed in the described phase. Namely, as the negotiating network terminal 110 has received the at least one parameter value from the one or more networks 120, 130, 140 that parameter value is acceptable, it may start advertising availability of the network resources through it without informing the selection to the network resource(s) in question or without establishing the access to the selected network. In such an implementation the final agreement on the selection and the utilization of the network resources may be performed in response to an acceptance of an offer by at least one device 150. This kind of implementation may reduce signaling in the preparation phase.

    [0044] It is also worthwhile to mention that in case the negotiating network terminal 110 comprises means, such as multiple radio parts, for accessing multiple radio networks concurrently the negotiating network terminal 110 may provide multiple conditions for acceptance to the device 150. Then, the device 150 may return, as a response, an indication on the condition that is acceptable in order to provide the negotiating network terminal 110 information on the network resource to be provided for the device 150. In this manner it is possible to offer the device 150 several network resources.

    [0045] The invention is above described mainly so that the device 150 may start utilizing the selected network resources in response to an acceptance of the at least one condition and acknowledging the acceptance to the negotiating network terminal 110. According to another embodiment of the invention, as schematically illustrated in Figure 4, the acceptance of the at least one condition by the device 150 may require support from a third party node that is illustrated as a server 410 in Figure 4. More specifically, when the negotiating network terminal 110 provides the at least one condition to the device 150 through advertisement message or in response to a request from the device 150, the acceptance of the at least one condition may cause the device to establish a connection, e.g. a data connection or through messaging, to a third party, such as to a server 410. The establishment of the connection may be configured to happen automatically when the device 150 indicates the acceptance of the condition in response to a user action or automatically. For example, if the condition requires a transaction to be happened between the parties the server 410 may represent a financial institution that is involved in the method for taking care of the transaction itself. A non-limiting example of the transaction may be that the server receives the indication of the acceptance of the condition and at the same time information on the amount of money as well as the receiver of the transaction. In response to the acceptance the server is configured to transfer the amount of money from an account of the device user to an account of the negotiating network terminal user. In response to the successful transaction the server 410 may be configured to deliver an acknowledgement indication the successful transaction at least to the negotiating network terminal 110, but preferably also to the device 150. In response to the acknowledgement from the server 410 the negotiating network terminal 110 may indicate an assignment of network resources to the device 150 and the device 150 may start utilizing the assigned network resources through the negotiating network terminal 110 operating as a router to the network resource. The description above provides one example of an embodiment of the invention in which a third party is involved in the provision of the network resources to a device 150 by a negotiating network terminal 110. In some further embodiment the server 410 may not necessarily directly inform the negotiating network terminal 110 on the successful transaction, but the server 410 may deliver a confirmation of the transaction e.g. with details back to the device 150 that is configured to deliver the confirmation further to the negotiating network terminal 110 e.g. together with the indication that it accepts the predetermined condition. When the negotiating network terminal 110 receives the indication the negotiating network terminal 110 may assign the network resource to the device 150.

    [0046] Figure 5 schematically illustrates an example of a negotiating network terminal 110 that may be configured to operate as a core element for providing network resources to a device 150 in the manner as described. The negotiating network terminal 110 may comprise a processor unit 510 comprising one or more processors, a memory unit 520 comprising one or more memory elements, a transceiver unit 530 comprising one or more receivers 532 and transmitters 534 configured to implement one or more communication technologies as well as one or more antennas. Further, the negotiating network terminal 110 may comprise a user interface by means of which it is possible to input and output information with a user. The user interface may comprise, but is not limited to, at least one of the following: a display, a touch screen, one or more buttons, one or more microphones, one or more loudspeakers and so on. The negotiating network terminal 110 may further be equipped with a smart card 550 that in the context of the present invention may refer to a subscriber identity module (SIM). The SIM may be implemented either with a physical smart card or as a logic stored in the memory to be executed with the processor, for example. Moreover, the negotiating network terminal 110 may comprise one or more sensors for different purposes.

    [0047] The memory 520 of the negotiating network terminal 110 may store one or more portions of computer program code 522a-522n. The portions may refer to modules of code which, when executed by the processor unit 510, causes the negotiating network terminal 110 to operate in the manner as described. For example, one module may define instructions to detect, to obtain the parameter values, to perform the comparison and to select one or more network resources. Another module, in turn, may define instructions to advertise, to receive a request, to deliver a condition and to assign the network resource. The modules may be part of an executable application that, as a whole, causes the negotiating network terminal to operate in the described manner.

    [0048] Some non-limiting examples of the negotiating network terminal are a mobile phone, a tablet computer, a laptop computer, a modem, a transceiver circuitry. The device in question may be equipped with subscriber identity module if such is needed for accessing to a network resource, such as a mobile communication network.

    [0049] Some aspects of the invention relate to a computer program product comprising program instructions which when executed by a negotiating network terminal cause the negotiating network terminal to perform the method as described above. The computer program product may be implemented with any applicable computer program language and the computer program product may be stored in the terminal, or transferred from another non-transitory readable medium to the terminal. Furthermore, the device 150 may also comprise portions of computer program product to cause the device 150, when the portions of the computer program product are executed, to operate as described.

    [0050] The device 150 may comprise the corresponding units as the negotiating network terminal 110. At least the device 150 shall comprises a transceiver unit for coupling communicatively to the negotiating network terminal 110 and a processor unit and a memory storing portions of computer program code that comprise instructions to cause the device to operate as described when the portions of the computer program code are executed by the processor.

    [0051] The specific examples provided in the description given above should be interpreted in view of the appended claims. Lists and groups of examples provided in the description given above are not exhaustive unless otherwise explicitly stated.


    Claims

    1. A method for assigning at least part of a capacity of at least one network resource to a device (150) through a negotiating network terminal (110), the method, performed by the negotiating network terminal (110), comprising:

    - detecting (210) at least one network resource available in an area the negotiating network terminal (110) resides,

    - obtaining (220), by attaching to a mobile communication network, at least one parameter value from the detected at least one network resource wherein the at least one parameter value represents at least one characteristic of the detected at least one network resource,

    - comparing (230) the obtained at least one parameter value of the detected at least one network resource to at least one comparison value,

    - in response to the comparison selecting (240) the at least one network resource among the detected at least one network resource on a basis of the comparison between the obtained at least one parameter value and the at least one comparison value,

    and wherein the method further comprises:

    - delivering (260) a signal indicating an availability of a capacity of the selected at least one network resource on at least one condition,

    - assigning (270) at least part of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource to the device in response to a receipt of an acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the at least one condition.


     
    2. The method of claim 1 wherein the detection (210) is based on recognition of a broadcast network identifier.
     
    3. The method of any of the preceding claims wherein the at least one network resource to be attached is at least partly selected (240) on basis of a network preference list stored in a subscriber identity module accessible by the negotiating network terminal (110).
     
    4. The method of any of the preceding claims wherein the delivery of the signal (260) indicating the availability of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource is performed by at least one of the following: broadcast, in response to a request by the device.
     
    5. The method of claim 4 wherein the delivery of the at least one condition is performed by one of the following: embedding the at least one condition in the broadcast signal, delivering in response to a request by the device.
     
    6. The method of any of the preceding claims wherein the acknowledgement signal indicating that the device (150) accepts the predetermined condition is received from at least one of the following: the device (150), a third party node (410).
     
    7. The method of any of the preceding claims wherein the at least one condition of the at least one network resource relates to at least one of the following: bandwidth, latency, amount of transferable data, price, security aspect, protocol version.
     
    8. A negotiating network terminal (110) comprising
    at least one processor (510)
    and at least one memory (520) including computer program code,
    the at least one memory (520) and the computer program code configured to, with the at least one processor (510), cause the negotiating network terminal (110) at least to perform:

    detect (210) at least one network resource available in an area the negotiating network terminal (110) resides,

    obtain (220), by attaching to a mobile communication network, at least one parameter value from the detected at least one network resource wherein the at least one parameter value represents at least one characteristic of the detected at least one network resource,

    compare (230) the obtained at least one parameter value of the detected at least one network resource to at least one comparison value,

    in response to the comparison select (240) the at least one network resource among the detected at least one network resource on a basis of the comparison between the obtained at least one parameter value and the at least one comparison value,

    and wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is further caused to perform:

    deliver (260) a signal indicating an availability of a capacity of the selected at least one network resource on at least one condition,

    assign (270) at least part of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource to a device in response to a receipt of an acknowledgement signal indicating that the device accepts the at least one condition.


     
    9. The negotiating network terminal (110) of claim 8 wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is configured to perform the detection (210) on basis of recognition of a broadcast network identifier.
     
    10. The negotiating network terminal (110) of any of claims 8 or 9 wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is configured to perform the selection (240) of the at least one network resource to be attached at least partly on basis of a network preference list stored in a subscriber identity module accessible by the negotiating network terminal (110).
     
    11. The negotiating network terminal (110) of any of claims 8-10 wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is configured to perform the delivery of the signal (260) indicating the availability of the capacity of the selected at least one network resource by at least one of the following: broadcast, in response to a request by the device.
     
    12. The negotiating network terminal (110) of any of claims 8-11 wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is configured to perform the delivery of the at least one condition by one of the following: embedding the at least one condition in the broadcast signal, delivering in response to a request by the device.
     
    13. The negotiating network terminal (110) of any of claims 8-12 wherein the negotiating network terminal (110) is configured to receive the acknowledgement signal indicating that the device (150) accepts the predetermined condition from at least one of the following: the device (150), a third party node (410).
     
    14. A computer program product comprising program instructions which when executed by a negotiating network terminal cause the negotiating network terminal to perform the method as claimed in any of the claims 1-7.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Zuweisen mindestens eines Teils einer Kapazität von mindestens einer Netzwerkressource zu einem Gerät (150) über ein aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110), wobei das Verfahren, das durch das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) durchgeführt wird, Folgendes umfasst:

    - Erfassen (210) mindestens einer Netzwerkressource, die in einem Bereich verfügbar ist, in dem sich das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) befindet;

    - Erhalten (220) durch Anschließen an ein Mobilkommunikationsnetz mindestens einen Parameterwert aus der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource, wobei der mindestens eine Parameterwert mindestens ein Merkmal der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource darstellt,

    - Vergleichen (230) des erhaltenen mindestens einen Parameterwerts der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource mit mindestens einem Vergleichswert;

    - als Antwort auf den Vergleich, Auswählen (240) der mindestens einen Netzwerkressource unter den erfassten mindestens einer Netzwerkressource auf der Grundlage des Vergleichs zwischen dem erhaltenen mindestens einen Parameterwert und dem mindestens einen Vergleichswert; und wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    - Übermitteln (260) eines Signals, das die Verfügbarkeit einer Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource unter mindestens einer Bedingung anzeigt;

    - Zuweisen (270) mindestens eines Teils der Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource zum Gerät als Antwort auf den Empfang eines Bestätigungssignals, das angibt, dass das Gerät die mindestens eine Bedingung akzeptiert.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Erfassen (210) auf der Erkennung einer Rundfunknetzkennung basiert.
     
    3. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die mindestens eine anzuschliessende Netzwerkressource zumindest teilweise auf der Grundlage einer Netzwerkpräferenzliste, die in einem Teilnehmeridentitätsmodul gespeichert ist, auf das das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) zugreifen kann, ausgewählt (240) wird.
     
    4. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Übermitteln des Signals (260), das die Verfügbarkeit der Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource anzeigt, durch mindestens eines der folgenden ausgeführt wird: Senden als Antwort auf eine Anfrage durch das Gerät.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, wobei das Übermitteln der mindestens einen Bedingung durch eine der folgenden durchgeführt wird: Einbetten der mindestens einen Bedingung in das Rundfunksignal, Übermitteln als Antwort auf eine Anfrage durch das Gerät.
     
    6. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Bestätigungssignal, das anzeigt, dass die Vorrichtung (150) den vorbestimmten Zustand akzeptiert, von mindestens einem der folgenden empfangen wird: das Gerät (150), ein Drittanbieter-Knoten (410).
     
    7. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei sich die mindestens eine Bedingung der mindestens einen Netzwerkressource auf mindestens eine der folgenden bezieht: Bandbreite, Latenz, Menge übertragbarer Daten, Preis, Sicherheitsaspekt, Protokollversion.
     
    8. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110), umfassend
    mindestens einen Prozessor (510)
    und mindestens einen Speicher (520), der Computerprogrammcode enthält,
    wobei der mindestens eine Speicher (520) und der Computerprogrammcode mit dem mindestens einen Prozessor (510) konfiguriert sind, um zu bewirken, dass das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) mindestens Folgendes ausführt:

    Erfassen (210) mindestens einer Netzwerkressource, die in einem Bereich verfügbar ist, in dem sich das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) befindet;

    Erhalten (220) durch Anschließen an ein Mobilkommunikationsnetz mindestens einen Parameterwert aus der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource, wobei der mindestens eine Parameterwert mindestens ein Merkmal der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource darstellt,

    Vergleichen (230) des erhaltenen mindestens einen Parameterwerts der erfassten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource mit mindestens einem Vergleichswert,

    als Antwort auf den Vergleich, Auswählen (240) der mindestens einen Netzwerkressource unter den erfassten mindestens einer Netzwerkressource auf der Grundlage des Vergleichs zwischen dem erhaltenen mindestens einen Parameterwert und dem mindestens einen Vergleichswert;

    und wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) ferner veranlasst wird, Folgendes auszuführen:

    - Übermitteln (260) eines Signals, das die Verfügbarkeit einer Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource unter mindestens einer Bedingung anzeigt;

    - Zuweisen (270) mindestens eines Teils der Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource zum Gerät als Antwort auf den Empfang eines Bestätigungssignals, das angibt, dass das Gerät die mindestens eine Bedingung akzeptiert.


     
    9. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110) nach Anspruch 8, wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) konfiguriert ist, um das Erfassen (210) auf der Basis der Erkennung einer Rundfunknetzkennung durchzuführen.
     
    10. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110) nach einem der Ansprüche 8 oder 9, wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) konfiguriert ist, um die Auswahl (240) der mindestens einen Netzwerkressource durchzuführen, die zumindest teilweise auf Basis einer Netzwerkpräferenzliste angeschlossen werden soll, die in einem Teilnehmeridentitätsmodul gespeichert ist, auf das das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) zugreifen kann.
     
    11. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110) nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 10, wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) konfiguriert ist, um die Übermittlung des Signals (260) durchzuführen, das die Verfügbarkeit der Kapazität der ausgewählten mindestens einen Netzwerkressource durch mindestens eine der folgenden angibt: Senden als Antwort auf eine Anfrage durch das Gerät.
     
    12. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110) nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 11, wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) konfiguriert ist, um die Übermittlung der mindestens einen Bedingung durch eine der folgenden durchzuführen: Einbetten der mindestens einen Bedingung in das Rundfunksignal, Übermitteln als Antwort auf eine Anfrage des Geräts.
     
    13. Aushandelndes Netzwerkendgerät (110) nach einem der Ansprüche 8 bis 12, wobei das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät (110) konfiguriert ist, um das Bestätigungssignal zu empfangen, das anzeigt, dass das Gerät (150) den vorbestimmten Zustand von mindestens einem der folgenden akzeptiert: das Gerät (150), ein Drittanbieter-Knoten (410).
     
    14. Computerprogrammprodukt, umfassend Programmanweisungen, die, wenn sie von einem aushandelnden Netzwerkendgerät ausgeführt werden, das aushandelnde Netzwerkendgerät veranlassen, das in einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7 beanspruchte Verfahren auszuführen.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé pour attribuer au moins une partie d'une capacité d'au moins une ressource de réseau à un dispositif (150) à travers un terminal de réseau de négociation (110), le procédé, exécuté par le terminal de réseau de négociation (110), comprenant :

    - la détection (210) d'au moins une ressource de réseau disponible dans une zone où réside le terminal de réseau de négociation (110),

    - l'obtention (220), en se rattachant à un réseau de communication mobile, d'au moins une valeur de paramètre à partir de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée dans lequel l'au moins une valeur de paramètre représente au moins une caractéristique de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée,

    - la comparaison (230) de l'au moins une valeur de paramètre obtenue de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée à au moins une valeur de comparaison,

    - en réponse à la comparaison, la sélection (240) de l'au moins une ressource de réseau parmi l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée sur la base de la comparaison entre l'au moins une valeur de paramètre obtenue et l'au moins une valeur de comparaison,

    et dans lequel le procédé comprend en outre :

    - la délivrance (260) d'un signal indiquant une disponibilité d'une capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée à au moins une condition,

    - l'attribution (270) d'au moins une partie de la capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée au dispositif en réponse à la réception d'un signal d'accusé de réception indiquant que le dispositif accepte l'au moins une condition.


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la détection (210) est basée sur la reconnaissance d'un identifiant de réseau de diffusion.
     
    3. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'au moins une ressource de réseau à attacher est au moins partiellement sélectionnée (240) sur la base d'une liste de préférences de réseau stockée dans un module d'identité d'abonné accessible par le terminal de réseau de négociation (110).
     
    4. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la délivrance du signal (260) indiquant la disponibilité de la capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée est effectuée par au moins l'un des éléments suivants : la diffusion, en réponse à une demande du dispositif.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la délivrance de l'au moins une condition est effectuée par l'un des éléments suivants : l'intégration de l'au moins une condition dans le signal de diffusion, la délivrance en réponse à une demande du dispositif.
     
    6. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le signal d'accusé de réception indiquant que le dispositif (150) accepte la condition prédéterminée est reçu d'au moins l'un des éléments suivants : le dispositif (150), un nœud tiers (410).
     
    7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'au moins une condition de l'au moins une ressource de réseau concerne au moins l'un des éléments suivants : bande passante, latence, quantité de données transférables, prix, aspect de sécurité, version de protocole.
     
    8. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) comprenant
    au moins un processeur (510)
    et au moins une mémoire (520) comportant un code de programme informatique,
    l'au moins une mémoire (520) et le code de programme informatique étant configurés pour, avec l'au moins un processeur (510), amener le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) au moins à effectuer :

    la détection (210) d'au moins une ressource de réseau disponible dans une zone où réside le terminal de réseau de négociation (110),

    l'obtention (220), en se rattachant à un réseau de communication mobile, d'au moins une valeur de paramètre à partir de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée dans lequel l'au moins une valeur de paramètre représente au moins une caractéristique de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée,

    la comparaison (230) de l'au moins une valeur de paramètre obtenue de l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée à au moins une valeur de comparaison,

    en réponse à la comparaison, la sélection (240) de l'au moins une ressource de réseau parmi l'au moins une ressource de réseau détectée sur la base de la comparaison entre l'au moins une valeur de paramètre obtenue et l'au moins une valeur de comparaison,

    et dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est en outre amené à effectuer :

    la délivrance (260) d'un signal indiquant une disponibilité d'une capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée à au moins une condition,

    l'attribution (270) d'au moins une partie de la capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée au dispositif en réponse à la réception d'un signal d'accusé de réception indiquant que le dispositif accepte l'au moins une condition.


     
    9. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est configuré pour effectuer la détection (210) sur la base de la reconnaissance d'un identifiant de réseau de diffusion.
     
    10. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 ou 9, dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est configuré pour effectuer la sélection (240) de l'au moins une ressource de réseau à attacher au moins partiellement sur la base d'une liste de préférences de réseau stockée dans un module d'identité d'abonné accessible par le terminal de réseau de négociation (110).
     
    11. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 10, dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est configuré pour effectuer la délivrance du signal (260) indiquant la disponibilité de la capacité de l'au moins une ressource de réseau sélectionnée par au moins l'un des éléments suivants : la diffusion, en réponse à une demande du dispositif.
     
    12. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 11, dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est configuré pour effectuer la délivrance de l'au moins une condition par l'un des éléments suivants : l'intégration de l'au moins une condition dans le signal de diffusion, la délivrance en réponse à une demande du dispositif.
     
    13. Terminal de réseau de négociation (110) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 8 à 12, dans lequel le terminal de réseau de négociation (110) est configuré pour recevoir le signal d'accusé de réception indiquant que le dispositif (150) accepte la condition prédéterminée d'au moins l'un des éléments suivants : le dispositif (150), un nœud tiers (410).
     
    14. Produit de programme informatique comprenant des instructions de programme qui, lorsqu'elles sont exécutées par un terminal de réseau de négociation, amènent le terminal de réseau de négociation à exécuter le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7.
     




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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