The invention relates to a telecommunication system comprising at least one switching center, a plurality of subscriber stations and a call diversion activator for automatically activating a call diversion from a first subscriber station to a second subscriber station at predefined instants.
Automatic call diversion is generally known in telephone equipment. For diverting a call, a subscriber first dials an activation code identifying an activation of a call diversion, and after that the call number of the subscriber station to which calls are to be transferred. A call diversion is deactivated by dialling a deactivation code.
DE-A 195 21 853 has disclosed to provide such call diversion in telephone equipment. There is furthermore proposed to provide an automatic activation and deactivation of a call diversion, so that a call diversion is activated in predefinable time intervals.
With working subscribers who carry out their work only irregularly at their own office, or appear for work at their office at irregular times in the morning, but nevertheless wish to render a calling partner available to calling parties, for example, a colleague or a secretary, an automatic call diversion activator is useful because it avoids forgetting to activate the call diversion. However, with such subscribers there may be assumed that the time intervals in which a call diversion is to be activated are generally variable and cannot be defined beforehand. Especially these instants at which a deactivation of the call diversion is to be effected vary with such subscribers and are not simply predictable.
It is an object of the invention to modify the telecommunication system of the type defined in the opening paragraph in that a reliable activation and deactivation of a call diversion is also ensured for subscribers who wish to have a call diversion in periods varying so much.
The object is achieved in that the first subscriber station comprises a signaling device for signaling an activated call diversion to the second subscriber station, and a manually operable call diversion deactivator.
A call diversion is automatically activated and will preferably—for example, for employees—take place on each working day at such an early time that when the subscriber using the first subscriber station is absent from an intended predefinable time of day on, a call diversion to another person who is present is activated, so that it is ensured that another subscriber calling the first subscriber station is connected to a suitable discussion partner. When the user of the first subscriber station arrives at the office, he is informed of the activated call diversion and can deactivate same by manually operating the call diversion deactivator. But he may also decide to maintain the call diversion and deactivate this call diversion not at all, or only at a later instant. In this respect, the telecommunication system offers a high flexibility. More particularly, telecommunication systems and private branch exchanges may be regarded as switching centers. But the invention is also applicable to a call diversion via a public telephone network.
In one embodiment, the signaling device is provided for visually signaling an activated call diversion. A visual signaling, for example, via a winking light-emitting diode which thus does not go unnoticed when the call diversion is activated, provides that the respective subscriber is reliably informed and this visual signaling can easily be realized with the customary circuits.
The invention likewise relates to a subscriber station having a call diversion activator for automatically activating a call diversion to a second subscriber station at predefined instants, in which the subscriber station comprises a signaling device for signaling an activated call diversion to the second subscriber station and a manually operable call diversion deactivator.
Furthermore, the invention relates to a method of activating and deactivating a call diversion from a first to a second subscriber station, in which the call diversion is automatically activated at predefined instants, an activated call diversion from the first to the second subscriber station is signaled to a second subscriber by a signaling device of the first subscriber station and the call diversion is manually deactivated by making a call diversion deactivator of the first subscriber station operative.
These and other aspects of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.
A call diversion can be activated by means of the keypad 7 by entering an activation code identifying an activation of the call diversion and thereafter entering the call number of the subscriber station to which calls are to be transferred (for example, the subscriber station 3). Furthermore, the subscriber station 2 is arranged so that one or various instants at which such a call diversion activation is automatically activated can be entered. For example, the instants may be determined by a specific time of day linked with specific days of the week. An activation of the call diversion is effected by one of the function keys 8 to 11 normally programmed for this purpose, when the instants at which a respective automatic activation of the call diversion is to take place, and also the subscriber station to which calls are to be transferred, are fixed. When a call diversion is activated, this is visually signaled (shown) to a subscriber by a light-emitting diode 13 which thereto starts winking. This avoids such a signaling of an activated call diversion being overlooked. Further possibilities for signaling an activated call diversion are the visual signaling by means of display 12, or an acoustic signaling by means of a loudspeaker (not shown) of the subscriber station 2. A call diversion is deactivated when a deactivation code is dialled by means of the keypad or by depressing one of the function keys 8 to 11 which are normally programmed for this purpose. The call diversion deactivation provides a termination of the call diversion activation signaling (the light-emitting diode 13 goes out).