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(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,577,712 B2
Larsson et al. (45) Date of Patent: Jun. 10,2003
(54) DISTRIBUTED VOICE MAIL SYSTEM
(75) Inventors: Gunnar Larsson, Tumba (SE); Patrik Wiss, Stockholm (SE); Lars-Goran Petersen, Tumba (SE); Ulf Ekstedt,
(73) Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ), Stockholm (SE)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 46 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/825,600
(22) Filed: Apr. 4, 2001
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2001/0036256 Al Nov. 1, 2001
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/195,223, filed on Apr. 7, 2000.
(51) Int. C I. I HUM 1/64
(52) U.S. CI 379/88.17; 379/88.07;
379/88.13; 379/88.18; 379/88.22; 379/900;
(58) Field of Search 379/67.1, 68, 76,
379/83, 88.17, 88.04, 88.11, 88.13, 88.16, 88.18, 88.12, 88.22, 88.25, 900, 908, 88.07, 88.08; 455/412, 413, 417, 445, 461
DISTRIBUTED VOICE MAIL SYSTEM
This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to Application No. 60/195,223 filed in The United States of America on Apr. 7, 2000, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention is related to a telecommunication system, and more particularly to a distributed voice mail system (VMS) in a telecommunication system.
Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS) provide a third generation (3G), broadband, packet-based network architecture. UMTS is endorsed by major standards bodies and manufacturers as the planned standard for mobile users around the world. The UMTS network transports text, digitized voice, digitized video, and multimedia at data rates up to and possibly higher than 2 Mbps. Once fully implemented, computer and phone users will be able to travel staying connected to the Internet with a consistent set of capabilities. Access is obtained through a combination of terrestrial wireless and satellite transmissions.
UMTS employs a new core architecture, separating network layers horizontally into a call control layer and a connectivity layer. The call control layer contains the call control and session control servers. The connectivity layer handles the transport and manipulation of user plane data. Media Gateways (MGW) operate as nodes in the connectivity layer under the control of servers in the call control layer. The servers communicate with the MGWs using a gateway control protocol (GCP), e.g., H.248.
FIG. 1 illustrates a function of MGWs 110, 120 between different telecommunication networks. An access network 130, a core network 140, and a public network 150 are depicted in FIG. 1. Each network may be owned by different operators and be of a different type, e.g., STM (legacy circuit switched), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) or Internet Protocol (IP). STM is currently more widely implemented, with ATM and IP currently being deployed. The call control server 100 controls the MGW(s) 110,120 using a GCP such as H.248. One server 100 can control multiple MGWs 110, 120 or multiple servers 100 can be employed to control one MGW 110, 120. The server 110 handles the call control routing through the network while the MGWs transform the data streams to the format required by the network.
As UMTS evolves, telecommunication networks are also shifting from circuit switched to packet-switched networks. In circuit-switched networks, such as a public switched telephone network (PSTN), the communication circuit (path) for the call is set up and dedicated to the participants in that call. For the duration of the connection, all resources on that circuit are unavailable for other users. Packetswitched networks, in contrast, route relatively small units of data, called packets, through a network based on the destination address contained within each packet. Breaking communication down into packets allows the same data path to be shared among many users in the network. This type of communication between sender and receiver is known as connectionless (rather than dedicated). Voice calls in a packet-switched system are broken down into voice packets that are reassembled at the receiving end.
Current telecommunication systems employ, among other system services, a voice mail system (VMS). A VMS collects, stores and forwards voice messages. For example, calls to a subscriber that is busy, or otherwise unavailable, are diverted to the subscriber's mailbox, where the caller is
invited to leave a message by a recorded message. A VMS in current telecommunication system networks is a selfcontained network element comprising a set of telecom resources, for example, signaling, dual tone multi-frequency
5 (DTMF) for voice prompting, voice compression/ decompression, and storage. Traditional SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) and PDH (Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy) is commonly used between a Mobile Switching Center (MSC) and a VMS in first and second generation
10 telecommunication systems.
Accordingly, there is a need to efficiently use the UMTS network architecture to employ a VMS in a third generation telecommunication system.
The present invention addresses these and other concerns. According to one aspect, a distributed voice mail system in a network, includes a server in a control layer of the network
2Q and at least one media gateway in a connectivity layer of the network, wherein the server controls the at least one media gateway to provide voice mail services.
According to another aspect, a method for providing distributed voice mail services in a network includes con
25 trolling at least one media gateway in a connectivity layer of the network using a server in a control layer of the network, wherein the server controls the media gateway to provide voice mail services.
According to yet another aspect, a method for providing
30 distributed voice mail services in a network includes controlling at least one media gateway in a connectivity layer of the network using a server in a control layer of the network, wherein the server controls the media gateway to provide voice mail services. A voice mail retrieval call is traversed
35 from the media gateway to the server. Upon receipt of the voice mail retrieval call at the server, one or more corresponding coded voice mail system terminating call messages are retrieved from a storage unit by the server and traversed from the server to the media gateway. The one or more
40 corresponding coded voice mail system terminating call messages are decoded in a codec of the media gateway.
According to still another aspect, a computer program product for providing distributed voice mail services in a network is provided. The computer program product
45 includes a computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program code means embodied in the medium. The computer-readable program code means includes logic that controls at least one media gateway in a connectivity layer of the network using a server in a control
50 layer of the network, wherein the server controls the media gateway to provide voice mail services.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent in light of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings, in which like reference numerals identify similar or identical elements, and in which: g0 FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating the function of a MGW; and
FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a distributed VMS in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
Preferred embodiments of the present invention are described below with reference to the accompanying draw