R.K. Tripathi

Goran Eriksson Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications

In step 1114, server node 56 updates capacity to reflect that ports that had been employed to carry the call are now clear and records the number of minutes of network time that were used to carry the call. In step 1112, server node 56 adjusts the account balances of all carriers and node operators participating in the routing to reflect the cost of the call. In step 1113, server node 56 settles the accounts of all carriers and node operators by transmitting payment to parties with positive balances and bills to parties with negative balances. Step 1113 may be performed periodically, e.g., monthly.


Template 300 may further comprise a termination-options field. Illustratively, a carrier might offer fax bypass capability as a termination option. Fax bypass provides a way for substantially decreasing the cost of fax transmissions.

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First, the requesting carrier may transmit an acceptance, in which case server node 56 allocates the connect time to fill the requesting-carrier’s purchase request . In step 520, server node 56 clears the transaction in a manner similar to that described in steps 512a-e. In a multiple server embodiment, each server node 56 may rank potential routing paths in accordance with a particular parameter or set of parameters. Other servers may rank routes in a manner designed to maximize network utilization. A given company may offer its communication capacity on one server or on multiple servers.


Otherwise, if decision step 902 succeeds, international gateway switch 22 passes supervision to originating telecommunication node 44, as depicted in step 906, for routing the call to the terminating location. Preferably, carriers will enter purchase requests via a template 350 which may be accessed at a world-wide-web site maintained by server node 56. Alternatively, carriers who own and maintain international gateway switches, such as switches 22, 26, and 28, may transmit purchase requests to server node 56 via telecommunications nodes 44-48. Server node 56 permits carriers to purchase blocks of connect time to remote locations or to purchase connect time on a transmission-by-transmission basis. In this capacity, server node 56 acts as a clearing house for clearing transactions between provider-carriers who wish to sell connection services and requesting-carriers who wish to purchase connection services. This aspect of the invention facilitates an open market for connection rates allowing a carrier to purchase bandwidth at the lowest available price.

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Because each server may rank routes according to different priorities, a particular service query from an originating node might yield different proposed routes from each of the server nodes 56. Thus, in step 804, local telephone network 6 transmits appropriate SS7 signalling information regarding the call to originating toll switch 14 via line 16. Supervision is thus passed to originating toll switch 14. Concurrently, in step 806, local telephone network 6 creates a path through the local network’s transmission lines to establish a connection between calling telephone 2 and originating toll switch 14. As those skilled in the art will recognize, the protocol described above for the purchase of a block of communication time is illustrative, and other protocols may alternatively be employed.

For example, the carrier may request a block of connection time satisfying particular service parameter requirements without specifying a price. In that event, server node 56 may identify a block of communication time via one or more routes with the best available price which most closely matches the service parameters requested, blackbull markets review and offer the block to the carrier. In this way, switches can distinguish terminating traffic from transit traffic and set rates for transit traffic without invoking settlement agreement accounting rates. Assume further that the 10 million minutes of purchased connect time described above in connection with FIG.

This may affect the routes that may be allocated to a call since some routes, in particular those with many calling legs or satellite links may take longer to connect, than others. First, although the number of theoretically possible routes may be extremely high, many routes may automated trading platforms be immediately excluded from the rate-table calculus because of legal or other constraints. For example, local regulations may prohibit certain transactions, such as terminating traffic originated via a private line or terminating traffic except through the local gateway switch.

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In sort-by field 374, the carrier ranks in order of importance the fields in the template relating to service parameters. For example, the carrier may rank quality as the most important field, maximum PDD as second most important, etc. As described below, server node 56 uses this information when it is unable to exactly match the service request from the requesting carrier. As those skilled in the art will recognize, the above list of fields is merely illustrative of fields which template 350 may comprise. Template 350 may comprise a field for any information which would aid server node 56 in making routing decisions and brokering transactions between provider carriers and requester carriers.

Furthermore, a node may include a capability to adjust its resources based on the actual and anticipated communication traffic conditions. It is known to keep track of call traffic volume to a given destination and to store measurements of the call volume periodically in a resource utilization database. Such data representing network utilization coupled with other variables, such as time of the day and day of the week, may provide a basis for a reasonable prediction of the capacity utilization during the next time interval, for example the next hour. In the first illustrative example described above, a requesting carrier purchased a block of connect time.

  • This payment imbalance is exacerbated when overseas carriers route inbound U.S. traffic under their control via private telephone lines into the United States.
  • The server may upgrade or downgrade assigned parameters based on various considerations, e.g., the historical reliability of a particular carrier.
  • A person skilled in the art will understand that a specific selection of choices may be programmed based on a carrier’s specific business needs.
  • The desired utilization may take the form of a formula which incorporates business considerations.
  • These five routes would be ranked according to price, and stored in rate-table database 400 at server node 56.

In step 1008, node 48 initiates a call via international gateway switch 28 to the telephone number of called telephone 4 in Germany. Node 48 may be informed that the call is to be routed to Germany via the SS7 network or alternatively via line 62. The C7 message comprises a code which informs international gateway switch 28 that the call is not lexatrade review for termination in the U.K. (i.e., that the call is a transit call), and instructs switch 28 to pass supervision of the call to telecommunications node 48. 7 will now be described in more detail in connection with the flowchart shown in FIG. 8, in step 802, the caller dials the telephone number of called telephone 4 from calling telephone 2.

In a graduated pricing scale, the rate charged for connect time up to a certain capacity (e.g., 300k minutes/month) is different than the rate for connect time above that capacity. The desired utilization may take the form of a formula which incorporates business considerations. As a simple example, the node may be instructed to maintain utilization at 80% of capacity unless purchase of additional connect time is above a certain price, or sale of excess connect time is below a certain price. The business rules applied by the node may be substantially more sophisticated than the example described above, and may take into account any factor desired by the carrier.

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In step 502, the U.S. carrier places a purchase request with server node 56 requesting purchase of 10 million minutes of connect time to Germany on the above terms. A global-network-cost database 97, which stores information regarding the cost of various routes for connecting potential originating locations with potential terminating locations. As described in more detail below, this information is received from server node 56 in FIG. Consequently, an originating node, such as node 44, connected to multiple server nodes 56 must store selection rules for determining which route to choose from among the several that may be proposed by the different server nodes 56. The decision in selecting a server may depend on various business factors and conditions specific to a carrier.

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This gives server node 56 time to process received rate information, and generate rate-tables therefrom, as described in more detail below. In step , the system collects rate information from international carriers around the world. This payment imbalance is exacerbated when overseas carriers route inbound U.S. traffic under their control via private telephone lines into the United States. Moreover, overseas carriers often employ these alternative less-expensive routings for inbound U.S. traffic despite express contractual provisions in settlement agreements prohibiting such behavior. For example, assume that a United States carrier and an overseas carrier negotiate a settlement agreement with a one dollar per minute accounting rate and a revenue split.

As noted, the template may comprise additional fields not shown in FIG. 3A. For example, template 300 may comprise a field provide-local-termination? Which stores a boolean value indicative of whether the carrier can provide local termination for the call in the location stored in to field 314. Local termination might not be possible for several reasons. For example, termination might be forbidden by local regulation or the carrier might not have the equipment necessary to terminate calls in a particular location.

In step 512a, server node 56 sends a data message to every carrier participating in the routing path informing the carrier that a buyer has been found for the allocated block of connect time. In step 512b, the provider carriers transmit an authorization message to server node 56, authorizing the transaction. Alternatively, the server node 56 may be preauthorized to sell any time submitted by the carriers to the global network. 1A also shows a terminating toll switch 18 typically maintained by the called party’s long distance provider.

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In a preferred embodiment, three levels of passwords are issued by the server. A first level password permits the password holder to access published rates, but does not permit the password holder to either buy or sell time via the server. A second level password permits the password holder to buy, but not sell, connect time through the server. A third level password entitles the password holder to either buy or sell connect time via the server. Thus, carriers submitting template 300 would be required to possess a third level password. Otherwise, if decision step 1105 succeeds, the system proceeds to step 1106 where node 44 transmits an acceptance to server node 56.

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Settlement agreements are invoked when a call is transmitted via the Public Switched Telephone Network but not when routed via private or data lines. It may therefore be important for the server to establish whether a particular route offered by a service provider will trigger settlement. 3A, template 300 may comprise two or more time available fields, number of circuits fields, price fields, and hours of operation fields for each route listed by a carrier. This permits carriers to offer different prices for service at different times of the day and week. It also accomodates the practice of many carriers to employ a graduated pricing scale.

Carriers who wish to offer additional routes of a different quality, would do so on a different template. Also, all routes listed on a single template are preferably for the same service type. The need for flexible allocation of connection routes and for an ability to trade connection bandwidth accordingly exists not only in the international arena but in any internal market allowing competition in the field of communications. For example, if the desired utilization is 80% of the purchased capacity, a node will purchase or sell capacity so as to adjust anticipated utilization to 80%.

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