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Patent Issued for Indicator-Controlled Utilization Of Outdated Configuration Defined In Access Information Table For Access Network (USPTO 10,368,302): Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ)

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08/14/2019 | 05:57pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Network Business Daily -- Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) (Stockholm, Sweden) has been issued patent number 10,368,302, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors.

The patent’s inventors are da Silva, Icaro L. J. (Solna, SE); Mildh, Gunnar (Sollentuna, SE); Pradas, Jose Luis (Stockholm, SE); Rune, Johan (Lidingo, SE).

This patent was filed on September 4, 2015 and was published online on August 12, 2019.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: “When in a cellular network based on the LTE (Long Term Evolution) radio access technology (RAT) specified by 3GPP (3.sup.rd Generation Partnership Project) a UE (user equipment) initially accesses the cellular network, the UE needs to acquire what is called system information (SI). This is typically accomplished via broadcast of a certain information in each cell. The broadcasted information includes a primary synchronization signal (PSS) and a secondary synchronization signal (SSS), which may be used by the UE to obtain frequency and time synchronization. These sequences also encode the physical cell identity (PCI). After the physical layer synchronization and PCI detection, the UE is capable of performing channel estimation using the constantly broadcasted cell specific reference signals (C-RSs) and, consequently, finally decode the SI. The PSS and SSS are respectively transmitted in the first and sixth subframes within a radio frame. Accordingly, the PSS/SSS and C-RSs are always broadcasted by the network. These are used by the UE to synchronize to a given cell and enabling channel estimation.

“The SI is broadcasted in each cell by System Information Blocks (SIBs), each of which contains a set of functionally related parameters. The SIB types that have been defined include, a Master Information Block (MIB), which includes a limited number of the most frequently transmitted parameters which are essential for the UE’s initial access to the network, a System Information Block Type 1 (SIB1), which contains parameters needed to determine if a cell is suitable for cell selection, as well as information about time-domain scheduling of the other SIBs, a System Information Block Type 2 (SIB2), which includes common and shared channel information, System Information Blocks of Type 3 to 8 (SIB3-SIB8), which include parameters used to control intra-frequency, inter-frequency and inter-RAT cell reselection, System Information Block Type 9, which is used to signal the name of a Home eNodeB (HeNB), System Information Blocks of Type 3 to 8 (SIB3-SIB8), which includes Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Service (ETWS) notifications and Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) warning messages, System Information Block Type 13 (SIB13), which includes MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) related control information, System Information Block Type 14 (SIB14), which is used to configure Extended Access Barring (EAB), System Information Block Type 15 (SIB15), which is used to convey MBMS mobility related information, and System Information Block Type 16 (SIB16), which is used to convey GPS (Global Positioning System) related information. This list of SIB types has been expanding over the years, and this expansion may be expected to continue as the 3GPP LTE RAT evolves.

“Some of the SI is defined as being ‘essential information’, e.g., the information contained in the MIB, SIB1, and SIB2. For UEs which are EAB capable, the information in SIB14 is also considered as ‘essential information’. Here, ‘essential information’ is considered to be information that the UE should acquire before accessing the cellular network.

“In the LTE RAT, the SI, i.e., the MIB and the SIBs, is constantly broadcasted, but depending on the type of information, different periodicities are used. For example, the MIB and SIB1 may be broadcasted with periodicities of 40 ms and 80 ms. Furthermore, for the MIB the transmission is repeated four times during each broadcast period, i.e., every 10 ms. The SIB1 is also repeated four times within each broadcast period, i.e. every 20 ms, but with a different redundancy version for each transmission. For other SIB types, the time-domain scheduling may be dynamically adapted. In particular, each SIB may be is transmitted in a periodically-occurring time-domain window, while physical layer control signaling indicates in which subframes within this window the SI is actually transmitted. The scheduling windows of the different SIBs (referred to as SI-windows) are consecutive, i.e., without overlaps or gaps between them, and have a common length that is configurable. The SI-windows can include subframes in which it is not possible to transmit SIBs, such as subframes used for the SIB1, and subframes used for the uplink in TDD (Time Division Duplex Mode).

“As can be seen, the way of transmitting the SI in the LTE RAT may result in a significant amount of signals which are constantly broadcasted.

“To increase efficiency of fifth generation (5G) cellular networks, a concept was suggested which is based on a layered transmission of access information (see, e.g., ‘A Clean Slate Radio Network Designed for Maximum Energy Performance’ by P. Frenger et al., presented on the IEEE 25.sup.th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), Washington, D.C., Sep. 2-5, 2014). In this concept, user equipments (UEs) are provided with access information by using broadcasted access information tables (AITs) and broadcasted system signature sequences (SSSs), wherein each SSS may be used to identify information from the broadcasted AIT. The AIT may for example define settings concerning a how a UE shall access the system, e.g., by a random access procedure, concerning how the UE can be reached by the system in a paging procedure, or concerning more advanced settings, such as related to beam forming or link adaptation. The AITs are typically transmitted with long periodicity, while the SSSs are typically transmitted more frequently. Typically each access node (e.g., a base station) will transmit an SSS which allows the UE to identify the information applicable to this access node from the AIT. The AITs do not need to be transmitted by every access node. For example, a base stations serving a macro cell may transmit both an AIT and an SSS, while a base station serving a small cell within a coverage region of the macro cell may transmit only an SSS. Accordingly, the AIT will typically include entries defining various configurations which apply to various access nodes. The AIT may therefore have considerable size, so that in view of resource efficiency it is generally desirable to broadcast the AIT at a relatively low update rate.

“However, when broadcasting the AIT at a low update rate, situations may occur where the AIT received by the UE is outdated, e.g., because a certain configuration as identified by the SSS received by the UE has been changed by the network, but the updated AIT was not yet broadcasted to the UE or because the UE has moved to another area where another AIT is valid, but this other AIT was not yet received by the UE. In some situations, it is also possible that the last SSS received by the UE does not point to the correct configuration in the AIT, i.e., that the SSS or the mapping of SSSs to entries of the AIT is outdated. Before the UE can access the cellular network, it may thus need to wait until it has received a valid AIT and a valid SSS.

“In order to avoid latency resulting from a need to wait for receiving a valid AIT or SSS, the UE may also use the previously received AIT and/or SSS even though in may be outdated. However, this involves a risk of the UE attempting to access the cellular network on the basis of an inappropriate configuration, which may cause failure of the access attempt or even result in network-side misconfigurations which impact operation of the cellular network also with respect to other UEs. In other situations, using the configuration determined from the outdated AIT or SSS may be possible without a significant risk of such problems.

“Accordingly, there is a need for techniques which allow for efficiently controlling access to a cellular network on the basis of an AIT defining a plurality of configurations which may be selected by a UE when accessing the cellular network.”

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “According to an embodiment of the invention, a method of controlling access to a cellular network is provided. According to the method, a radio device receives an AIT from the cellular network. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. Further, the radio device receives an identifier from the cellular network. Depending on the identifier, the radio device selects one of the configurations from the AIT. In response to determining that at least one of the received AIT and the received identifier is outdated, the radio device determines, depending on an indicator associated with the selected configuration, whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration.

“According to a further embodiment of the invention, a method of controlling access to a cellular network is provided. According to the method, a node of the cellular network determines an AIT transmitted to a radio device. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. The configurations are selectable on the basis of an identifier received by the radio device. Further, the node associates an indicator with at least one the configurations. The indicator enables the radio device to determine whether to access the cellular network on the basis of one of the configurations when at least one of the AIT and the identifier as received by the radio device is outdated, the one of the configurations being selected from the AIT based on the identifier.

“According to a further embodiment of the invention, a radio device is provided. The radio device is configured to receive an AIT from the cellular network. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. Further, the radio device is configured to receive an identifier from the cellular network. The radio device is configured to select, depending on the identifier, one of the configurations from the AIT. Further, the radio device is configured to determine, in response to determining that at least one of the received AIT and the received identifier is outdated, whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, which is accomplished depending on an indicator associated with the selected configuration.

“According to a further embodiment of the invention, a node for a cellular network is provided. The node is configured to determine an AIT transmitted to a radio device. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. The configurations are selectable on the basis of an identifier received by the radio device. Further, the node is configured to associate an indicator with at least one the configurations. The indicator enables the radio device to determine whether to access the cellular network on the basis of one of the configurations when at least one of the AIT and the identifier as received by the radio device is outdated, the one of the configurations being selected from the AIT based on the identifier.

“According to a further embodiment of the invention, a computer program or computer program product is provided, e.g., in the form of a non-transitory storage medium, which comprises program code to be executed by at least one processor of a radio device. Execution of the program code causes the radio device to receive an AIT from the cellular network. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. Further, execution of the program code causes the radio device to receive an identifier from the cellular network. Further, execution of the program code causes the radio device to select, depending on the identifier, one of the configurations from the AIT. Further, execution of the program code causes the radio device to determine, in response to determining that at least one of the received AIT and the received identifier is outdated, whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, which is accomplished depending on an indicator associated with the selected configuration.

“According to a further embodiment of the invention, a computer program or computer program product is provided, e.g., in the form of a non-transitory storage medium, which comprises program code to be executed by at least one processor of a node of a cellular network. Execution of the program code causes the node to determine an AIT transmitted to a radio device. The AIT comprises parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network. The configurations are selectable on the basis of an identifier received by the radio device. Further, execution of the program code causes the node to associate an indicator with at least one the configurations. The indicator enables the radio device to determine whether to access the cellular network on the basis of one of the configurations when at least one of the AIT and the identifier as received by the radio device is outdated, the one of the configurations being selected from the AIT based on the identifier.

“Details of such embodiments and further embodiments will be apparent from the following detailed description of embodiments.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“The invention claimed is:

“1. A method of controlling access to a cellular network, the method comprising: a radio device receiving an access information table from the cellular network, the access information table comprising parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network; the radio device receiving an identifier from the cellular network; depending on the identifier, the radio device selecting one of the configurations from the access information table; and in response to determining that at least one of the received access information table and the received identifier is outdated, the radio device determining, depending on an indicator associated with the selected configuration, whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration.

“2. The method of claim 1, comprising: in response to determining not to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, the radio device accessing the cellular network after receiving an update of at least one of the access information table and the identifier from the cellular network.

“3. The method of claim 1, comprising: in response to determining not to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, the radio device accessing the cellular network on the basis of an alternative configuration which differs from the selected configuration with respect to one or more parameters.

“4. The method of claim 1, wherein the access information table comprises the indicator.

“5. The method of claim 1, wherein the indicator represents a risk rating that accessing the cellular network based on the selected configuration causes a problem.

“6. A method of controlling access to a cellular network, the method comprising: a node of the cellular network determining an access information table transmitted to a radio device, the access information table comprising parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network, the configurations being selectable on the basis of an identifier received by the radio device; and the node associating an indicator with at least one the configurations, the indicator enabling the radio device to determine whether to access the cellular network on the basis of one of the configurations, the one of the configurations being selected from the access information table based on the identifier, when at least one of the access information table and the identifier as received by the radio device is outdated.

“7. The method of claim 6, comprising: the node transmitting the access information table to the radio device and the identifier to the radio device.

“8. The method of claim 6, wherein the access information table is transmitted at a first update rate; and wherein the identifier is transmitted at a second update rate which is higher than the first update rate.

“9. A radio device, the radio device comprising: radio interface circuitry; and processing circuitry operatively coupled to the radio circuitry and configured to: receive an access information table from the cellular network, via the radio interface circuitry, the access information table comprising parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network; receive an identifier from the cellular network; depending on the identifier, select one of the configurations from the access information table; and in response to determining that at least one of the received access information table and the received identifier is outdated, determine depending on an indicator associated with the selected configuration whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration.

“10. The radio device of claim 9, wherein the processing circuitry is further configured to: in response to determining not to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, use the radio interface circuitry to access the cellular network after receiving an update of at least one of the access information table and the identifier from the cellular network.

“11. The radio device of claim 9, wherein the processing circuitry is further configured to: in response to determining not to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration, use the radio interface circuitry to access the cellular network on the basis of an alternative configuration which differs from the selected configuration with respect to one or more parameters.

“12. The radio device of claim 9, wherein the access information table comprises the indicator.

“13. The radio device of claim 9, wherein a corresponding indicator is associated with each of the configurations.

“14. The radio device of claim 9, wherein the indicator represents a risk rating that accessing the cellular network based on the selected configuration causes a problem, said risk rating being representable in at least two risk levels.

“15. The radio device of claim 14, wherein the radio device is further configured to receive a further indicator, wherein said determining whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration depends on a comparison of the risk rating defined by the indicator and a threshold defined by the further indicator.

“16. The radio device of claim 9, wherein the parameters of the access information table relate to opportunities for performing a random access procedure.

“17. A node for a cellular network, the node comprising: radio interface circuitry; and processing circuitry operatively coupled to the radio interface circuitry and configured to: determine an access information table transmitted to a radio device, the access information table comprising parameters of a plurality of configurations for controlling access of the radio device to the cellular network, the configurations being selectable on the basis of an identifier received by the radio device; and associate an indicator with at least one the configurations, the indicator enabling the radio device to determine whether to access the cellular network on the basis of one of the configurations, the one of the configurations being selected from the access information table based on the identifier, when at least one of the access information table and the identifier as received by the radio device is outdated.

“18. The node of claim 17, wherein the processing circuitry is further configured to transmit the access information table and the identifier to the radio device, using the radio interface circuitry.

“19. The node of claim 17, wherein the access information table comprises the indicator.

“20. The node of claim 17, wherein a corresponding indicator is associated with each of the configurations.

“21. The node of claim 17, wherein a corresponding indicator is associated with only a part of the parameters of the selected configuration.

“22. The node of claim 17, wherein the indicator represents a risk rating that accessing the cellular network based on the selected configuration causes a problem.

“23. The node of claim 22, wherein said risk degree is represented in at least two risk levels.

“24. The node of claim 22, wherein the processing circuitry is further configured to transmit a further indicator to the radio device, using the radio interface circuitry, wherein the further indicator enables the radio device to perform said determining whether to access the cellular network on the basis of the selected configuration depending on a comparison of the risk rating defined by the indicator and a threshold defined by the further indicator.

“25. The node of claim 22, wherein the parameters of the access information table relate to opportunities for performing a paging procedure.

“26. The node of claim 22, wherein the access information table is transmitted at a first update rate; and wherein the identifier is transmitted at a second update rate which is higher than the first update rate.”

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: da Silva, Icaro L. J.; Mildh, Gunnar; Pradas, Jose Luis; Rune, Johan. Indicator-Controlled Utilization Of Outdated Configuration Defined In Access Information Table For Access Network. U.S. Patent Number 10,368,302, filed September 4, 2015, and published online on August 12, 2019. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10,368,302.PN.&OS=PN/10,368,302RS=PN/10,368,302

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Network Business Daily, source Technology Newsletters

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