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Machine translation
1. (WO1997037503) CHARGING SYSTEMS FOR SERVICES IN COMMUNICATIONS
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

CLAIMS

1 . A charge control system for use in a cellular communications network infrastructure, wherein local charges are modifiable in response to current local traffic loading, the system comprising:
i) monitoring means to monitor current local traffic loading in the network; n) a data store to store historic traffic data related to cells of the network; in) data processing means arranged in operation to generate a local traffic-related parameter, dependent at least in part on the current traffic loading in a local area of the network and the historic traffic data pertaining to that local area; and iv) charge setting means arranged in operation to set the rate at which traffic is charged by the network in said local area thereof, the rate set by the charge setting means being controlled at least in part by said local traffic-related parameter.

2. A system according to claim 1 , wherein the charge setting means comprises a data store, or access to a data store, in which is loaded an updatable algorithm for applying to the local traffic-related parameter to generate the charge rate set by the charge-setting means.

3. A system according to either preceding claim, wherein the network is at least in part a mobile network and the historic traffic data comprises, at least in part, handover data, relating to historic handover patterns between cells of the network.

4. A system according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the monitoring means is arranged in operation to monitor current local traffic loading in respect of cell clusters, each cell cluster comprising a central cell together with the neighbouring cells from which the central cell would receive handover, the monitoring means, in operation, storing or outputting data sets, each data set relating to the cells of one cell cluster.

5. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising means to output the rate set by the charge setting means to user equipment connected to the network.

6. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the network is provided with an area-based management infrastructure, comprising base station controllers for controlling handover between cells of each cluster, the monitoring means being provided by the base station controllers.

7. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising means to update the charge rate set by the system at regular intervals, and means to maintain a single charge rate applied by a billing system to any chargeable connection already established in the network before the end of one of said intervals.

8. A system according to claim 7 wherein the means to maintain a single charge rate comprises means for setting a charge rate field in a call record for the chargeable connection, which means is triggered by connection set-up.

9. A system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the monitoring means has an output to the data store for historic traffic data and the historic traffic data is periodically refreshed such that the system has a learning, or adaptive, capacity.