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1. WO2000033544 - TELEPHONE LINE SHARING MODULE

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A telephone line sharing module, including:
a telephone port, a telephone line emulator associated with the port to emulate the presence of a telephone line, a call conditioner, a telephone line port, a computer interface, and a line switch to selectively switch the telephone port between the telephone line port and the telephone line emulator; where, in use, the module is arranged to operate such that when a computer connected to the computer interface is using a telephone line of a network, connected to the telephone line port, and a telephone connected to the telephone port is diverted so that incoming calls are received at a gateway site which links the Internet to the telephone network, then the line switch connects the telephone port to the telephone line emulator;
otherwise, when the computer is not using the line, the line switch connects the telephone port to the telephone line port, and the telephone operates in the conventional way.
2. A telephone line sharing module according to claim 1, where, when the telephone port is connected to the telephone line emulator, the emulator imitates a telephone line and recognises operations of the telephone, and the call conditioner packages voice data and any dialled numbers from the telephone in a digital form for transmission over the telephone line, and unpackages digital voice data received from the telephone line for
transmission to the telephone.
3. A telephone line sharing module according to claim 2, where the telephone line emulator imitates the telephone line to provide tone and ring to the telephone, and also to detect and recognise off-hook and dialling operations of the telephone.
4. A telephone line sharing module according to claim 1, where the call conditioner also compresses the packages for transmission over the telephone line, and decompresses packages received from the telephone line.
5. A telephone line sharing module according to claim 1, where the call conditioner interleaves packages with computer data for transmission over the telephone line.
6. A telephone line sharing module according to claim 1, where, when the computer is connected to the Internet via a modem, then the module is also connected to the modem.

7. A module according to claim 1. where the line emulator and call conditioner comprise a processor to provide one or more of: full duplex speech compression and decompression: tone generation: DTMF detection; Codec interface; automatic handling of frame slippage and frame
synchronisation: and line Echo Cancellation
8. A module according to claim 1, where the computer interface comprises a Plug and Play interface.
9. A module according to claim 1. manufactured as a board for incorporation into a computer.
10. A module according to claim 1, incorporated into a modem.
11. A module according to claim 1, comprising a stand-alone device.
12. A system a system for telephone line sharing, including a telephone line sharing module, as defined, and a gateway site which links the Internet to the telephone network, which are both coupled to each other over a telephone line.
13. A system according to claim 12. where the module imitates the telephone line, decodes a dialled number, packages it as an IP call and sends it to the gateway, and on receiving the message the gateway dials a normal telephone line and establishes a telephone connection.
14. A system according to claim 12, where the gateway sends a message to the computer to indicate an in-coming call is received, the module makes the telephone ring, and a connection is established.
15. A method of sharing a telephone line, of a network, between a computer and a telephone, including the following steps:
when the computer is using the telephone line and the telephone is diverted so that incoming calls are received at a gateway site which links the Internet to the network, then:
imitating a telephone line and recognising operations of the telephone, and
packaging voice data and any dialled numbers from the telephone in a digital form for transmission over the telephone line, and
unpackaging digital voice data received from the telephone line for transmission to the telephone;
otherwise, connecting the telephone to the telephone line such that they operate in the conventional way.

16. A method according to claim 15. including the further step of
compressing the voice data and any dialled numbers in the packages.
17. A method according to claim 15. including the further steps of decoding a dialled number, packaging it as an IP call and sending it to the gateway, and on receiving the message at the gateway dialling a normal telephone line and establishing a telephone connection.
18. A method according to claim 15, including the further steps of sending a message from gateway to the computer to indicate an in-coming call is received, making the telephone ring, and establishing a telephone
connection.
19. A telephone interface module, including:
a telephone port, a call conditioner, and a computer interface, where, in use, the module is arranged to operate such that when a computer connected to the computer interface is using a telephone line for data transfer over a data network, and a telephone connected to the telephone port is diverted so that incoming calls are received at a gateway which links the data network to a telephone network, then receipt of an incoming call from the telephone network at the gateway, or activation of the telephone to the off hook state, causes the call conditioner to package voice data and any dialled numbers from the telephone in a digital form for transmission over the telephone line, and to unpackage digital voice data received from the telephone line for transmission to the telephone.