Browse Prior Art Database

Method and Apparatus for Sensing Functional WLAN Connectivity

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020598D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 257K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Gregory Cox: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This document describes a method or apparatus for detecting useful WLAN connectivity for a traveling users who must now manually attempt to connect through myriad WLAN access points to determine which ones provide viable connectivity. This method or apparatus would sense the user’s context (e.g. speed and location) the user’s preference (interested in WLAN coverage now) and determine an interval for WLAN coverage scanning. When WLAN coverage is sensed, the handset would use identity information provided by the user (e.g. login, password, notebook’s WLAN MAC address) to attempt to establish connectivity to the sensed WLAN AP’s. When viable coverage is detected, the handset would alert the user (e.g. vibrate, ring) and provide relevant information about the connection (e.g. cost, provider identification, traffic loading).

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Method and Apparatus for Sensing Functional WLAN Connectivity

Authors:

Gregory Cox

Mark Gannon

Abstract:

This document describes a method or apparatus for detecting useful WLAN connectivity for a traveling users who must now manually attempt to connect through myriad WLAN access points to determine which ones provide viable connectivity. This method or apparatus would sense the user’s context (e.g. speed and location) the user’s preference (interested in WLAN coverage now) and determine an interval for WLAN coverage scanning. When WLAN coverage is sensed, the handset would use identity information provided by the user (e.g. login, password, notebook’s WLAN MAC address) to attempt to establish connectivity to the sensed WLAN AP’s. When viable coverage is detected, the handset would alert the user (e.g. vibrate, ring) and provide relevant information about the connection (e.g. cost, provider identification, traffic loading).

Problem:

Wireless LAN hotspots are being fielded in increasing numbers. Some are offered on a subscription basis. Some are open the public gratis, and some are strictly private. As a WLAN user travels through unfamiliar areas, there is a need to sense WLAN connectivity useful to them and inform the user when that functional WLAN connectivity is available for that user. Further, this sensing needs to be done in a power-saving way using a small always on device, allowing the user to find connectivity on an event-driven rather than a manual polling basis. The emergence of cellular telephone handsets providing 802.11 WLAN capability provides a platform for solving this problem. To effectively solve a traveling WLAN user’s needs, the following are required tasks for the proposed solution:

 

  1. sense presence of WLAN access points (AP’s)
  2. conserve battery power by scanning at appropriate intervals depending on the user’s current context
  3. determine whether user and/or user’s device(s) is authorized to connect to AP’s physically present
  4. determine whether AP offers end-to-end connectivity required by the user (e.g. VPN connection to corporate network)
  5. alert user to presence of WLAN connectivity according to user preferences (e.g. phone should vibrate when entering / leaving viable hot spot)
  6. inform user of...