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System for gathering operational details augmented with GPS locations from mobile devices to improve navigation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201709D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for gathering usage statistics from cellular phones and saving them to a centralized database. This database is then accessed by cellular applications and other GPS devices to improve the navigation paths or suggest locations with an optimal signal. The information improves the end-user experience because they know the best times and locations to receive the best service and can make daily activity decisions based on that knowledge.

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System for gathering operational details augmented with GPS locations from mobile devices to improve navigation

An end user's real-world experience with mobile devices is often very different from the advertised experience. Experiences vary due to the user's network, the weather, obstructions, and a variety of other variables.

For example, cellular networks advertise coverage maps, but these are often presented as a binary map (coverage or no coverage). Despite this indication of coverage, the user often experiences poor signal strength in an area that is technically covered by the network, rendering their device unusable. Also, such maps are produced in ideal conditions and do not take into account a variety of other variables that can affect the quality of a call.

Millions of cellular phone users are already capturing this information every day through the use of their phone; thus, it could be made available for sharing. Pairing this information with the device's Global Positioning System (GPS) location and augmenting it with additional variables (readily available on the device) can provide coverage statistics tailored to a person's specific situation. Once a database of such information is developed, it can be used to enhance the end user's experience, helping them locate good coverage when they have a poor signal and avoid areas of poor signal while receiving GPS directions.

There is no known specific prior art relevant to this invention. One prior reference discusses the use of AM/FM signals [1], but does not encompass the novel claim of the disclosed invention, which involves capturing real time phone signal strength information and augmenting navigation results based on that data.

The disclosed invention defines a method for gathering usage statistics from cellular phones and saving them to a centralized database. This database is then accessed by cellular applications and other GPS devices (e.g., car navigation systems, netbooks, tablets, and eBook readers that access 3G cellular networks, etc) to improve the navigation paths or suggest locations with an optimal signal.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is an implementation as a device application that gathers relevant information and sends it to the database. The system gathers the following technical information through the cellular phone:
• GPS location - for positioning the results on map
• GPS signal strength - to determine signal strength
• Cellular tower info - such as Mobile Country Code (MCC), Mobile Network Code (MNC), Local Area Code (LAC), Cell ID for Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), possibly other information Code Division Multiple Access Network (CDMA) for uniquely identifying the cell tower to which the user is connected. This provides valuable information that the cellular networks can use to improve service. It can also be used to provide a circle of possible undesirable

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locations where GPS data is unavailable du...