After reviewing some recently published U.S. Patent applications with VoIP in the title, we're on to a batch with "IP Telephony" in the moniker.
Two of thethree newest applications to be published are from multinational technology conglomerates: Siemens and NEC. The documentshave to do with channel selection and back-end accounting systems for IP telephony services.
The third application is not uninteresting, either. It's about node-pinging.
OK, so here is what the big boys are throwing up there:
IP telephony system and accounting method (NEC):
An IP telephony service system and an accounting method in order to charge for telephony services provided during backup operation. When communications between IP terminals and an IP telephony service providing unit in the main network are interrupted, an IP telephony service backup unit placed in a LAN to which the IP terminals are connected provides IP telephony services to the IP terminals. Information on the services provided to the IP terminals by the IP telephony service backup unit is stored in a backup database. Thus, it becomes possible to charge for the services provided during backup operation.
Redundancy is good. Not only do IP services need to strive for the "five nines" (.99999 reliability) on the service end, but they need to do so on the back end as well.
System and method for virtual channel selection in IP telephony systems (Siemens):
A ToL (Telephony over LAN) client is provided having, e.g., a key or button for the user to press or click when a voice problem arises. A controller maintains a set of predetermined "channels" having various voice quality settings, for example, related to codec selection, noise filters, jitter buffer size, echo cancellation, and the like. The user can select one of the channels and the connection will transfer over to using the parameters indicated. On subsequent uses, the new "best" channel can be the default or first selected.
I now leave you to your weekend with thoughts of node-pinging - at least the way that four Massachusetts-based inventors see it playing out.
System and Method For IP Telephony Ping:
The present invention provides a system and method for establishing the availability of a node to received a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) call. The present invention comprises attempting to establish a VoIP call to a given node that is the target of the VoIP call, determining whether the attempt to establish the VoIP call is successful; and generating an alarm in response to a call failure. According to embodiments of the invention, the method may comprise extracting call metrics from a VoIP call that provide information regarding the quality of a VoIP connection and generating an alarm in response to the call metrics falling below a threshold.