Ericsson Eyes LTE Broadcast Content Recommendation

With wireless carriers such as Verizon and AT&T investing in LTE broadcast (eMBMS) technology, Ericsson is developing a broadcast management unit that could be used to recommend multicast content to viewers.

Chris McEvillyChris McEvilly, Ericsson’s United Kingdom-based head of business strategy traffic optimization and media delivery, is named as inventor on the patent application published on Thursday. Ericsson filed the patent application, titled, “Methods, a Broadcast Management Unit and a User Equipment For Handling Digital Content in a Cellular Communications Network,” in October 2012.

Abstract: A method in, and a Broadcast Management unit (163) for recommending and providing digital content to a user equipment (120), and a method in and a user equipment (120) for accessing recommended digital content. The user equipment is served by a base station in a cellular communications network. The Broadcast management unit decides (301, 401, 501) to recommend a digital content to the user equipment (120) and one or more additional user equipments (121, 122, 123) and provides broadcast or multicast of the digital content in a service area (105. The user equipment registers (306; 409; 701) a request for one or more digital contents that are recommended and then identifies, in response to the registered request, a digital content that is recommended and available from broadcast or multicast by the base station (110). The user equipment (120) displays (309, 411, 703), in response to the identified digital content, a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

Patent Application

Claims:

1. A method in a Broadcast Management unit for recommending and providing digital content to a user equipment being served by a base station in a cellular communications network, wherein the base station is comprised in a radio access network of the cellular communications network and the Broadcast Management unit is comprised in a core network of the cellular communications network, wherein the method comprises: deciding to recommend a digital content to the user equipment (UE) and one or more additional UEs, and providing, in response to the decision, broadcast or multicast of the digital content in a service area, thereby enabling reception of the digital content by the user equipment via the base station and by said one or more additional UEs in the service area.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the method further comprises: providing a sending of a message from the base station to the user equipment, which message requests the user equipment to display a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

3. The method as claimed in claim 2, wherein the message comprises an identifier that enables the user equipment to identify the digital content, among other digital content that is provided by broadcast or multicast, as such digital content that has been decided to be recommended.

4. The method as claimed in claim 2, wherein the message comprises a tag that is unique for one or more profile groups of user equipments, for which profile groups the digital content is relevant to be recommended, wherein each profile group comprises user equipments that are associated with similar user profiles and/or settings.

5. The method as claimed in claim 2, wherein the message comprises a service announcement that identifies the digital content and the availability of the digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast.

6. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein the service announcement is comprised in a data carousel that is provided by broadcast or multicast in the service area.

7. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the deciding is based on feedback regarding the digital content from user equipments that have already recommended the digital content by displaying a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

8. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the deciding is based on a measure associated with how many times the digital content has been requested by user equipments in the cellular communications network.

9. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the deciding is based on a measure associated with how many user equipments that are relevant for recommendation of the digital content.

10. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein the measure associated with how many user equipments that are relevant for recommendation of the digital content is based on one or more of: user profiles and/or user settings associated with user equipments in the cellular communications network; positions of user equipments in the cellular communications network; movement patterns of user equipments in the cellular communications network; availability of new content to user equipments in the cellular communications network; and similarity between a present situation and a historical situation.

11. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the deciding is based on one or more of the following: a minimum number of user equipments for which the digital content is relevant to be recommended for there to be expected a gain in resource utilization in the service area by recommending and providing the digital content by the broadcast or the multicast; a data type associated with the digital content; a size of the digital content; a bandwidth requirement associated with the digital content; and a lifetime of the digital content.

12. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein the provided broadcast or multicast in the service area uses cell capacity that else would be unused.

13. A method in a user equipment for accessing recommended digital content, the user equipment being served by a base station in a cellular communications network, wherein the method comprises: registering a request for one or more digital contents that are recommended, identifying, in response to the registered request, a digital content that is recommended and available from broadcast or multicast by the base station, and displaying, in response to the identified digital content, a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

14. The method as claimed in claim 13, wherein the identifying comprises: receiving, from the base station, a message that requests the user equipment to display the representation.

15. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the message comprises an identifier that enables the user equipment to identify the digital content, among other digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast, as such digital content that has been decided to be recommended.

16. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the message comprises a tag that is unique for one or more profile groups of user equipments for which profile groups the digital content is relevant to be recommended, wherein each profile group comprises user equipments that are associated with similar user profiles and/or settings, and wherein the displaying is made in response to that it has been determined that the digital content is relevant to be recommended based on the tag and a user profile of and/or setting in the user equipment.

17. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the message comprises a service announcement that identifies the digital content and the availability of the digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast.

18. The method as claimed in claim 17, wherein the service announcement is comprised in a data carousel that is provided by broadcast or multicast in the service area.

19. The method as claimed in claim 13, wherein the identifying comprises: receiving the digital content from the provided broadcast or multicast via the base station, storing, independent on the registered request, the received digital content in an internal storage, and checking the internal storage for the digital content that is recommended.

20. A Broadcast Management unit for recommending and providing digital content to a user equipment served by a base station in a cellular communications network, wherein the base station is comprised in a radio access network of the cellular communications network and the Broadcast Management unit is comprised in a core network of the cellular communications network, wherein the Broadcast Management unit comprises: a deciding circuitry, configured to decide to recommend a digital content to the user equipment and one or more additional user equipments, and a providing circuitry, configured to, in response to the decision, provide broadcast or multicast of the digital content in a service area, thereby enabling reception of the digital content by the user equipment via the base station and by said one or more additional user equipments in the service area.

21. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the providing circuitry is further configured to provide a sending of a message from the base station to the user equipment, which message requests the user equipment to display a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

22. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 21, wherein the message comprises an identifier that enables the user equipment to identify the digital content, among other digital content that is provided by broadcast or multicast, as such digital content that has been decided to be recommended.

23. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the message comprises a tag that is unique for one or more profile groups of user equipments, for which profile groups the digital content is relevant to be recommended, wherein each profile group comprises user equipments that are associated with similar user profiles and/or settings.

24. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the message comprises a service announcement that identifies the digital content and the availability of the digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast.

25. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 24, wherein the service announcement is comprised in a data carousel that the providing circuitry is configured to provide by broadcast or multicast in the service area.

26. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the deciding circuitry is configured to make the decision based on feedback regarding the digital content from user equipments that have already recommended the digital content by displaying a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

27. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the deciding circuitry is configured to make the decision based on a measure associated with how many times the digital content has been requested by user equipments in the cellular communications network.

28. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the deciding circuitry is configured to make the decision based on a measure associated with how many user equipments that are relevant for recommendation of the digital content.

29. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 28, wherein the measure associated with how many user equipments that are relevant for recommendation of the digital content is based on one or more of: user profiles and/or user settings associated with user equipments in the cellular communications network; positions of user equipments in the cellular communications network; movement patterns of user equipments in the cellular communications network; availability of new content to user equipments in the cellular communications network; and similarity between a present situation and a historical situation.

30. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the deciding circuitry is configured to make the decision based on one or more of the following: a minimum number of user equipments for which the digital content is relevant to be recommended for there to be expected a gain in resource utilization in the service area 105 by recommending and providing the digital content by the broadcast or the multicast; a data type associated with the digital content; a size of the digital content; a bandwidth requirement associated with the digital content; and a lifetime of the digital content.

31. The Broadcast Management unit as claimed in claim 20, wherein the providing circuitry is configured to provide the broadcast or multicast in the service area so that the broadcast or multicast uses cell capacity that else would be unused.

32. A user equipment for accessing recommended digital content, wherein the user equipment is configured to be served by a base station in a cellular communications network, wherein the user equipment comprises: a registering circuitry, configured to register a request for one or more digital contents that are recommended, an identifying circuitry, configured to identify, in response to the registered request, a digital content that is recommended and available from broadcast or multicast by the base station, and a displaying circuitry, configured to display, in response to the identified digital content, a representation of the digital content, which representation is selectable for access to the digital content.

33. The user equipment as claimed in claim 32, wherein the identifying circuitry is further configured to receive, from the base station a message that requests the user equipment to display the representation.

34. The user equipment as claimed in claim 33, wherein the message comprises an identifier that enables the user equipment to identify the digital content, among other digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast, as such digital content that has been decided to be recommended.

35. The user equipment as claimed in claim 33, wherein the message comprises a tag that is unique for one or more profile groups of user equipments for which profile groups the digital content is relevant to be recommended, wherein each profile group comprises user equipments that are associated with similar user profiles and/or settings, and wherein the displaying is made in response to that it has been determined that the digital content is relevant to be recommended based on the tag and a user profile of and/or setting in the user equipment.

36. The user equipment as claimed in claim 33, wherein the message comprises a service announcement that identifies the digital content and the availability of the digital content in the provided broadcast or multicast.

37. The user equipment as claimed in claim 36, wherein the service announcement is comprised in a data carousel that is provided by broadcast or multicast in the service area.

38. The user equipment as claimed in claim 32, wherein the identifying circuitry is further configured to receive the digital content from the provided broadcast or multicast via the base station, to store, independent on the registered request, the received digital content in an internal storage, and to check the internal storage for the digital content that is recommended.