How Verizon Could Throttle LTE Signals at Stadiums, Schools, Hospitals

Verizon details how it could throttle the power of wireless data delivered to sports stadiums, schools and hospitals in a patent application published on Thursday.

By using a beacon device that can measure the strength of LTE emissions, Verizon says it could adjust the range of wireless data delivered from LTE base stations.

“RF signals with strong signal strengths may not be desired at all locations. For example, it may be desirable to limit people’s exposure to RF signals at certain locations (e.g., schools, hospitals, etc.). Conversely, RF signals with weak signal strengths may not be desirable at all locations. For example, it may be desirable to have strong RF signals where large amounts of people gather so that the people may use their user devices to communicate (e.g., at a football game),” Verizon states in the patent application, titled, “Beacon Device For Controlling Signal Strengths in Target Locations.”

Draznin
Draznin


Sagiv Draznin, Verizon manager of wireless core and HQ network planning, is named as lead inventor on the patent application, which Verizon filed in March 2014.

Abstract: A device is configured to store target location information indicating an acceptable signal strength at a target location. The device may receive a signal emitted from a base station. The signal may be received at the target location. The device may measure the signal strength of the signal at the target location. The device may transmit a signal strength message including information based on the signal strength. The signal strength message may cause the base station to adjust a power with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

Patent Application

Claims: 

1. A device, comprising: one or more processors to: store target location information indicating an acceptable signal strength at a target location; receive a signal emitted from a base station, the signal being received at the target location; measure the signal strength of the signal at the target location; and transmit a signal strength message including information based on the signal strength, the signal strength message causing the base station to adjust a power level with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

2. The device of claim 1, where the one or more processors, when transmitting the signal strength message, are further to: transmit the signal strength message directly to the base station via a wireless signal.

3. The device of claim 1, where the one or more processors, when transmitting the signal strength message, are further to: transmit the signal strength message to the base station via a network device.

4. The device of claim 1, where the one or more processors are further to: determine the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength, the signal strength message indicating the signal strength does not satisfy at the acceptable signal strength.

5. The device of claim 1, where the one or more processors are further to: determine the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength, the signal strength message including an instruction to adjust the power level with which the signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

6. The device of claim 1, where the target location information identifies a maximum acceptable signal strength, and where the one or more processors are further to: determine the signal strength is greater than the maximum acceptable signal strength, the signal strength message causing the base station to decrease the power level with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

7. The device of claim 1, where the target location information identifies a minimum acceptable signal strength, and where the one or more processors are further to: determine the signal strength is less than the minimum acceptable signal strength, the signal strength message causing the base station to increase the power level with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

8. A computer-readable medium storing instructions, the instructions comprising: a plurality of instructions that, when executed by a processor of a device, cause the processor to: receive a signal emitted from a base station, the signal being received at a target location, the target location being associated with an acceptable signal strength; measure the signal strength of the signal at the target location; provide a signal strength message indicating the signal strength, the signal strength message causing the base station to adjust a power level with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

9. The computer-readable medium of claim 8, where the plurality of instructions, when providing the signal strength message, further cause the processor to: provide the signal strength message to a server operated by an operating network that includes the base station.

10. The computer-readable medium of claim 8, where the plurality of instructions, when providing the signal strength message, further cause the processor to: provide the signal strength message to a server operated by a regulator that regulates a plurality of base stations included in a plurality of operator networks, the plurality of base stations including the base station.

11. The computer-readable medium of claim 8, where the signal includes a base station identifier identifying the base station, the signal strength message includes the base station identifier, and the signal strength message causes the base station to adjust the power level based on the base station identifier.

12. The computer-readable medium of claim 8, where the plurality of instructions further cause the processor to: store target location information including a target location identifier that identifies the target location, the signal strength message including the target location identifier, and the signal strength message causing the base station to adjust the power level based on the target location identifier.

13. The computer-readable medium of claim 8, where the plurality of instructions further cause the processor to: store target location information including a target location identifier that identifies a kind of target location for the target location, the signal strength message including the target location identifier, and the signal strength message causing the base station to adjust the power level based on the kind of target location identified by the target location identifier.

14. A method, comprising: storing, by a device, target location information indicating an acceptable signal strength at a target location; receiving, by the device, a signal emitted from a base station, the signal being received by the device at the target location; measuring, by the device, the signal strength of the signal at the target location; determining, by the device, that the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength; transmitting, by the device and to at least one of the base station or a server, a signal strength message indicating that the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength, the signal strength message causing the base station to change a power level with which signals are emitted from the base station such that the signals satisfy the acceptable signal strength at the target location.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising: storing authentication information for authenticating the signal strength message; and transmitting the authentication information to the at least one of the base station or the server to authenticate the signal strength message.

16. The method of claim 14, where the target location information indicates a time associated with the acceptable signal strength at the target location, and where determining that the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength includes: determining that the signal strength does not satisfy the acceptable signal strength based on a time at which the signal strength is measured and the time associated with the acceptable signal strength.

17. The method of claim 14, where the target location information indicates a time range associated with the acceptable signal strength at the target location, and transmitting the signal strength message includes only transmitting the signal strength message during the time range.

18. The method of claim 14, further comprising: generating an instruction to change the power level with which signals are emitted from the base station based on the signal strength not satisfying the acceptable signal strength, the instruction being included in the signal strength message, and the instruction causing the base station to change the power level with which the signals are emitted.

19. The method of claim 18, where the instruction indicates a length of time to change the power level with which signals are emitted.

20. The method of claim 18, where the instruction indicates an amount to change the power level with which signals are emitted, the amount being determined based on the signal strength and the acceptable signal strength.