Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

To effectively and efficiently provide control information effectively and efficiently, a broadcast channel (BPCH) can be utilized to identify the type and possibly the where control information is available in frames, such as frames, sub-frames, or superframe. A sub-frame (or like framing entity, like a frame or superframe) might have a BPCH and a related system control information segment which control information could be located. Each control block of the system control segment can contain any amount of control blocks. The BPCH is used to define the kind of control information that is contained in the corresponding system control information segment and if desired or needed it will also identify the positions of different control information.

One or more base stations can be used to facilitate wireless communications between mobile stations and any other wireless communication systems using a wireless interface. To enable communications between the two, a significant amount of information has to be sent to the basestations and mobile stations. This information is generally defined as control information. A wireless communication system that is an example is described by the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers(IEEE) 802.16 standards as set forth by the Broadband Wireless Access Working Group for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN). WiMAX is an acronym for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.

The IEEE 802.16m standards define the requirements for the system of IEEE 802.16. Similar to other wireless communication systems, the control information used for system access, transmission and reception of traffic packets as well as handovers between base stations is often transmitted and retransmitted regardless of whether mobile stations require the data. Many times, the mobile stations are insleep or are in idle mode, or have received and stored control information. As such, the excessive retransmission of control information that is either not needed by the mobile stations or has already been received by the mobile stationssignificantly increases control overhead, wastes communication resources, and harms power efficiencies due to the mobile stations having to remain awake to receive and process control information that is either not necessary or is already available.

Therefore it is necessary for a method to effectively disseminate information about control to mobile stations in wireless communication environments such as those defined by IEEE 802.16 standards and other standards efficiently and effectively way. It is also necessary for a method to ensure that mobile stations are able to efficiently receive the necessary information for control, and reduce the need to process and read control information that has already been received or is no longer relevant to operations.

A broadcast pointer channel (BPCH), which can be used to pinpoint and even the locations of control information within a frame structure such as a sub-frame, frame or superframe, can be used to give efficient and effective control information. A sub-frame, or a similar framing unit, like frames and superframes, might contain a BPCH and a section of the system’s control information within which control information may reside. Each control block within the control segment of the system can contain the number of control blocks. The BPCH is used to define the type of control information that is contained in the section of control information for the system and, if required or wanted, the location of the different control information.

The BPCH may contain presence flags that correspond to different kinds of information about control. These presence flags can be set based on whether or not the control information is contained in the system control informationsegment. The BPCH may have flags for certain kinds of information about control, like information about control from the corresponding control blocks. Flags that match this type of control information are set to signal their presence, while flags which are linked to other types of information will indicate that they do not contain any of these control types. The BPCH may also provide the location, length, or the like of the control information blocks that are contained in the system control information segment, in order that the mobile station is able to determine the precise position of the control information within the system control information segment. Each control block may correspond to a different type of control information, or a grouping of control information types.

Mobile stations are able to quickly and effectively determine the control information that is contained in a sub-frame, and whether the information present is relevant and the place of any of the information about control within the sub-frame. The mobile station is able to be able to avoid decoding unnecessary control information. The mobile station can be capable of quickly determining whether it needs to understand any sub-frames, or the control information within the frames.

Those skilled in the art can appreciate the scope of the invention described and will be able to appreciate additional aspects thereof after reading the following detailed description along with the accompanying illustrations.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


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