Method and apparatus for providing prepaid telecommunications services

Number of patents in Portfolio can not be more than 2000

United States of America Patent

PATENT NO 6333976
APP PUB NO 20010000808A1





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Instead of requiring a customer to carry around one or more prepaid telephone calling cards (such cards are effectively functioning as limited, fixed amounts of money), a communications network-based solution is provided that facilitates both prepayment and use of prepay telecommunications services. A subscriber is assigned a record in a network database. The database record includes an account number and an associated prepaid monetary value. Then when the subscriber calls from a prepaid telecommunications terminal (e.g., a public telephone), requesting a telecommunications service (e.g., a long distance telephone call), the communications network processes the request by analyzing the subscriber database record. If the prepaid monetary value in the subscriber's record is sufficient for the requested service, the service is authorized. The prepaid monetary value in the subscriber's record is decreased in accordance with the service rendered. Accordingly, a subscriber does not need to purchase any prepaid calling card, remember to carry the prepaid calling card, or remember the amount stored on the calling card. Rather, prepaid calling services are obtained simply by subscribing to the network prepayment service. The subscriber also easily adds monetary value to the subscriber's prepaid account by accessing the prepaid network service, (e.g., by dialing the appropriate network service number), indicating the desire to add monetary value to the subscriber's prepaid account in the database. The subscriber is prompted to enter a desired amount of money which is then added to the prepaid monetary value field in the subscriber's database record. There is no need to travel to a card distribution center or the like to obtain a new or recharged prepaid calling card.

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Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Lesley, Ulf Danderyd, SE 2 374

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