US 7725584 Using multiple communication channels to synchronize a mobile terminal based on data type

ABSTRACT-The present invention may be regarded as a method of operating a mobile terminal during a synchronization session. A plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, are identified to synchronize with the mobile terminal. A rule base is applied to assign the first data type to a first communication channel and the second data type to a second communication channel. Synchronization data of the first data type is exchanged over the first communication channel, and synchronization data of the second data type is exchanged over the second communication channel.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to mobile terminals. More particularly, the present invention relates to using multiple communication channels to synchronize a mobile terminal based on data type.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mobile terminals, such as handheld computers, cellular telephones, tablet computers etc., are typically used to view and manipulate various databases, such as personal information management (PIM) data, emails, and web sites. The mobile terminal is typically synchronized when the databases are updated, for example, when the user modifies PIM data on a target computer or when the contents of a web site change. FIG. 1 illustrates a prior art technique for synchronizing a mobile terminal 2 over a local connection 6 (e.g., a USB connection) to databases stored on a target computer 4 as well as web pages stored on the Internet.

FIG. 2 illustrates various configurations for remotely synchronizing the mobile terminal 2 to the target computer 4 via the Internet 8. The mobile terminal may access the Internet 8 over telephone lines 14 using a modem communicating with an Internet service provider (ISP) 16. Alternatively, the mobile terminal 2 may access the Internet 8 via a wireless connection, such as a cellular provider network (CPN) 18, or a wireless access point (WAP) 20 such as Bluetooth, 802.11b, or HomeRF. In yet another configuration, the mobile terminal 2 may access the Internet through a remote computer 22 connected to the Internet. In each of these configurations all of the synchronization data is routed through the target computer 4, creating a bottleneck that can significantly extend the synchronization session. This is undesirable because it increases the access latency to the synchronized data, and for a remote connection (e.g., a wireless connection), it can increase the connection fees and decreases the battery life of the mobile terminal 2. Further, some of the synchronization data may be private data and inaccessible through a public communication channel via the target computer 4. A user may synchronize the mobile terminal over more than one communication channel (e.g., a public communication channel and a private communication channel), but this requires manually configuring the mobile terminal to perform multiple synchronization sessions over the various communication channels.

There is, therefore, a need to improve upon the current processes for synchronizing a mobile terminal to synchronization data, such as web sites, emails, and PIM data.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention may be regarded as a method of operating a mobile terminal during a synchronization session. A plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, are identified to synchronize with the mobile terminal. A first communication channel and a second communication channel are identified, and a rule base is applied to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel. Synchronization data of the first data type is exchanged over the first communication channel, and synchronization data of the second data type is exchanged over the second communication channel.

In one embodiment the first data type identifies public data and the second data type identifies private data. In another embodiment, the first data type identifies data having a first size, and the second data type identifies data having a second size smaller than the first size.

In one embodiment, the first communication channel having a first bandwidth, and the second communication channel having a second bandwidth less than the first bandwidth. In yet another embodiment, the first communication channel having a first connection cost, and the second data communication channel having a second connection cost less than the first bandwidth. In one embodiment the first communication channel comprises a short-range wireless access point, and the second communication channel comprises a long-range cellular provider network.

In yet another embodiment, synchronization data is exchanged over the first communication channel substantially concurrent with exchanging synchronization data over the second communication channel.

In still another embodiment, the mobile terminal for communicating with a first target computer over the first communication channel and for communicating with a second target computer over the second communication channel, wherein the mobile terminal transmits an identifier to the first target computer for identifying the second target computer.

The present invention may also be regarded as a method of operating a mobile terminal during a synchronization session, wherein the mobile terminal for communicating with at least one target computer, the target computer for applying a rule base for assigning a first data type to a first communication channel and a second data type to a second communication channel. The method comprises the steps of identifying the first communication channel and the second communication channel, and exchanging synchronization data of the first data type over the first communication channel and exchanging synchronization data of the second data type over the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a method of operating a first target computer to synchronize a mobile terminal over a first communication channel and over a second communication channel during a synchronization session, the mobile terminal for identifying the first communication channel and the second communication channel. The method comprises the steps of identifying a plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, to synchronize with the mobile terminal, and applying a rule base to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a mobile terminal comprising a screen, a local memory, and a terminal controller. The terminal controller for synchronizing the mobile terminal during a synchronization session. The terminal controller identifies a plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, to synchronize with the mobile terminal. The terminal controller also identifies a first communication channel and a second communication channel. The terminal controller applies a rule base to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel, and exchanges synchronization data of the first data type over the first communication channel and exchanges synchronization data of the second data type over the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a mobile terminal for communicating with at least one target computer, the target computer for applying a rule base for assigning a first data type to a first communication channel and a second data type to a second communication channel. The mobile terminal comprises a screen, a local memory, and a terminal controller for synchronizing the mobile terminal during a synchronization session. The terminal controller identifies the first communication channel and the second communication channel, and exchanges synchronization data of the first data type over the first communication channel and exchanges synchronization data of the second data type over the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a target computer for synchronizing a mobile terminal over a first communication channel and over a second communication channel during a synchronization session, the mobile terminal for identifying the first communication channel and the second communication channel. The target computer comprise a local memory and a controller for identifying a plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, to synchronize with the mobile terminal and applying a rule base to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a computer program embodied on a computer readable storage medium for use in a mobile terminal, the computer program for synchronizing the mobile terminal during a synchronization session. The computer program comprises a code segment for identifying a plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, to synchronize with the mobile terminal. The computer program further comprises a code segment for identifying a first communication channel and a second communication channel. The computer program further comprises code segments for applying a rule base to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel, and exchanging synchronization data of the first data type over the first communication channel and exchanging synchronization data of the second data type over the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a computer program embodied on a computer readable storage medium for use in a mobile terminal, the computer program for synchronizing the mobile terminal during a synchronization session. The mobile terminal for communicating with at least one target computer, the target computer for applying a rule base for assigning a first data type to a first communication channel and a second data type to a second communication channel. The computer program comprises code segments for identifying the first communication channel and the second communication channel, and exchanging synchronization data of the first data type over the first communication channel and exchanging synchronization data of the second data type over the second communication channel.

The present invention may also be regarded as a computer program embodied on a computer readable storage medium for use in a target computer. The target computer for synchronizing a mobile terminal over a first communication channel and over a second communication channel during a synchronization session, the mobile terminal for identifying the first communication channel and the second communication channel. The computer program comprises code segments for identifying a plurality of data types, including a first data type and a second data type, to synchronize with the mobile terminal, and applying a rule base to assign the first data type to the first communication channel and the second data type to the second communication channel.

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