Patent published on March 28, 2024

New Patent Allows Phones to Use Local Numbers While Traveling Abroad

In an effort to solve the longstanding problem faced by travelers using roaming services, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) has recently been granted a patent that enables wireless devices to use local numbers while abroad. This breakthrough patent, with number US20240107287A1, aims to address the issue of communication barriers faced by individuals who travel abroad for an extended period of time and need to maintain accessibility through their home phone numbers.

Currently, users who travel abroad often resort to using Over the Top (OTT) applications such as Viber or WhatsApp to communicate with users back at home, in order to avoid exorbitant long-distance charges. Alternatively, some individuals purchase local SIM cards to make and receive calls with other users in the visited network. However, this approach comes with its own set of limitations – users lose the ability to be reached using their well-known home phone numbers, unless they carry two phones or a dual SIM phone, which is not common among most users.

The patent developed by Ericsson provides a groundbreaking solution to this problem. It allows roaming users to continue using their home SIM cards in their devices, while also enabling them to acquire temporary local numbers for local communication. Users can make and receive calls using their home numbers, whether they are business-related or not, thus ensuring a consistent and accessible means of communication. Significantly, this innovation removes the need for users to switch SIM cards or carry multiple devices, providing a great deal of convenience.

By leveraging this patent, wireless communication devices will connect to a visited network and obtain relevant information on how to use it. This includes details on which specific parts of the network are available and how to establish calls within that network. Additionally, a specially designed program will be downloaded to these devices to facilitate seamless connection and usage of the new network.

The implementation of this patent is poised to revolutionize the way travelers communicate abroad. No longer will users have to negotiate the complexities of purchasing local SIM cards or relying on OTT applications. They will now have the freedom to maintain uninterrupted communication through their home phone numbers, enhancing convenience and accessibility.

Consider a scenario in which a business traveler embarks on a trip to a foreign country. With the help of this patent, the traveler's phone will automatically connect to a local network upon arrival, allowing them to use their home number to make important business calls as if they were in their home country. At the same time, they can acquire a temporary local number for local communication, further streamlining their communication experience. This seamless integration of home and local numbers ensures that travelers remain easily reachable and minimizes the risk of missing important calls.

Although this patent, titled "SUPPORT OF NON-SUBSCRIBED TEMPORARY LOCAL SLICES WHILE ROAMING FOR LOCAL IMS SERVICE," offers a revolutionary solution to a longstanding problem, it is important to note that its appearance in the market is uncertain. While it presents a potential solution, there are various factors that may impact its future development and implementation.

In conclusion, Ericsson's new patent addresses the challenges faced by individuals using roaming services, specifically those who are unable to utilize their home phone numbers while traveling abroad. By allowing wireless devices to use local numbers in foreign networks, this patent seeks to enhance convenience and accessibility for users. Though the market introduction of this innovation remains uncertain, it offers a promising solution to a persistent problem.

P.S. It is important to note that this article discusses a recently published patent and its potential impact on the industry. However, the appearance of this technology in the market is not guaranteed, and its future development and implementation depend on various factors.

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