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INTERPRETED BYTE-CODE APPLICATION PROGRAM 481
IS EXECUTED IN MS 112 AND DIAGNOSTIC TESTS ARE k- 520
PERFORMED ON MS 112
WHEN TESTING IS COMPLETED:
1) SOFTWARE/HARDWARE IS CORRECTED, IF POSSIBLE;
2) FAULT NOTIFICATION IS DISPLAYED TO SUBSCRIBER
AND TRANSMITTED TO NETWORK 100;
3) INTERPRETED BYTE-CODE APPLICATION
PROGRAM 481 IS ERASED
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PERFORMING DIAGNOSTICS ON A MOBILE STATION USING OVER-THE-AIR TRANSFER OF INTERPRETED BYTE-CODE PROGRAM
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
 The present invention is related to those disclosed in the following U.S. patent applications:
 1. Ser. No. 09/500,499, filed Feb. 9, 2000, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SECURE OVER-THE-AIR PROVISIONING OF A MOBILE STATION FROM A PROVISIONING SERVER VIA A TRAFFIC CHANNEL;"
 2. Ser. No. 09/501,468, filed Feb. 9, 2000, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SECURE PROVISIONING OF A MOBILE STATION FROM A PROVISIONING SERVER USING IWF-BASED IP ADDRESS TRANSLATION;"
 3. Ser. No. 09/475,602, filed on Dec. 30,1999, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SECURE PROVISIONING OF A MOBILE STATION FROM A PROVISIONING SERVER USING IP ADDRESS TRANSLATION AT THE BTS/BSC;"
 4. Ser. No. 09/475,760, filed on Dec. 30,1999, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SECURE PROVISIONING OF A MOBILE STATION FROM A PROVISIONING SERVER USING E NCRYPTION;" and
 5. Ser. No. 09/542,632, filed on Apr. 4, 2000, entitled "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROVISIONING OR UPDATING A MOBILE STATION USING OVER-THE-AIR TRANSFER OF INTERPRETED BYTE-CODE PROGRAM."
 The above applications are commonly assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The disclosures of these related patent applications are hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes as if fully set forth herein.
TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed, in general, to wireless networks and, more specifically, to a system for performing over-the-air (OTA) diagnostic operations on cellular phone handsets and other mobile devices.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Reliable predictions indicate that there will be over 300 million cellular telephone customers worldwide by the year 2000. Within the United States, cellular service is offered by cellular service providers, by the regional Bell companies, and by the national long distance operators. The enhanced competition has driven the price of cellular service down to the point where it is affordable to a large segment of the population.
 The current generation of cellular phones is used primarily for voice conversations between a subscriber handset (or mobile station) and another party through the wireless network. A smaller number of mobile stations are data devices, such as personal computers (PCs) equipped
with cellular/wireless modems. Because the bandwidth for a current generation mobile station is typically limited to a few tens of kilobits per second (Kbps), the applications for the current generation of mobile stations are relatively limited.
 However, this is expected to change in the next (or third) generation of cellular/wireless technology, sometimes referred to as "3G" wireless/cellular, where a much greater bandwidth will be available to each mobile station (i.e., 125 Kbps or greater). The higher data rates will make Internet applications for mobile stations much more common. For instance, a 3G cell phone (or a PC with a 3G cellular modem) may be used to browse web sites on the Internet, to transmit and receive graphics, to execute streaming audio and/or video applications, and the like. In sum, a much higher percentage of the wireless traffic handled by 3G cellular systems will be Internet protocol (IP) traffic and a lesser percentage will be traditional voice traffic.
 When a subscriber finds some fault in the operation of his or her wireless handset, identifying and correcting the fault usually requires taking the handset to a nearby service center where a technician loads a custom diagnostic software program into the handset to pinpoint the fault. Often, the fault does not lie in the hardware. Detecting this is costly and time consuming for the subscriber, the service provider and/or the handset vendor.
 In 3G systems, the increased bandwidth for data applications makes many new and innovative services possible. One such service is a mechanism for doing handset diagnostics remotely by downloading a short diagnostic program using Internet protocol (IP) based transport. A diagnostic operation may be executed by:
 a) downloading a special diagnostic application program written specifically for the handset used by the subscriber and, after the diagnostic program has completed, reinstalling the original handset software. The special diagnostic program must be written specifically for each model of the handset, since hardware addresses and the like may change from handset to handset. The special diagnostic program may be downloaded by a serial connection of overthe-air (OTA); and
 b) maintaining a permanent copy of the diagnostic program in non-volatile memory in each handset.
 Unfortunately, these methods have several drawbacks. It is costly to have a subscriber bring a handset into the service center for simple diagnostic testing and repairs. It also is expensive for the handset manufacturer to develop separate diagnostic programs for each model of a handset. It is not cost-effective to integrate the diagnostic program into the regular software of the handset, since it takes up additional space and is seldom used. This amounts to optimizing a design for failure. Additionally, it is cumbersome for the service center or the wireless service provider to maintain separate diagnostic programs for every brand and model of handsets. Furthermore, if the diagnostic program over-writes or inadvertently corrupts the existing handset software, it may be impossible for the handset to become operational again without taking it back to the service center for reprogramming.
 Therefore, there is a need in the art for improved systems and methods for performing diagnostic operations on wireless handsets and other types of mobile stations. In particular, there is a need in the art for systems and methods for performing over-the-air diagnostic testing of wireless handsets that minimizes subscriber interaction. More particularly, there is a need for systems and methods for performing over-the-air diagnostic testing of wireless handsets without using different diagnostic software in handsets from different manufacturers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 To address the above-discussed deficiencies of the prior art, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a mobile station diagnostic testing system for use in a wireless network comprising a plurality of base stations, each of the base stations capable of communicating with a plurality of mobile stations. The mobile station diagnostic testing system is capable of testing the operation of a first one of the plurality of mobile stations. According to an advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing system comprises: 1) a database capable of storing a mobile station diagnostic testing file comprising a mobile station diagnostic testing program in interpreted byte-code format; and 2) a diagnostics controller coupled to the database capable of receiving a notification indicating that a fault has occurred in the first mobile station and further capable, in response to receipt of the notification, of retrieving the mobile station diagnostic testing file from the database and transmitting the mobile station diagnostic testing file to the first mobile station, wherein receipt of the mobile station diagnostic testing file causes the mobile station to execute the mobile station diagnostic testing program in the mobile station diagnostic testing file.
 According to one embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file further comprises diagnostics data used to test the first mobile station.
 According to another embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file is transmitted to the mobile station using TCP/IP packets.
 According to still another embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file is transmitted to the mobile station using at least one short messaging service (SMS) message.
 According to yet another embodiment of the present invention, the diagnostics controller is capable of determining from the notification a model type of the first mobile station and, in response to the determination, selecting the mobile station diagnostic testing program according to the model type.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a mobile station capable of being tested from a wireless network by an over-the-air (OTA) mobile diagnostic testing process. In an advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station comprises: 1) an RF transceiver capable of receiving and demodulating forward channel messages from the wireless network and further capable of modulating and transmitting reverse channel messages to the wireless network; and 2) a main controller capable of receiving the demodulated forward channel mes
sages from the RF transceiver and extracting therefrom a mobile station diagnostic testing file containing a mobile station diagnostic testing program in interpreted byte-code format, wherein the main controller, in response to receipt of the mobile station diagnostic testing file, is capable of interpreting and executing the mobile station diagnostic testing program.
 In one embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file further comprises diagnostic testing data and wherein the main controller uses the diagnostic testing data to test the mobile station.
 In another embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file is transmitted to the mobile station in the forward channel messages using TCP/ IP packets.
 In still another embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing file is transmitted to the mobile station in the forward channel messages using at least one short messaging service (SMS) message.
 In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the mobile station diagnostic testing program comprises a graphical user interface (GUI) program capable of interacting with a user of the mobile station during the OTA diagnostic testing process.
 In a further embodiment of the present invention, the main controller is capable of transmitting to the wireless network a reverse channel notification message notifying the wireless network that a fault has been detected in the mobile station, wherein receipt of the reverse channel notification message is capable of causing the wireless network to transmit the mobile station diagnostic testing file to the mobile station.
 In a still further embodiment of the present invention, the reverse channel notification message comprises an identifier identifying a model type of the mobile station.
 The present invention proposes a mechanism whereby, a diagnostic application program is written once in an interpreted language (e.g., Java, Tel, Perl, Lua) and compiled into bytecode. The bytecode is downloaded to the handset on-demand over-the-air. The bytecode program performs the required diagnostic tests and sends the results back over-the-air to a diagnostics server.
 The bytecode may optionally be encrypted or digitally-signed to safeguard its integrity and authenticity. The preferred protocol for the transport of a bytecode diagnostic program to the handset is TCP/IP. Alternatively, it is conceivable that a short messaging service (SMS) protocol or a data-burst protocol may be used as transports. Java may be used as a de-facto standard for a choice of bytecode language, since it has almost universal acceptance as a writeonce, run anywhere language.
 The present invention significantly reduces the cost of supporting a wireless handset after it is sold to a subscriber. A handset according to the principles of the present invention does not require have a built-in algorithm or method for doing diagnostics. The interpreted bytecode provides the benefit of a write-once, run-anywhere application, thereby reducing development and maintenance costs of diagnostic software. Additionally, the diagnostic program is transient and consumes no memory or resources after the
diagnostic operations are performed. The diagnostic program is downloaded to the handset only on demand and is discarded upon completion. Hence, the diagnostic program does not permanently take up any extra memory on the handset.
 Advantageously, the present invention reduces the possibility of a diagnostic program corrupting existing handset software. Also, the diagnostic software can be written after the handsets are shipped. Since bytecode is platform independent, the same diagnostic program (written in a high-level language) can be written to cover multiple wireless technologies and multiple handset models, vendors and types.
 The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the features and technical advantages of the present invention so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the invention that follows. Additional features and advantages of the invention will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they may readily use the conception and the specific embodiment disclosed as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. Those skilled in the art should also realize that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest form.
 Before undertaking the DETAILED DESCRIPTION, it may be advantageous to set forth definitions of certain words and phrases used throughout this patent document: the terms "include" and "comprise," as well as derivatives thereof, mean inclusion without limitation; the term "or," is inclusive, meaning and/or; the phrases "associated with" and "associated therewith," as well as derivatives thereof, may mean to include, be included within, interconnect with, contain, be contained within, connect to or with, couple to or with, be communicable with, cooperate with, interleave, juxtapose, be proximate to, be bound to or with, have, have a property of, or the like; and the term "controller" means any device, system or part thereof that controls at least one operation, such a device may be implemented in hardware, firmware or software, or some combination of at least two of the same. It should be noted that the functionality associated with any particular controller may be centralized or distributed, whether locally or remotely. Definitions for certain words and phrases are provided throughout this patent document, those of ordinary skill in the art should understand that in many, if not most instances, such definitions apply to prior, as well as future uses of such defined words and phrases.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like numbers designate like objects, and in which:
 FIG. 1 illustrates a general overview of an exemplary wireless network according to one embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 2 illustrates an alternate view of selected portions of the exemplary wireless network 100 perform
over-the-air (OTA) mobile diagnostic testing according to one embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 3 illustrates an over-the-air mobile diagnostics server according to one embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary mobile station according to one embodiment of the present invention; and
 FIG. 5 is a flowchart illustrating the operation of the exemplary OTAMD server and the exemplary mobile station in the wireless network according to one embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
 FIGS. 1 through 5, discussed below, and the various embodiments used to describe the principles of the present invention in this patent document are by way of illustration only and should not be construed in any way to limit the scope of the invention. Those skilled in the art will understand that the principles of the present invention may be implemented in any suitably arranged wireless network.
 FIG. 1 illustrates a general overview of an exemplary wireless network 100 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Wireless telephone network 100 comprises a plurality of cell sites 121-123, each containing one of the base stations, BS 101, BS 102, or BS 103. Base stations 101-103 are operable to communicate with a plurality of mobile stations (MS) 111-114. Mobile stations 111-114 may be any suitable wireless communication devices, including conventional cellular telephones, PCS handset devices, portable computers, telemetry devices, and the like.
 Dotted lines show the approximate boundaries of the cell sites 121-123 in which base stations 101-103 are located. The cell sites are shown approximately circular for the purposes of illustration and explanation only. It should be clearly understood that the cell sites also may have irregular shapes, depending on the cell configuration selected and natural and man-made obstructions.
 In one embodiment of the present invention, BS 101, BS 102, and BS 103 may comprise a base station controller (BSC) and a base transceiver station (BTS). Base station controllers and base transceiver stations are well known to those skilled in the art. A base station controller is a device that manages wireless communications resources, including the base transceiver station, for specified cells within a wireless communications network. A base transceiver station comprises the RF transceivers, antennas, and other electrical equipment located in each cell site. This equipment may include air conditioning units, heating units, electrical supplies, telephone line interfaces, and RF transmitters and RF receivers, as well as call processing circuitry. For the purpose of simplicity and clarity in explaining the operation of the present invention, the base transceiver station in each of cells 121,122, and 123 and the base station controller associated with each base transceiver station are collectively represented by BS 101, BS 102 and BS 103, respectively.
 BS 101, BS 102 and BS 103 transfer voice and data signals between each other and the public telephone system