the on-going litigation is over (hopefully with multiple settlements and
licensing) VirnetX will move into the next phase of its future business cycle. This
is known as 4G Advanced Communications resulting from the work of the 3rd
Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and standards bodies such as the European
Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
of the company’s silence due to the litigation, investors do not have much current
information and insight into the future prospects for the business. This post
is an attempt to describe in simple, understandable, and non-technical terms
the expected licensing opportunities available to VirnetX upon implementation
of release 10 of the ETSI/3GPP specifications. Please keep in mind that this is
just my opinion and my interpretation from reading the specifications and it could
be wrong. But I believe it is generally accurate enough to help us understand
some of the future possibilities.
Background. The 3GPP was
created in 1998 and unites [Six] international telecommunications standards
bodies to produce the reports and specifications that define 3GPP technologies.
These technologies are constantly evolving and therefore they must be defined
in a series of releases. In these releases 3GPP produces technical specifications,
to be transposed by relevant standardization bodies into appropriate
deliverables (e.g., standards). Release 10 incorporates increased security
requirements for the internet and mobile applications. ETSI and its USA
counterpart The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) are
the standards bodies working with 3GPP to produce the release 10 specifications
applicable to VirnetX.
declared its patents essential for seven of the release 10 specifications. These
are TS 23.003, TS 32.583, TS 33.141, TS 33.203, TS 33.210, TS 33.222, and TS
33.328. In a separate post I will summarize my understanding of the
specification paragraphs that pertain to VirnetX and list the related claims in
each patent. In later posts I will discuss each specification in more detail.
IMS Architecture. Release 10 defines
the Internet Protocol (IP) Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. So by
understanding this architecture I believe we can get a reasonable insight into
the future licensing opportunities available to VirnetX. The figure below is a
simplified picture of the IMS architecture showing those elements of the IMS
applicable to VirnetX licensing.
actual figure 1 from TS 33.203 entitled IMS Security Architecture is attached
for your information. It has many abbreviations for domain functions that require
some technical insight to understand and may not be applicable to VirnetX so the
simple figure below is used for this discussion.
P-CSCF------ (UE) Client
P-CSCF------ (UE) Client
Secure Domains in
the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Architecture
P-CSCF = Proxy Call
Session Control Function
SEG = Security
Client = User
equipment, PC’s, tablets, cell phones, etc
IP = Internet
is what this figure shows:
1. .SGOV represents
the secure domain that will be serving the U.S. government, with the exception
of .SMIL and .SINT. The .SGOV domain may also include all 50 state governments.
Obviously there are a large number of sub domains in .SGOV, for various federal
agencies and for each state.
2. .SCOM is the secure
domain serving all of the companies and private entities in the world (assigned
the .SCOM domain name) requiring some level of communications security. There
are also a large number of sub domains in .SCOM as well.
3. Internet represents
the network and transport layers as defined by the various standardization
bodies of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. This represents the
worldwide network of nodes, routers and related equipment.
4. It should be noted
that the above figure represents two of many other domains including all of the
standard conventional domains used today plus .SORG, .SNET,.SEDU, as well as
.SMIL and .SINT (per the 211 patent).
5. The figure shows
the interface between the UE the P-CSCF and the SEG. The SEG is the security
gateway server between the secure domain and the internet. The SEG is required
for all communications to and from a secure domain. Communications within a
secure domain do not pass through the SEG. There are other servers within the
domain such as the Home Domain server and the edge router server that are not
discussed here to keep the discussion simple.
6. The interface from
each secure domain to the IP multimedia networks is not shown in the above
figure but it is a very important function. The interface is from computers in
each secure domain called the Server Call Session Control Function (S-CSCF) and
as of this writing it is not clear whether this server will have VirnetX
licensed software. It must be noted that the IMS Architecture will allow for
rich user-to-user and user-to-content communications (i.e. voice, video, data
in any combination).
Domains. Most computer users
are familiar with the idea of domains such as the .com, .net, and .org. Domains
have a management structure with responsibilities such as the allocation of
resources to implement changing internet standards, to provide for throughput
and efficient flow of traffic, to assure compatibility, and others. When secure
domains become operational the most important function of secure domain
management will be to ensure that all domain users are properly authenticated for
the level of security needed by each user. The secure domains will have
functional capabilities (i.e. servers) dedicated to security. The IMS
architecture provides for sub domains so that organizations such as the CIA
would have one or more sub domains dedicated to their mission.
opportunities overview. The above figure shows the functions within each domain
and the IMS that are expected to incorporate VitnetX technology. I will leave
it to others to try to estimate quantities but obviously they will be very
1. User equipment
(client) are the multimedia
devices and computers that require some level of security. Each device
authorized by domain authorities for secure communications would need a
software module that has VirnetX licensed technology. Some estimates indicate
that in the future there are potentially billions of UE devices worldwide and
some percent of these will need secure communications.
2. P-CSCF. The proxy call
session control function is a server that is similar to the proxy DNS server
described in VirnetX patents. This server will have VirnetX licensed software that
will store the secure domain name addresses and resolve the addresses when a
request is received from a secure UE. It appears that these would be in
virtually every office or location that currently has a local area network.
Because of the importance of the P-CSCF to the security function and its modest
cost I would expect each server to have at least one backup. I would estimate
that one P-CSCF would be needed for each 50-100 UE’s to assure traffic
SEG. The SEG is a
security gateway server. Every communication that goes to or from one secure
domain to any other domain must go through an SEG. So in each secure domain
there would be a very large number of these servers. The SEG will have VirnetX
licensed software for authentication of UE access and to implement TARP. I
would estimate the one SEG would be needed for each 1000 UE’s and again due to
the critical mission each SEG would have a backup.
Internet. The existing internet will have software
to implement TARP. Routers throughout the worldwide internet will need VirnetX
Best regards to all