The Pentagon will be launching a new system with the intention of securing different smartphones for its network at the end of January. This new system will be primarily supporting BlackBerry devices, according to Defense Department officials. A press release issued this past week, states “the Program supports 80,000 BlackBerry phones,” which make up 98% of the total of smartphones in the system. The move comes a few months after BlackBerry 10 was originally given “authority to operate” on DoD networks back in August of last year.
It’s important to note that these 80,000 smartphones are, in all likelihood, existing BlackBerry devices, and not new ones. A report by FederalTimes points out that the Pentagon already has around 80,000 BlackBerry smartphones in its networks, so this may just be a direct transfer from one program to another. Nevertheless, this news is important because it shows the U.S. government will continue to support BlackBerry through its hard times going forward despite all the pressure from Google and Apple to make a switch.
The monetary value is also an important factor here. While there may not be any “sales” to record, the monthly operating cost for a network like this, with this many devices is a pretty penny that will keep making its way into BlackBerry’s wallet. It can also not be overstated how important that vote of confidence from the U.S. is, and how BlackBerry can use this deal going forward to market its BES advantages even further.