By Binu Paul email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 27, 2013 08:45 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Defense appears to be in a mood to end its long-standing relationship with BlackBerry as its new policy says it will open networks to smartphones and tablets from Apple and Android device manufacturers. In simple terms, Pentagon will largely open its network to Apple's iPhones and iPads and to other smartphones and tablets running Google's Android OS by February 2014.
Releasing its new plan for speeding adoption of mobile devices, Pentagon said the goal is to establish wireless voice, video, and data capabilities by October of 2013, with wider device availability beginning next year. A major part of the new policy is to move away from its current BlackBerry standard toward a more 'platform agnostic' policy which would see an integration of devices running Apple's iOS as well as Google's Android operating system, Apple Insider reports.
However, a representative of the DoD assured the publication that the move would not mean a complete abandonment of BlackBerry's platform. "It won't be a shotgun approach, where everyone gets the same apps and devices," Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told AppleInsider. "The key takeaway is that it's a multi-vendor solution. We will have a DoD-wide device management system and a DoD-wide app storefront."
One of United State's largest employers, DoD has over 600,000 mobile devices in use of which nearly 470,000 are BlackBerry devices, about 41,000 iOS devices, and around 80,000 devices running Android.
This is a bad news for Blackberry as this may end its dominance at the Pentagon. iOS and Android devices have taken a large portion of Blackberry's market share over the past one year or so. However, the Canadian smartphone maker has still reasons to hope for as the Department is currently evaluating the recently released BlackBerry 10 phone to decide on integrating it into operations.
"The implementation plan establishes a framework to equip the department's 600,000 mobile-device users with secure classified and protected unclassified mobile solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products, promote the development and use of mobile applications to improve functionality, decrease costs, and enable increased personal productivity. The plan orchestrates a series of operational pilots from across the DoD components that will incorporate lessons learned, ensure interoperability, refine technical requirements, influence commercial standards, and create operational efficiencies for DoD mobile users," The department said in a press release.
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