BlackBerry on Thursday announced that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has approved the use of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The approval means all DoD customers can officially use the latest BlackBerry devices on its networks.
BlackBerry working with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to test BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in DoD labs. This result in the devices’ being listed on DISA’s Unified Communications Approved Product List (UC APL).
The news shouldn’t be too surprising given that BlackBerry 10 received US government certification, more specifically Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2 (FIPS PUB 140-2), before it even launched. This gave the green light to government agencies looking to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the company’s mobile enterprise management solution BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 the day they launch.
Unsurprisingly, BlackBerrry is happy with the announcement. The Canadian company has always marketed its devices as very secure, and it can’t lose that label if it wishes to remain relevant.
“BlackBerry 10 is ideal for our government customers because it offers a rich, highly responsive mobile computing experience, along with BlackBerry’s proven and validated security model – a combination that’s unmatched in the industry,” Scott Totzke, SVP of BlackBerry Security, said in a statement. “This approval will enable DoD customers to connect their BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphones to DoD networks and securely access assets from work, while enjoying the wealth of consumer-oriented functionality that BlackBerry 10 brings to market.”
In February, the DoD announced the release of a Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan. The goal is to open its communications networks by February 2014 to mobile phones and tablet computers from Apple and Google.
Just yesterday, we learned the department is expected to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and Apple devices running iOS 6 meet certain standards to allow for their use in the Pentagon. BlackBerry thus wants to emphasize that its devices are still a viable option.