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December 13, 2012

US federal agency to trial BlackBerry 10

Agency will start pilot programme on new BlackBerry devices during early 2013

By CBR Staff Writer

In a rare piece of good news for beleaguered BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM), it has been announced that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is planning to start testing the new BlackBerry 10 platform and devices.

As part of its plans, the US federal agency will start a pilot programme on RIM’s latest BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES 10), which enables corporations and government users to operate the new devices on their networks.

The trial is expected to start early next year.

The firm has also secured Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 security certification from the US government for the new devices, which allows government agencies to opt for the new smartphones following the launch in the first quarter of 2013.

RIM has also started manufacturing new units of its two BlackBerry 10 devices, including one with a touch screen and the other with a keyboard. Powered by the BlackBerry 10 operating system, the device line-up is claimed to be both smoother and faster compared to earlier BlackBerry phones.

In October, ICE planned to extend a long relationship with RIM, but retracted claiming that the firm’s aging line-up of devices could no longer meet the mobile technology requirements of the agency, but it seems to have had a change of heart and will now evaluate BlackBerry devices.

RIM is betting heavily on the long-awaited BB10 operating system. It has been in development for a number of years and some analysts had questioned whether it would ever be released.

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The company believes BB10 will give it the edge when it comes to tackling the BYOD craze. BB10 features the capability to switch between two sandboxed accounts on a single device, one for business purposes and one for private use.

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