BlackBerry 10 the first mobile OS to receive "full operation capability" authorization for US Department of Defense networks

By Derek Kessler on 27 Mar 2014 12:18 pm EDT

The process for getting approval to operate new tech on the networks of the United States Department of Defense is arduous — national security and all that — but today BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry 10 is the first mobile operating system to have achieved Full Operational Capacity. This is the last step in the approval process, which is managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency, and follows an Approval to Operate certification issued by DISA back in August 2013. Said John Sims, President of Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry:

"As the first mobile solutions provider to achieve FOC, BlackBerry continues to prove why we are the most trusted enterprise mobility platform. BlackBerry worked side-by-side with DISA to help certify the BlackBerry 10 solution offering the U.S. government an end-to-end mobile infrastructure that does not compromise on security and provides the most productive and collaborative mobile experience."

Things haven't been all roses for BlackBerry and the DoD, in spite of this long-running approval process. Earlier this year the Air Force announced their intention to switch to iPhone from BlackBerry, and those iPhones along with Knox-equipped Samsung smartphones are working their way through the approval process as well.

That said, BlackBerry's further along than anybody else, and now BlackBerry 10 smartphones might just find their way deeper into the Pentagon… with Boeing right on their tail.

Press release:

BlackBerry First to Receive Coveted "Full Operational Capability" on U.S. Department of Defense Networks

Validation completes DISA's certification process for BlackBerry 10 mobility management platform

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 27, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced that BlackBerry® 10 has become the first mobility solution to receive Full Operational Capability (FOC) to run on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) networks from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The designation follows the Company's Authority to Operate (ATO) certification and enables government users with a BlackBerry 10 smartphone connected with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) to securely access email, data, apps and other DoD network resources.

BlackBerry was the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider to earn ATO and becomes the only vendor with FOC. The granting of FOC completes BlackBerry's security certification process with the DoD.

"As the first mobile solutions provider to achieve FOC, BlackBerry continues to prove why we are the most trusted enterprise mobility platform," said John Sims, President of Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry worked side-by-side with DISA to help certify the BlackBerry 10 solution offering the U.S. government an end-to-end mobile infrastructure that does not compromise on security and provides the most productive and collaborative mobile experience."

FOC allows government employees to realize the full security, productivity, communication and collaboration benefits of the BlackBerry 10 solution. One of the key features now available to DoD customers with a BlackBerry 10 smartphone is BlackBerry® Balance™ technology, which allows users to instantly toggle between work and personal profiles. BlackBerry Balance separates and secures work data from personal content, allowing the user to gain secure access to DoD network resources, along with the full benefits of a consumer experience. BlackBerry 10 smartphones are the only DoD-approved smartphones with this capability.

Source: BlackBerry

Derek Kessler Derek Kessler "Managing Editor of Mobile Nations" 89 (articles) 5 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 the first mobile OS to receive "full operation capability" authorization for US Department of Defense networks


Cant be happy with a certification unless it help Blackberry makes money.
For me, Its news if BlackBerry doesn't get this certification first.

That may be, but this is still a big deal in that BlackBerry is still the clear market leader in secure mobile communications. This endorsement opens the door for BES 10 + BlackBerry 10 devices to be an easy ,turn key, out of the box choice for any organization that has security and productivity high on their list of priorities. BlackBerry is the clear market leader here with the leading tech solution available as endorsed by the world's most rigorous testing process. I think that will translate into a much higher comfort level for other organizations looking at their alternatives to choose best, instead of compromising.

This post Powered by BlackBerry

I've talked with a few people in the Air Force. They didn't even know about BlackBerry 10. All they knew was that they disliked their old phone for vague reasons. I know BlackBerry doesn't have the money, but some sort of marketing is necessary to not only differentiate them from iPhone and Android, but also from their older phones. The general public hasn't a clue. Most people are not on phone forums. I understand they are not prioritizing the general consumer, but I think some enterprise and government decisions to jump ship are influenced by the general consumer sentiment, like Air Force underlings complaining about their BlackBerry phones totally unaware that BB10 phones exist. I know it has probably been said before, and it is tiring to read armchair opinions constantly, but the mention of Air Force jogged the memory of a couple interactions I had with members of the US Air Force.

Just because you're the first one out of your friends to get a driver's license doesn't mean you'll get all the hot chicks (or dudes --- not that there's anything wrong with it). Not until a major security disaster happens will this become mass marketable, and the likeliness of that happening in the next 5 years is very slim, and by that time, the competition may have very well achieved this certification.

So, you say, the success might well be duplicated by other vendors in the near future.
The name of the game is to get BES servers and new phones installed before the next wave of other approvals arrives.

Yea cool. Now could everyone please realize BlackBerry is the best and buy the damn phones already?!!!

 We have apks cuz we need 'em not cuz we want 'em 

Even though Derek is in the US, Ohio I believe, and is in the Military...

He is the most qualified one on the M N staff when it comes to such subjects.

Posted with my CB-Q10 using the power of " Q "

Indeed! Congrats and we'll done Waterloo! This is your bread and butter and it is proven out today...again that BlackBerry as an end to end secure mobile communications platform leads the world. Sure, you can compromise and bring in something else that has had a "secure"label slapped on the side of it, or you can go get the real deal.

This post Powered by BlackBerry

Now, that is the key! This is how you convert good news into great news - you sell it! I don't want to see another news statement by Chen. I want to see ads in business magazines and media (newspapers, etc.) - "Good for them (DoD)?, maybe its good for you too."

That's cute and all but I'm ready to see more government entities deploy BES10. That's what matters at the end.


To me, it just makes sense...I do not understand how the iphone and android systems can compete with BlackBerry Security....but that is just ME :D
Hey, what do I know? How to fish and drink margarita's.....thats what I know

My ZED 10

What if Candy Crush is a native app for the iPhone but a port for Android or vice versa?

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

It's because of the mass misinformation going on the USA, all the big corporations try very very hard to put blinders on the consumers and keep them uninformed. It's the main goal of PR industry in the USA, basically dumb the public down. Obviously there is some that see through these companies real objectives, but I think that segment of consumers is rather small. The same situation is happening in Canada because of all the American media we are exposed to.


This is great news. BlackBerry 10 has been out for a year and a half so in the near year we should see more and more BlackBerry 10 adoption I would think.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry continues to build the foundations of BB10 which no other vendor in the mobile space can truly compete against long term.

Slow and steady BlackBerry!

Posted with my gorgeous Z30

Two thumbs up!

One up the Android's ass.
The other up the Apple's ass.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB (Tiger Daddy)

Now who would not want to own a phone the US defense department itself certifies.

My Z30 just keeps me moving.....

So the United States Department of Defense likes BlackBerry but the Air Force doesn't? Come on guys get on the same page already.

Posted via CB10 on Q10

Mr Chen doesn't mess around....

First Government and Business, then Celebrities and then the ordinary consumer.

Still need devices that does it all - no more two devices (work and play)

BlackBerry needs a 'Lord of the Rings ' device - One device to rule them all

A battle is won but the war continues...

Posted via CB10

If you listen a couple of CrackBerry writers, they'd have you carry two phones, a BlackBerry & maybe an HTC One on data only or something dumb like that.

BBM Channel: The Group Ride C00055B7C

That's because they realize that there's a need for certain things that BlackBerry just flat out doesn't have.

I have a car and motorcycle, but don't need the later. Does that mean that I shouldn't get one just because I don't "need" it?

To each his own.

Posted via CB10

"Latter" Normally not a spelling Nazi , but two posts in a row you had it as "later". Thought you'd want to know....or not

This post Powered by BlackBerry

James Bond and his Sony android phone better watch out. All joking aside though, this is good news!

Posted via CB10 on a Z10 running on BB10

I agree on the notions of using this in advertisement moving forward. I think they could flip it into a great selling point for non-corporate consumers as well as corporate.

I still wonder what had the Air Force wanting to switch. Why not at least use BES10 to manage iPhones and Droids so they can still use the devices they want while maintaining the security standards they need / want? Hopefully, that story leads to a happy ending for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Full Operational Capability. BlackBerry 10 is the first mobile OS to receive it. So other phones on competing platforms don't have it as of yet.

Posted via CB10 on a Z10 running on BB10

This is good news ahead of the earnings report tomorrow however the anti BlackBerry sites and so called techies are churning out negative news as well. Seeking Alpha has an article today that states why BlackBerry needs to shut down operations. At the end of the article he goes on to explain that he is "long APPL". So there you go..

Posted via CB10

Data speeds
Sadly the Ookla speed test app I usually rely on to gauge data performance isn't available in the BlackBerry World software store. I did find another third-party application, Network Speed Test (NST), which reported data speeds over Verizon's 4G LTE signal. In New York where I tested the BlackBerry Z30, NST clocked the average download rate to be just under 1Mbps (0.9Kbps), slow LTE result.

Uploads were pokey, too, with the app measuring them to be an average of 1Mbps. By contrast, the Droid Maxx sucked data down at 10 times the speed (10.5Mbps average) and pushed bits to the cloud at much more nimble rate of 6Mbps. Of course I used the Ookla app to test the Maxx and can't say for certain if the NST solution produces results that are reliable or even comparable.

Real-world testing by downloading a 2.6MB application wasn't blisteringly swift, either. Through the BlackBerry World storefront I completed the process in a long 24.9 seconds, not counting the time it took to also install the software.

- WTF?

Posted via CB10

That link is now dead by the way.

Shame the reviewer picked Network Speed Tester from BlackBerry World as it's a garbage Android app port that doesn't even complete the speed test on my Z30. No wonder he got such poor LTE results using it.

Speed Tester from BlackBerry World is my personal fave speed test app. Also the reviewer obviously didn't know if he'd installed the 1Mobile Market app store from the Web on to the Z30 he could have downloaded his beloved Ookla app from there. Or maybe he didn't have 10.2.1 yet huh.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.1

Pretty amazing since bb10 is in its infancy. Ios and android have had years to mature and can't hold a candle to the potential of bb10. And will only keep getting better with each update.

Posted via CB10

I get your point, but it's somewhat flawed. "BlackBerry" is NOT in its infancy. You could argue that BlackBerry had a head start, and that it should be no surprise that it's first to receive certification.

This is the type of news CrackBerry needs to post from now on!

Stop the "Candy Crush" game reviews and focus on the productivity and utility apps (which we need more of).

BlackBerry and CrackBerry need to prove to the general populace that this platform is the future.

CrackBerry please go forward and give us content that shows how advanced this technology is, leave out the Luke warm posts even if you have to cut back on staff.

 BlackBerry Q10  KEEP THE FAITH

Unfortunately BBRY's success in this area seems to rely on the others to fail. If they fail, we're off to the races. If they pass well, people will choose whatever they want and right now, BBRY is not in fashion.

Check out the Boeing Press Release.. what a riot! An extremely old version of Bluetooth, a PDMI port.. (which no one makes acessories for...) A too small battery, exploding screws... This thing is a dog. And then "Will release soon".. like the 787 jetliner release... 2 years late. Boeing does not do anything but airplanes well. Unless the fix is in on the procurment contract this thing is DOA.

They still use 1950 technology for their data recorders, ELT, cockpit voice recordings......they don't even know where their 777 is. As for the US Air Force. They brag at how good they are, yet they cannot find the debris field, nor could they defend against 911. So they don't need BB anyhow.

Posted via CB10

Stupid Air Force clowns think getting Iphones will be like their own personal iphone. It's going to be so locked down they'll begin to hate it too. IOS is so dumb the default mail application can't even be used to connect to DoD email. A seperate application has to be used. EEEErrrrgggghhhh they're so blind!!! Burns me up being a BES Admin for the Air Force.

Isn't it true that Apple and Samsung both started the approval process before BB10 and the rumor was that because of cut backs BB10 wouldn't even be evaluated? Obviously that was incorrect but the fact that BlackBerry leapfrogged both Apple and Knox speaks volumes about just how much better BlackBerry is than their competitors with regards to security. Go BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

It might mean something to Fortune 500 companies toying with the idea of moving to less secure platforms. Those companies set trends and standards that begin to catch on with Joe Public (at least that's the way it used to be before Candy Crush).

Other countries may take notice though. Either way it's definitely not a bad thing and looks good on BlackBerry.


BB is fighting a perceptions war on the marketing front. This might not be what convinces everyone to buy BB, but it was a necessary win to help stave off the market perception that other platforms are as secure. BB needed this win and needs to build off of it.

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

Commercial idea:

NSA looking at a huge map with millions of dots...dots start to slowly dissappear one by one...they scurry to find out what's pans up and then to a newspaper laying on a desk open at a blackberry 10 add with the caption...Blackberry is Back

Posted via CB10

Okay, need an amateur director to upload this to YouTube so I can share like hell on socmed. LOL.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB (Tiger Daddy)

Awesome work #Blackberry! I hope all goes well this year and the years ahead! I love my Q10

Posted via CB10

Hope the military doesn't have at&t. We'd all be North Korean slaves waiting for the next update.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is a proven and reliable company.
There's two possible reasons why the Air Force seem to have iPhones shoved in its Aris.

1) Apple is basically in there face with mass price incentives. Or 2) Many decision makers have used BB10 and perhaps still think it's the same old as BB0S?
What else can be the problem? Are they also Apple Fanboys too?
BlackBerry is ahead of the game, BB10 is superior, have gotten certifications to prove it, and the competition continues to be haunted by security breaches. BlackBerry is the obvious choice, and John Chen has made a compelling offer? What's not to like?

Posted via CB10

Good news for BlackBerry's new focus. Too bad most ppl don't care about security and rather have the hottest mobile games instead.

Posted via CB10

No brand spanking news. They've gotten ATO last year. And are currently the only onces to have that too.

Posted via CB10

I'm looking forward to how BGR turns this around to a bad thing or unimportant. Probably won't even mention it. But wait till apple gets it ,if they do, vary big deal then.

Posted via CB10

Well, this is no surprise, am I right? BB always lead the way in security. So, the strategy should be informing the DOD masses as well as government contract companies. Also those civilian coanies that place high importance on security, like banks!!! All these should get DIRECT advertising/marketing to include BES10/BB10 in their infrastructure.

I though the FIPS certification comes from the BES10 backend which when used in conjunction with and android or iOS phone gives it the security. I'm not sure that the iPhone or Samsung phones on their own are FIPS certified. I could be wrong though.

Posted via CB10 on a Z10 running on BB10

I'm real excited about this. It's clear this does not mean we can all assume that BB is back, but it's a necessary win. I'm sure in Waterloo they're celebrating this and we should to.

In baseball, when it's late in the game and you're down, you need someone to start a rally. These kinds of small wins can lead to bigger ones. They're necessary. I agree with those that say this should be marketed out somehow.

BB is still in the game. "It's not the end until you give up."

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

I hope DoD gets the shit hacked out of them with their iphones and droids. Soo looking forward to it.

Posted via TheBATberry Q10

This is great news.
It would make pulling the trigger and purchasing several thousand bb10 much easier I would think.

Also, whether or not they purchase, it is a huge vote of confidence for other companies to reconsider bb10

Posted via CB10

They probably looked at the hackable iPhones OS + toyish email + the hackable Droid OS and buggy 3party file manger lol

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

Wow! This is a +999999999!!! BlackBerry is silent but deadly! I'm waiting for the Q4 earnings!

"If you want security, choose Blackberry!"

This is the most convincing piece of news article on this platform that we've had on a while. Keep the focus Chen!!! Doing well man.

Posted via CB10

I've heard too many of these news that I don't get excited anymore. Maybe if it starts generating $$, it will be newsworthy.

Posted via CB10

I hope it materialises somewhere. It's like getting certificates and hanging them on the wall with no job.

Why do I feel that BlackBerry will not publicize this?

Almost everyone I know thinks that BlackBerry is shutting down, hence, they will not get a BlackBerry.

Where is the Marketing team?
I'm getting frustrated and I don't even have shares in the company. Smh.

Good job though. But pleeeeeeeeeze advertise!!! Let people know that you're still here!!!

Posted via CB10 on my Q10 running

Amazing! This makes me very happy. Posting to facebook lmao. I think that BlackBerry is doing well, in baby steps, but really well done to BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Keep pushing through. BlackBerry is a business tool. If you want to Candy Crush go buy an iPhone or some other device. BlackBerry is for professionals, not teens and moms. Teens and mom's don't need security.

Posted via CB10

It still will not convince most consumers and companies to switch,

This is a great phone OS compare it to Apple IOS and the numerous issues it is having and the malware issues with Android

Posted using BlackBerry Z10

I tried to post a raving review on the T-Mobile website regarding the fact that blackberry has the best security and they denied it and so I had to water it down before they would allow it to be posted.
Androids must have huge kickbacks in terms of profit margins, all the carriers seem to have it in for BlackBerry. They hide all but the Q10 blackberries and from what I hear steer customers away from those too!
They tried it with me in a round about way over the phone and I refused to give in and got my Z10.

Posted via CB10

Wait a minute!!! I have an idea! While we have wasted time debating among ourselves we could be emailing our elected officials and demand that our government use nothing but the best secure phones (and throw in a warning or two would help)BlackBerry of course.
This close to election time none what to be associated with lapses in the nation's security.
As a matter of fact let's see who or what corporation it was that sponsored those hack contest in the past and try to get em to sponsor a cell phone hack contest, I don't think there has ever been one?
A win-win for BlackBerry and free advertising for them too!
We could call and or email BlackBerry and see if they could sponsor the contest or at the very least call the other manufacturers out.

Posted via CB10


Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Security tops it off. So long knox. :D

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Slightly off-topic but about the Boeing phone...calling it Boeing know I just have to wonder why they chose the colour Black in their name...

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

It just means the NSA found a way to crack it. Keep in mind BlackBerry probably had to hand over everything regarding the OS for testing.

White Z10