Starting January 31st, the Pentagon will be hooking up 80,000 new and old BlackBerry devices as well as 1,800 iOS and Android devices as part of their plan to move information access to mobile devices. The $16 million project, which began in 2012, aims to give users secure access to information when mobile and don't compromise military data or corrupt defense networks when on the go.
"The new year will bring new mobile capabilities to as many as 100,000 DoD users," Pentagon officials said in a statement. "DoD will begin deploying version 1.0 of the unclassified mobility capability Jan. 31 and will build out capacity to support up to 100,000 users by the end of the fiscal year."
At the end of January, users will have access to the app store, support for Defense encryption keys, and several other services, including Defense Connect Online.
This is a huge win for BlackBerry and something that will hopefully spread to other agencies as well, allowing users with company-issued devices as well as BYOD programs to use BlackBerry phones as secure devices in the corporate environment.
Note: The 80k devices aren't being purchased — they are devices already owned by the DoD that are being hooked up to the new system