Blackberry 10 RIM

RIM Loses Another BlackBerry Government Contract Over Reliability

National Transport Safety Board switches to more ‘reliable’ iPhone 5

On by Steve McCaskill 1

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has become the latest US government agency to end its exclusive use of BlackBerry smartphones.

The NTSB, which investigates transportation accidents in the US, said that its BlackBerrys have been “failing both at inappropriate times and at an unacceptable rate,” and that it was going to supply its 400 strong workforce with iPhone 5s instead, citing a need for “effective, reliable and stable communication.”

It is not clear which BlackBerry devices the NTSB are currently using, but it is believed that they are running BlackBerry 5 and 6 rather than the latest version, BlackBerry 7.

BlackBerry government contract lost

The NTSB’s accusations of unreliability are the most damaging to RIM, especially when it is trying to convince businesses of the security and administration strengths of its upcoming smartphones running BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry has suffered two major international service disruptions in the last 15 months, including a crippling worldwide outage last October.

BlackBerrys have long been favoured by government agencies as they meet their strict security requirements, but this advantage has become less pronounced as security standards have improved in rival platforms and BlackBerrys have become increasingly undesirable to consumers and businesses.

The US Department of Defense has invited companies to submit bids to provide software that can monitor, manage and enforce security requirements for iPhones and Android smartphones, while the US Immigration and Customers Enforcement Agency (ICE) is going to end its contract with RIM and supply its 17,600 employees with iPhones.

Earlier this year, the General Services Administration (GSA), the US government’s main procurement agency, announced its decision to provide iPhones and Android devices to its employees.

BlackBerry 10 is due to be launched on 30 January next year, with RIM telling TechWeekEurope that its administration tools don’t exist on any other platform.

What do you know about BlackBerrys? Find out with our quiz!

Steve McCaskill

Author: Steve McCaskill

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One reply to RIM Loses Another BlackBerry Government Contract Over Reliability

  • On November 22, 2012 at 9:55 am by shawn

    I’m not a BB fan at all and think the platform has stagnated for far too long. But seriously how on Earth do you get more reliability from an iOS handset when the device is just an endpoint and Apple to this day still don’t provide their own MDM? Fundamentally BES is just another piece of middleware that acts as a mobile gateway to your back end email infrastructure. What changes with the introduction of iOS which uses the same fundamental premise to connect? NTSB would have been better off saying they don’t want BB devices anymore because they don’t find them as ‘sexy’ as the iPhone. Instead of coming up a feeble excuse as to why they now prefer what is effectively an expensive toy.

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