98% of mobile devices in US defense system to be BlackBerry

98% of mobile devices in US defense system to be BlackBerry

BlackBerry devices are set to be widely used in a new defense system at the Pentagon in Washington DC.

DISA has announced that around 80,000 BlackBerry devices will be used, dwarfing the 1,800 Apple and Android-based phones and tablets, all of which will be linked to its new management system on January 31st.

The $16 million (£9.74 million) project will aim to ensure that a potential 300,000 users do not compromise their military data or corrupt defense networks when on the move.

Pentagon officials said in a statement: "The new year will bring new mobile capabilities to as many as 100,000 DoD users.

"DoD will begin deploying version 1.0 of the unclassified mobility capability January 31st and will build out capacity to support up to 100,000 users by the end of the fiscal year."

Users if the mobile device management system will have access to an app store, as well support for Defense encryption keys, and several department wide services, such as enterprise email.

The Pentagon will also add a business software package allowing users to edit Word documents and other Microsoft Office files later this year.

The mobility program currently supports 16 mobile applications and is now in the process of evaluating more than 90 extra applications.

It is not quite business as usual though in terms of IT procurements, as the DISA is also working to create a secure and adaptive mobile environment capable of incorporating the steady advancement of technology.

The DOD Mobility Program will be implement through a collaborative team among agencies, services, and vendors to ensure that as the mobile environment changes, the security environment adapts with it to maintain the security requirements necessary to protect sensitive information.

The news comes a year after some military members using Apple and Android electronics had to revert to older model BlackBerrys because of the system changeover.