BlackBerry Ltd. has acquired Movirtu, a provider of virtual identity solutions for mobile operators that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single device. This improves device management in bring-your-own device (BYOD) and corporate owned personally enabled (COPE) environments. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
With Movirtu’s Virtual SIM platform, both a business number and a personal number can be used on a single mobile device, with separate billing for voice, data and messaging usage on each number. As a result, employees can switch between business and personal profiles easily without carrying multiple devices or SIM cards, and charges are appropriately billed to the company and the employee. Additionally, in conjunction with the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) platform, enterprise customers will be able to apply IT policies to the business number without impacting the usability of the device for personal use.
“In a BYOD and COPE world, there remain a number of efficiency and convenience challenges facing enterprises, employees and mobile operators alike,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “The acquisition of Movirtu complements our core strategy of providing additional value added services, and it will leverage our key assets, including our BES platform, along with our existing global infrastructure which is connected to a large number of mobile operators around the world.”
The acquisition complements BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space, BlackBerry Balance and other partitioning technologies, which give employees the freedom and privacy they want for their personal use while delivering the security and management needed for business use. With Movirtu, employees can switch between profiles for calls, data and messages, while on their home network and in roaming situations.
“BlackBerry is the best partner to help us carry forward our vision of redefining the mobile experience by introducing virtual identities,” said Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO, Movirtu. “We address the challenges of BYOD and COPE by providing our unique and innovative technology solution through BlackBerry’s existing relationships with mobile operators and customers around the world.”
The new Virtual SIM capabilities will be offered by BlackBerry through mobile operators to provide customers with multiple identity based service offerings. BlackBerry will support the deployment of Movirtu technology by mobile operators on all major smartphone operating systems.