Light Reading

BlackBerry Wants a Fruitful Future in M2M

Sarah Thomas
5/13/2014
50%
50%

BlackBerry hasn't said it will stop making its once-iconic, now-passé smartphones (yet), but it's clear the struggling company sees a brighter future in devices outside of the smartphone. (See BlackBerry's Chen: We're Not Dumping Devices.)

In a wide-ranging interview with the Economic Times, new BlackBerry CEO John Chen said leveraging QNX, the operating system it acquired in 2010, for M2M communications was a key priority for the struggling handset maker going forward. (See BlackBerry Shakes Up Its C-Level.)

"We have engineered a new strategy to stabilize the company, focusing on several key areas to capitalize on our traditional strengths in security and enterprise, while also leveraging our QNX Embedded business to focus on future growth opportunities in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications," Chen told the publication.

More specifically, Chen says that BlackBerry will have a major M2M play in five years' time, although he didn't say which industry it would be targeting. "BlackBerry is well positioned to lead this charge as it looks to unite people and machines across the Internet of Things -- from smartphones to in-vehicle telematics systems, smart appliances and much more," he said. "Everything will be connected and we would like to become a major hub of this next important technology wave."

This meshes with previous comments Chen has made, and I think it's a good strategy for the Canadian company. For one thing, QNX is already the operating system of choice for a lot of non-smartphone devices like, for example, MRIs and connected cars. That's one reason BlackBerrry invested in a healthcare startup last month -- to get QNX on even more medical devices. (See BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup.)

And, in case you haven't noticed, the connected car is suddenly the space that everyone wants a seat in, from carriers to device makers to software providers. From what I've seen in past demos, QNX is a solid OS for in-car navigation and "infotainment," and it already has partners lined up including Porsche, BMW, Saab, Audi, and Acura. (See AT&T Makes GM Cars a Data Plan Add-On.)

I imagine these two areas -- healthcare and connected cars -- will be the focus of BlackBerry's forthcoming M2M hub, and that's a good place to start. Five years is a long time to wait, but the line of business at least seems like a safer bet with more potential than taking on smartphones.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(25)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 4:04:19 AM
Re: M2M in General
@ Sarah:

May I suggest that better than the rants and reeves section, Eds cover this in a series of blogs. Why is migration to IP v6 slow - even slower among the telecom providers.

We recently upgraded all our core, radio & tranmission network. Despite that I was surprised that we still operate on IP v4.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 3:52:11 AM
Re: A more open BB
> says Blackberry's strategy includes allowing its device to be
> managed by "third-party mobile device management applicatons."

@ Ariella: I am amused when I read that this is a strategic choice made by BB management. Far from being a choice, it was a compulsion. Enterprises didnt pick up BB10 server; instead they are opting for multi-platform MDM/BYOD. Thus BB actually had no choice, but to let their (fewer and fewer) devices managed by the 3rd party MDMs.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 3:44:12 AM
from nowhere to a major player
> More specifically, Chen says that BlackBerry will have a major
> M2M play in five years' time,

I dont see why Chen says that BlackBerry is well positioned to be a leader in M2M/IoT! Wishful thinking may be.

However I do see that this is a good area to focus right now, if BlackBerry wants to reinvent itself.

BlackBerry reminds me of Ford: Any color as long as it is black.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/21/2014 | 5:57:45 PM
Re: M2M in General
I'm not well-versed in IPv6, but I'll let you know if I hear any updates! Might be a question for the community at large in the "rants and raves" section as well.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/21/2014 | 5:55:20 PM
Project Ion
Looks like BlackBerry's M2M ambitions have a name: Project Ion -- more here (and maybe more to come at this conference): http://www.cantechletter.com/2014/05/blackberry-unveils-m2m-play-called-project-ion/
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/15/2014 | 2:08:45 PM
Re: Too late
Exactly so -- not just a technology advance but also a cultural transformation that would be difficulty for a healthy company to pull off, let alone one that's struggling as BlackBerry is. 
colin the viking
50%
50%
colin the viking,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/15/2014 | 2:08:41 AM
M2M in General
Hello Sarah, Please can I ask a general question here. What success are you having in the US in implementing IPv6 and M2M? I know that the US Federal Government are mandating IPv6 so hopefully you are probably going to see the fruits of M2M before we do in Europe. Do you see this asa means of carrying out all types of transactions (including financiial ones) rather than just as a industrial tool? Thank You. Colin
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/14/2014 | 3:53:30 PM
Re: Too late
This would be a serious technology advance though, not sure if BlackBerry has it in them right now.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/14/2014 | 3:53:14 PM
Re: Too late
Or, more likely, BlackBerry might simply sell QNX, or be acquired for QNX. 

If I sound skeptical it's because I am. For every company that succeeds in turning itself around, there are 10 that fail. And BlackBerry would have to not just turn around, but start fresh in a new industry. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/14/2014 | 3:51:44 PM
Re: Too late
Good point, Dan. A technology breakthrough makes a great foundation for rebuilding a company on. It's how Apple did it back in 1997 with the candy-colored iMacs, although that wasn't so much a matter of technology as design. 
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Marcelo Claure had some bold claims to share at the Recode conference, including that its network would be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in every single market in the next 18 to 24 months.
Heavy Reading analyst Steve Bell explains how IoT deployments are driving operators to invest in SDN and NFV, but some are still waiting on LTE-M.
Small cells, along with WiFi, SDN and NFV, will be crucial to the build out of 5G, two SK Telecom senior managers tell Light Reading in an extensive Q&A.
AOL answers the question of how Verizon will monetize all its planned video offers, and it also indicates the carrier is becoming a content provider, whether it calls itself one or not.
One third of nearly 500 voters in Light Reading's recent poll on 5G suggest that upgrading backhaul to support the influx of data traffic coming to 5G will be the toughest challenge.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
Cats with Phones