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
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
There is progress being made as tech firms begin to make women a priority, but there's still a long road ahead to redress the gender balance.
Swiss giant Tag Heuer has teamed up with Google and Intel to take on Apple with a smartwatch of their own as the wearables category starts to heat up.
New commercials boast that AT&T has the 'strongest 4G LTE signal strength,' as the big four US carriers shake up their marketing messages and marketing execs.
Verizon reiterates plans to use small cells in markets where it didn't acquire AWS spectrum, while AT&T has reportedly scaled back plans to deploy 40,000 small cells this year.
More than 1,720 of you voted in our poll on MWC's biggest trends, letting us know that while SDN/NFV were originally expected to be the hottest topics, 5G dominated the show floor.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (8) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Converged Communications: Working Simply & Smartly

3|17|15   |   03.24   |   (0) comments


Edwin Diender, CTO of Huawei's Enterprise Switch & Communications division, outlines the four main pillars of Huawei's unified communications portfolio and explains how the addition of 4K video capabilities has helped Huawei develop a groundbreaking videoconferencing solution.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Women in Tech Coming Into Focus
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/20/2015
Will Open Source Groups Keep Windows Open?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/20/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Net Neutrality Suits: Only The Beginning?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 3/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
More Is More Click Here
T-Mobile's Buy One Get One Free deal was too much for Fluffy to pass up. He decided more was more.
Latest Comment