BlackBerry acquires Movirtu to improve adoption of BYOD, COPE

Canada-based smart phone manufacturer BlackBerry has acquired London-based start-up Movirtu, a provider of virtual identity solutions for mobile operators for an undisclosed sum. The start-up's software allows users to have multiple phone numbers on the same device.

This improves device management in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Corporate-Owned Personally-Enabled (COPE) environments.

''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,'' Chen added.

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. This enables users to switch between business and personal profiles 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.

The acquisition complements BlackBerry's Secure Work Space, BlackBerry Balance and other partitioning technologies, which give employees the freedom and privacy they want.

''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''.

BlackBerry will support the deployment of Movirtu technology by mobile operators on all major Smart phone operating systems.