BlackBerry announced today the acquisition of Movirtu, a London-based mobile solutions company. The acquisition gives BlackBerry ownership of Movirtu’s Virtual SIM platform, which allows multiple phone numbers to be provisioned to a single SIM card, with separate billing for voice, data, and messaging usage.
The acquisition is another smart one for BlackBerry, and falls perfectly in line with the company’s expanding portfolio of cross-platform enterprise services, including Secure Work Space, BlackBerry Balance, and the upcoming BES12.
John Sims, BlackBerry’s President of Global Enterprise Services, was keen to stress on the company’s corporate blog that the addition of Movirtu will benefit BYOD employees as much as IT admins struggling to provision mobile devices for both personal and corporate use. “It’s important to remember that dividing usage of mobile devices between an employer and employee is meant to provide a fair allocation of accounting and cost for everyone,” he said. “It also protects ownership of personal and corporate numbers for both the business and their employee should they depart the company.”
BlackBerry has indicated the service will be available for iOS, Android, and BB10 devices through mobile operators, but no word yet on if it will require either BES10 or BES12 to function (we’ve reached out to BlackBerry for clarification).
Update: BlackBerry has confirmed that Movirtu will not require a BES10 or BES12 install.
Disclosure: I used to work for BlackBerry from 2009-2011.
Douglas has spent the past ten years writing about and building mobile technology. Getting his start building apps and digital communities for mobile software developers prior to the web 2.0 boom, Douglas leveraged this experience as one of the founding employees for a new media startup focused on mobile tech, running notable publications BlackBerry Cool and QuicklyBored. Douglas spent the next three years building RIM’s blogging program as part of their nascent social media team, before scratching the startup itch again, this time with digital conferences and then mobile gifting apps.