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Blackberry Network Technology

Is RIM's Centralized Network Model Broken? 104

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the packet-switching-will-never-catch-on dept.
wiredmikey writes "Is RIM's centralized network model broken? Andrew Jaquith thinks so, and provides an interesting analysis on why RIM should move to a decentralized model. After two long outages this month, many believe that the end is drawing near for Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry. But is Research In Motion in trouble? Financially, RIM continues to be a healthy company, throwing off billions in profit each year. But if it doesn't 'think different' about its network strategy, its customers may think different about their choice of handset vendor, Jaquith argues. Jaquith says RIM should dismantle its proprietary centralized delivery network, something that has been a key strength for the company. Data plans that provide TCP/IP over wireless carrier networks are now ubiquitous, nullifying a key RIM advantage. Does BlackBerry need to rethink its network model to effectively compete moving forward?"
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Is RIM's Centralized Network Model Broken?

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  • BlackBerries get free email etc. while roaming (abroad). Who else offers that? For people who travel and email for business, that's still a key advantage.

    • What? Where? Who's the carrier offering this? I want what you are talking about!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Flytrap (939609)
      I don't know where you get that from... but I can tell you for certain that we (Vodafone) charge every mobile network operater a hefty roaming fee whenever their customers cross into any of our extensive data networks - nobody gets a free ride, not even blackberry users. Since RIM have not built an alternative internet, i am pretty certain that, each time you roam, somebody pays. I suspect that what you are considering free email, is probably built into your blackberry package... and since RIM has always
    • Almost true. I just got back from a 2 week European trip, and paid about 60 cents a day for 'free' email and roaming. (I have a Blackberry with T-Mobile and activated their international email plan for my stay). This may seem like a lot of pennies, but when you consider that I could email unlimited 1mb pictures back home with no additional charge, this was quite the deal. I have used this service many time over the years, and will probably stay with Blackberry and T-mobile for that reason.
  • A lot of carriers in Europe and Australia add a monthly surcharge on BlackBerry contracts. Vodafone Netherlands, for example requires you to pay an extra €5/month if you choose a BlackBerry handset (increasing the price from €23 to €28 per month). There's no similar fee for iPhone or Android users. I'm sure this must be costing RIM more than a few customers.

    • by Halueth (776646)
      so, it's 28 euro's for a BB, or 45 euro's for an iphone. Dataplans are 10euro's per mb if you travel outside the EU. Nice if your sales rep emails you the latest presentation of 10mb.
    • RIM Blackberries are popular in the UK with a certain group of people for two simple reasons ...

      1) the handsets are cheap smartphones

      2) BBM - is a private network that most most people's friends are on already

      There are also business users but mostly because of the enterprise mail technology .... which is far from unique anymore

  • Arguably... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:22AM (#37905356) Journal
    Given the amount of legacy investment(not just on RIM's part; but on the part of some of their bigger corporate customers) in their proprietary stuff, its relatively good uptime history, and the fact that some people still value its particular set of advantages and disadvantages, it seems insane for RIM to scrap it. Consider, which of the following seems easier and less risky:

    1. Scrap proprietary BBM/BIS/etc. and attempt to recreate featureset of the same in midflight with some sort of decentralized setup.

    Or:

    2. Keep all the various RIM-specific tricks around; and take advantage of the fact that flash is cheap by buying or building an IMAP/Activesync mail client that runs on your handsets(and has a bunch of centralized knobs and switces to keep the BES admins of the world happy). If the customer wants a classic blackberry, turn it off. If they want a decentralized offering, turn it on. If they want both, turn both on.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Keep it simple: have an IMAP/whatever client that's automatically configured to recreate the behavior of the "central" Blackberry experience, and fall back to it whenever the Blackberry server has been unreachable for more than N minutes. When the server wakes back up, resynchronise everything and switch back to the mothership. From the customer's perspective, their Blackberry Just Works.

    • Due to active synch, there is little or no reason for the BlackBerry proprietary network. RIM still makes a good quality handset that is reliable but, from a technology stand point it is obsolete. Active synch provides admins the security features needed. If RIM can adopt newer technology and maybe scrap it's OS in favor of a highly modified and customized android flavor, perhaps it can be a force to be reckoned with.
    • Frankly, I think this is why RIM is doomed. Their centralized setup is a bad design given the current context of Internet/mobile technology. They can't keep it. But then, they also can't move away from it because it's kind of what's keeping them in business. The people who are sticking with them are sticking with them because of their setup, but then the group of people sticking with them will probably continue to shrink until they hit a certain threshold, and then employees, investors, and customers wi

      • I'd like to argue with you, and on what seem like plausible grounds; but they aren't plausible grounds that have actually held out as often as one might like, so I think I'm going to end up agreeing:

        In a rational world, without decision-making being like steering an aircraft carrier, RIM would be sitting pretty: They have a massive legacy subscriber base(which is dwindling over time; but reasonably slowly and predictably, and will be paying out for some years to come), they have a pretty attractive(to ca
        • Nobody will mistake it for an iPhone; but it's dirt cheap by comparison.

          Dirt cheap in comparison to "free" (with a 2 year contract)? But sorry, I know that really wasn't your point.

          Naively, I just can't shake the sense that having a legacy money tree to shake would be a good thing; but empirically it seems to be a dead-hand-of-the-past sort of affair, weighing on your future decision making...

          Yeah, the real problem is that "having a legacy money tree" ends up being a bit of a curse. In order to move on to something better, you often have to murder your money tree, which is hard to do. It's not just difficult from the standpoint of bringing yourself to take a huge risk, but knowing how to time it, and how to market it. Cut off your money tree too early, or execute it badly, and you onl

  • by BBCWatcher (900486) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:25AM (#37905368)
    Centralized computing works fabulously (and inexpensively) if you've got the right infrastructure. Mainframes work.
    • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @09:22AM (#37907206) Journal
      Agreed. The computing socialist in me who thinks in terms open systems, free market, open source, wild west internet subconciously resists centralized systems like blackberry.

      That is, until I have enterprise cost, control, security, and efficiency considerations to take into account. Blackberry administration, security (both device and messaging network), and frankly support are still industry best.

      There's no android or iphone device close to the level of security that is offered in a blackberry; if data security (including personal communications) is paramount to your enterprise there's really no other choice. We've tried GOOD and citrix sessions on iphones or tablets, but frankly the performance is crap and the costs prohibitive.
      • There's no android or iphone device close to the level of security that is offered in a blackberry; if data security (including personal communications) is paramount to your enterprise there's really no other choice.

        Care to explain what security is offered by Blackberries that is not by any other technology? I'm only being a little snotty here, because if there's an answer I'd really like to know. However, I've heard from lots of people tout the security of Blackberries without being able to offer a real explanation of the security benefits, and even when they can talk about a benefit, it's some minor security feature that no one uses.

        • by Prune (557140)
          There's an overview here. http://www.cse.psu.edu/~enck/cse597a-s09/slides/security_blackberry.pdf [psu.edu]
          Basically, in a corporate network using BES, a proper configuration has the phones are in a sort of permanent VPN with the corporate network, aided by hardware features (not merely acceleration by hardware encryption, but hardware features that restrict reverse-engineering keys from the firmware and a number of other protections that make stolen/lost phones not a security risk), as well as flexible and detaile
          • Sorry, but that just doesn't do it for me. Traffic back to the server is encrypted... well great. Encryption on mail servers is pretty standard these days. Lost/stolen phones are still a security risk if they're not locked and the remote-wipe situation is about the same as other phones. You can even set up a normal VPN connection on iOS or Android if you need to.

            Yes, you can set a lot of detailed security policies, which most IT departments don't bother to mess with anyway, and ActiveSync provides secu

            • by Wolfier (94144)

              > ActiveSync provides security policies too

              If you're comparing mere ActiveSync security policies with BES security policies, clearly ActiveSync is secure enough for you.

              • I've worked in a bunch of IT departments, including big enterprise departments, and dealt with a number of BES servers. I don't think I've ever seen BES used to do anything that ActiveSync doesn't currently do.

                Maybe you could cite a security policy that BES allows that ActiveSync doesn't? But please provide one that IT departments actually use and care about. The vague "BES provides better control of security" doesn't really explain anything for me.

                • by Wolfier (94144)

                  first, there's push policy update on BES vs poll-based policy updates. if you're in an environment that needs dynamic policies, push policies can't be beat.
                  second, BES allows applications to set its own policies - while last I looked at ActiveSync, it's only for an MS application (Exchange).
                  and then, ActiveSync policies are very device-specific - Windows Mobile phones implements a larger set of supported policies than Android, for example.

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          Another benefit of Blackberry is the device security check itself. Try "rooting" a BB handset. When it boots, the on-board security check will fail. Try installing a trojan - easy because BB allows installation of any signed Java application - and again it will fail at boot-time.

          I suppose if you tried for a long time you might figure out what they are checking and be able to sneak something malicious in without tripping the security check. However, it is telling that nobody has done it yet even with hug

  • I think anyone who has ever experienced a blackberry outage and had to explain it to his CEO will have learned how the blackberry chain works and how everything MUST go through their servers creating a global single point of failure.

    It's just a bad idea to put all of your eggs in one basket.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Andrew Jaguith must be American, in countries with pay per use data models, RIM has a 3:1 advantage over other platforms, when traveling and paying between $1 and $13 per MB of data the savings drasticly add up.

    Beyond data compression, RIM's security model is largely supported by having centralized notds, there is no dns spoofing, this helps RIM obtain FIPS certification that much sooner.

    What RIM does need to do is improve redundancy, and centralize per country more so when a single node goes down it doesn'

    • by BagOBones (574735)

      Unless you administratively block tethering it still doesn't stop your Execs from taking it to Mexico, and watching Neflix with their laptop then getting a $$$$$ roaming bill or higher. Trust me... We have them with both BB and iPhones. Disabling data roaming seems to work best, as using WiFi is something some of them seem to understand.

  • Yes and no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated&ema,il> on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @05:54AM (#37905500) Journal
    The trivial and common response to this (and the original post I was going to write) is that it needs to GO because its competitors don't do this and, thus, don't have to worry about losing internet and email service if one cluster of huge servers somewhere in their country goes dark for a bit. Many consumers might have agreed with this school of thought with their wallet and went elsewhere.

    The thing to keep in mind, however, is that this centralised model was NEVER meant to "serve" regular home consumer usage patterns. Remember their devices from yesteryear? You know, the business-only, no bullshit phones that would be totally useless for Joe Consumer? That, if anything, showed that their target market was for people who needed really good phone and email device with extra high security, if required. Their centralised model (outages aside) ensures the highest quality for both of these requirements with a battery life that is still unmatched by iOS or Android

    The problem is that the market has shown that most people are fine with "good enough," and Blackberry devices are FAR from that. Their Their work phones might still rule with email, but their iPhone or Droid does that and much more satisfactorily enough to meet their needs. It's also cheaper per month and has more "apps." Additionally, they are, slowly but surely, becoming secure enough to be seriously considered for the workplace. Once this happens, Blackberry has no leg to stand on.

    I think RIM needs to worry about moving their phones to the 21st century. Outages happen; bad market strategy shouldn't.
    • That, if anything, showed that their target market was for people who needed really good phone and email device with extra high security, if required. Their centralised model (outages aside) ensures the highest quality for both of these requirements

      How so? What about having all of your email passing through the servers of a 3rd party make it "extra high security"? Email passing between Android phones and iPhones using ActiveSync or IMAP/SMTP+SSL are already encrypted during transfer.

      Additionally, they are, slowly but surely, becoming secure enough to be seriously considered for the workplace.

      I think you're a little behind in the news. They're beyond "being considered" and they're being used in workplaces. Even enterprise IT departments are supporting them in many cases, but I've dealt with a few small/medium businesses that have been exclusively iPhone for

      • How so? What about having all of your email passing through the servers of a 3rd party make it "extra high security"? Email passing between Android phones and iPhones using ActiveSync or IMAP/SMTP+SSL are already encrypted during transfer.

        Yes, but remember to set up your SSL trust properly so a government can't force your CA (or another trusted-by-default CA) to issue a cert with your server's name to MitM your traffic. Many people skip this step, making Blackberry about as secure (when it ought to be far

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)

      Remember their devices from yesteryear? You know, the business-only, no bullshit phones that would be totally useless for Joe Consumer?

      Actually, I remember their devices [wikipedia.org] from yesteryear as one of the first two-way pagers. [blackberryplanetbook.com] AFAIK Motorola was the only other company doing two-way paging and they didn't have the back end to allow the kind of messaging that has been the hallmark of Blackberry devices from the start.

      I believe the upcoming BBX handsets are going to address the consumer market and Blackberry Balance [blackberry.com] will be used for convergence. RIM has always understood the needs of large infrastructures to exert a certain level of control

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @06:07AM (#37905556) Journal

    There will always be a demand for the Soviet-style centralized IT that RIM's system represents. It's the same old kind of mentality that insists "no personal calls on a business cell phone" or (heaven forbid) browsing the interwebs while on company time.

    All the companies I know have either switched away from Blackberry, or at least opened their policies to say "get whatever phone-device you want, here's your budget, and tech-supporting it is your problem". Nobody, given that option, chooses Blackberry.

    RIM will continue to be profitable, and actually their service will probably improve as the load on their systems decreases.

    • All the companies I know have either switched away from Blackberry, or at least opened their policies to say "get whatever phone-device you want, here's your budget, and tech-supporting it is your problem". Nobody, given that option, chooses Blackberry.

      Do they also say "If your phone is the entry point for an intrusion into the intranet you are fired and will be sued for the cost of fixing everything" or "If internal email comes into the hands of unauthorized persons through your device, you are fired"? If not, is it because they don't care about the security or that they don't allow anything sensitive on the phone in the first place. I'm not saying that Android cannot be secured, but they cannot be secured if everyone has different phones and are their

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        android phones cannot be secured unless you use an "evil" locked boot loader model with no known root exploits (oops sorry still not secure, there are almost certainly unpublished root exploits being held onto by someone)

        this is what trusted computing SHOULD be, not a weapon wielded by outside interests against the owners of devices, but a tool for the owners of many devices to remotely ensure software and configuration integrity.
      • by Prune (557140)
        Mod parent up and grandparent down! Android and iPhone security is still a joke compared to this http://www.cse.psu.edu/~enck/cse597a-s09/slides/security_blackberry.pdf [psu.edu]
        • You keep posting this slideshow all over this discussion, but I'm not sure what you think the slideshow says. It's light on details, gives very little explanation, and does not compare RIM's security model with those employed by other providers. Could you explain what you're hoping to explain with this slideshow?

    • and wants you to stop using its smokescreen....
      You are supposed to say "Chinese" now.

  • RIM as a whole reminds me of a scene from the Simpson's several years back: Principal Skinner is wandering around a boarded up part of Springfield that use to house "wholesome" activities and such and he briefly wonders if he's just out of touch with what's going on. Only to come to the conclusion that no...everyone else is wrong. This is how I see RIM/BB. Smartphones evolved and they're still serving up the same ol' stuff. Great, you're a "corporate" phone. Guess what. That market isn't growing anym
  • Going forwards, they have to leverage cloudsourced meta resources to enhance avoision of non-functational points of zeta-inflection.

    If their in-house IT isn't on board with those pre-bleeding edge concepts, I'd be happy to run a seminar at a 5 star spa of their choice.

  • It's bad enough having to manage GroupWare or Exchange, but having to run some horrible RIM BlackBerry enterprise bloatware on them just so BB users can get email is ridiculous.
    • by acoustix (123925)

      It still beats the hell out of ActiveSync. Microsoft should be ashamed that a 3rd party can tie in their devices to Exchange better than ActiveSync.

    • by Prune (557140)
      BES is more important for security, not email. As another poster pointed out, any enterprise with a sensible security point should make it explicit that "If your phone is the entry point for an intrusion into the intranet you are fired and will be sued for the cost of fixing everything" and that "If internal email comes into the hands of unauthorized persons through your device, you are fired" Tell me any iPhone or Android that has a security framework as thought out as http://www.cse.psu.edu/~enck/cse597a [psu.edu]
  • This comment is biased, way biased. I absolutely hate RIM and hope they die a slow and painful death. Their licensing scheme took advantage of us for years and now the cheapest Droid blows them away. After setting up a few Droids and a butt load of Iphones, I will offer to buy my users a smart phone just for the privilege of switching them over. That way I get to personally throw the crappy BB phone down the back stairwell myself. Then I put the BB in a box addressed to RIM HQ with a letter explaining
    • Dude that is great. I thought I was the only one pushing this horrid service out the door as quickly as possible. We give our user base allowances for their own smart-phone and then we only manage the email service. As soon as the split profiles are available we'll just take control of that instead. We haven't had a single problem with remote wipes or anything.

      So long RIM...I can't say it hasn't been fun. Because it wasn't.

      • Yeah, I agree. We dont really throw them down the stairs. I usually convince the user to let me send them back to Verizon. Verizon says they give the phones out to charities like for battered/abused recently divorced women. At least, that's what the return envelope says.
        Damn try to make a joke and you get branded as a shill.
    • by improfane (855034)

      It seems the shills are out in force!

      Look at this guy's ID and past posts. He has been paid for.

      • Sorry dude, remove the tinfoil hat. I am sincerely just another network admin who reads slashdot.
        I just happen to not like RIM cause IMO the Iphones and Droids are better.
        I exaggerate things in the hopes of making them funny.
        My ID is large cause I lost the password to my old one.
        If I was paid for then I want a lawyer cause I aint seen no money yet. ;)
    • by Prune (557140)
      LOL you're such a shill. Try posting this again once Android security gets to approach this remotely: http://www.cse.psu.edu/~enck/cse597a-s09/slides/security_blackberry.pdf [psu.edu]
      By the way, don't forget to tell your users, if you really have any, that "if your phone is the entry point for an intrusion into the intranet you are fired and will be sued for the cost of fixing everything" and that "If internal email comes into the hands of unauthorized persons through your device, you are fired". A dire warning is
  • Many companies have what appears to be great years right up to the point they go bankrupt. One of the leading indicators they are in trouble is erosion of margin, or their ability to make a healthy profit on each widget (handset) sold. This is happening at RIM. They are in trouble. There is hope. Most companies the size of RIM have enough capital to reinvent themselves. In their case that might mean building a healthy OS, something they have not done yet. It also means being really focused, again som
    • by bgat (123664)

      The problem for RIM being, of course, that great alternative operating systems already exist. I don't see how RIM could successfully implement something of their own that wasn't either an also-ran, or simply a reskinned Android device that would expose them to all the "problems" they claim their current technology avoids.

      • by tom229 (1640685)
        Umm... QNX anyone?
        You can preview their QNX implementation on a playbook today and expect to see this running on phones as early as this quarter (but likely Q1 2012).

        The problem of course is no ones exactly sure how BES or BIS will interface with QNX... if at all.

        If it doesn't you'll still have an "iphone like" OS that can run flash and a select series of android apps on a full touch device. Their plan may be to deploy this new strategy out to consumer markets and keep supporting the current software
        • You do realize it's not the software on the phones that bug most admins as much as the software and additional hardware we need to keep in the server rooms right? And honestly Apple and Google are still ratcheting down their respective mobile OS's. You really think that RIM...makers of the BB torch can drop a mobile OS and just expect is to compare to the market that is at least 4-5 years ahead of it? Oh and android support on the playbook has already been proven garbage.

      • by bendodge (998616)

        Couldn't they take Android as a base and built their lauded security and centralized control back into the codebase? Sure, it'd be tough, but it's not impossible. They would have to rewrite a large portion of the OS, as well as their own version of the Cloud to Device Messaging Service, but it's easier than starting from scratch. Messy apps that demand all kinds of random privileges could be run in some sort of Internet-access sandbox that pretends to grant low-level access.

    • Many companies have what appears to be great years right up to the point they go bankrupt.

      One reason being that they lay off employees in large batches - just as RIM are doing. 2000 headcount last quarter (10%). Lower salaries -> higher profits in the short term, but no long term strategy.

      A significant bad sign is that their executives are running quickly for the exits. [bloomberg.com]

  • by sco_robinso (749990) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @08:32AM (#37906526)
    RIM is still making money, and the one big factor that everyone seems to forget - BES. Nobody else even comes close to being able to offer companies the level of fine-grained administrative control over their companies devices as to RIM through BES. I work for a public company and whenever the discussion about phones comes up, one of the first questions is how one is supposed to remotely administer, control, and if needed, wipe the phones. The discussion pretty much starts and stops with BES. I'd love nothing more than to use an iPhone, but what am I going to do, install iTunes on every corporate PC? Have each user individually sign up for a 'find my iphone' account? No. With with an OSX Server (running on Apple's official server hardware - a Mac Mini), iPhone control leaves a lot to be desired.

    BES is still a HUGE hook for businesses. I know Apple and Google boast that a lot of fortune 500 companies use iPhones/Androids, but until they can demonstrate their business compatibility (ala not having to install iTunes on every corporate machine, being able to centrally restrict apps, etc), RIM is still going to own a huge chunk of the corporate pie.

    And when I say I'd love to be using an iPhone (or Android) - I'm serious. I use a new Bold 9900, and I think it's a POS. It can't even smoothly play the HD video that it recorded, despite it's crystal HD engine or whatever they call it. The browser reminds me of IE5. Hotlinks and the ability to click on them is still a fairly new, radical concept.
    • ...one of the first questions is how one is supposed to remotely administer, control, and if needed, wipe the phones. I'd love nothing more than to use an iPhone, but what am I going to do, install iTunes on every corporate PC? Have each user individually sign up for a 'find my iphone' account? No. With with an OSX Server (running on Apple's official server hardware - a Mac Mini), iPhone control leaves a lot to be desired.

      You don't need iTunes to set up an iPhone anymore. You can administer and control (to some extent), and wipe the phone using ActiveSync. If you're using BES, I assume you have an Exchange server? Well then, you're all set.

      • by Wolfier (94144)

        > You can administer and control (to some extent), and wipe the phone using ActiveSync. If you're using BES, I assume you have an Exchange server? Well then, you're all set

        I assume you haven't used BES. It's understandable why you think ActiveSync might be an adequate replacement. (hint: the level of fine-grained control offered by BES is way more reaching than what an administrator can do with ActiveSync.)

        • Ok, so maybe you can tell me what common "fine grained control" is actually used by IT departments that BES provides and ActiveSync doesn't. (hint: if you have to look this up, it probably doesn't count.)
          • by Wolfier (94144)

            FIPS compliance, maybe?

            • by Wolfier (94144)

              On top of easily setting compliance policies, BES also controls enterprise resources other than those controlled by Exchange.

              Does ActiveSync devices still require setting up a VPN separately?

              (hint: if you or your company don't need those controls, it means you or your company don't need those controls - nothing more)

  • by tom229 (1640685)
    RIMs centralized model is probably all that's keeping them alive right now... at least in Canada.

    Every provider in Canada offers an atrocious data plan, or a "blackberry plan" (I'm assuming by subsidy from RIM) that you can only use on blackberries. The "blackberry plan" of course comes with free emails, BBM, facebook, and text messages but no "data" (ie. dynamic web browsing).

    Not only does this give lower budget users a cheap way to access popular data services but it ties them in to proprietary techn
  • I laugh until I cry when I see people saying that the blackberry infrastructure is old school, when the big corporations and users are throwing so much money and data at cloud computing.

    Blackberry backend is cloud infrastructure in the purest form. The guarantee of the BB Cloud is that It offers a guarantee that your data will get through to the end customer. This is the essense of cloud computing. Yes, when it goes down your data gets held up but this is the same with any cloud infrastructure. In the case

    • by BagOBones (574735)

      We run both BBs and ActiveSync devices....

      From a business point of view BB has more points of failure, PERIOD.. However it is more data efficient and secure.

      BB Email
      Exchange->BES/BIS Server->Internet->RIM Network->Internet->Mobile Provider->BB
      6 hops
      Most common reason for failure? RIM Network

      ActiveSync / iPhone
      3 hops
      Exchange->Internet->Mobile Provider-> Device.
      Most Common reason for failure? Mobile Provider issues.

      At last in our environment in the last 4 years we have had more fail

  • is that they get key management right. No external CA, everything is in their hands.

    Every company or organization who wants to operate something similarly safe can already do it (disable all external CAs on the devices you give to your employees, and roll out your own CA in the correct way). It will cost, probably the same amount it would cost to operate a BB, since the main cost is not the technology or the setup but the logistics to get qualified and reliable employees in a safe organization to distribute

  • A completely centralized network model that services clients across the entire planet is, by definition, broken.
  • I think the concept was always broken. It's why I no longer use a Blackberry, even though it's the best integrated device with the best keyboard. Our Enterprise server went down for a week and a half, for reasons I will not go into right now, and by the time it was up again many of us had switched to Android or iOS. BES provides some really great features, when it's running. A single point of failure is fine, until it fails. And then it's not funny anymore.

  • Who controls the BES? If it was based on an open protocol, everybody could just run their own server. Since its not, you have to either use the BES of your network operator, or buy a product you cannot look into.

    Of course the network operators see this as a feature. They want control, and they want to do more than just shuffling around bits. That's why they heavily subsidize everything giving them control over the device. For a long time this meant that devices supporting OpenVPN or VoIP wouldn't be subsidi

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