BlackBerry has acquired British technology firm Movirtu for an undisclosed fee.
The London-based startup provides ‘virtual identity solutions’ for mobile operators, allowing multiple phone numbers to work on a single device. Its virtual SIM platform means that personal and corporate tariffs can be billed separately, meaning that employees have no need to carry multiple handsets nor two separate SIM cards.
It can can also be used for the so-called ‘corporate owned personally enabled’ device market – essentially where employees use business handsets for personal use.
BlackBerry returned to profit in its first quarter 2014/15 results, making a profit of £12.5 million for the three months ending May 31st.
Services have been earmarked by chief executive officer John Chen as a key area in his turnaround plans. 54 per cent of its £523.2 million revenues in Q1 2014/15 came from its services division, compared with just 39 per cent from hardware and seven per cent from software. It sold just 2.6 million handsets during this period.
“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, ” said Chen.
It is the embattled handset makers second acquisition in two months following the purchase of German-based voice and data encryption specialists Secusmart in July.