BlackBerry has made its first enterprise-grade messaging service available for download, as it seeks to meet the needs of business users who want secure instant-messaging services.
The BBM Protected service is the first tool from the eBBM Suite that BlackBerry is working on to enhance its app offerings to business. The services are designed for those working in sectors with heavy levels of security, such as law, finance, banking and defence.
The BBM Protected tool (pictured left) is designed to meet the needs of those wanting instant messaging services, while also taking care of the security concerns and regulatory issues they contain.
BBM Protected offers the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 security standard on messages sent between BlackBerry devices with the app installed.
The service can be used for both internal and external communications, so contacts at different companies using different BES servers can chat securely without the need for federation between servers.
BBM Protected will work at first on BlackBerry devices running version 6.0 or above or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode. Versions of BBM Protected for Android and iOS are expected later this year, although BlackBerry did not give a firm date.
BlackBerry added that availability of BBM Protected for its own operating system had arrived earlier than originally expected.
The launch of the app comes as the demand for mobile messaging services heats up, especially after Facebook paid an astounding $19bn for WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, in the enterprise space BlackBerry will face competition from startup PQChat, which unveiled its secure service last month, as it too looks to meet firms' demands for secure messaging tools.
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