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BlackBerry forms new unit to focus on patents and technologies

BlackBerry this week formed a new business unit that will concentrate on patents, technologies and software. The new unit will help the company to get new revenue streams without selling smartphones, but by licensing its intellectual property, software or technologies.

BlackBerry Technology Solutions, or BTS, includes BlackBerry’s technology assets, such as: QNX (embedded software), project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), in addition to BlackBerry’s 44,000 patents. Many of BlackBerry’s technologies and software could serve outside of smartphone industry and enable very innovative products.

“QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets for secure, reliable communications and embedded applications,” said John Chen, executive chairman and chief executive officer. “Project Ion creates an application platform that enables secure and collaborative machine-to-machine communication required by the growing number of end-to-end, Internet of Things applications. Our broad global portfolio of 44,000 patents is of value to several industry segments.”

Although BlackBerry has clearly failed to become a successful maker of smartphones for the masses – its market share is now negligible – it can still provide the world’s most secure communication technologies, something that is clearly needed by the world full of connected devices.

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The BTS group will be headed by Sandeep Chennakeshu, which has been engaged in research, product development, IP creation/licensing and general management in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industry for over 25 years. Previously he served as president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson.

“Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy,” said Mr. Chen.

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KitGuru Says: The formation of the BTS unit essentially prepares BlackBerry to operate outside of the traditional smartphone industry. Keeping in mind that BlackBerry’s technologies can indeed help to create very advanced products, it is a good news that the company decided to establish the BlackBerry technology solutions group.

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