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BlackBerry has not met its Waterloo; city continues to count on manufacturer's handsets

Posted: , by Alan F.

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BlackBerry has not met its Waterloo; city continues to count on manufacturer's handsets
Up in Canada, the City of Waterloo hosts at least one famous company, handset manufacturer BlackBerry. Despite word that BlackBerry is selling off some of its Canadian real estate, the company is expected to keep its headquarters in Waterloo. As it turns out, the city happens to be a customer of its most famous inhabitant. Waterloo has just renewed a contract with its mobile carrier, Bell, that covers three years and will cost the city $516,000. The contract covers 370 BlackBerry handsets which will be used by city planners, firefighters and almost anyone working for the city that needs to stay connected. 50 of the handsets have been upgraded to BlackBerry 10 models.

Waterloo residents, as you might expect, are pretty dependent on smartphones. The city offers a Ping Street app that allows residents to stay in touch with government operations including waste removal, road closures and contact numbers. In addition, citizens of Waterloo can use the app to report potholes, pot smoking, graffiti and request and even request a overnight parking permit. Residents have seen the response time for services speed up since the city started relying on smartphones for communications.

"A lot of our crews will have them — all our planners, our bylaw guys who are out, firefighters… We just feel that it keeps us connected so that if we need to get anything done we have instant connection. We see it as really important in doing the business of the city — being able to react quickly and efficiently."-Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran

Mayor Brenda Halloran said that the handsets let the city respond to problems "quickly and efficiently," and eliminates paperwork. And as loyal as BlackBerry has been to Waterloo, the city says it has no plans to switch to another operating system or handset manufacturer.


source: TheRecord via MobileSyrup

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posted on 23 Jan 2014, 11:41

1. corporateJP (Posts: 1289; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Max Min is the author of the bill, but he's not sure if the glass is half full or half empty.

His parents must have been on something when they named him, too bad they didn't have smart phones back then, otherwise the neighbor could have reported them with the city app for smoking pot next to the pothole outside that needed to be fixed.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 12:42

2. Nexus_bear (Posts: 31; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


I like the Idea of an app connected directly to a city, my city, Sacramento, has one as well... it replicates a lot of the same features but, reporting pot smoking? Seriously??? luckily that isn't an option in my app... yes, I checked. If residents of Waterloo have enough time to meddle and report someone else minding their business then that lets me know that i need to skip summers in Waterloo... oh poo...

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 13:28

3. Dastrix (Posts: 518; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Giving BB false hope...

posted on 24 Jan 2014, 00:34

4. Glim12808 (Posts: 391; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Unfortunately, I think so too. So how is buying 300 BB7 and 50 BB10 devices going to save Blackberry?

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