Enterprises, and particularly those in the financial services sector, should have contingency plans if a patent suit against Research In Motion (RIM) shuts down BlackBerry e-mail service, market research firm TowerGroup said Wednesday.
The company noted that a decision in the patent suit by NTP against RIM is "imminent" and that many enterprises rely on their BlackBerry mobile e-mail devices. That’s' particularly true in the financial services sector, which accounts for as much as eight percent of all BlackBerry subscribers, TowerGroup said.
While the research firm doubted that a decision against RIM would result in a shut-down of the service, such a turn of events is nonetheless possible, the research firm said. More likely will be a settlement between the two companies that could be as high as $1 billion, the company said.
The companies previously reached a $450 million settlement, but that agreement was never implemented. While a service shut-down is possible, a more likely scenario is that the settlement will increase the cost to enterprises for using the BlackBerry service. In either case, enterprises need contingency plans, according to TowerGroup.
Such plans would include deploying a server-based mobile e-mail product to replace BlackBerry and that can be expanded to support other enterprise applications, the company said. The product should also support a variety of different types of mobile devices and provide strong security, according to TowerGroup.