In addition to encrypting calls, any attempt to open the casing of
the Boeing Black Smartphone deletes all data and renders the device
The secure phone marks an extension of the communications arm of the
Chicago-based aerospace and defense contractor, which is best known
for jetliners and fighter planes.
Such a phone might have prevented damage to Washington's diplomacy
in Ukraine from a leaked telephone call. A senior U.S. State
Department officer and the ambassador to Ukraine apparently used
unencrypted cellphones for a call about political developments in
Ukraine that became public.
Boeing's tamper-proof phone is aimed at government agencies and
contractors who need to keep communication and data secure,
according to Boeing and filings with the U.S. Federal Communications
Made in the United States, the phone runs on Google Inc's <GOOG.O>
Android operating system. The 5.2-by-2.7-inch handset, slightly
larger than an iPhone, uses dual SIM cards to enable it to access
multiple cell networks instead of a single network like a normal
Due to the phone's security features, Boeing is releasing few
details about the wireless network operators or manufacturer it is
working with, and has not provided a price or date by which the
phone might be widely available, but said it has begun offering the
phone to potential customers.
Boeing's website says the phone can be configured to connect with
biometric sensors or satellites. Other attachments can extend
battery life or use solar power.
The phone can operate on the WCDMA, GSM and LTE frequency bands and
offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
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The company has been developing the phone for 36 months, said Boeing
spokeswoman Rebecca Yeamans.
"We saw a need for our customers in a certain market space" that
Boeing could meet with its technology expertise, she said.
A sample purchase contract submitted to the FCC says the phone would
be sold directly by Boeing or its agents.
Yeamans said Boeing combined its own engineers with the talent of
people who joined Boeing recently through acquisitions that included
Argon ST Inc, Digital Receiver Technology Inc, Kestrel Enterprises
Inc, Ravenwing Inc, and Solutions Made Simple Inc.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by
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