The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency will use about 80,000 BlackBerry Ltd. devices on a new mobile communications system to be launched at the end of January, news agencies reported Monday. The agency said in a release Thursday that the first phase of a new initiative to provide mobile capabilities to as many as 100,000 users in the Department of Defense will be ready on Jan. 31. Bloomberg and Canadian Press reported that 98 per cent of the devices supported on this new network, or 80,000, will be BlackBerrys, while 1,800 others will be devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhones and iPads, and devices using Google Inc.’s Android software. Cindy Your, a spokeswoman with the Defense Information Systems Agency, on Tuesday morning would not confirm that information, and said a meeting would be held Wednesday to decide what details can be released. Doug Pollitt, a broker at Pollitt & Co. in Toronto, was quoted in the Bloomberg article as saying this news shows that BlackBerry competitors, such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple, are having a hard time making inroads into the military market largely because of the security standards required. “It's a challenging specification and other vendors are having a tough time meeting it," Pollitt said.