BlackBerry disruptions spread to North America

Disruptions to BlackBerry’s service that had seemed to be spreading around the globe for three days hit the Americas Oct. 12, with outages that affected as many as half of Research In Motion’s customers in the United States and Canada.

RIM’s Twitter feed told customers, “We’re aware many of you are experiencing service delays. Restoring full service is our number 1 priority.”

Disruptions has been reported over the weekend in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

On Oct. 11, RIM announced the problem in those regions had been solved, but later reported continuing trouble. The company said then the problem was caused by a core switch failure in its infrastructure and that the problem was being resolved.

But interruptions to e-mail, messaging and Web browsing continued in those regions Oct. 12, as the problems spread to North America, affecting as many as half of RIM’s 70 million subscribers there, analysts told Reuters.

RIM also has acknowledged service problems in South America, Storyful reported.

RIM said the switch failure created a large backlog of data, and that it expected normal service to resume once the backlog was cleared, Reuters said. In India, mobile carrier Bharti Airtel told customers Oct. 12 it expected restored services in a matter of hours.

As many reports have noted, the outages came just days before the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S, which could pose another threat to RIM's weakening hold on smart phone users.  

BlackBerry smart phones, of course, have long been a favorite of feds, for their functionality and security features. Have you lost service during the disruption? Tell us your story in the comments section below.


About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.


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