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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Reader Comments

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 RACmoney California

With the government certification of the 140-2 validation of its cryptography I woul only use the BlackBerry Phone and Tablet. Why would anyone who is concerned about security trust anything else? If there is a possibility of a threat to my data and devices, I would hope that BlackBerry or any other carrier shut down my devices before they can be compromised. This social media has gotten out of hand and is not as important as mission critical data in the workplace. I did not hear any stories of anyone using BlackBerry phones or servers losing data. Did You. And as for as Apple is concerned, yes it is a little odd that it happened a few days before the IPhone 4s coming out party.

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 Westchester,NY

I work in a government organization that lost basically all it's e-mail connectivity via Blackberry on the morning of October 12th. It is the next morning and the problem still seeems to persist.Yes, this is an inconvenience but the "Weakening hold" stated in the GCN article I believe is a bit exagerated. I am an iPhone4 user (for personal use) but, for an Enterprise organization Blackberry is still the way to go. You could use the Toy vs. Tool argument but, as stated in any article you read or any research that is done, the iPhone was designed for personal use without, and this is the main reason, SECURITY that an enterprise organization needs. So we could stay with the proven Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) environment or start making new policies & connections for a little prettier version, not as functional at the workplace and lastly, with all the "Apps", counter-productive device. In the workplace Blackberry is still the way to go & even with the inconvenience it caused our organization the thought of jumping ship to the iPhone never even crossed our minds.

Thu, Oct 13, 2011 CaptNamo Western Michigan

Discovered problem trying to Enterprise Activate 3 new BB 9350s on our BES. Then looked and saw I hadn't received any e-mails since Tuesday. My BB started working mid-afternoon yesterday. Suprisingly, didn't receive another user complaint from a fleet of 55 devices. Must be they all enjoyed the quiet?

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