BlackBerry outage: Service now returning, says RIM

"Significant increase" in access to email, web and messaging says RIM after three-day outage...
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

"Significant increase" in access to email, web and messaging says RIM after three-day outage...


Access to BlackBerry services has significantly improved in Europe, says RIMPhoto: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

The availability of services on BlackBerry smartphones has "significantly increased", according to BlackBerry maker RIM, following a three-day service blackout.

In a statement at 5.30am this morning RIM said there is a "a significant increase" in BlackBerry service levels in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa.

The three-day outage has left customers across these regions with intermittent or no access to email, web and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services on the handset. Yesterday RIM revealed that services to customers in the US, South America and Canada have also been disrupted but has since said service levels are now "progressing well" in these areas too.

RIM CIO Robin Bienfait apologised to BlackBerry customers for the disruption in a statement last night.

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down," he said.

"We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation."

In an update on the availability of services to EMEA customers as of 11.45pm last night, Benait said email is available and RIM is working to clear the backlog of messages, BBM is up and running but web browsing was unavailable as RIM support teams monitor service stability and continue to assess when this service can be brought online.

In Canada, the US and South America, email was functional but the backlog was still being cleared, he said. BBM and browsing were operational for everyone except customers of three Latin America operators, who RIM said were "serviced by the EMEA infrastructure".

Yesterday RIM representatives told silicon.com that the outage had been caused by the failure of a core switch that connects datacentres providing BlackBerry services.

The failure of the switch led to a huge backlog of messaging and email data that RIM is still trying to clear. At RIM's annual customer conference, taking place in London yesterday, the company's UK MD, Stephen Bates, said: "We are dealing with over 20PB of data every month so you can imagine the disruption we are trying to resolve."

The ongoing outage provoked anger among BlackBerry users online yesterday. British entrepreneur Alan Sugar tweeted: "In all my years in IT biz, I have never seen such a outage as experienced by Blackberry. I can't understand why it's taking so long to fix".

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