Vodafone's BlackBerry customers suffer outage

UPDATED 3: Some BlackBerry customers on the Vodafone network have experienced outages, the second such outage in four months.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Research in Motion's BlackBerry service is experiencing problems in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Vodafone has confirmed, with many unable to access data services on their devices.

BlackBerry services have failed on the Vodafone network ahead of BlackBerry 10's launch.

Some BlackBerry customers are not able to receive their email or communicate over instant messaging. According to Reuters, Vodafone is working "closely" with RIM to restore the service as quickly as possible.

It comes only a couple of weeks away from the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 launch, in which the Canadian smartphone maker will release the next-generation platform and smartphones on a bevy of networks.

It's not clear on the geographic extent of the outage, but it is thought that a number of European countries are affected, including the U.K., and some African states. 

This is not the first time RIM has suffered an outage on the Vodafone network -- many use Vodafone due to its pan-European coverage, one of very few networks based in the U.K. to offer such services. In September 2012, RIM restored BlackBerry services on the Vodafone network after a brief outage led to data services on devices being rendered useless.

Around six percent of BlackBerry users in the region were affected, and unable to send or receive messages from their devices. However, it wasn't made clear what the problems were, or if the problems were its fault or Vodafone's.

We've put in questions to RIM in the U.K. but did not hear back at the time of writing.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET: Research in Motion responded to our emails to lay the blame on Vodafone's network. In a statement, the firm said: "All BlackBerry services are operating normally but we are aware that a wider Vodafone service issue is impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are supporting Vodafone’s efforts to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

In a nutshell, it's Vodafone, not RIM. We've put in additional questions to Vodafone U.K. and will update if and when we hear back.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET: A statement from Vodafone explains that while this is not just a U.K. related issue, the network is being restored and should be up and running soon.

Vodafone can confirm that some BlackBerry customers experienced issues with their data services this morning in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The issue was caused by a router error. Services are in the process of being restored and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused and we will provide updates as necessary.

Update at 11:40 a.m. ET: to correct headline.

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