BlackBerry services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa have crashed, causing widespread disruption across the continents.
The glitch began disrupting services from 11am (GMT) after a service failed in one of Research in Motion's datacenters in Slough, near London.
Users have been unable to browse the web, send or receive email messages across personal accounts, or use the popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service. It is thought that at least 70 million subscribers around the world are BlackBerry customers, with as many as 50 percent of that in the European region affected.
Although corporate accounts do not seem to be affected at this time, tens of millions of BlackBerry consumers are nonetheless suffering with this outage.
Research in Motion in the UK confirmed that it is aware of the problem and is "investigating". In a tweet, it states that "Some users in EMEA [Europe, Middle East, Africa] are experiencing issues. We're investigating and we apologise for any inconvenience".
T-Mobile UK confirmed the outage in a tweet this morning for UK customers, while in Bahrain the entire country is affected by a BlackBerry blackout, confirms network provider Batelco. Vodafone Egypt points the finger directly at BlackBerry manufacturer stating in a tweet to a customer: "There is a Blackberry outage, it's from RIM side" [sic].
I noticed personally this morning when email messages were slow to come through; only to return home from coffee to discover an Outlook full of emails.
Though the company have yet to explain what the problem is, one can speculate that it could be as a result of the upgrade to BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) 4.1, the next-generation email service, for which only affects consumers.