BlackBerry Outages Hit North America

Update (10/30/11): Research in Motion reported that it had restored downed services and cited the issue to the same hardware failure that caused Monday's outage. Apologizing for the longest outage in the mobile company's history, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis released a statement saying, "We're committed to restoring the trust that we’ve worked so hard to earn over the years."


U.S. and Canadian users of Research in Motion's (RIM) smartphone devices reported experiencing outages of e-mail, Internet and messaging services today.

This comes after similar outages hit Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America on Monday. Those customers in the affected regions have yet to have their services fully restored.

Speaking on Monday's outages, Research in Motion is citing a hardware failure for the cause of the incident.

"The messaging delays were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure," said the company in a blog post. "Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested. As a result, a large backlog of messaging data was generated."

RIM did manage to restore services to the affected areas on Tuesday, just to have communication services immediately go down again.

While the company said it is actively working on fixing the issue it did not comment on whether Monday's hardware failure is connected to the newest outages. RIM did release a statement earlier in the day saying it was investigating the cause and that customers in the U.S. and Canada "may be experiencing intermittent service delays this morning."

In response to the outages, the two biggest mobile service providers in the United Arab Emirates have promised affected customers that they would not be billed during the outage. There still is no word on plans for compensation in other areas.

Once a leader in the smartphone market, RIM has fallen to fifth place in overall worldwide usage -- the BlackBerry iOS finished September with a 3.29 percent claim of all smartphone OS usage, according to NetMarketShare. It also hasn't been able to find strong sales traction with its PlayBook tablet, released in April.

Research In Motion shares (RIMM) finished today's trading day down 2.17 percent.


About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and


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