BlackBerry is back, claims RIM, some users say otherwise

Research In Motion reported late last nightthat email was operating, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) traffic was online and passing successfully in all regions where its service was previously affected. Some users in London this morning say otherwise.

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Research In Motion reported late last nightthat email was operating, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) traffic was online and passing successfully in all regions where its service was previously affected. Some users in London this morning say otherwise.

In a letter to customers, Robin Bienfait, RIM's? chief information officer, said email systems are operating and the company is continuing to clear any backlogged messages in the US, Canada, Latin America, and EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa). BBM traffic is online and traffic is passing successfully in all these regions, he added.

Users of Blackbery's enterprise messnger service in one of London's most prestigious global PR agencies said they were still not recieving services, though end users at a global IT consultancy that had been hit hard this week reported a return to normal, as did consumer customers of Blackberry.

Browsing was however temporarily unavailable in EMEIA as the company's support teams monitor service stability and continue to assess when the service can be safely brought online. Browsing was however available in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America except for customers serviced by three carrier networks in Latin America that use infrastructure in EMEIA, Bienfait said.

On Twitter and other social networks, customers started reporting late Wednesday the restoration of service on their BlackBerry phones.

The service interruptions began on Monday, and initially affected customers in the EMEIA region, followed by Latin America. By Wednesday, users in North America also started complaining of a disruption in service.

RIM said on Tuesday that messaging and browsing delays experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure.

"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 data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible," RIM said in a statement.

The new crisis comes as RIM is fighting off agitated investors that are asking the company to explore strategic options and a new leadership. The Canadian company is also fending away competition from Apple's iPhone and phones running the Android operating system.

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down," Bienfait said in the letter. "We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation."

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down," Bienfait said in the letter. "We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation."

In a conference call earlier on Wednesday, David Yach, RIM's chief technology officer for software said that there was no evidence of a breach or a hack. He did not provide information on how many customers were affected, saying that different customers were affected differently, with some not at all affected.

The backlog and queuing of messages starting in Europe caused some impact in nodes in other geographies, Yach said.