The BlackBerry wireless e-mail service from Research In Motion appears to have suffered a widespread outage starting on the evening of 17 April in the US.
Customers on the Blackberry Forums discussion board complained of having no service starting at about 5.15pm Pacific Time.
Callers to the BlackBerry US technical support line were still greeted with the following message early this morning (18 April): "We are currently experiencing a service interruption that is causing delays in sending or receiving messages. We apologise for the inconvenience and will provide updates as soon as they become available."
New York television news channel NewsChannel4 reported on 17 April that the problem affected "all users in the Western hemisphere." Postings to BlackBerry Forums indicated that the problem may be limited to North America, however.
"Officials with RIM said they are trying to reset the system and told NewsChannel4 that they are concerned that the backlog of data, which will rush through when it comes back on line, could cause a bigger problem," the news station reported on its Web site.
RIM didn't immediately return calls for comment.
Peter Sayer in Paris contributed to this report.