BlackBerry Outage Affects 10 Million Users

Dennis Faas's picture

Just when it seemed things couldn't get much worse for BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), the company has been slammed by a massive service outage that has left smartphone users around the world unable to make calls or send text messages.

Reports suggest BlackBerry users in Europe, the Mid East, South America and Africa have been the hardest-hit by the recent outage.

It's estimated that about 10 million Research in Motion customers are affected by the outage, which started early Monday morning, Eastern Standard Time. The problem has prevented BlackBerry users from completing phone calls, accessing emails, browsing the web, and sending instant messages via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). (Source:

RIM's Inconsistency Frustrates Users

Research in Motion is inconsistent in dealing with the issue, which compounds the problem.

On Monday the company announced it had fixed the outage, only to receive millions of messages from users who found their situation considerably different. Even now the Waterloo, Canada-based firm has not revealed when it may be resolved.

Specifically, it seems European, Middle Eastern, African, Indian, Brazilian, Chilean, and Argentinean users are all affected by the issue. North American BlackBerry owners appear to have been spared the frustration.

The company offered this explanation for the problem: "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. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will continue to keep you informed." (Source:

Customers Consider Switch

Understandably, many RIM customers aren't satisfied with the explanation.

Users expressed frustration with the outage which, unfortunately, is not the first to strike RIM's BlackBerry service in recent years. A number of Twitter users weighing in on the issue suggested they were seriously considering making the switch to RIM's major competitors -- meaning they might just ditch the BlackBerry for an Apple iPhone or Google Android phone.

Overall, it's not good news for a firm that only a few months ago was forced to lay off thousands of employees due to sliding smartphone sales.

As of Wednesday morning, the problem has spread to North America as well, with BlackBerry users reporting difficulty accessing BBM (BlackBerry messenger) and emails.

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