BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) says it has restored services after a 20-hour outage that affected millions of users across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
In the early hours of this morning RIM issued statement claiming services had been restored. “Yesterday, some BlackBerry subscribers in the EMEA region experienced delays with BlackBerry services. The issue was resolved and services are operating normally. We apologise to those customers who were impacted for any inconvenience,” it said.
RIM has so far given no indication what caused the outage, although a report on the BBC said problems at the company’s Slough data centre are believed to be responsible.
The BBC also claimed the issue was with BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS), rather than the enterprise-focused BES. That however did not stop many corporate customers reporting issues.
Users began to report issues with BlackBerry services at around 11am yesterday, October 10. It was reported that web and email access went down, along with the hugely popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) system.
Many users took to Twitter to voice their frustration. “What’s up with #Blackberry’s network? No work mails or web access for 4 hours. Strangely, emails to my personal account getting through,” said one user.
Spin doctor Alastair Campbell was another annoyed user, asking: “Have Blackberry said what if anything is going on to fix the problem?”
Mobile operators also reported issues. “BlackBerry know about an issue with their network and are working hard to resolve it,” said O2 in response to questions about the service being unavailable.
RIM issued a statement via its official UK Twitter feed: “Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues. We’re investigating, and we apologise for any inconvenience,” it said.
While there is never a good time for a mobile operator to suffer a service outage, the timing of this incident will hurt RIM particularly hard as it battles to retain market share.
Once the undisputed king of the smartphone space RIM has struggled to compete with the likes of Android and Apple in recent years. Its most recent financial results revealed revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 was down 15% compared with the previous quarter.
Its PlayBook tablet was released earlier this year to mixed reactions and has subsequently sold poorly. Recently an open letter from RIM shareholder Jaguar Financial Group called for the company to either put itself up for sale or to sell its patent portfolio.