BlackBerry suffers widespread outage

By John Blau, IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, Research In Motion Ltd.'s income for the quarter ending March 3 was erroneously reported. The story has been corrected below.

The BlackBerry wireless e-mail service from Research In Motion Ltd. appears to have suffered a widespread outage starting Tuesday evening in the U.S.

Customers on the BlackBerry Forums discussion board complained of having no service starting at about 5:15 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday.

Callers to the BlackBerry U.S. technical support line were still greeted with the following message early Wednesday morning: "We are currently experiencing a service interruption that is causing delays in sending or receiving messages. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide updates as soon as they become available."

New York television news channel NewsChannel4 reported Tuesday night that the problem affected "all users in the Western hemisphere."

However, comments from operators in Asia and Europe, as well as postings to the BlackBerry Forums, suggested that the problem may be limited to North America.

"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 channel reported on its Web site.

RIM officials advised people who use Blackberry as a major way of communications to make back-up plans, the channel reported.

A RIM official contacted in France was unaware of the problems, and said she had received messages sent to her BlackBerry as normal. Other RIM officials did not return calls seeking comment.

The outage may have been cause by one of RIM's Network Operating Centers (NOC) going down, according to Emma Mohr-McClune, principal analyst with Current Analysis Inc. "This has happened before," she said.

RIM operates two NOCs, both located in Canada, according to Mohr-McClune. The company has considered locating additional NOCs outside of Canada, she said.

Companies that provide BlackBerry service connect their mail servers to a BlackBerry Enterprise Solution (BES) server located on their premises, which in turn is linked to one of RIM's NOCs, according to Mohr-McClune. "All data slides to Canada and back," she said.

RIM may have been fortunate that the outage began at about 5 p.m. Pacific Time, because it would have been after the busiest part of the U.S. work day. Engineers were likely scrambling through the night to bring the service back online before the start of the U.S. workday on Wednesday.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness