Large numbers of BlackBerry users across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa were cut off from the internet and messaging services, phone companies in the affected regions said on Monday.
India is estimated to have one million users of BlackBerry.
“We are working to resolve an issue currently impacting some BlackBerry subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and India. We’re investigating , and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience caused whilst this is resolved ,” Canada-based RIM said in a statement.
Telecommunications companies in the Middle East and Europe laid the blame at the Canadian company’s door. Khaled Hegazy, Vodafone Egypt’s spokesman, said “there is a problem with the servers in Canada which is affecting service” in the region. He said they expected it would take about another four hours to resolve the issue, which first appeared to crop up at about 1000 GMT (3.30 pm IST).
The extent of the outage wasn’t clear. Vodafone UK said that customers across Britain appeared to be unable to access BlackBerry Messenger, a freeto-use instant messaging program which has helped make the handset popular with young people. Across the affected regions, BlackBerry Internet access appeared to be sporadic. Some users were able to send and receive messages, while others using the same service provider couldn’t .
“Millions of BlackBerry smartphone users have been cut off by a major fault at RIM, the Canadian company that makes the devices,” UK’s Daily Telegraph said in a report. “The glitch… was affecting online services for consumers all over Europe , the Middle East and Africa . All are served by a RIM data centre in Slough,” it added. Hundreds of users flooded microblogging site Twitter, complaining about disruptions in BlackBerry services.
Among the companies reporting problems were Qtel Qatar, Etisalat in the UAE, Dubai-based Du, Zain Kuwait, and the Bahrain Telecommunications Co.