Software // Enterprise Applications
News
2/11/2008
06:57 PM
50%
50%

BlackBerry Users Experience Service Outage

North American customers reported problems sending and receiving e-mail and other documents.

The popular BlackBerry mobile device experienced disruptions in service in North America on Monday, but the severity of the outages was unclear, AT&T reported.

The problems stemmed from the BlackBerry data service provided by Research In Motion, maker of the smartphone that's popular among businesspeople. BlackBerry users contacted by InformationWeek reported problems sending and receiving e-mail and other documents. Phone service was not interrupted.

AT&T learned of the outages at 3:30 p.m. Eastern standard time, a company spokesman told InformationWeek. The carrier did not know the extent of the outage, which affected e-mail and other data services, or when the problem would be fixed. "I've got a BlackBerry, and I'm not happy," he said.

BlackBerry data services are provided by RIM over multiple wireless carriers, not just AT&T. "It's not an issue with AT&T or the wireless networks," the spokesman said.

Reuters news agency on Monday reported that RIM sent an emergency notification by e-mail, saying the BlackBerry e-mail service had experienced a "critical severity outage." The e-mail referred to the problem as the "current BlackBerry infrastructure outage."

RIM officials were not immediately available for comment.

The outage is the second widespread service problem reported by RIM in less than a year. In April, a breakdown centered at the company's primary Network Operating Center for North America left 8 million subscribers unable to send or receive e-mails. The center is located at RIM headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.

The failure at the time raised questions as to whether RIM, which has chosen to keep its entire network infrastructure in-house and in relatively centralized form, can continue to scale to meet demand for BlackBerry services.

Lately, RIM has been pushing the BlackBerry beyond businesses and into the consumer market. Rather than only supporting features for business, BlackBerry devices are available today with multimedia functions, such as music and video players, cameras, and social-networking software.

More than a third of RIM's subscribers are now classified as noncorporate or nongovernment. As of the end of quarter ended Dec. 1, RIM had 12 million users.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.