Bloomberg News

RIM’s U.K., India BlackBerry Message Service Remains Disrupted

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry service remained disrupted for a third day in the U.K. and India after a switching failure caused snags across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“It’s like being disconnected from the world because people have gotten so addicted to BlackBerry services,” Nilesh Dedhia, managing director of Vidhi Wealth Management in Mumbai, said in an interview today.

BlackBerry users are still experiencing problems accessing data services as RIM, maker of the smartphone, works to clear the backlog of data, mobile-phone operator Vodafone Group Plc said today. Those affected are experiencing messaging and browsing delays, RIM said yesterday in an e-mailed statement, adding the company is working to restore normal service as quickly as possible.

Satchit Gayakwad, a spokesman for RIM in India, didn’t respond to four calls to his mobile phone.

Data services were disrupted from at least 1 p.m. U.K. time yesterday. RIM, which has built a reputation as a maker of secure and reliable e-mail devices, is struggling to stem declines in market share to touchscreen phones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone that offer more consumer applications.

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, routes its traffic through two main centers, in Waterloo for North America and in Slough, southern England, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Nick Dillon, an analyst at research firm Ovum in London.

That network concentration “has always been a risk to the service,” Dillon said. BlackBerry “is still the most robust e- mail system.”

The delays were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure, the company said in a separate, later e- mail. While the system is designed to transfer to a backup switch, that didn’t happen, the company said. The result was a large backlog of data that RIM said it’s trying to clear as fast as it can.

--With assistance from Jonathan Browning in London. Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy, Robert Valpuesta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adi Narayan in Mumbai at anarayan8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net


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