Technology

Blackberry users complain of fresh crash

  • 11 October 2011
  • From the section Technology
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Blackberry users have complained of a fresh crash hours after the company which makes the smartphones, RIM, said all services were "operating normally".

On Twitter angry users reported renewed issues with their handsets and an inability to send messages and email.

The initial blackout saw Blackberry services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa disrupted - but that has now spread to Latin America.

RIM said the problems were caused by core and back-up switch failures.

One tweeter summed up the mood of many: "Blackberry server down AGAIN?!!! you have got to be kidding me!!!!!"

'Data backlog'

Many called on the phone firm to "sort out" the problems and get the network running again.

RIM acknowledged it was still experiencing problems and apologised for the inconvenience.

"The messaging and browsing delays... in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure," a company statement said.

"Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested.

"As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible."

The crash comes only a few hours after RIM had issued a statement which said all services were now "operating normally".

That blackout left millions of users without email, web browsing and Blackberry Messaging (BBM) services following the crash around 11:00 BST on 10 October.

The cause is believed to be due to server problems at RIM's Slough data centre.

Blackberry users around the world began reporting problems with their handsets mid-morning on 10 October and at 14:42 BST, Blackberry UK sent out a tweet which said: "Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues."

The "issues" left many Blackberry owners only able to text and make calls.

'Harsh criticism'

Many corporate customers said they had not lost service, suggesting that the problem was with Blackberry's BIS consumer systems, rather than its BES enterprise systems.

"Blackberry runs two infrastructures," explained Simon Butler, a Microsoft Exchange consultant at Sembee.

"The understanding I have is that the BIS service has crashed.

"The business side runs on a different set of servers, although enterprise Blackberrys can still use messenger and the consumer services, so they are also affected," said Mr Butler.

Such a major failure will still come as unwelcome news to Blackberry's owner RIM, which has been losing market share to smartphone rivals - in particular Apple's iPhone.

Many corporate clients have switched to the device after Apple made a concerted effort to improve its support for secure business email systems.

Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said RIM would have to resolve the problem quickly.

"The current situation with the Blackberry outages couldn't come at a worse time for RIM, following some harsh criticism in recent months," he said.

Such crashes may lead RIM and others to "re-evaluate their reliance on centralised servers and instead look to investing in more corporately controlled servers", he added.

But he thinks customers will stick with the firm despite current frustrations.

"It will take more than just a couple of collapses to persuade loyal consumers of Blackberry services to look for alternatives," he said.

Many of those complaining about the crash said on Twitter that they could not live without access to BBM.

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