Blackberry says services 'fully restored'

Blackberry smartphone Millions turned to Twitter to vent frustrations about the Blackberry crash

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Blackberry's founder Mike Lazaridis has said services are "fully restored" following a three-day global blackout.

Millions of customers worldwide had their messaging and email service disrupted with many turning to Twitter to express their anger.

In a press conference at 15:00 BST, Mr Lazaridis said the company would now begin a full investigation of what happened.

He apologised again for the problems customers had experienced.

"We know we've let many of you down. You expect more from us. I expect more from us," he said.

The firm admitted that it was the largest crash it had ever experienced. Prior to the 2011 problems, the last significant blackout was in 2009.

The next priority would be a "root cause analysis" of why there was a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure.

"We don't know why the switch failed and why the back-up didn't function as it should," said Mr Lazaridis.

In a question and answer session following the press conference, RIM declined to discuss whether it would be compensating users.

Some operators, such as Telefonica owner of the UK's O2, are mulling whether to provide compensation for affected users.

Users began to report loss of services mid-morning on 10 October and the problems spread around the world.

Robin Bienfait, chief information officer of RIM, the Canada-based owner of Blackberry, issued an apology for the ongoing issues, following complaints that the firm was not informing users about the situation.

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation," he said on Wednesday.

RIM blamed the ongoing issues on a backlog of emails to Europe from Asia and the Americas.

"Clearly we have a backlog in Europe... as you can imagine, with the global reach of Blackberry and people using it to contact others around the world, there's a lot of messages to Europe from Asia and the Americas," RIM software vice president David Yach told a press conference in Ottawa, Canada.

"Over time that backlog has built up and affected our other systems."

'Major failure'

The server problems are believed to have originated at RIM's UK data centre in Slough.

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

BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones: "Blackberry has so many high profile users who are complaining about the crash"

Such a major failure will come as unwelcome news to 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 the timing of the outages was bad for RIM.

"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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    Blackberry got a lot of loyal customers, amazing. Sorry, it's very counterintuitive to assume centralized server configuration, which is RIM's catch though. Highly centralized configuraiton is like "Too Big to Fail", which happens too often for its significance. RIM should reconsider its business model - are you a info carrier or a device producer? This is why it's losing ground.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    I work in IT and I know what it is like to try and fix servers that have gone down with clients depending on you. Stuff happens. I have no doubt that they are trying their best to resume services but things take time! You can't expect them to click their fingers and everything be fixed straight away. Especially with something as big as this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    i rather enjoyed the peace and quiet! i never turn my phone off really and i got a chance to realise that if i dont answer and email or text etc RIGHT NOW the world is, in fact going to continue to turn :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    This is the problem with technology- it's great when it works. Most people bravely soldiered on however with "gasp" - the land line. Yes, although antique, it somehow still seems to work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    BB was back on at 5:00 this morning & it’s in good working was annoying and irritating as it is my only way to keep in touch with family..i ‘d like to think the blackout isn’t going to happen again & that RIM have learnt a valuable lesson from it… as such i don’t think that i’ll be replacing my BB with an iphone.


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