Starting Monday this week, when BlackBerry owners were unable to access emails, BBM or any Internet-connected apps, RIM's network started going down and up in most regions of the world. Now the issue moves into its third day.
Even though at first the outage affected only Europe, Middle East and Africa, as of yesterday it expanded to South America, Canada and the small parts of the United States.
Services were temporarily restored in some countries on October 11, but then BlackBerry services have started to drop in countries that were not affected initially.
I reached out to RIM for official statements regarding the outage but at first their replies were little more than apologies and, later on, confirmations that its services were fully restored in the EMEA region. However, as the problems persisted, I received a third message which was a bit more enlightening:
"The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure.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. We apologize for any inconvenience and we will continue to keep you informed."
Interestingly enough, it looks like, even as the issue becomes more and more widespread, the Canadian company's stock remains largely unaffected.
If you're affected, let us know in the comments and make sure you state your location.
UPDATE: 4AM UTC - BlackBerry network still down: BBM and apps not working, only a handful of emails arriving with great delay. It is also completely down in territories where it was previously working intermintently.
UPDATE 2: 6AM UTC - increasing number of outage reports coming from Canada indicate that RIM is still struggling to fix the underlying issue.
[USERCOMMENT=Brian]My BBM has been working perfectly until 2 hours ago. I live in Toronto Canada. It is currently 1:58am (Eastern). I currently have no internet connectivity on my phone. I called Rogers/bb support and they said they currently have a server issue affecting all of Canada.[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 3: 7AM UTC - reports continue to come in from all over the world about slow email sending and almost dead BBM, email receiving and Internet apps.
[USERCOMMENT=Alan]still being affected by Blackberry problems I am receiving some emails and the odd BBM but emails take over two hours to send or do go at all and BBM's cannot be sent. Alan UK[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 4: 8:15AM UTC - French users see email services being restored. Other territories still down or getting intermittent access.
[USERCOMMENT=Tino]I received emails two minutes ago . Not yet test BBM. It seems to work. I 'm in France Paris[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 5: 9:00AM UTC - new downtime reports coming from BlackBerry users within the USA
[USERCOMMENT=misnohmer]Mobile, AL, USA - blackberry service went down ~1am central time and still down at 3:30am. Web browser works only if I set it to not use the blackberry server.[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 6: 10AM UTC - after a day of getting emails with great delays, I'm seeing duplicates of emails already received and read on my phone.
UPDATE 7: 11:40AM UTC - reports from Ukraine say services are back up and running. All I'm seeing on Orange Romania is just more old email duplicates.
[USERCOMMENT=dkov]a friend from Ukraine, Kiev reports that BB has started working (an hour ago from now)[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 8: 1:00PM UTC - more outage reports from the USA
[USERCOMMENT=Jenny]Just started happening to me, no yahoo or gmail email from Albany, NY[/USERCOMMENT]
[USERCOMMENT=JohnF]Chicago - Lost email around midnight last night 10/11 - 10/12.[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 9: RIM has posted a service update page in an attempt to keep customers informed. Little information is available there so far, however.
UPDATE 10: It looks like RIM has in fact not been able to ascertain the cause of the worldwide BlackBerry outage yet.
UPDATE 11: 2:30PM UTC - RIM says on Twitter that their foremost priority is to restore full service
UPDATE 12: 5:00PM UTC - outage reports are pouring in from all across the USA
UPDATE 13: 7:30PM UTC - in a Facebook post, RIM says they're still working on getting services back to normal by clearing the backlog accumulated in their system over the last 3 days .
UPDATE 14: 10:30PM UTC - some US-based users report services are fully restored. No other changes noticed for other regions.
[USERCOMMENT=beebo]3rd update from Florida: Now finally back to normal. So it all started around 3 am and now it is about 6:30 pm, so it took them 15.5 hours to fix it. Hopefully it will stand that way :-)[/USERCOMMENT]
UPDATE 15: 11:30PM UTC - BlackBerry services, including BBM, are up for a portion of users in the UK
UPDATE 16: 2:00AM UTC - services restored in the Netherlands
UPDATE 17: 4:00AM UTC - services fully restored on Orange Romania (Europe)
UPDATE 18: RIM has issued an update stating that all territories should now see service restoration, albeit there may still be some delays. This, however, is not entirely consistent with the reports we're getting from users. It looks like there are regions in the USA where service hasn't been restored at all. The same applies to portions of Canada.
[USERCOMMENT=Jay]From Ontario, Canada. I'm receiving occasional BBMs, but they are incredibly delayed. Still cannot send any BBM messages, and I'm receiving duplicate e-mails. BBM has not worked since Midnight EST (on October 12th)[/USERCOMMENT]
NOTE: As RIM works on restoring service to BlackBerry users, I'll post updates on the BlackBerry Network status page for 10/13/2011.