RIM’s Misery Worsens, BlackBerry Outages Continue For Second Day

by Gaurav Kheterpal on October 12, 2011

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, if you think things can’t get any worse for RIM, you need to remember the golden rule – it can get worse before it gets better. The more RIM tries to pull itself out of the hole, the deeper it sinks.

On Monday, a series of failures in Research In Motion’s private network disrupted BlackBerry service to millions of customers across four continents. To its credit, RIM went into firefighting mode and claimed that it had resolved the issue. Barely hours after RIM announced that things were under control, the outage spread across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and some subscribers in India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina also suffered delays after a switch failure.

When it’s not happening for you, it’s not happening for you – that’s RIM for you.

RIM said the outages were caused by a core switch failure inside its network. On Monday, the Waterloo giant issued a statement acknowledging the issue.

“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.”

On Monday night, the company said email services had been restored, but some browsing and IM delays remained. However, the restoration didn’t quiet go as per plan and the company was forced to admit that a transition to a backup switch did not function as tested, causing a large backlog of data. RIM says that it is now working to clear the backlog and restore normal service as soon as possible.

There’s no denial that these outages couldn’t have been more ill-timed for RIM. Despite its dwindling fortunes in America, RIM has been doing surprisingly well in developing regions such as India, Middle East and Africa. If anything, the company stands to lose face in these regions over its immature handling of the situation and misleading customers that the outage had been fixed. As expected, BlackBerry users aren’t amused and many of them have gone public with their plans to jump ship to alternative smartphone platforms.

Everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong for RIM in the last few months. Whether the company has the prowess to fight its way back, I’m not so sure. What do you think?

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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