BlackBerry Outage Creates Messaging Mess

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Research in Motion‘s popular BlackBerry wireless service suffered what some sources have described as a “massive breakdown” on Tuesday night. Although Research in Motion says service has currently been restored to most North American users, messages may be delayed while the system works through its backlog. “[The] root cause is currently under review, but service for most customers was restored overnight and RIM is closely monitoring systems in order to maintain normal service levels,” the company said in a statement.

The overnight outage left millions if users without mobile email access on their popular BlackBerry devices, which are heavily used throughout enterprises, businesses, and the U.S. government. Contradictory reports are emerging from users of BlackBerry phones offered by mobile operators; some report service disruptions, while others report having experienced no unusual problems during the outage.

The outage has led to speculation that RIM may lack the ability to scale its network and services to accommodate new users. RIM currently boasts over 8 million global users, and reported last week that it had added a million users during the first three months of 2007. RIM is estimated to account for 45 to 50 percent of the global smartphone market.