Millions of BlackBerry customers across four continents are without e-mail, messaging and browsing services on their smartphones after a series of failures in Research In Motion’s (RIM) private network.
Extensive delays hit Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India on Monday and the problems spread to Brazil, Chile and Argentina on Tuesday in the latest headache for the Canadian smartphone maker.
The disruption piles pressure on RIM, which is fending off investor calls for a management shake-up and possible sale or split of the company as it shifts its phone lineup to new software first used in the widely panned PlayBook tablet.
“The messaging and browsing delays being experienced ... were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure,” the company said in an e-mailed update on Tuesday afternoon in Toronto.
RIM’s BlackBerry service has long been prized by executives and politicians who rely on its security and reliability to deliver e-mail and other messaging to mobile workers.
However, problems with the service could hasten corporate moves to allow rivals such as -Apple’s iPhone and iPad and devices running Google’s Android software to access data kept behind company firewalls, one analyst said.
“The current situation with the BlackBerry outages couldn’t come at a worse time for RIM, following some harsh criticism in recent months,” Informa Telecoms & Media analyst Malik Saadi said in a statement.
“Some businesses may see this as a good reason to reevaluate their reliance on centralized servers and instead look to investing in more corporately controlled servers,” he said. “Not only would this enable IT departments to minimize the risk of unforeseen collapses, but it could also give employees more flexibility to use their own devices.”
The Canadian company manages its BlackBerry service via servers parked within enterprises and hooked up to a proprietary network carried by wireless operators.
“Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested,” RIM said. Failover refers to the automatic switching of service to a standby server in the case of a failure of a main system.
“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,” RIM said.
RIM hosts a number of network operating centers, including one at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, and another in southern England, which manage the massive amounts of data that flow through its system.
RIM has suffered outages before. Its BlackBerry Messenger service went offline in Canada and Latin America last month and a massive disruption hit North American customers in April 2007, but the disruptions are usually contained within one continent or region.
RIM has more than 70 million subscribers worldwide.
In its latest update, RIM did not say when it expected the outage to be fully resolved or how many customers had been affected.
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned against the “hasty” relaxation of anti-coronavirus measures, state media reported on Friday, indicating the country would keep its borders closed for the foreseeable future. North Korea in late January closed its borders as the virus spread in neighboring China, and imposed tough restrictions that put thousands of its people into isolation. Pyongyang insists it has not had a single case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus that has swept the world infecting more than 10.8 million people and killing more than 500,000. Analysts have said that North Korea is unlikely to have avoided the contagion