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BlackBerry outage hits e-mail, messenger access

Outage for some customers in Canada and Latin America, and possibly other regions, comes after RIM reported disappointing earnings results yesterday.

Talk about bad timing for Research In Motion.

On the heels of another disappointing quarterly report, RIM is suffering from an outage that has hit its e-mail and BlackBerry Messenger services today. BlackBerry customers took to Twitter to voice their complaints. The company later acknowledged problems.

"Some Canada & LatAm customers report BBM issues. Our support teams are investigating. We apologize for any inconvenience," the company said in a tweet.

A RIM representative wasn't immediately available to provide further details on the extent of the problem to CNET.

The outage appears to be more widespread. The Huffington Post reported seeing tweets complaining about service in the U.K. and the Middle East.

RIM consistently touts the high level of reliability and security that comes with a BlackBerry. Part of that is due to its tightly controlled network design, where all information flows through one of several network operating centers that RIM owns and maintains. But because of that centralized structure, problems with NOC (network operating center) can lead to widespread problems that affect everyone.

This isn't the first major outage that RIM has suffered from. The company suffered from a massive outage in 2007, and another major e-mail outage in late 2009. Sprinkled over the past few years have been a number of other smaller outages.

Every wireless service has their share of problems. But RIM's problems tend to stand out because many of its users are corporate customers who heavily rely on access to e-mail, and in many cases, BBM.

The outage comes a day after RIM reported earnings and revenue that fell below Wall Street's already lowered expectations. The weak results call into question the company's ability to mount a comeback. The stock is down nearly 20 percent, recently changing hands at $23.86.