RIM fixes BlackBerry outage that hit Europe, Middle East, Africa

Some users in the EMEA region ran into issues with their BlackBerry service, but should now be back online, says RIM.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

RIM's BlackBerry e-mail service was offline earlier today for users across the Europe, Middle East, Africa. But service has since been restored, according to the company.

Research In Motion confirmed the outage in a tweet earlier today and said that services should now be up and running again.

A spokesman for RIM sent CNET the following statement from CEO and president Thorsten Heins:

I want to apologize to those BlackBerry customers in Europe and Africa who experienced an impact in their quality of service earlier this morning. The BlackBerry service is now fully restored and I can report that no data or messages were lost. Up to 6 percent of our user base may have been impacted. Preliminary analysis suggests that those customers may have experienced a maximum delay of 3 hours in the delivery and reception of their messages. We are conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes. I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today.

Though short-lived, the outage came at the worst possible time -- Apple's new iPhone goes on sale today. RIM has been struggling to win back part of the healthy market share it once owned. But like other mobile players, the company faces a landscape dominated by Apple and Android.

This was also the latest in a line of BlackBerry outages.

Almost a year ago, more than 10 million BlackBerry customers in Europe and other parts of the world were hit by a outage that lasted several days.

The problem spread overseas to the U.S. and Canada before finally being resolved.

The outage triggered a lawsuit against RIM and prompted the company to offer free games and other apps to disgruntled customers.

Other BlackBerry outages have occurred over the years, including one in 2008, one in 2007, and another in 2006.

Updated 10:00 a.m. PT with full response from RIM.