Chicagoans deal with BlackBerry outages

FILE - This file photo taken Sept. 8, 2011, shows a BlackBerry smartphone using the "Messenger" service, in Berlin. BlackBerry users were hit with service disruptions to their smartphones for a second day on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2011 after an unexplained glitch cut off Internet and messaging services for large numbers of users across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. (AP Photo/dapd, Oliver Lang, File)
October 12, 2011 4:32:31 PM PDT
Millions of BlackBerry users in Chicago and around the world are coping with the loss of their email, texting and internet service.

Blackberry's parent company Research In Motion Ltd. says it's still clearing a backlog of messages that has caused a massive service outage. The company has had a loyal following with many companies using the mobile devices. But this problem comes as competitors -- like Apple and Google -- are gaining more traction in an ever-evolving industry.

It was a hectic day for Mike Stapleton. He's works in the IT department for a global Fortune 500 company, and that company uses BlackBerrys.

"Our phone pretty much blewe up all morning. We have users in London and Europe, and for web conferencing and stuff, we all do a lot of stuff with BlackBerry," Stapleton said.

On the other hand, Noel Blue's day has been quiet -- too quiet. A broker who depends on BlackBerry updates from clients, and on Wednesday, Blue was not getting regular updates.

"We don't know that they're trying to reach us because sometime people are away from their office and they have to communicate with messaging back and forth. If I can't receive those, what good is it going to do either of us?" Blue said.

Professor and dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago's engineering college, Pete Nelson is an admitted Apple user. He explains Apple and android use phone channels to transmit information, but BlackBerry uses a centralized server system.

"You can think of these data servers as basically interchanges where if you're gonna send a message, you have to go through one of these interchanges, and at this point it appears there's an accident on one of these interchanges," Nelson said.

Nelson says companies will continue to develop faster systems but weaknesses will exist.

"On all carriers an all devices, there can be some unhappiness and frustration because you have so many users out there agog in these technologies and the carriers can't keep up with the traffic," Nelson said.

The popularity of Apple products is replicated in its stock. The Chicago Board Options Exchange regularly has Apple in its top five traded options contracts. Traders see the volume follow the companies that are keeping up with consumers' expectations.

"I think BlackBerry has to decide what they're going to do. I hate to compare it to Palm, but if they don't get their act together, that's where they're headed," said Joe Kinahan with TD Ameritrade.

Service update from RIM:

To All BlackBerry Customers:
I want to first apologize for the service interruptions and delays many of you have been experiencing this week. I also wanted to connect with you directly, give you an update on the service issues we are trying to solve, and answer some of the questions and concerns you've expressed.

You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation. We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can.

Here is the current status of service and issues for the various regions that were impacted:
For Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA):

'B7 'B7Email systems are operating and we are continuing to clear any backlogged messages. Support teams are working to minimize the impact on our customers.

'B7 BBM traffic is online and traffic is passing successfully

'B7 Browsing is temporarily unavailable as the Support teams monitor service stability and continue to assess when this service can be safely brought online

'B7 Support teams have added capacity to help with message delivery between regions and continents
For Canada and Latin America:
'B7 'B7Email systems are operating and we are continuing to clear any backlogged messages. Support teams are working to minimize the impact on our customers

'B7 BBM and browsing services are online and traffic is passing successfully (except for three carrier networks in Latin America that are serviced by the EMEIA infrastructure - browsing is temporarily unavailable for those three carrier networks)

'B7 Support teams are investigating reports of BBM delays

For the U.S.:

'B7 'B7Email systems are operating and we are continuing to clear any backlogged messages. Support teams are working to minimize the impact on our customers.

'B7 Support teams have added capacity to help with message delivery between regions and continents

'B7 BBM and browsing services are online and traffic is passing successfully

'B7 Support teams are investigating reports of BBM delays

We will provide regular updates on BlackBerry.com, RIM.com and via our social channels. We are doing everything in our power to restore regular service everywhere and to restore your trust in us.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Bienfait

Chief Information Officer, RIM


Load Comments