1.5m SA BlackBerry users affected

2011-10-12 19:04

Johannesburg - The lack of access to BlackBerry services has had a major impact on business users who depended on Research In Motion (RIM) as a provider for e-mail, instant messaging and internet access, growth partnership company, Frost & Sullivan said on Wednesday.

Senior research analyst for ICT practice at F&S, Vitalis Ozianyi said: "The impact has been felt by users who rely on the service for business and social communication.

"In SA alone, more than 1.5 million users of the services are likely to have been affected.

"The main impact of the failure to Research In Motion is likely to be felt if potential new users opt for alternative devices and services in the market".

The failure of a backup switch was the major cause of BlackBerry users' being cut off from their e-mail and messaging services, a statement issued by RIM late on Tuesday said.

The crash of the BlackBerry e-mail and BlackBerry messenger services began on Monday.

The statement, the first indication of what caused the communications blackout, said: "The messaging and browsing delays being experienced by BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure.

Although the system is designed to failover to a back-up switch, the failover did not function as previously tested.

"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," it said.

The three-day disruption to services spread to North America as well on Wednesday.

Ozianyi said it was clear that RIM lacked reliable failover mechanisms to backup switching systems. This was bound to happen if RIM did not have a cluster of systems to manage global communications.

F&S noted that users of the services did not have an immediate alternative option. It added that it was not possible for users to take up alternative devices and providers offering similar services to BlackBerry, without losing communication with established BlackBerry contacts.

This especially applied to the BlackBerry instant messaging service.

"The positive outcome of the failure of BlackBerry service to the industry is the possibility of opening discussions on inter-operability between instant messaging services offered on different platforms and providers," the advisory firm said.

"The solution to the problem would be immediate restoration of services to allow delivery of queued messages to users", concluded Ozianyi, "RIM needs to expedite this to avoid further user inconvenience and potential churn."

  • swm1 - 2011-10-12 19:14

    FOR SALE: 1 x Blackberry 9800 - perfect for use as a paperweight, door-stopper and hammer. Not useful for anything else....

  • Richard Butler - 2011-10-12 19:18

    Hmmmmm. Turn off BBM and prevent civil insurrection. We are in the Matrix. I smell conspiracies......

      Dindin - 2011-10-13 09:04

      WOW... Matrix fan much?

  • DerpyHooves - 2011-10-12 19:26

    My Opera Mini still works fine. It's just the BBM that's the main problem. However, with alternatives like WhatsApp, Mxit and plain Jane SMS, it helps to negate the effects of the "Blackout".

      Sharkie - 2011-10-12 20:03

      not if u on os 6 - eveything uses bis - including mixit

      Carrie Nissiotis - 2011-10-12 21:05

      i cant even use opera - nothing works!

  • Winsome - 2011-10-12 19:28

    Hmmmm - and that's why I am so glad I have a Nokia!

  • Gandalf - 2011-10-12 19:39

    The schoolgirl who was kidnapped this morning has from reports been found dead, her body burnt beyond recognition. Parents had to identify her by her belly ring. So now tell me, just how f*cking bad was your day because you couldn't use your Blackberry to its full extent? Seriously, people, get some perspective.

      Qunos - 2011-10-12 19:48

      I agree. You get disconnected for a day or 2, and your world ends?? People should wake up!

      Marnus - 2011-10-12 21:05

      just a thought for you, maybe she could have used blackberry to inform people of her situation. Just know that some people dont have th means to simply make a call or send a sms, and thy use the blackberry servoce because its the cheapest way of it is a drag when it doesnt work.

      Wierdo - 2011-10-12 23:32

      I am a business user who uses the blackberry service to communicate extensively with our techs in differents parts of Africa.Telephone calls and sms are not viable options due to the cost. We use it to coordinate our installations and communicate with our clients. Some of our staff dont have computers, so blackberry service is the only way they can send and recieve emails.So it is a big deal Gandalf. There is actually business use for the devices and their service. The world is a bad place and bad things happen.Am sure a few thousand people have died of starvation and Malaria just today.This article is about blackberry, and so I dont know what the poor kidnapped schoolgirl has got to do with it.

      revgreen84 - 2011-10-13 17:48

      Cant agree more with Wierdo. Gandalf, learn to compare fruit with fruit, cars with cars, and currency with currency. Comparing the best potatoes in town to the latest Bucatti is not good sense!

  • Misan Thrope - 2011-10-12 19:40

    RIM insists on referring to this as a "delay". It's NOT a delay. It's an outtage, blackout, broken, nada, niks, kaput. If it was a delay, it would just be slow. It's actually dead. RIP RIM.

  • Tshepo Makgohlo - 2011-10-12 20:00

    Why do u have to be affected while you can buy Data or use your airtime ? here is the solution for blackberry user. Go to blackberry menu, Options> Advanced Options? TCP/IP, you will see two Options, APN settings Enabled, tick it, APN: internet in most cases. if doesnt work then use both APN settings Enabled and APN Authentication Enabled. Operator: Cell C APN: internet - username: guest - password: guest Vodacom,8taand MTN APN: internet you can native blackberry Browser or Opera BBM doesn't work @ least u can google,twit or facebook... Does it work? yes it does, For emails you can try this: Say thank.. Why BIS must stop your Social life?

  • Brent - 2011-10-12 20:41

    The only advantage of Blackberry to me has been a capped price for data. I am not an extravagent user but every little saving helps. I propose a rename for reasearch in Motion - Junk in Motion. I have had nothing but trouble with my Blackberry since the day I got it 18 months ago.

  • - 2011-10-12 22:02

    So BlackBerry has been down for a few days. Yes, its an inconveniece because people are used to the amazing functionality, but its not the end of the world. Its like driving around in a Merc and then suddenly one day there's a problem with the Merc and you are forced to drive a Geely for a day or two. Its still gonna take you from A to B but it wont be the same. So for the past couple of days I've just pretended that my BlackBerry is a Blokia because it can still SMS and make phone calls! Its just all the awesome stuff that's TEMPORARILY offline. And the people using Blokias are the first to make fun of the BB downtime. Fact is, in a few days time BB will be top notch again, and they will still have Blokias! :-)

      revgreen84 - 2011-10-13 17:38

      Its more like driving around in a toyota tazz and then you get a car rental (nokia) in a merc. Worse than the temporary outages is the permanently useless phone. All my mates give me gears about my nokia N8 but all of them bar one have had their badberry's bomb out on them giving them an error msg to update software on startup but there is no way they can get into their OS to update - hahahahaha. The rotten cake is the device itself, this 3 day outage is just the rotten cherry on the top!!!

  • LLEWELLYN - 2011-10-13 07:05

    next tine get an iPhone with IOS5...........Blackberry my ass.

  • michael - 2011-10-13 17:13

    i will alway stick with nokia

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