Recent Major Blackberry Outages

Research In Motion (RIM) announced recently that its worst BlackBerry service outage in company history is now over. In light of this event, we have thrown together a quick timeline of the worst BlackBerry outages in recent times with a quick breakdown of each.

In chronological order, starting in the spring of 2007….

1) April 17, 2007

This outage took place on a Wednesday night and lasted into Thursday morning, leaving millions of BlackBerry customers without e-mail. Because the service issue occurred overnight and not during business hours, most North American business people weren’t all that concerned, though many were still frustrated.

Most of the news reports on the outage took a lighthearted stance, and many BlackBerry users joked that the service disruption actually gave them a welcome reprieve from work.

RIM said a data center software update was to blame.

2) February 11, 2008

The BlackBerry outage of February 2008 started in the late afternoon on a Monday and lasted only a few hours, but millions of BlackBerry users across all U.S. wireless carriers were affected. RIM blamed the outage on problems during an expansion of its network infrastructure.

3) November 16, 2009

On Monday, November 16, 2009 a significant BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) outage caused large numbers of BlackBerry users to lose e-mail service for at least a few hours. It’s unclear whether the outage affected regions outside of North America, but BlackBerry customers in the United States on wireless carriers including AT&T and Verizon Wireless reported service disruptions. RIM did not release information on the cause of the outage.

4) December 17 and December 23, 2009

In the wee hours of Thursday, December 17, 2009, millions of BlackBerry users in North American lost BlackBerry e-mail services. RIM didn’t release an official explanation as to why the service was unavailable but around 2 PM, the company issued a statement saying the problem was resolved.

Then, less than a week later, on the night of Tuesday, December 22, RIM was hit with another major service issue that last roughly 8 hours, until early Wednesday December 23. Users in North America and beyond reported issues. RIM said this outage was likely related to a bum BlackBerry Messenger update.

5) October 10, 2011

RIM made it through 2010 without any major BlackBerry outages, but the company made up for it the following year with the most significant and longest lasting outage in its history, beginning on Monday, October 10 and lasting through today, October 13. The outage started outside North America, but by Tuesday, October 11, pockets of North American users were experiencing outages. And on Wednesday, millions of BlackBerry users in the United States and Canada were without e-mail, BlackBerry Messenger and more.

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