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BlackBerry woes caused by 'core switch failure'
BlackBerry maker says phone problems worldwide caused by core switch failure
By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) ' The maker of BlackBerry smartphones says the problems that have plagued users worldwide were caused by a core switch failure within the company's infrastructure.

Research in Motion Ltd. says that a transition to a back-up switch did not function as tested, causing a large backlog of data.

In an update Tuesday, it said it is now working to clear the backlog and restore normal service as soon as possible.



Large numbers of BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina are experiencing problems for a second day, with many unable to access email and messaging services.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) ' BlackBerry's woes spread on Tuesday as the smartphone's maker reported service disruptions for a second straight day in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and fresh problems in Latin America and India.

Research in Motion Ltd., which makes BlackBerry devices, acknowledged there were ongoing problems Tuesday, hours after it said services were operating normally and the cause of delays in subscriber services a day earlier had been resolved.

"Some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are experiencing messaging and browsing delays," the company said in a statement, adding that it is "working to restore normal service as quickly as possible."

Research in Motion Ltd. also apologized for "any inconvenience," as Twitter and the Internet lit up with condemnation over a delayed response to problems some users had reported for hours.

In Britain, Vodafone UK told customers via Twitter that service was not fully restored. Rival T-Mobile UK blamed "a European-wide outage on the BlackBerry network" which it said was affecting all mobile operators. There were also reports of problems elsewhere in Europe, such as Spain.

In addition, the disruptions were experienced in the Middle East and Africa.

Etisalat, which operates in the United Arab Emirates, apologized for "the further interruption" to Blackberry services, "once again due to RIM problems."

And Kenya's Safaricom Ltd. said on Twitter that its Blackberry customers were experiencing a "technical fault," while South Africa's Vodacom told subscribers the issues were affecting multiple networks and countries.

There were no reports of any problems in the U.S.

Angry smartphone users took to Twitter to vent frustration with the company and bemoaned the loss of their messaging capabilities, questioning why the company took so long to restore services.

___

Cassandra Vinograd can be reached at http://twitter.com/CassVinograd


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