back to article BlackBerry BBM, email downed in epic FAIL

BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been cut off from their online services because of a major fault at Research in Motion (RIM) in Canada. Irate owners haven't been able to get into their emails, browse the web or use the service that is most precious to them – instant messenger BBM. BBM is the major …


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  1. Jon Massey

    What a pain in the arse

    With no BBM, I'm having to reschedule all my rioting til later in the week and I'm going to see a significant drop in this week's takings from looting.

  2. Sarev

    Note the traditional weasel words from the PR mouthpiece...

    "Some users", where 'some' is an undefined subset up to and including 'all'.

  3. Kevin Johnston

    Outage? what outage

    Still getting all my usual spam on both email and text (really must get my arse in gear and set up some filtering).

  4. Ian Stephenson

    Virgin Media behave as expected

    Havent bothered informing their customers.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't you get the BBM they sent? Oh...

  5. Pie

    Only affecting one of my four users

    Pain though as I spent 10 mins looking at the problem before I spotted this article...

  6. boogybaz
    Paris Hilton

    Jesus Saves

    *Looks at iPhone*


    Love it though, got email from Vodafone, saying it's fixed and one from O2 saying it isn't.....

  7. Evil Scot Bronze badge

    Its not Just BBM and email.

    I route my twitter client over RIM's network. No wonder I haven't heard anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not being able to find out what Wendy had for lunch must be totally killing you.

  8. Richard Gadsden


    Last email here was synced to my BB at 14:37 BST, so not a total outage at 11am, then.

  9. Daniel 1

    Not routed through Canada, apparently

    It appears that the Slough datacentre is at least partially to blame, as it serves these regions.

    BlackBerry haven't routed all their traffic through Canada for several years, now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nothing good ever came out of Slough.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Except the M4 ...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Slightly off topic, but:

    "Service providers from Europe and the Middle East have been reaching out to their customers"

    I don't get bothered about most new words and phrases but "reaching out to" when you really mean "call" or "contact" just makes me want to vomit.

    Now get off my lawn!

    1. Dave Murray

      Agreed. I'd also like to point out to companies that Tweeting that you have an issue doesn not mean you contacted your customers. It just means you shouted into the vacuous cavern that is the Twitosphere.

      1. Gordon 10

        If my telco only bothered to update twitter to inform me of an outage I would consider it grounds to drop them like a stone.

        What is it with these toe rags that dont make the slightest effort to keep their paying customers informed?

        They are willing to send me semi-regular texts for customer service surveys but the cnuts can't even make the effort to develop the ability to send semi-selective customer service messages when there's an outage.


        /end rant.

        1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

          Why the assumption that users will subscribe to their feed on twitter? I don't see it in my T&Cs anywhere.

  11. Knowledge

    All eggs in one tech basket....

    Training carrier pigeons was a waste of time they said...

    Who's laughing now!

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Hmm don't posh people shoot birds?

      I hope your Pigeons avoid them!

  12. Kevin Gurney

    Last BBM at around 10:40 this morning. Email coming through but delayed by upto 3 hours.

    Phone and SMS working as normal but no web browsing and looks like no updates within the FB app.

    Just means that I've got more work done today......and company iPhone totally unaffected.

  13. LesC

    <Insert Conspiracy Thoery Here>

    The database doesn't happen to be down for scheduled maintenance by the NSA / FBI / MI5 or the Saudi government does it? For the purposes of terrorist / rioter / insurgent / protester detection (delete where appropriate).

    Mine's is the grubby one with the G-men hat on top.

  14. Blubster

    @What a pain in the arse

    What did you expect with a name like RIM?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6.15 pm BST - Still not working

    Still only received two emails since 10 am this morning, not the 40 sitting in my inbox. And no one "reached out" to me, luckily for them.

  16. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    All those people who now have to face the stark realities of life for a few hours. Oh the pain. Oh the agony.

  17. Zippy the Pinhead

    I know some people love their blackberrys

    But seriously... they seem to have more outages than all the other providers combined!

    Ever wonder why most people are dropping blackberrys? Because companies that use their products are sick and tired of getting supports calls because of the crap blackberry service! Since companies are no longer locking employees to blackberrys they can chose a more reliable solution.

  18. Bill Cumming
    Thumb Up

    Wonder if its...

    ... due to the upgrade of the BBM backend to handle external Android apps in a few months time... ^_^

    "BBM down" or "BBM on Android" ...Sither way is good! ^_^

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coffin.... meet nail

    This reminds me... when's the Playbook fire sale?

  20. Nesjo

    PR disaster

    My open letter to RIM CEO Jim & Mike - with some free PR tips for next time...

  21. bigmouth

    Bin Blackberry

    This kind of reliance on 3rd party infrastructure & additional 'faff' is why I have successfully recommended several big clients BIN Blackberry in the last 5 years. Should be interesting when (not if!) RIM goes bust!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Bin Blackberry

      Wow, that was convincing! So, you recommend to "big clients" that they use BIS rather than BES? I summise that you are talking out of your troll rectum.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work for one of the main UK mobile phone operators in a call centre, today wasn't much fun! I went for lunch and there was no call queue, but when I came back there was over 500 people phoning up, mainly to ask why their BBM/Blackberry Internet Services weren't working.

    The majority of people were just happy to find out it wasn't their problem, that their phone and account was fine, but there was quite a few people who just couldn't grasp the idea that it was the outage wasn't anything to do with us and that it was down to Blackberry and we were at their mercy.

    So much face palming today!

  23. David 155

    someone please explain how bbs work

    so bbm, email and internet is routed through bb. but internet isn't if you are on wifi? (web working on my bb at home) bb provide internet and not phone service provider even though u pay your money to your provider and not bb?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: someone please explain how bbs work

      The Blackberry experience comes in two flavours, either BIS (Blackberry Internet Service, the consumer option) or BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server, the business solution). Both require Blackberry activation and the additional feature on your phone SIM. On a BB linked to a BES, the device talks to a dedicated server and via that to the company's email server. The BES admin can allow or disallow certain features for individual or groups of phones via updates pushed out from the BES. An admin may disable the ability for a BB user to look at, delete or download service books (take a look under Options, Advanced Options, Service Book and see the services enabled, but do be careful and DON'T try changing them!). In extremis, a BES admin can remotely wipe and disable a phone.

      On a BIS phone, there is one big "BES" run by Blackberry themselves for EMEA (IIRC), which acts as a central point of authorisation (it links IMEI numbers to SIM telephones and grants access to the BB email and messenging service). Service books sent out by BB themselves or the operator (Vodaphone, T-mobile, etc) can change the settings that BIS BBs use, such as the internet gateway and DNS. Usually, the first thing an operator or BES admin will ask you to do is delete and then request a new service book. I suspect either BB has inadvertantly sent out a "poisoned" service book to their EMEA BIS customers, or they have lost the authorisation part that links SIM numbers, IMEIs and BB accounts, effectively disabling all those email accounts.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Yup, we picked a good week to upgrade our BES server. Thanks to all the media coverage of RIM's problems we can blame any resultant downtime on Blackberry.

  24. Gerald Keen

    Probaby use Zoneedit for DNS

    they wiped my zone for the whole day - bunch of muppets.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Switchover not as smooth as expected

    So I guess the switchover to government-owned servers for these regions was not quite as smooth as everyone expected. Why else the outage from the regions where various governments have requested access to the encrypted blackberry comms for almost 2 years now?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well it's up

    Well it's up....

    At the end of the day.... who really gave a sh*te.

    So we didn't get email on the move for one day...

    Boo hoo.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Well it's up

      I have to ask, did you try accessing your BIS email via the webmail login?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody asked how BB messenger or BB email works.

    It's simple


    And that's how you run companies...

    Magic and potions...

    Oh and govts.... just with guns...

    Nothing technical about it at all. In fact if you think technical then you've gotta be stupid.... it's magic, and opinions are what makes the 1's and 0's go smoothly.... including the NHS

  28. YouStupidBoy


    If you hyperventilate because a portion of your personal online experience goes AWOL for a bit, then you are psychologically unbalanced and should seek help.

    Their family should get them on with Dr. Phil. For the Brits, he's Americas answer to Jonathan Ross, only with infinitely less class.

    It seems that so many people spend so much of their lives watching/reading/discussing other peoples lives that they forget they have one, too.

    I really do hope he/she gets help.

    1. Mike Smith
      Thumb Up

      Very, very sad

      Would like to upvote this more than once, but el Reg won't let me.

      Well said, mate. It's only a bloody phone.

  29. P. Lee

    Not even Apple

    thought it was a good idea to slurp all iphone internet traffic.

    Too much could go wrong...

  30. Paul Stimpson

    Unimpressive performance from RIM

    @David 155: Most traffic from my Blackberry proxies via their server. On the up side I believe this means that everything I do is protected by their encryption if I'm on public wifi or a dodgy mobile network. On the down side, it means I suffer a greater impact if they stuff their server or network infrastructure.

    "... due to the upgrade of the BBM backend to handle external Android apps in a few months time..."

    Please tell me they didn't... A wise man once told me of system maintenance and DIY, always do major work on Friday night or Saturday morning as you've got the whole weekend to fix it before Monday morning if it all goes horribly wrong.

    Does anyone know if this affected BES (Enterprise) customers (who have their own servers) too or was it just BIS (the general public running on RIM's own servers) that got the shaft?

    In light of this and other things RIM have done recently... My next stop will be Android.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Borked is normal, no?

    I've being trying to BBM my girlfriend while she's in Germany for the last 5 days - utterly fucking hopeless, red boxes then all the messages suddenly miraculously appear in one go at 3am. As thats what its normally like when she's across the channel, I'm not sure what the fuss is about - I thought "largely fucked" was the normal state of affairs.

  32. David Neil

    Word is it's hoofed again

    Might get some peace at work at this rate

  33. Sparkypatrick

    Definitely not fixed

    The work BES server cannot get a connection to the RIM servers in Slough and my personal BIS BB can't send. I started getting issues with mine on Saturday, though. Will be looking into other options very shortly, either Android or Mango, most like.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A BlackBerry owner named carrryn said he or she was "HYPERVENTILATING RIGHT NOW" "

    WOW, she is kidding yeah?


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