BlackBerry outage affected 30-40% of Latin American customers

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The outage of BlackBerry services last week affected approximately 30-40% of customers in Latin America, less than other regions such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa that were hardest hit, Adriano Lino, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM) Latin America marketing intelligence manager, told BNamericas.

Lino said that customers of Entel Chile, TIM Brasil and Personal Argentina (the latter two both part of Telecom Italia) were worst affected because those companies have their services connected directly to the network operations center (NOC) in the UK.

"With the exception of three operators in Latin America - Entel, Personal and TIM - all of the other operations connect to the US and for them the outage was just a few hours on Wednesday [Oct 12]," Lino said.

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"Latin America was affected less than most of the regions. Some of the operators did not experience the outage at all. Only 30-40% of users were affected by the outage and those were concentrated in those three operators," he added.

RIM faced a barrage of criticism last week on social networks by angry customers who depend on the service for work and social communication.

Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) were the most affected by the outage that resulted from the failures of a core switch and the subsequent system to move to a backup switch in Slough, England. This caused a major backlog of messages.

RIM announced on Monday that a selection of premium apps worth a total of more than US$100 a person will be offered free of charge to subscribers in compensation for the service disruptions last week.

"We cannot deny what happened but now we are focused on recovering the customers' trust. I think we're really trying to find a way to say sorry to the customer, we care about you and I even believe it is a good opportunity for RIM because we can showcase some of the applications," Lino said.