February 13, 2008 / 3:54 PM / 12 years ago

System upgrade glitch behind BlackBerry outage

A Research in Motion Blackberry is shown in Toronto, October 26, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion said late on Tuesday that a problem with a routine upgrade of an internal data-routing system appears to have caused the massive outage that left BlackBerry users across the Americas with spotty or nonexistent wireless e-mail service for three hours on Monday.

“RIM’s early investigation ... points to a problem with an internal data routing system within the BlackBerry service infrastructure that had been recently upgraded,” the company said in a statement.

“The upgrade was part of RIM’s routine and ongoing efforts to increase overall capacity for longer term growth.”

RIM has been adding corporate, government and retail subscribers at a torrid pace and has had to expand its capacity in step to handle increased e-mail and other data traffic. Its total subscriber base sits at about 12 million according to latest available data.

The company said that similar capacity upgrades had been successful in the past, noting that once it found the problem on Monday, it was able to quickly restore service.

“No messages were lost and the system continues to operate normally today,” it said.

The outage was the second major loss of service for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM in less than a year. The last one hit North America and occurred last April. That time, RIM blamed a new storage feature which hadn’t been properly tested.

RIM also said on Tuesday that a full analysis of Monday’s outage will continue and it could be “several days or longer” before the investigation is completed.

Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Rob Wilson

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