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BlackBerry outages spread to North America

Global disruptions enter day three


A Blackberry subscriber holds a Research in Motion Blackberry.


LONDON — A three-day disruption to BlackBerry services spread to North America on Wednesday, frustrating users of the Research In Motion devices just two days before rival Apple’s new iPhone 4S goes on sale.

RIM advised clients of an outage in the Americas and said it was working to restore services as customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India continued to suffer patchy email and no access to browsing and messaging.

RIM, which had said on Tuesday services had returned to normal, said later it was still working to resolve the problem.

“The messaging and browsing delaympanies, no longer seeing the need to pay to be locked into RIM’s secure proprietary email service, have already begun allowing employees to use alternative smartphones, particularly Apple’s iPhone, for corporate mail.

RIM has made inroads into the youth market attracted by its free BlackBerry Messenger service, partially compensating for its losses in the corporate market. But new products like its PlayBook tablet computer have been poorly received.

Following a dismal set of quarterly results and a plunge in its share price, some investors are now calling for a break-up, sale or change of management at the company.

In the United Arab Emirates, telecoms provider Etisalat said it would compensate its BlackBerry customers with three days of free usage, but most users were left with no offers of compensation and scant information.

RIM did not say how long it might take. In India, top mobile carrier Bharti Airtel sent text messages to customers saying BlackBerry services were likely to be restored in four to n. One joke making the rounds on Twitter said: “What did the one BBM user say to the other? Nothing.”

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