Vodafone India BlackBerry Services Hit By Major Glitch

While BlackBerry services across EMEA seem to be affected by a major BlackBerry glitch, Vodafone India may be the only Indian operator who has caught the same bug or a similar one.

Maneka Tanwani October 10, 2011 19:51:37 IST
Vodafone India BlackBerry Services Hit By Major Glitch

While BlackBerry services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa seem to be affected by a major BlackBerry glitch, Vodafone India may be the only Indian operator who has caught the same bug or a similar one. According to The Telegraph one glitch, which struck at around 11AM GMT, was affecting online services for consumers all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa, served by a RIM data centre in Slough.

However, Vodafone customers across India have been hit by a similar glitch which started around 4 pm IST. Users have been unable to browse the web or send instant messages using BlackBerry Messenger, or access other Internet services such as e-mail. And while the Telegraph said corporate users who are served by BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) appeared to be unaffected, on Vodafone India, both BES and BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service—the consumer service from RIM) have been affected. At the time of writing this piece (7:30 pm IST) services are still down.

According to a Vodafone India spokesperson who spoke to us, RIM was to blame for the outage. An official RIM India statement said: "We are working to resolve an issue currently impacting some BlackBerry subscribers in Europe Middle East and Africa and India. We're investigating, and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused whilst this is resolved.”

While RIM declined to comment on whether all operators were affected by this outage, Vodafone seemed to be the only major Indian operator affected. A spokesperson for Tata Teleservices said that BlackBerry services offered by them were working fine. Reliance Communications also confirmed that its BlackBerry services were working normally. And CIOs contacted by us said Airtel BlackBerry Services were also ticking along as usual - according to V C Kumanan, Senior Director-IT, IDFC, a company largely using Airtel BlackBerry Services, IDFC hasn’t faced any issue today with the Airtel BlackBerry Service.

According to Satish Pendse, President at Highbar Technologies, an HCC Group company that provides IT services to the infrastructure industry, his Vodafone India BlackBerry service has been hit since 5 pm and he hasn’t received any e-mail or messages after that.

While a BlackBerry service outage is the last thing RIM would want, considering the smartphone maker is currently battling tough times in major markets like the US and it's enterprise-grade service is a silver lining in the dark cloud of media and market negativity that seems to surround the company lately, Vodafone India's position as a carrier of choice for businesses may also take a beating with this.

UPDATE: October 11, 09:00 IST: While Vodafone India BlackBerry Services were restored late last night, users have reported disruption in service across Indian operators, including smaller ones like Loop Mobile in Mumbai and localised disruption on Airtel’s pan-India network too.

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