RIM’s BlackBerry Service Suffers Disruptions for Second Day

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM)’s BlackBerry service was disrupted for a second day in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and some subscribers in India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina also suffered delays after a switch failure.

Those affected “are experiencing messaging and browsing delays,” RIM said today in an e-mailed statement. “We are working to restore normal service as quickly as possible.”

Some users yesterday lost access to data for more than seven hours before that service was restored last night. RIM, which has built a reputation as a maker of secure and reliable e-mail devices, is struggling to stem declines in market share to touchscreen phones such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone that offer more consumer applications.

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, routes its traffic through two main centers, in Waterloo for North America and in Slough, southern England, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Nick Dillon, an analyst at research firm Ovum in London.

That network concentration “has always been a risk to the service,” Dillon said. BlackBerry “is still the most robust e-mail system.”

The delays today were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure, the company said in a separate, later e-mail. While the system is designed to transfer to a backup switch, that didn’t happen, the company said. The result was a large backlog of data that RIM said it’s trying to clear as fast as it can.

RIM rose 5.1 percent to $24.41 at 4:29 p.m. New York time. The shares have dropped 58 percent this year.

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), which offers BlackBerry service across Europe, said earlier today that the service was suffering a partial failure affecting some users in Egypt and possibly in the U.K.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net; Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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