Vodafone Says BlackBerry Users Hit With Connection Issues

BlackBerry smartphone customers on Vodafone Group Plc’s networks have been hit by connection problems caused by the wireless carrier’s systems which the carrier has said it is working to fix.

“Vodafone can confirm that some BlackBerry customers experienced issues with their data services this morning in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” Newbury, England-based Vodafone said in a statement today. “The issue was caused by a router error. Services are in the process of being restored.”

The incident follows two disruptions in BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.’s operations in the past 16 months and comes as the company prepares to release its BlackBerry 10 phones on Jan. 30. More than 60 Fortune 500 companies are testing the new phones that RIM is counting on to claw back market share lost to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software.

“All BlackBerry services are operating normally but we are aware that a wider Vodafone service issue is impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” RIM said in an e-mail.

South African customers of Vodafone’s Vodacom Group Ltd. unit who use the devices were also affected by a connection outage, according to website mybroadband.co.za.

RIM climbed 14 percent to $13:56 at the close in New York, reversing an earlier decline, on signs of mounting optimism for BlackBerry 10.

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