Consumer

S. Florida BlackBerry Users Experience Service Disruptions

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(AP Photo/CP, Adrian Wyld)

(AP Photo/CP, Adrian Wyld)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – South Floridians who rely on their Blackberry to get them through the day may have noticed their smart phone isn’t so smart.

The phone’s maker, Research in Motion (RIM), said intermittent service delays and interruptions in email and messaging services which were began Monday in Europe, Asia and Latin America have now spread to the U.S. and Canada.

RIM said a crucial link in its infrastructure failed and its backup didn’t work. The Canadian company told the Associated Press it’s working to fix the problem and clear a backlog of traffic.

Unlike other cellphone makers, RIM handles email and messaging traffic to and from its phones. That allows it to provide services that other phones don’t have, lets it optimize data service and provide top-class security. But when it encounters a problem, a large share of the 70 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide can be affected all at once. BlackBerry outages tend to occur several times a year, but they usually last for less than a day.

One of the BlackBerry’s big attractions is the BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, which works like text messaging but doesn’t incur extra fees. That service was affected by the outage, and to make matters worse for RIM, Apple Inc. is releasing software Wednesday for its iPhones that works like BBM. Competition from Apple is one of the chief causes of RIM’s diminishing fortunes.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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