TORONTO — Technical glitches that have affected millions of BlackBerry users around the world spread to Canada on Wednesday morning as outages were reported for the smartphone's text and email services by some users.
It was the third day of problems for Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) as it struggled to repair what it said was a failure within the company's own infrastructure.
The list of affected regions included Europe, the Middle East, Africa and some areas of South America, as well as Asian markets including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and India.
RIM has about 70 million BlackBerry subscribers around the world.
The outage spread to Canada on Wednesday with users posting messages on Twitter that said they were unable to access their email, text and Internet browsing services.
The networks appeared to return to normal in Canada briefly before crumbling again.
RIM said it's now working to get through a backlog of traffic.
"The resolution of this service issue is our Number One priority right now and we are working night and day to restore all BlackBerry services to normal levels," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
Canadian carriers said some of their BlackBerry customers were affected.
Bell (TSX:BCE) spokesman Mark Langton said BlackBerry email service was back on line, but there would be delays as queued messages get cleared.
"BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) and Internet browsing not yet back online," Langton said in an email.
Some Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Telus (TSX:T) customers were also affected by the outage.
"RIM has advised us that they are working on the problem and expect to have it resolved very soon," Telus spokesman Jim Johannsson said.
The extended series of outages affecting large portions of the world are a major blow to RIM which has already been struggling for market share against the Apple and Android smartphones.
Several users took to their Twitter accounts to proclaim that the downtime has pushed them to start searching for an alternative to their BlackBerry.
RIM earns revenue from both the sale of its smartphone devices and a monthly fee subscribers pay to use its secure email services and instant messaging capabilities, which means users switching to other phones could eat away at its profits.
By LuAnn LaSalle and David Friend, The Canadian Press
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