BlackBerry Service Outage Hits North America

Update: Service has been restored to "most users"--according to prominent media accounts such as this one--but the cause of the BlackBerry service malfunction has not been disclosed.

As of 3:30 pm EST, BlackBerry wireless communications service in North America has gone dark, according to a report from the Associated Press. Service provider AT&T told the AP that the outage is affecting all wireless carriers.

The Reuters news agency reports that Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of BlackBerry smart phones, has sent e-mail to its customers that its service had experienced a "critical severity outage" on Monday.

"This is an emergency notification regarding the current BlackBerry Infrastructure outage," RIM support account manager Bryan Simpson said in the e-mail message, according to Reuters. He added in the note, that the service interruption affected users of the highly popular service throughout the Americas.

As of 6:00 pm EST, RIM had yet to post a statement on its company website.

The Reuters report notes that the e-mail note sent by RIM's Simpson made no mention of the cause of the outage or when service might be restored.

A similar service interruption occurred last April, leaving thousands of BlackBerry users without access to wireless e-mail. There is currently no information from RIM, either, as to how many of its customers are affected by today's disruption.

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