Research In Motion (RIM) experienced a significant outage (hitting about 50% of its user base) of its BlackBerry wireless email service in North America yesterday. The cause of the outage, which began mid-afternoon Eastern time and lasted for several
hours, currently remains unknown.


This is the second major outage RIM has suffered in under a year. In April 2007 the service was down for at least nine hours. RIM subsequently admitted it was caused by an improperly tested software update at the company's data center. RIM also acknowledged that the outage was aggravated by the failure of its backup systems to perform as planned.

STOP PRESS – apparently the outage was called by a RIM systems upgrade intended to increase network capacity.