RIM’s U.K. MD: “We do have an extremely critical issue on our network”

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CNN’S RICHARD QUEST TALKS WITH RIM’S MD, STEPHEN BATES ABOUT CRISIS ISSUES FACING BLACKBERRY

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, “QUEST MEANS BUSINESS”: BlackBerry’s international data outage — in other words, no BlackBerry service for any users — has entered a third day. And a top RIM, Research In Motion, shareholder is asking if it’s now time to sell the company. We’ll speak to that shareholder in just a moment.

First, though, a look at how RIM’s connection crisis is spreading.

North America is the latest region to experience the bug that struck millions of users across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and India. Frustrated users are finding themselves cut off from emails, web browsing and the popular BlackBerry messenger service.

A short while ago, I was joined by Stephen Bates, RIM’s U.K. managing director, who, needless to say, said sorry.

STEPHEN BATES, U.K. MANAGING DIRECTOR, RIM: So first of all, I’d like to acknowledge the frustration that we know our customers are experiencing through the delays and the messaging and the browsing traffic.

I’d also like to apologize unreservedly to the customers who are experiencing this problem.

We do have an extremely critical issue on our network that we are working night and day to get resolved. We do believe the — the root cause behind this messaging and browsing delay is in the core switching systems within the RIM infrastructure.

Typically, within the RIM infrastructure, we do have a lot of backup systems to provide that resiliency, and in the case of the switching systems, that backup has not worked as we would expected.

We are working night and day, as I said, to get that service level back to the — to what we would expect, and also what our customers expect.

QUEST: You can see why people are saying, why is it taking you so long.

BATES: Yes. The challenge we’ve had with this is that this problem has been intermittent. It’s been intermittent. We saw this issue pop up on Monday, and then it popped up again on Tuesday. And that just makes it much harder to get to the bottom of it.

But we do believe, and we’re putting all of our focus with all of our engineers and all of our network specialists on trying to understand the nature of why this backup system didn’t work as it should have done.

And the key thing for us is to get the service back to the levels that we expect and our customers expect from the BlackBerry service globally.

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