BlackBerry service back

Service problems disrupted e-mail traffic but the company says most service is restored.

NEW YORK ( -- A system failure knocked out BlackBerry service to millions of customers late Tuesday but the company said Wednesday morning that service for "most customers" was restored.

A statement from the company said: "A service interruption occurred Tuesday night that affected BlackBerry in North America. E-mail delivery was delayed or intermittent during the service interruption."

"Root cause is currently under review, but service for most customers was restored overnight and RIM is closely monitoring systems in order to maintain normal service levels," the statement said.

The stock of Research in Motion (Charts), which sells the BlackBerry device and service, sank about 1 percent at the open but recovered somewhat and was off about 0.3 percent in morning trading on Nasdaq.

Research in Motion said phone service on the handsets was unaffected.

Some users had reported intermittent service, others have gotten bundles of backed-up emails, and still others had no access at all.

BlackBerry devices became popular in the 1990s for people who wanted to get e-mail, phone calls and Internet access while on the go. It's now often called "CrackBerry" by many users who joke about their "addiction" to the devices.

The service problems started about 8 p.m. ET Tuesday and affected users across the Western hemisphere, WNBC, a New York TV news channel, reported. Some reports said users were also affected in Hong Kong and London.

Even with the system back, some users may experience delays as the company processes the backlog.

A spokeswoman for Verizon, one of the service providers for Research in Motion, said the outage didn't involve Verizon's networks.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Research in Motion has some 8 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide. Top of page