Blackberry suffers network outage in Canada


(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

BlackBerry (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)


, Last Updated: 2:06 PM ET

TORONTO - BlackBerry Ltd suffered a network outage affecting some users in Canada and the Asia-Pacific region, the smartphone and technology company said on Tuesday, at a sensitive time for the firm.

The outage hit Canada's leading mobile network, according to a memo sent to some customers of both BlackBerry and Rogers Communications Inc. BlackBerry said it had identified a potential cause and was working on a fix., a website that collates customer complaints about various technology services including Internet and wireless communications, showed a spike in complaints about BlackBerry starting early on Tuesday morning.

The outage comes at a tricky time for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which has shrunk back from the hypercompetitive smartphone-making business to home in on secure messaging services for business and government customers.

BlackBerry runs its own global network, working closely with telecommunications companies and networks, to deliver BlackBerry messages more securely and in a more compressed way than rivals.

But customers have defected in droves in recent years, lured away by larger, touchscreen models running Google's Android software and by Apple's game-changing iPhone.

A massive, days-long BlackBerry outage in October 2011 bruised the company's already declining reputation. The company has since removed two sets of senior managers and called off a sale process late last year.

BlackBerry was once the device of choice of Wall Street bankers, Washington politicians and others who prized its mobile email.

Its shares were up 1.6 percent by early afternoon in Nasdaq trade, but at just $10.55 were far below historic peaks last seen several years ago.