BlackBerry users in Britain experienced problems with their smartphones for a second day Tuesday after an unexplained glitch had cut off Internet and messaging services for large numbers of users across Europe, the Middle East and Africa a day earlier.
Research in Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) which makes BlackBerry devices, said late Monday that services were operating normally and the unexplained issue responsible for delays in subscriber services had been resolved.
“The issue was resolved and services are operating normally,” the company said in a statement.
But BlackBerry ‘s popular messaging service was not fully operational in London, with multiple users reporting issues in sending and receiving messages.
A spokeswoman for BlackBerry was not immediately able to comment.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company has about 70 million BlackBerry subscribers around the world.
The latest round of technical problems come as shareholder Jaguar Financial Corp. (TSX:JFC) increased pressure on the smartphone maker Tuesday to either sell or split up the company and shake up management.
Jaguar said other institutional shareholders, who own eight per cent of RIM’s stock, are backing the investment company’s call for RIM to fix its governance problems.
“Our game plan is to gain the support of shareholders representing a significant number of RIM shares,” Jaguar chairman and CEO Vic Alboini said in a release before stock markets opened Tuesday.
“Our supportive shareholders approve Jaguar’s plan to negotiate, at this point in time, changes in governance and the pursuit of a value creation transaction.”
RIM faces big hurdles as it deals with mounting competition in the smartphone market and the growing speculation among analysts and industry experts that its days of rapid growth are behind it.
RIM was once worth about $70 billion and has, from time to time, been Canada’s most valuable company. Today it has a market value of about $12 billion or so and shareholders have complained about its lagging stock price and corporate leadership.
Alboini said “a culture of management dominance at RIM must be eliminated and replaced by proper governance oversight by a committed tech-oriented board that challenges the technical direction of management.”
The outage problems on Monday and Tuesday were likely to add urgency to the speculation surrounding RIM’s future.
RIM did not give an explanation for the glitch, but some telecommunications companies in the Middle East and Europe laid the blame at the Canadian company’s door.
Across the affected regions, BlackBerry Internet access appeared to be sporadic. Some users were able to send and receive messages while others using the same service provider couldn’t.
Among the companies reporting problems were Qtel Qatar, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai-based Du, Zain Kuwait and Bahrain Telecommunications Co.