BlackBerry admits cannot say when full service will return

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The head of BlackBerry's makers admitted Thursday he could not say when services would fully recover after three days of disruption that have hit millions of the smartphone's users worldwide.

Mike Lazaridis, president and founder of Canada-based Research In Motion (RIM), apologised for the problems and said services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and India, were close to returning to normal.

But in a video message on the firm's website, he said: "I'd like to give you an estimated time of full recovery around the world, but I cannot do this with certainty at this time.

"For those of you affected I know this is very frustrating."

Lazaridis added: "We're now approaching normal BlackBerry service levels in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. We continue to monitor the system very closely. We're working very hard to continue to stabilise the system and we're seeing steady improvements.

"We expect to see continued progress and possibly some instability as the system comes back to normal service levels everywhere."

He said that in the past week the company had failed to deliver on its goal of "reliable real-time communications around the world".

"I apologise for the service outages this week. We've let many of you down.

"But let me assure you that we're working round the clock to fix this. You expect better from us. And I expect better from us.

"We're doing everything in our power to restore regular service levels, and we're working tirelessly to restore your trust in us."

RIM has blamed a backlog of emails from Europe for the glitches which have starved millions of users of BlackBerry handset users around the world of instant access to emails and messaging.

The company said on Wednesday that an initial technical failure had prompted a build-up of messages in its network, triggering a cascade of problems around the world that affected many of the firm's 70 million subscribers.

The problems spread to the United States on Wednesday.

© 2011 AFP

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