Updated: Vodafone BlackBerry Users In Europe, Middle East And Africa Hit By Email Outage Caused By Vodafone Router Error

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BlackBerry users on the Vodafone network in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have not been receiving emails today as RIM’s network suffers another outage.

Early this morning Reuters reported that email delivery issues were affecting Vodafone BlackBerry users, and the carrier confirmed the problem in a statement: “We are aware that some BlackBerry customers are experiencing issues. Vodafone is working closely with Research in Motion (RIM) to restore full service as soon as possible. As soon as we have further information we will provide further updates.”

Vodafone has now told TechCrunch service is “being restored”. A spokeswoman for RIM was unable to answer any questions on the issue at present, although she said RIM was due to send a statement shortly. We’ll update this story when we hear more. Update: RIM appears to be laying the blame at Vodafone’s door for the “service issue” — noting in a statement: “All BlackBerry services are operating normally but we are aware that a wider Vodafone service issue is impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are supporting Vodafone’s efforts to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

We’ve asked Vodafone whether it can confirm the issue is a problem with their network and will update this story when they respond. Update: Vodafone has confirmed the problem was caused by a “router error”, and said it is continuing to work to restore service for affected BlackBerry customers. It would not clarify whether the error is solely within its own infrastructure.

The carrier provided the following statement: “Vodafone can confirm that some BlackBerry customers experienced issues with their data services this morning in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The issue was caused by a router error. Services are in the process of being restored and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused and we will provide updates as necessary.”

Network outages and delivery issues have struck the BlackBerry network before. Most recently an outage struck last fall, affecting EMEA customers’ email and internet access, on — irony of ironies — the day Apple launched its iPhone 5.

Network outages also took BlackBerry users’ services down in September and October 2011 — the latter outage being the largest in the network’s history, with services knocked out for close to a week. That worldwide outage was initially caused by the failure of a core switch at a UK datacenter which in turn triggered a wider “cascade failure” – as then co-CEO Lazaridis put it – with backlogs of data building up in EMEA and overloading RIM’s systems in other regions.

It is unclear what has caused the latest service outage but Following the 2011 network failure RIM said it would be auditing its network to ensure such a major outage could not happen again. However today’s BlackBerry service problems appear to be outside RIM’s control, being caused by a fault with Vodafone’s infrastructure.