A blackout of text-messaging services has affected millions of BlackBerry owners around the world since October 10. According to Reuters, this may end up compounding the problems suffered by the device's manufacturer, Research in Motion (RIM), which had previously been dealing with poor market performance and other difficulties.

According to Reuters, the service issues are affecting text messaging and web browsing most significantly, but also extend to smartphone accessories such as email capabilities. RIM claims that the problems stem from a switching failure in its network. This was confirmed in a statement the company released on October 11, which also claimed, prematurely, that the problems had been successfully addressed, before being corrected.

"The messaging and browsing delays were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure," the statement said, according to the news source. "A large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and resume normal services."

A BlackBerry service interruption of similar magnitude affected users in North America two years ago. The problems with the RIM smartphone network first affected Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, before extending to Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Computerworld reported that BlackBerry services have slowed down in Canada as well, while not failing entirely. In Europe and the U.K., full BlackBerry capabilities resumed briefly on October 12, but went down again after less than three hours.