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BlackBerry services "fully restored," says RIM

It's taken them four days, but Research in Motion now says that all of its data services have been fully restored for all users.

RELATED: BlackBerry CTO: No evidence hack caused outage

RIM announced the full service restoration during a conference call this morning just hours after RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis issued a public apology for the four-day service outage. During the conference call, Lazaridis reiterated his apology to customers and said the company was taking "every action feasible" to prevent similar outages.

Lazaridis said the outage occurred on Monday when a dual-redundant, dual-capacity core switch failed and its backup switch failed to activate. This then caused an enormous backlog of unsent data and thus caused a "cascade failure" of RIM data systems throughout the world. Neither Lazaridis nor RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie would point fingers at any particular vendor for the switch failure, as they emphasized that the network switches were engineered with the help of multiple vendors. They said the company was still in the process of auditing its infrastructure to see "why the system took longer to bring back than expected."

Both Lazaridis and Balsillie deflected questions about whether the company's unique network architecture, in which emails are sent securely through RIM network operations centers, had anything to do with the service failure. Instead they said that RIM's secure architecture was what made BlackBerry devices popular in the first place and they emphasized RIM's strong record in keeping its data services online. Even so, Lazaridis did acknowledge that this particular outage was the worst in the company's history.

The outage was first reported in Europe, Asia and the Middle East on Monday before spreading to North America yesterday morning. David Yach, RIM's software CTO, said yesterday that there was no evidence to suggest that the outage had been caused by a breach or a hack in the network.

The four-day outage comes at a bad time for RIM, which has steadily lost market share in the smartphone market to both Apple's iPhone and devices based on Google's Android operating system. The company is expected to launch a slew of devices in coming months based on its QNX platform that it hopes will be in better position to compete with the top-line smartphones.

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