Research in Motion South Africa (RIM SA) said that the latest BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) problems were only experienced by a “small number of BlackBerry customers on the Vodacom network”, hinting that the problems were related to Vodacom’s network.
Vodacom in turn pointed the finger at RIM, saying that “RIM appears to have had a systems issue that affected a relatively small portion of our customer base”.
This is not the first time that the two companies are at odds as to who is to blame for Blackberry problems.
Numerous Vodacom BlackBerry users have been complaining about being billed for data (at out of bundle rates of R2 per MB) which should form part of the flat rated BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
Alexandra Zagury, Managing Director for Research In Motion (RIM) South Africa and Southern Africa, told MyBroadband that she was not aware of any BlackBerry billing problems in South Africa.
When pushed for an answer about the incorrect BlackBerry data charges, Zagury said that since Vodacom seems to be the only operator with these problems they should be approached for answers.
Vodacom in turn said that that the problem is not a billing issue on Vodacom’s side, but rather “the way the BIS service works in South Africa and is by no means unique to Vodacom”.
So who is to blame?
Vodacom said that the latest problem was related to the Research in Motion’s systems, but RIM was not as forthcoming with the cause of the outage.
RIM SA was asked whether the recent BIS problems were related to BlackBerry’s network and system, or whether Vodacom was to blame for the downtime. The answer (provided below) did not help to settle this dispute.
Can you please clarify if this [the cause of the downtime] was a Vodacom network problem or a BlackBerry (RIM) network issue?
RIM and Vodacom have communicated that a small number of customers on their network may have experienced some service issues, but this issue is now resolved.
With this vague feedback it is not possible to conclusively lay the blame at RIM or Vodacom’s feet.
The root of the problem may be of little value to subscribers who were left without BIS access, but if consistent problems are only experienced on Vodacom’s BIS network, as RIM pointed out, some BlackBerry users may feel that migrating to another network will mean less downtime.