BlackBerry users in the UAE vented their frustrations again today as e-mail and messaging services failed for the third day in a row.
The problem affects users across the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and is now said to be spreading to other markets such as India and South America.
"What you're hearing in the business community is an awful lot of frustration," said Dubai resident Philip Brazeau, who heads the telecoms practice at the Middle East law firm Al Tamimi.
Certain BlackBerry services went down on Monday, reportedly due to a fault at a UK-based data centre operated by Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian firm that makes the smartphone.
Mr Brazeau said the service outages were likely to prompt users to switch to other handsets.
"I have a BlackBerry but would have got an iPhone if I could have - and I'm Canadian," he said.
RIM said on Tuesday morning that the problem was fixed. But 24 hours later, users in the UAE reported ongoing issues with e-mail, internet and messaging.
Although some said they had received a trickle of e-mails, the network faces ongoing issues. The problem has now spread to users in India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Some users in the UAE are reporting problems making calls, as well as using data services.
"We are aware that some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina are experiencing delays," RIM said in a news release. "We are working to restore normal service and we apologise for any inconvenience.
Telecoms operators confirmed that BlackBerry services were down for the third day running.
"RIM is experiencing BlackBerry messaging and browsing delay globally. RIM is working to restore normal services as quickly as possible," the UAE telecommunications operator Etisalat said in a text message to users.
Etisalat said today it would offer its postpaid customers compensation for the loss of service.
"Our valued BlackBerry postpaid customers will receive 3 days of service free-of-charge as an adjustment on your next bill," the operator said via Twitter.
Du said it would also offer users compensation amounting to three days' worth of subscription fees.