THOUSANDS of business people around Ireland and the UK were forced off the air yesterday after Vodafone's BlackBerry service broke down.
The problem, resolved by lunchtime, meant BlackBerry users on the Vodafone network could not access their emails or the internet throughout the morning in what will be seen as another blow to BlackBerry's reputation for reliability.
The issues on the Vodafone service follow similar problems with O2's service last year.
It is the latest outage to hit BlackBerry since its system collapsed across the world for several days in October 2011.
Unlike other smartphones, BlackBerry relies on its own infrastructure to access online services. For example, emails are routed through the company's own servers rather than a mobile network.
While this was originally a major selling point for the company, it has created unwelcome headlines for the company in recent years.
Just over two years ago most BlackBerry users lost email access for almost a week after the system collapsed.
There have been a number of smaller outages since.
Those problems have helped contribute to the collapse in BlackBerry's share in the global smartphone market, and it has been crushed by Apple's iPhone and numerous phones running on Google's Android operating system.
Shares in Research In Motion, the parent company of BlackBerry, plummeted last year but have rebounded somewhat ahead of the launch of a new range of BlackBerry smartphones, due later this month.