BlackBerry Internet Service
The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. The service also allows users to access POP3, IMAP, and Outlook Web App (not via Exchange ActiveSync) email accounts without connecting through a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including proprietary as well as public email accounts (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL). BlackBerry Internet Service also allows for the function of the push capabilities in various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for BlackBerry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients (like Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger). The MMS, PIN, interactive gaming, mapping and trading applications require data plans like BIS (not just Wi-Fi) for usage. The service is usually provisioned through a mobile phone service provider, though Research In Motion (RIM) (BlackBerry's developer) actually runs the service.
At 2011-10-10 10:00 UTC there was an outage in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, affecting millions of users. There was another outage just the next day. By October 12, 2011, the Blackberry Internet Service went down in North America. Research in Motion has been attributing data overload due to switch failures in their two data centres in Waterloo in Canada and Slough in England as the cause of the service disruptions.
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