The server outage of RIM created a rift in the valley. Many relationships--business and social--are built on BBM or access to the web via a blackberry phones. Except for those on the enterprise service--BES--most of the services on BIS wasn't working in Africa, Middle East and Europe. (Updated The America, US and Canada were eventualy affected too) For those who depend on Blackberry to do their business or connect with friends and family, they must have asked; How long will this last? What other options do I have? Is their any other device that can work as effectively?
I will try to help out with a few answers. The outage is due to the Blackberry (RIM) server servicing EMEA (Europe, MiddleEast and Africa). RIM is working to fix it though. The best answer I have is that RIM and there group of engineers are working on it but do not have a time announced that they would fix it.
What other options do you have?
Most of the services used and preferred by Blackberry users are also available on other devices. Some of the preferred services are Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Social Media integration (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn), and Email--although there are those who own a BB just for the social connectivity.
I own a Nokia E7, E71 and 500 currently. I can do all you do on a blackberry except for BBM. But I can do Blackberry kind of messaging with BB users, iphone and Android users by installing Whatsapp. Not as intuitive, but it gets the job done. You may want to pick a Nokia Device running the current Symbian Anna Operating system like; Nokia E6, N8, C7, N8 and some others. The apps are available in the Nokia Store for your use.
Android is another option. It is an Operating system developed by Google, used by Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sonyericsson, LG and some other phone makers. If you want and Android device you can pick any of the phone makers above. There's the Android market (Application store) where you can get lots of apps for games, social and business. Whatsapp works on Android too. So you can keep in touch the BBM way at least. How much can I get an Android device? Depends on the one you choose. There are low end and high end Android devices. You can get an Android phone from Samsung and LG that's about N29,000.
The last option I want to mention is the Apple option. iPhone is a great device. That can be very simple to use and smart in executing stuffs. If you're new to touch and the Apple platform, you may have a few learnings to do.
One of the beauty of the Blackberry is the data subscription--BIS. Once you pay, you're covered for the month. You don't have that luxury with other Operating system (Androids, Symbian, Windows and iOS). You'd subscribe to a mobile data plan that has a limit. Depending on your need, there are 100mb, 150mb, 500mb, 1Gb, 3Gb, and 5Gb options across all the Nigerian Networks.
The plus you have when subscribing for mobile data plan on non-Blackberry phones is, you can turn your device to hotspot and connect it to other devices that have WiFi like an ipad, your PC or your friends phone. You can share the dat on your Blackberry even if you want to.
Blackberry devices are fine, though it can't suit my own needs for now. The information I shared here can help you in making your decission to switch if you're looking for an alternative.
Are you a Blackberry user? How did you feel when your Blackberry service stopped functioning? I will like to hear from you in the comments.