updated 03:05 pm EDT, Wed September 23, 2009
Carrier expecting network strain
AT&T is allegedly "very nervous" as the launch date for iPhone MMS quickly approaches, an unnamed source familiar with the carrier told DSL Reports. The company has requested hourly updates from their MMS aggregator partners, in an attempt to quickly discover delays or outages as the service goes live on Friday. Project coordinators expect approximately 40 percent higher traffic throughout the entire day.
The carrier's initial tests have lead to "record traffic" during peak hours, from just a limited number of users enrolled in the program. The service on Tuesday was interrupted for period of time, although the company made adjustments to their MMSC servers.
AT&T has been widely criticized for delaying the MMS launch in the US, as the service already is available in a number of other countries. Users in many areas have also reported large numbers of dropped calls, along with poor data speeds on the 3G network. The frustration has even lead to several lawsuits accusing the company of deceiving customers.
The source suggests AT&T will begin enabling MMS for the first group of customers beginning at 10 a.m. EST, while others will be added in waves throughout the day (AT&T officially claims a carrier update will launch "late morning" Pacific Time). The method is designed to help distribute the network stress, although AT&T may adjust its plans if the launch runs into any problems.