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Report: AT&T "very nervous" as iPhone MMS launch approaches

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This doesn't sound good.

    If they already had outage problems on tuesday with only a handful of customers active - then that seems to foreshadow major MAJOR bandwidth issues on Friday which will be a weekend! As much money as Apple has brought into AT&T, how dumb must AT&T executives be not to just say "Buy WHATEVER we need, rent whatever from whomever at ANY cost at least for the first several days to make sure our customers are happy and everything runs smoothly to give ourselves some breathing room"!

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why does AT&T's network SUCK so bad?

    Can someone with a telecom background write an article on why their network is so bad? Is it just design or the sheer number of users on the network?

  1. stevesnj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Nervous?!! They had 3 years to get MMS to work on the iPhone. Get real!! we have been getting ripped off for 3 years for 1/2 the service of all the other phones in their fleet. It better work and they better be afraid of lawsuits!.

  1. fattychance

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why they suck so bad...

    I detailed today why I think they suck so bad.

    Last year they did upgrades that allowed the tower to process more data...they didn't upgrade the backhauls.

    As a result I think the backhauls are now overwhelmed with more data than they can handle. MMS will only make the problem worse.

    If I'm right...I think it's safe to say that they are screwed.

    MMS and data may work .... but voice will be worse than now.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sucks to be AT&T

    It's like being told by a parent that you're going to get a severe spanking once you get know it's coming & there ain't damn thing you can do about it!


  1. Steelsky Rust

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Quite how a technology that has been around in Europe since 2002 ( it's frankly astonishing that AT&T can be worried about MMS. Apple seem to have chosen dubious partners - in the UK they partnered with O2 who still provide the worst data provision in the market…

  1. pottymouth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is there something different about iPhone MMS that they haven't already run into with the millions of other ATT customers that have already been using MMS for years? I don't get it.

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Simple Solution

    Every iPhone user gets a free MicroCell 3G to use. That would cut down on the bandwidth a lot I'd bet.

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not working

    I sent an MMS from my iPhone 3GS to my wife's iPhone 3G two hours ago and
    one the other way about an hour ago. Neither one has been received yet.

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