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AT&T details Friday morning iPhone MMS update

updated 04:40 pm EDT, Wed September 23, 2009

Carrier settings update available through iTunes

AT&T has confirmed several details of the iPhone MMS launch scheduled for Friday, September 25th. The carrier will enable the service via a carrier settings update that will be available to download from iTunes. The update will go live sometime late morning, Pacific Time.

An unofficial report claims the carrier is "very nervous" as the launch approaches, as the system experienced outages even with the limited number of participants in the pilot program. People working on MMS deployment allegedly expect 40 percent higher data traffic on Friday.

AT&T will begin sending text message notifications to customers as the service is enabled.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Not that big of a deal for me

    I'm not exactly excited about the whole MMS thing as there are several other way to share media files with the iPhone in formats people would prefer. That being said, the biggest thing that's irked me about not having MMS was that it's a basic feature include with almost every other cellphone on the market, and to not even have the option on arguably the most advance consumer cell phones is ridiculous. I do understand some of the issues ATT has been dealing with - though I have no idea if the issues resulting from the increased data traffic could have been better managed or not.

  1. stainboy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Friday

    i'll probably not start sending MMS texts willy-nilly. that said, it will be nice that i can receive (and send) the occasional one to my friends who don't have email on their phones. i think i'd probably send an MMS once or twice a month. hopefully friday won't bring the network apocalypse AT&T is freaking out about.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    f with them

    Oh, I am going to start sending out MMS all willy-nilly to anyone I can think off. And not just regular texting... I am talking about dirty sexting! I am going to flood the networks until pictures of my junk are shooting out of the screens of the network operators, and people are running in fear of my massive... MMS.

    Either that, or I'll just email pics, like I have always done... which puts the SAME strain on the network, and everything will be ok.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    text network different

    I heard on the TWiT TV podcast that AT&T's SMS/MMS is actually carried on a different network architecture than they use for 3G voice and data. So it won't impact the same network that your email is carried on. But I'm not sure i heard correctly?

  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    smart timing?

    What sort of an IT operation makes a big change on a Friday? I guess so customer service can put on the "call back Monday" recording and not have to deal with complaints.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: text network

    You did hear that wrong, I believe.

    SMS (or standard text messaging) works over a different network constrained to 160 characters (or whatever it is).

    MMS is basically a hack that sits on SMS. When someone sends you an SMS, the message sits on the carrier's MMS server, and they SMS out a text message to you that tells the phone there's an MMS message. The message contains the URL to the server and the phone then has to go and get the MMS message from the server and display it in a browser window (which might be an embedded browser window, like a mail window would be). This, of course, goes over the data line as its basically just a browser call.

    And if they don't support MMS, you get a URL to view the message on your computer or wherever.

    This is why they charge more for an MMS message, because you're using their data network as well as the SMS network.

    As for why it has taken so long specifically for the iPhone, I can't buy it was due to data traffic, volume, overloads, etc. That makes no sense (since wouldn't this be the same for email?). And I doubt MMS traffic is going to go through the roof just because the iPhone gets it. In fact, one would think it wouldn't make much difference since you'd think those without data plans would be the ones MMSing.

    The one theory I heard that made some sense was that ATT used their MMS system (or something very much like it) to handle visual voicemail. When MMS came to the iPhone, it screwed everything up, so they had to basically re-engineer the VV software to make it work correctly.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: smart timing

    I don't know. Apple always releases their OS on a Friday.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Nothing yet...

    Called, asked, nothing yet. They told me a 3.1.1 update would be available, however i see no such update thus far.

    - A

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Updated..

    iPhone restarted.... MMS live!

    - A

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