AT&T Staggering MMS Roll-out, Pre-Launch Jitters

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When you wake up Friday morning, don't expect to see MMS working on your iPhone immediately as AT&T will be systematically activating groups throughout the day, starting at 10 AM Eastern time. Also don't forget that to enable MMS on your iPhone you must first connect to iTunes and download and install an updated carrier file.

That is, if AT&T's network holds up as millions of iPhone users rush to test the new service. That very thought has AT&T feeling extremely nervous right now, according to MacRumors:

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blockquote>"early testing has been a little rocky, with AT&T seeing a fairly significant test outage yesterday that has them rushing to beef up their MMSC messaging servers. Estimates among those working on the project are that traffic on AT&T's wireless network will be about 40% higher all day on Friday as iPhone users fire pictures and video at one another."

Guess we will know soon enough...

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AT&T Staggering MMS Roll-out, Pre-Launch Jitters

160 Comments

I think it will take them a couple of days to get everyone activated though because they will be afraid to overload their network...

Already trying to make excuses. They had since March(maybe even before that) to get their ish straight. Nobody is trying to hear any bs come Friday. We pay for it. Get it done.

Call AT&T now thell them they lied to you snd you want out of your contract and they'll give u a &50. credit.
They still suck and I'll bet $ they screw it up.

Actually rollout is already starting. I installed the hacked 5.0 carrier file last weekend and no MMS. But yesterday it started to work for me. So ATT must have flipped the switch in my market already.

I am pretty sure tomorrow we are going to see something like #ATTFail trending on Twitter... Juuuuust sayin'!

AT&T mentioned that update will be around late morning Pacific Time. I'm on the East Coast. Plus I'm traveling that day. I hope it's available before noon. Cuz I ain't leaving till I update.

I have carrier 5.1 and have had it for two weeks on my 3gs and the entire two weeks has had working in and out MMS. I plugged it into iTunes and it said their was a carrier update for my phone. I imagine this is how it will go. If not-there is always the check for update button every 5 minutes!

Add to this that Atlanta, where AT&T wireless is, is still in disaster recovery mode and I would be nervous too. As a network person I completely understand their mood. Everyone here says they had since March to prepare and I'm sure they have been. With any big network load coming online you are always nervous no matter how much you prepared. Something will go wrong no matter how much you test. You can't prepare for every circumstance.

Whatever ... There's no way I'm updating my carrier file and losing tethering (still on 3.0.1 for that reason) until it's been approved/hacked by the jailbreak community.

... and yeah, I fully expect AT&T to shank this rollout (as if they haven't done so already with the multi-month delay).

i dont think anything wrong is going to happen..everything will b just fine..cant wait till tomorrow

I've had the hacked 5.1 carrier file for two weeks now with no working MMS. I'm reverting all of my settings and downgrading my carrier file this afternoon so I can start with an official one tomorrow. I know that I'll be one of those people firing off pictures and stuff just to try it out so let's hope AT&T gets it all in order.

I just don't get it. All other phones have MMS. Not every AT&T customer has an iPhone. AT&T needs to stop this paranoid shizz.

@sommerface, iPhone MMS is different than regular MMS. Way more videos, pictures, contact info, and what have you will be sent from millions of iPhone users here in the USA. It WILL clog the network...at least at first. The question is how long will it be down for....

I just upgraded to the Iphone 1500 text plan. Does anyone know if this plan supports MMS?

Ya, I will send as many MMs's tomorrow as I can fvck AT&T for making us wait so long!

Greg-mine was like that at first also. Then it just started working. Not sure how or why.

Richard-I have the feeling that 5.1 or even higher will be the carrier update. 5.0 has been out for a while just not available. Just a guess. Check back tomorrow when people post the carrier version

Pat yes the 1500 does count to the MMS... been waiting for this normalcy in sending picture texts for long @ss time

AT&T is so lame. If they didn't make MMS such a big deal by not allowing it during the 3.0 launch, then they wouldn't have created such a potential flash point on 9/25. Now, everybody is going to be trying MMS all at once just because it is new and novelty.
I bet they delayed it until now so they could look for new jobs...

@Joe McG:
I agree. People will be MMS'ng nonsense just because the can.
AT&T should start with those ages 39 and up, then 29 and up the next day, then 25 and up the following day, eventually enabling those under 18 on a gradual basis. :)

@sommerface
iPhone is in a different league. It has already been proven that iPhone users use the data network more than any other type of user. We use multimedia a lot more on our phones than any other phone. I have always had a smartphone ever since my Visorphone back in the day and admit I have never used any form of data like I do on my iPhone.
So when they say iPhone will have mms they will see a HUGE surge of traffic. If this was AT&T providing mms to one of their dumbphones, I doubt they would be as concerned.

WE PAY 30 DOLLARS A MONTH for DATA and on top of that a lot of us pay for a text messaging plan... that ain't a small amount of change so they better not have problems starting 2morrow

The moment iPhone is available on other carriers, every one will be happy. As long as it is AT&T exclusive, the iPhone will never live up to it's fullest potential. I hate AT&T with every breath I take. Dropped calls, slow 3G, expensive plans.

Idk about you guys but I'm going to let AT&T have it tommorw...i'll be sending photos from 8am to 12pm (I used the mms so I'm set). I really want an epic fail for them.

Can you update carrier file on jailbroken 3.0.1 w/o problem or do you need it hacked? I've read differing things..

DubbDee: go into settings>general>about and scroll down, it says carrier will be, 4.0, 5.0, or 5.1 probably

My 3Gs isn't hacked & I'm on 3.1 FW.
When I installed the network update last month it didn't work, but like a week later pics just started pouring in from ppl that sent them a week before when I was testing the update... I was soooo happy. And I have working tethering too.
I HAVE WORKING MMS IN NORTH PHILADELPHIA BADLANDS...

t0m: i'm going to guess and say your fine. I'm a JB 3.0.1 also and I had this carrier update available to me for the last few weeks and all I had to do was plug into iTunes and wait 60 seconds and it was done. Just make sure you don't accidentally update to 3.1. I'm really hoping that they don't force the 3.1 update on those who have decided to wait for the next one-3.1.1 or 3.2.

I for one hope that Verizon does pick up the iPhone. I have no intentions of leaving AT&T but once all these people leave, I'll hopefully have better service. smile for the camera Jimmy!!!

AND!!! we're already experiencing problems here in Baltimore, AT&T sent out an email this morning letting us know. I've had literally about 10 dropped calls within a 10 minute period. Insane.

Thanks Mike!
I'm hoping so too because it seems like redsn0w for 3.1 isn't rapid approaching.

@sommerface: Very few are apparently thinking about it like that. Everyone assumes that MMS is MMS no matter which device it's on. The iPhone is NOT a phone. It has a phone as and can call people but it's a computer. It's not like anything else out there which is why we all like it. So instead think of it as increasing bandwidth for 22 million computers. It is no small task.

I agree that AT&T should have had this out from the get go. But at the same time apple should have had mms on the first iPhone. Then none of this would have happened. I actually like AT&T, but they are pretty selfish keeping it to themselves. Give verizon some iPhone love to balance network traffic. I don't thin sprint or tmobile could handle the iPhone. But when you stop and think, you've got some of the top MBAs and engineers from top schools running AT&T, so I'm sure they know what they're doing. Then again I'm biased cuz I know Randall Stephenson and my friends dad his head of PR.

Just to be sure that everyone is aware that the MMS sent via iphone is only readable by other iphones.

@Gregory Foster
Man, that did not take long! Makes me wonder if the apologetic email was pre-scripted and waiting...I am really not surprised.
Did any other carrier with iPhone customers have this issue at the launch of MMS? I don't remember hearing anything even close to this.

they should've started mms when the iphone first came out that way they wouldn't have to get the network ready all at once.

So is the 5.1 carrier update available now if I sync now with iTunes or do I have to wait until tomorrow also?
If you really have to sync with iTunes to get MMS, I bet half the peolpe with an iPhone will never get MMS!

I live in northeast ohio and my MMS started working yesterday. I am running jailbroken 3.0.1 with sinfuliphone's hack for mms settings and its great! Didnt have to update carrier files or OS to 3.1. Not gonna do that till the dev's release jailbroken 3.1. It is soooo nice to have MMS finally! Woohoo

@Tristan
wow where did you get that from? Whever told you that is an idiot. Lol. MMS has been in 3.0 firmware and usable with carriers outside the US. The only thing different is the carrier file which has nothing to do with the OS ... Just carrier parameters. Everyone that has it outside the US can send MMS to all phones and it will be the same here.
People that can already use it here can verify that you can send mms to all phones. Maybe you should clarify yourself.

It is a little irritating to be so excited over something this small. It really doesn't have a huge purpose. It's nice for sure but it really isn't this big of a deal.

O2 UK launch of MMS took longer than expected to activate all iphones; up to 48 hours. But at no point (as far as I am aware) did the network crash.

I downloaded the carrier file 9/22 and MMS worked only on 3G for me, and still the same as of today 9/24. I still plan on getting the update through iTunes tomorrow hopefully that will solve my noMMSonWiFi issue that I'm having...

While I'm not basing my future happiness on the ability to sent a photo via MMS, I do have a question and a comment.
Question:
HOW WILL IPHONE USERS IN THE US, WHO DO NOT ALREADY HAVE MMS, WHO HAVE NOT JAILBROKEN THEIR PHONES, BE NOTIFIED OF THE ADDITION? WILL IT BE A NOTICE WHEN SYNCING THE IPHONE?
Comment:
It's interesting to see how many people now have MMS but it doesn't help to say "I have it here!" Where is here? It would be most helpful if, when sharing information that is regional, people say where they are from.
I am in San Francisco and do not have MMS capabilities yet.

I'm experiencing service issues already in chicago. Dropped calls and only 2 or 3 bars of service vs normally 4 or 5

I am in the Cleveland OH area. I have had MMS working with modified ATT 5.0 carrier file since 9/15. I have a jailbroken 3.0 firmware iphone 3G.

@Rgar3388:

I agree that AT&T should have had this out from the get go. But at the same time apple should have had mms on the first iPhone. Then none of this would have happened.

At last, someone who understands this is a mess of Steve Jobs's making.
The ATT HATERS like to blame it on ATT. But ATT has had MMS on every other camera phone they sell since it was Cingular.
Steve promised them there would be no MMS, (not for any good reason, even the iPhone 2G could do MMS, it was just because Steve was stubborn.
So ATT engineers its network to handle email with huge attachments and video and everything else, and writes special "View My Message" systems, and jacks around its billing system to handle MMS exclusions to compensate.
Then Jobs almost dies, gets a gimps of where he is going, and decides to change his ways and DUMPS 30 MILLION MMS MESSAGES on ATT's network in one day.
The other carriers just let it happen, because they had developed no solutions to compensate for the iPhone, so they had nothing to undo. Their systems clogged up for a day, and then settled down and handled the load. Just like ATT will.
ATT was lied to by Apple. They spent a great deal of money building systems to handle MMS to compensate for Apple. Then they get dumped on, and they get the black eye, when the entire problem is one of Steve Jobs's making.

@Joe McG:

I’m experiencing service issues already in chicago. Dropped calls and only 2 or 3 bars of service vs normally 4 or 5

Can't blame that on MMS. It hasn't been released yet, and there are probably mo more than 800 people in Chicago who have bothered to get the hacked carrier file.
The symptoms of MMS floodgates opening will be "All Circuits are Busy" messages when making calls, (or something similar).
MMS (and SMS) uses the call signaling channel (sometimes called the ringer channel). It does not use the regular data channel that iphone users are used to. Clogged signal channels cause call connection problems because there is not enough time slices on the tower to signal the phone of an incoming call.
Once connected, calls don't use that channel any more.
So what you are seeing has nothing to do with MMS.

@Steven & @lexis1109, I called AT&T and complained that they have failed to provide the service of MMS by 'late summer' and I wanted either out of my contract or some sort of bill credit. The guy basically laughed at me and told me to pound sand. What did you say or what department did you speak with that gave you this bill credit? The phone rep that I s/w informed me that he has been instructed not to give any bill credits on any iphone accounts... He stated this came down with some sort of internal memo.

@ATAY47:
You should have tried this ploy back in August.
Trying to connive a credit one day before the rollout
of MMS seems such an obvious scam.

AT&T has been doing mms messages for years, just not on the iPhone. Any IT Guy worth their salt will do a rollout in stages as to not overload the system. Text messages would also have a low priority on the cellular network behind voice and data. Out if network traffic (Verizon, Tmobile) will also have low prority (when I send text messages to my Verizon friends there is often a delay). Limiting file size (like Verizon does, large photos will not mms) will also be a criteria. This is all IT 101 people, ask your network guy if you don't believe me.
PS: I'm still 2G so no love for me...

ATAY47: It's all in how you present a complaint. I get credits all the time. If 3G is down, I call, I get a credit. I can't tell you that you'll get the same but...you have to treat those people with respect. They have the upper hand and, frankly, are doing a job I would hate to do for 40 hours a week.

bryan in Lexington: How did you know? What kind of prompt did you get? What are we looking for? AND! Who does your hair... it looks fabulous!

I SEE A ITUNES AND ATT CRASH!!!!! ATT YOU REALLY ARE SLIPPING ON THIS ONE, SPRINT CAN WE GET A $99 EVERYTHING PLAN W A IPHONE!!!!

Have 3.0.1 and Jailbroken, how would I get updated carrier file? Or will I need to up to 3.1 and unbreak?

I updated my carrier file a week ago myself and mms just started working lastnight works fine i have a 3g and I can recieve video, it let's me save it but I have no idea if it actually did becaus I can't find it

I also updated the carrier file on me and my wife's phones last week, and low and behold as of 5 minutes ago in Utah it's now working.

@David someone on the comments not far above me has a link or it, pretty easy just make sure you type the command perfect I had do it a few times

I'm in Portland Oregon with carrier file 5.2 and mms works pretty well, I have to stay in the message till it sends or it won't at all. Does anyone else have 5.2? All I see Is 5.1 everywhere

I believe it would of been smarter to not let MMS out in one day but instead spread it out. It should of been done by doing it in sections throughout a span of time.

And now my mms isn't working again sweet, thanks AT&T I can't wait till your network can handle a 5+ year old feature on the best phone out there

MMS working in Sacramento, CA
Pay attention to mms settings, changing the password "CINGULAR1" to lowercase "cingular1" fixed my problem and now mms works!
Im on an an individual texting plan!

@ddizzle23
If you think that's bullshit, what do you say to those like me who've had it working since April? ;)

Steve from GR
I just plugged it in and had the update. I know some people were randomly selected to get it, I know other couples who share a line that got it also but in other parts of the country, Cali, Boston, Texas... And have had it for about 3 weeks.

Does anyone know what time we might be able to DL the carrier file via iTunes I live in Va Beach Virginia???

I'm in the boondocks of northern Minnesota with a 3G in my hands and a carrier file hack to have mms. It is awesome. Let it be known that as awesome as it is, it wears off JUST A LITTLE BIT after the first day or two. But still I have a problem sending with wifi turned on so apple better fix that one just for their own good. Apple is probably on 24 hour iPhone tech support now tonite and tomorrow putting calls on hold.

All you people need to go get laid. If you don't know how, just lube up your iphone's headphone jack and insert. Wait, are you f-ing Apple?

Used the hacked carrier file in Nashville, TN and MMS is working well. Took a while for the first picture to send, but now it's sending with no problems.

My MMS started working today with no problems to report. We will see what happens tomorrow!!!!!

For those of you who complain about the service/bandwidth coverage in the states not being equal to other countries...you do realize our country has more land to cover right? It's not hard or nearly as expensive to blanket a country with 3G and MMS when it's the size of your state. It's cheaper and easier to start small, companies do it all the time with a wide variety technologies.

I have had a few dropped calls and low service in areas where I usually have full bars today. I live in New York by the way, hopefully it just means that AT&T are getting ready for the release tomorrow.
I am really looking forward to this MMS release, ever since I've used WinMo and Blackberries I have loved MMS. It is very useful at times...

@Mike M:

It’s not hard or nearly as expensive to blanket a country with 3G and MMS when it’s the size of your state.

Although this is not exactly on-topic for this thread, there are also other key points overlooked when comparing Europe and North America:
NA started earlier, and went thru the whole analog TDMA system, and had to rebuild the entire system for GSM.
Most EU countries adopted later, and went straight to GSM with later (more efficient, less expensive) systems.
Many EU countries built out their systems under government contract, and did not have to fight local government for tower space, licenses etc. Its Cheaper to build the same system in the EU.
In NA, we have at least 3 different radio protocols in operation, and you simply can not roam from one system to another in all cases. Further, our carriers are not under a real incentive to offer roaming, and only do so begrudgingly, and always try to wring the absolute top dollar out of the competition. There are still carriers that do not allow roaming onto their network EVEN when they have compatible systems.
Carriers in Europe are mandated to inter-operate and accept roaming at reasonable prices, and all systems are GSM and therefore capable of doing so.
The US, and to a lesser extent Canada, really need to have some national laws passed to force interoperability, roaming, and do so at some standardized prices.
If we have dropped calls, its our own damned fault for not insisting Cities and Counties allow greater tower density, and telling the NIMBYs and radiation fear mongers to take a hike.

Working here on Grand Rapids MI. This is the best day since the first phones got MMS in 1982! Way to go AT&T and apple!!!!! Unreal

I disagree that MMS will increase data traffic because all of us iPhone users have sent the same pics, videos or whatever from the phone already via email this whole time over the same ATT network.
How will changing it from email to MMS change traffic? I'm not going to be sending more data, just through a text now instead of email.

A message to AT&T and Apple:
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it has to outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. So whether you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, YOU'D BETTER BE RUNNING."

I can't even bring myself to get excited about anything AT&T says or does anymore. Hope it works though. We'll see.

Why does everyone preach about how they know so much about the networks! Unless you're a top-level engineer, you don't know Jack! Case closed! Mms will be available for all in less than 24 hours!
Bdizzle: let me guess, ur game is weak, and ur little 7yr old bro walked off with ur lady! Go grump to your cuz you pessimistic hillbilly.

Hates terrorists like AT&T they raped the iPhone and it's just not the same anymore he's not free to roam around he's soo couped inside wanting to spring out be a monopoly nd rule the world besides for Madagascar they suck

ddizzile23, bdizzle23, whatever the hell you go by... I really don't care if you don't believe me. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if it's laws did not operate without the sanction of belief. You also probably believe the world is flat and that the sun is a deity!

@Ikey the iPhone has spellcheck, idk what you're talking about...
Just updated my carrier settings, but still no MMS...
WTF.

you have to turn your phone off then back on to get it to work. I can send pics still waiting to see if i can get pics back. so far so good i guess

does anyone know if we will have to pay for each picture? I just got a pic from another carrier and it seemed to work just fine. yea apple!

Just downloaded the update as of 2:00pm Eastern... working fine.
Everyone's making this into a huge bitch-fest btw. You wanted MMS, you got MMS. It is what it is. The past is the past, no point in bitching about what 'should' have happened and when it 'should' have.

tim- check if you have WIFI always enabled, it drains the battery if it is constantly searching for new networks.

I tried to send an MMS. No luck. 5 bars and the message failed to send three times. sigh I was so excited about this.

Southwest Missouri- still nothing tried to send twice, and continues to fail, I have 3.1 and carrier settings 5.5

I checked my carrier and it's 5.5...just downloaded the update an hour ago. I can send/receive to other AT&T users...but not to other networks. Anyone else having this problem?
ETA-I'm in Columbia, SC