Mystery Solved: AT&T Carrier File Update 5.6 for iPhone Did What Exactly?

AT&T Carrier Settings 5.6

Along with iPhone 3.1.2, AT&T users received a 5.6 carrier file update, but the reason(s) for it weren't clear. MMS was already enabled, and tethering was nowhere in site, so what was it for? Well, iPhone Savior sat on the phone with Apple support long enough to find out! Turns out, it fixed an MMS bug:

When sending photos or videos in an MMS message, the progress bar would stall at about 90% then result in an error ending with a (!) red exclamation point next to the MMS message. The associated message failed to be properly sent, though standard text messages worked as normal. The 5.6 patch addressed that particular MMS issue.

Anyone out these have that problem prior to Carrier File 5.6? And if so, did it fix it for you? Let us know!

[iPhone Savior via Gizmodo]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 50 comments. Add yours.

Joe McG says:

I definitely saw this before the MMS release, but once it was out, it worked fine. I did see alot of people complaining about this problem though.

aimz says:

I've had that problem both before and after this "bug fix".

Benny P says:

Ditto. Happened to me twice this weekend. Better get home and patch up. Yo

firesign3000 says:

i had that problem when mms was first released but it seemed to clear before this update. glad they fixed it though.

Steve says:

Using carrier files 5.5 and 6. Both get that message sometimes even with standard SMS.

O Boogz says:

i was told by by an Apple support rep that the reason i was receiving this error was because i didnt have the correct messaging plan. i had the 2g plan which bundled internet & messaging for $30. For the 3G & 3G S you needed to have the separate internet & messaging plan in order to use MMS. After that it worked fine.

O Boogz says:

oh btw i currently own a 3G S

Bryan says:

I was having that issue before and after, but with texting... Not MMS

ScaliasPhone says:

I had that problem for the about the first 8 hours after receiving the ability send MMS. It went away on it's own. I just assumed it was carrier traffic.

Memnautikus says:

I'm still using 5.0 settings.

John says:

I was having this problem on every MMS sent before the 5.6 update. Resetting my Network settings to default fixed it immediately though, before the update was released.

BSmith4832 says:

I've been having that problem in one certain area that I go to. I can always send texts, browse internet, etc etc although I could not send an MMS. I'll be there again on Saturday - I'll give it a try then. (P.S. I have a solid 3G connection in that area)

Mr Wu says:

Anyone hanging on to the 3.0 for tethering reasons having a voicemail problem since this latest update? My voicemail suddenly takes 30 mins to an hour to get to my iPhone 3Gs. Never had a problem before they released the update. Are they secretly forcing us to update by screwing with voicemail? CONSPIRACY??!!

ibetts says:

I had this issue when MMS was announced. After several failed MMS messages over two days, I called AT&T. They said that some special system still showed my phone as edge instead of 3G. It took them about 3-4 days to finally get that system to open, and change my setting at the network side of things. Then my messages worked. Don't know if this upgrade would have fixed it, but the problem matches what I had.

bergman says:

Is there a way to get the carrier file update without updating the OS? I'm not getting a prompt for the carrier file. My 3GS is jailbroken so I'm not ready for the update to 3.1.2 yet.

Jon says:

Had that problem the reset the network settings on the iPhone and it went away.

BSmith4832 says:

@ Mark Bergman - do you need your iPhone unlocked (are you on a different carrier)? If not, blackra1n is out and can Jailbreak 3.1.2 incredibly easy, I did it last night.
If you run a script (search for the walkthrough to enable MMS on 3.0) on your PC it will allow you to select IPCC files in iTunes (Shift+Click on Restore). Then you might be able to download the IPCC file from somewhere on the internet and manually update that way. However, I'm not sure if the IPCC file has a prerequisite such as having to be on 3.1.2 in order to install on the phone.
I was originally hesitant to upgrade because I didn't want the new baseband (unlockable, as of now). However, after thinking it over I have no need to unlock so I simply upgraded my iPhone to 3.1.2, restored from a recent backup, ran blackra1n, done. Jailbroke in less than 30 seconds. I'm using a 3GS.

jglowe74 says:

actually, yes. this fixed the red exclamation problem for me. i couldn't send MMS until now. so...THANKS!

bmrdave says:

I don't know if it's a "problem". I'm still running carrier 5.0 on a jailbreaked 3G at 3.0.1. The progress bar does stall at around 90% with MMS for about 2 seconds, but then it sends just fine. Like keeping the 5.0 because it still has the tethering options.

BSmith4832 says:

@ Mr. Wu - did you do the manual IPCC update via iTunes with the hacked carrier file?
The (first) hacked carrier file had a ton of issues with Visual Voicemail. AT&T thinks they are having a huge VVM crisis for the last month and a half - when in reality, they don't have an issue (well, besides obvious AT&T issues) they have a ton of people that tried the hacked carrier file and in turn called AT&T to let them know their VVM had an issue. AT&T did everything they could do and can't "figure it out".
One of my guesses would be that AT&T is "thinking" their fixing a possible issue with VVM and maybe added it into this carrier file. I'm just guessing here. I was told from an AT&T tech (and friend) that they have been running crazy (since that hacked IPCC file launched) trying to fix VVM issues.
Regardless, try resetting your network settings on your phone. This usually works for most voicemail related issues.

r3k says:

I had the problem for several days once it went live. I worked with tech support and they were able to fix it within a couple of minutes.

Nuzzi says:

I have this problem. Had it from day one and still have it after this update. I am working with Apple tech support now, but we haven't had any luck.

Andy says:

First!
Indint see the difference between 5.5 and 5.6 really. I didn't have that bug

Dan says:

I had that issue before the update, where it would occasionally fail to send an MMS. However, NOW I've noticed a problem where I can't send an MMS at all while I'm on a call... I'm SURE this worked before (maybe I'm wrong..?) I can send a txt, but not MMS, while on a call. Does anyone else have this problem? The MMS fails almost immediately, then I get the red (!).

Mondozer says:

Didn’t fix the problem for me.

iphone4idiots says:

I had that til Stealth had me call ATT. MMS wasn't working cause they had me as a 2G. I jailbroke to 3.1.2 yesterday but left carrier at 5.5. No need to update as far as I can see.

t-ditty says:

i jailbroke my phone yesterday.....i was wondering if i install it, if it will break my jailbreak....anybody know?

USAFRetired says:

I guess I lucked out. I didn't experience this problem with 5.5. I applied 5.6 and it now seems the status bar goes much quicker.

taroliw says:

I didn't experience that failure before, but have seen it twice on 5.6 carrier file.

Bryce says:

I had this issue before 3.1.2, but even after the carrier update, nothing changed. In fact, it seems that I'm having MORE trouble with those pesky little exclamation marks than I have been before.

Gibeath Haaraloth says:

I had the red (!) for every other SMS I would send on 3G. Downgrading to EDGE allowed messages to be sent. Having just upgraded from my original iPhone to the 3GS left me wanting in some areas.

Doc says:

Seems to have fixed it.

The67beast says:

First! Jk. I never had the issue.

nick says:

yes nostbdeff fix the problem for me .... after dl the first mms update the red ! thing would pop up .....the sending bar still lags but get the job done as it sends the image if u have seevice

Corrina says:

I did have that problem and it does seem to be fixed now. I wasn't sure, either what that update did so thanks for clearing it up. :-)

Brian says:

It still takes hours for mms messages to come/go through

Larry says:

I absolutely had the bug and it drove me nuts. I didn't reallize the carrier update was what fixed it, but it's definitely gone now. Wahoo!

Kevin Benore says:

Still having the issue after the update. :( maybe a system restore will help?

divinIN says:

Still have the problem. /golfclap

lightnin says:

anyone having a problem with mail over 3G network since the update?

Skillzdatkillz72 says:

Funny thing is never had a problem before with 5.5 but now with update 5.6 I get red exclamation

matucon312 says:

I'm on 5.5; haven't had this issue since MMS was officially "turned on" on AT&T's end. Oh, and I do have tethering with 5.5.

Dradis says:

John says, "Resetting my Network settings to default fixed it immediately though, before the update was released."
Just wanted to confirm this. I am using 5.5 settings on a jailbroken and unlocked phone w/ 3.1.2 fw. I am using BossPrefs to block Edge/3g, so after resetting the network settings I went back to BossPrefs and turned off Edge/3G. MMS still works, even w/ these turned off.
Also, just as a word of advise, when you say things like "I’m still using 5.0 settings." follow that up with "...and it works for me" or "...and nothing works". I dont care what version you're running if i dont know what you can/can't do.

Joe Mamma says:

If you are having issues with MMS on the Iphone contact AT&T and tell then to update your inei in both of their systems. That should fix the issue. Also go into Settings>General>Profile>and remove the profiles.

jes says:

Hi i am experiencing the same problem unable to send/receive mms. Everything was working fine after the release of 5.5 however last night it stopped working. I then tried updating to 5.6 however still no luck. Called Apple support and ATT went through the usual. reset network, switch to edge, even some 5005.... nothing. I tried the sim card in my n97 and was able to send and receive mms on that phone. Can anyone tell me what I can try?? thank you

Steve Niedzwiecki says:

I have that problem with 5.6. I didn't have 5.5 so this was my first MMS update.

ebatti says:

AT&T is abusive of the iPhone customer. Blackberry devices have tethering, and can stream video via Sling Player over 3G. Send these jokers a complaint. See http://www.lionfishpictures.com/2009/11/i-have-had-it-with-at.html for a very well written complaint letter. Feel free to copy it and send it to them.

Joe says:

they dont allow tethering because the iphone doesn't compress data like crapberry's do. They have enough trouble keeping data to the iphones already, the last thing they want is a computer hogging all the data too!

asraa says:

if i get this Carrier : AT&T 5.6 will i still be able to unlock my phone???