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MMS Arrives For the iPhone — Will It Crash AT&T's Network?

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the signs-point-to-yes dept.

Cellphones 153

itwbennett writes "AT&T has said it is already seeing 'record traffic during peak hours of the night' with just the users selected for testing, and so it is 'very nervous' about the spike in traffic that it expects will occur after it launched MMS service for iPhones on Friday. Of course, setting records for MMS traffic isn't that great a feat considering that 'the service in question has been out for years on other handsets and hasn't exactly taken the mobile world by storm. In 2008, MMS made up just 2.5 percent of all messages sent from phones worldwide, meaning about 97.5 percent were SMS text messages, according to ABI Research. ABI expects the MMS share to grow to just 4.5 percent by 2014.' However, the carrier's fears in one respect may have been justified, says ABI analyst Dan Shey: 'Interoperability between carriers has always been an issue, and that's why MMS usage hasn't really taken off.'"

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MMS is pretty pointless after all (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29547923)

I'm quite surprised iPhone hasn't had MMS yet. It has been on phones since like 2003.

For that matter it'll never got popular. This is partly because operators overprice MMS and because it doesn't really serve that much purpose. Yeah I could send a pic with it, but meh. Could always show them via computer or otherwise too.

'Interoperability between carriers has always been an issue, and that's why MMS usage hasn't really taken off.'"

I doubt this is really the issue. Where I live MMS has been working greatly since the beginning between operators too. But it still hasn't taken off.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29547965)

Are you really surprised or are you just karma whoring? Next time say the truth, meaning: "I can't believe that people buy iShit when it doesn't even support simple features like MMS."

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29548717)

I'm surprised. I knew the original iPhone didn't support MMS, but given that it was one of the first things people winged about in reviews, I'd have thought a firmware update would have added it and I was under the impression that the iPhone 3G came with it from the start.

That said, my last two (or possibly three) phones have supported MMS and I have only ever received one and never sent any. I don't know what the pricing is like in the USA, but over here it's silly. It costs less to send the picture as an email attachment and, as an added bonus, the receiver then gets a higher-quality copy. I think MMS is charged per-recipient, so it's even cheaper if you are sending a picture to multiple people.

When I was in Japan (late 2003) it was common to send (postage-stamp sized) pictures from phones via email. That never took off over here, but neither did MMS.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29547967)

Not true in the US. I know many people who work at VZW and ones who work at ATT Wireless. The way the networks handle MMS is completely different. My friend on ATT can send me a pic or video, which comes in fine, when I go to forward to another VZW user it reports the MMS is too large.

Also, I can send a picture to a few people I know.. all but 1 is on VZW. The one who isn't is on ATT since that's who he's working for. Half of the time, all the VZW people will get it, but he will receive a MMS with nothing in it. On some occasions, it will happen when he MMS's a message to me.

I am glad that VZW->ATT and ATT->VZW texting has finally sped up. It use to take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour for a text from my VZW phone to any one of my friends ATT phones to make it.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

wizzard2k (979669) | about 5 years ago | (#29548205)

I've been noticing similar effects with VZWATT for years. Glad to know its not just me. Also, sending from ATT, VZW friends usually get my texts, but sometimes successive texts in a row get delayed or not delivered until a new outgoing text is sent.
Email from the phone is more reliable.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (2, Informative)

rdoger6424 (879843) | about 5 years ago | (#29548435)

I didn't really have problems with vzwatt texting recently, but in my (limited and recent) experience with texting between Sprint and ATT, it's a huge excercise in futility.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548021)

MMS had a slow start, and by now just about all phones can send and receive email anyway.
I don't think even Steve Jobs could get people excited enough about MMS support to make a measurable blip in traffic at this point, but I may be overestimating the average iPhone user.
Let's see what happens to traffic when Google Wave goes live though. I predict a near perfect target audience match.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

Mascot (120795) | about 5 years ago | (#29548477)

Slow start indeed. We've had MMS since 2002 here. After seven years it's still barely used.

As you say, we're moving towards free data plans now anyways so MMS will be rather pointless compared to email and IM services.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (5, Funny)

Brandee07 (964634) | about 5 years ago | (#29548029)

MMS would have caught on with my friends a long time ago if it weren't so crippled by the phones that use it.

When I received an MMS on my old phone, I couldn't do anything with it but view it. I couldn't save it to my photo library, or set it as the wallpaper, forward the message, or anything, really. It was permanently attached to the SMS it came with, to either clog my inbox or be deleted. Thus, the useful functions of an MMS image are reduced to a) sending pictures of your drunk friends to other drunk friends and b) sending pictures penises to, well, anyone. With the ability of the iPhone to save an MMS photo to my photo roll, and from there send it by MMS or email to someone else, or edit it in an app, or later save it to my computer, I might actually use the MMS feature on occasion.

So, I feel that the crippled firmware of most phones is to blame for MMSes not catching on. Many of you will claim that the iPhone OS is likewise hobbled by Apple's tight controls, but if you think that the iPhone OS has it's hands tied by software/firmware, than normal phones are wrapped head to toe in duct tape, placed in cast iron sarcophaguses which are then welded shut, buried under several tons of concrete, and placed under armed guard for the rest of eternity.

Your mileage on phone OSes may vary. Prior to the iPhone, I used a Nokia flip phone that ran the default Cingular OS, whatever the hell that's called.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

kegon (766647) | about 5 years ago | (#29548783)

The majority of phones that I have used required some special set up to use MMS and GPRS; usually sending a SMS to register for those services then receiving a message back containing automatically installing settings. Apparently server config for SMS is installed on the SIM as standard but set up for MMS/GPRS/etc was never standardised. I think that's the big reason why so many people don't use MMS, if you ignore the pricing.

No doubt Apple will add appropriate config in the os for the few networks iphone is officially available for.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (3, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | about 5 years ago | (#29550289)

SMS needs no configuration as its built into the base GSM system as part of the control channel, GRPS builds on that and leave a lot of the config on the phone (DNS/DHCP), MMS is basically a special SMS (that the user will never see unless they use a very old phone in the GSM sense) that results in a download by GPRS from a carrier operated server...

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 5 years ago | (#29550341)

funny, unless my memory is faulty (one never knows) my latest 3 sonyericsson phones where fully able to do all those things from day one...

meh, what "killed" it was the overly complex editors, that it was "played" not displayed, and it was basically priced to oblivion...

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 5 years ago | (#29548049)

For that matter it'll never got popular. This is partly because operators overprice MMS and because it doesn't really serve that much purpose.

Well, there are a couple of things that you got wrong here. First, overpriced or not, unlimited MMS is included as a part of the data plan you have to buy from AT&T when you have an iPhone. So cost won't matter.

The other is that one reason MMS hasn't taken off is that it's been hard to use on a lot of phones. On some of them the user has to know to go into a different messaging task, or to say create some kind of special message, and do some weird stuff they've never done before. On the iPhone, they added a little camera icon to the left of the text entry box. Couldn't be easier.

Since the "barriers to entry" have now been substantially lowered, iPhone users will indeed start to use the feature more.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (4, Informative)

Brandee07 (964634) | about 5 years ago | (#29548085)

Well, there are a couple of things that you got wrong here. First, overpriced or not, unlimited MMS is included as a part of the data plan you have to buy from AT&T when you have an iPhone. So cost won't matter.

No, actually, it's not. It was, back when the first iPhone came out, but now you're required to get a $30 data plan that includes no SMS or MMS messages. I pay for those at the a la carte rate of $.20 and $.30 each, respectively. If I sent more than 5 a month, I might consider an Messaging plan at an additional $5 to $30 a month, depending on which plan. But it's certainly NOT included in the price of the iPhone data plan.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | about 5 years ago | (#29548301)

Oh, sorry, you're absolutely right. I was confusing some of the salesman's spiel with some of the things we rearranged on our plan to switch to the iPhones.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

BBandCMKRNL (1061768) | about 5 years ago | (#29549743)

No, actually, it's not. It was, back when the first iPhone came out, but now you're required to get a $30 data plan that includes no SMS or MMS messages. I pay for those at the a la carte rate of $.20 and $.30 each, respectively. If I sent more than 5 a month, I might consider an Messaging plan at an additional $5 to $30 a month, depending on which plan. But it's certainly NOT included in the price of the iPhone data plan.

I guess it's just AT&T trying to gouge the iPhone users since my non-iPhone $30 unlimited data plan includes unlimited SMS and MMS.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 5 years ago | (#29550167)

This. I pay $30/month for unlimited messaging across five lines - that includes both MMS and SMS messages.

The iPhone already gets unlimited data. MMS messages are sent on the same data channels as other data - at least, they are on my phone. I don't really understand why they never allowed MMS messages for iPhones (until now). The only explanation I can think of is "we don't get enough money from iPhone users yet".

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (5, Informative)

marmoset (3738) | about 5 years ago | (#29548091)

First, overpriced or not, unlimited MMS is included as a part of the data plan you have to buy from AT&T when you have an iPhone.

Actually the US AT&T base iPhone data plan doesn't include SMS nor MMS. For $5 you can add 200 SMS/MMS. (I'm on the family plan)

I really don't see myself using MMS all that much -- after all, I've got a full-featured mobile email client. I have some younger relatives with cheapie feature phones that occasionally send us cameraphone snaps, though, and this will beat the crap out that horrible viewmymessage.com torture we had to go through before.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

spacecaps (1594301) | about 5 years ago | (#29549291)

Uhh I'm on an ATT individual plan and the $20 data part of my plan includes 200 SMS.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | about 5 years ago | (#29549575)

That would be the 2G plan, which does not allow MMS at all. The 3G plan does not come with any SMS messages, but if you add SMS, MMS messages just count against that pool and are not charged separately.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (3, Interesting)

smallfries (601545) | about 5 years ago | (#29548099)

Are you kidding me? The phone that I've had for four years is not unusual - it is a bog standard Sony Ericsson model. It's had working MMS since I got it. I wouldn't describe it as hard to use. After taking a picture with the phone one of the menu options that pops up is send via mms. It works to the phones of everyone that I know, regardless of their network: O2, Orange, Vodafone, Three...

Are you sure that MMS not taking off is not more to do with the US having appalling infrastructure for mobile phones? It seems to work well enough everywhere else in the world...

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (2, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 5 years ago | (#29548307)

MMS also works/ed on my SE T68i, which was a slight update of the T68 from what, 2001? I didn't send many messages, but from what I remember it was pretty easy to use and worked well.

As far as I can tell, MMS didn't catch on here was because they were ridiculously expensive. Vodafone, which I use, prices them at 65 cents per message, independently of the plan you have. Even if you're on the cheapest monthly plan, this works out to over 2 minutes of talk time per message, and gets more silly for more expensive plans. T-Mobile and O2 seem to have slightly more reasonable prices, but not by much.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

sam0737 (648914) | about 5 years ago | (#29548257)

MMS itself is actually very complicated. More than SMS with pictures attached.
A few weeks ago the bank sent me an MMS promotion, which is a timed pictures slide show of ADs.

Perhaps that makes the software vendor (Phone makers) more reluctant in adopting the protocol...and the price was so expensive that stops people really from using it. Hence...a chicken and egg problem.

On the other hand, MMS are just data (GPRS/EDGE/3G...), instead of SMS using system spared timeslot. So I don't understand why MMS will hog down the network much faster than today, when AT&T are providing unlimited dataplan to iPhone user already.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 5 years ago | (#29548331)

Does the iPhone's data plan not come with unlimited internet access? If so, MMS seems like just another redundant protocol. Most phones that can send/receive MMS probably support email as well. Of course, there may be a difference in cost to the recipient between receiving an MMS versus an equivalent e-mail.

For all the resources spent on overlapping cellphone, radio, and terrestrial TV infrastructure, I think we probably could have just erected a nationwide wifi network that would be both cheaper to operate and more flexible—not to mention more open. I know a lot of cellphone providers have deals with one another to share their networks with each others' customers, but there's still a lot of overlap between coverage areas as well as gaps in each network.

Any internet-capable device would be able to make use of an open wireless network, so we wouldn't have to put up with handsets that have been locked and intentionally crippled by carriers or wait over 4 decades to rediscover email. I mean, it just seems like there's a lot of unnecessary reinventing of the wheel just to bring features/applications that have long existed on the internet to the proprietary cellphone networks. Not only that, but the telecos are able to charge extortionate fees for services that are essentially free outside of these proprietary networks.

Having to get carrier approval (i.e. make deals with each individual carrier) to develop a device that uses their network also suppresses innovation IMO. In addition to being so specialized towards a single application (imagine if the internet and the TCP/IP & UDP protocols were only designed for VoIP traffic), the proprietary nature of cellular networks has also largely limited development of new applications for cellular networks to the carriers themselves. Even in economic terms, I think there's a lot of technological potential being wasted here. How much of the modern internet (or the history of computing itself) has been shaped by independent hackers, hobbyists, students, etc.? I don't think the transformation the WWW/internet underwent in the past 2 decades could have occurred on a closed/proprietary network.

Though, I will concede that there may be a few potential upsides to having our current communications infrastructure. In some cases, it may be beneficial to have separate network infrastructures for different applications. For instance, if there is a DDoS on your ISP, your phone lines/cellphone won't go down. And in some cases specialized applications just can't be perfectly duplicated on a generalized network—e.g. emergency operators still have difficulty tracking the location of some VoIP callers. But these issues are outweighed by the benefits of having a more robust, versatile and open all-purpose wi-fi network.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (3, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 5 years ago | (#29548775)

Apple's recommendation if you can't get MMS working or don't want to upgrade is to continue to send pictures via email. It's pragmatic but not the best solution for immediate mobile to mobile picture transfers.

How much people really need an instant mobile to mobile picture transfer solution is a different question.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

refitman (958341) | about 5 years ago | (#29549957)

Which is all well and good until you want to send an image to someone who doesn't have e-mail on their phone. I live in the UK and I send/receive MMSs on a semi-regular basis. They are useful for 'dude, check this out' moments.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

kegon (766647) | about 5 years ago | (#29548737)

It's interesting how you've structured this comment to try to avoid the point you are disagreeing with. The point is, that with every other phone MMS is overpriced and hence has not taken off. Just because the iphone has a price plan that includes unlimited MMS doesn't stop it being overpriced for the "time before iphone" (remember, there was a time before the iphone existed).

.... only in the US (2, Informative)

khchung (462899) | about 5 years ago | (#29548071)

I'm quite surprised iPhone hasn't had MMS yet. It has been on phones since like 2003.

Not surprisingly, this is only the case in the US. Same with the AT&T lock-in.

Here, iPhones can send/receive MMS just fine for a long while already, and I can plug any SIM card in it and it just works.

Re:.... only in the US (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | about 5 years ago | (#29548165)

Here, iPhones can send/receive MMS just fine for a long while already [....]

Since June 17th, 2009 -- approximately 3 months ago.

Re:.... only in the US (1)

herojig (1625143) | about 5 years ago | (#29548329)

Ha! We've had it for years (Nepal, India, Thailand, etc.) or at least since it started showing up in smart phones. What's the big deal? I think the analysis is right however, it has not taken off, but probably will as more people learn how to use it. However, our pre-paid cards charges us for MMS while SMS is free, so that will deter us folks in "developing countries." But on an unlocked jailbroken iphone with some of the mms apps from appulous, it's pretty darn cool.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (3, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | about 5 years ago | (#29548203)

I was thinking that too. In Europe, *every* phone has MMS, with the possible exception of some older Blackberries which don't have cameras, and the "easy to use no frills phones" marketed to older people. I don't think there are any of those on the market at the moment.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1, Flamebait)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29548869)

The iphone is notorious for it's lack of basic features, Im surprised you can even make voice calls.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | about 5 years ago | (#29549463)

Haha, this tired rant is still so funny. Thanks for making it yet again. Twit.

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 5 years ago | (#29549581)

Seriously. I'm dumbfounded that they just got copy and paste this summer. How was that possibly not in place from the beginning?

2.5% is a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29549353)

Sure, it sounds like MMS has fizzled with it's tiny 2.5% share. But 2.5% of the mobile combined SMS and MMS market probably means that there are more MMS messages sent than traditional postcards.

By the way, I got an MMS a couple of hours ago. Yes. Your guess is correct; my mom knows how to MMS. I always use SMS myself, or email. So does my girlfriend. But I might use it if I had a better camera on my phone and the GF would certainly use it if she had a better camera.

Yeah, all right. You're right. I lied. It would have been truer to write: my "it's complicated" uses SMS. Sigh...

Re:MMS is pretty pointless after all (1)

BBandCMKRNL (1061768) | about 5 years ago | (#29549647)

For that matter it'll never got popular. This is partly because operators overprice MMS and because it doesn't really serve that much purpose.

My plan with AT&T includes unlimited SMS and MMS and has for several years.

No. (2, Interesting)

jafiwam (310805) | about 5 years ago | (#29547947)

Judging by the number of AT&T Sales-shitheels cold calling my customers and trying to confuse them deliberately, no. AT&T must have plenty of extra capacity sitting around.

They would simply prefer that users use their minutes and do things that can get them charged more money, rather than using efficient asymmetric communication methods.

Yes. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 5 years ago | (#29548163)

Judging by how pitiful AT&T service has been, it's got to be one of the shittiest networks ever designed.

Not that it should cause problems for anyone -- it's not as if they didn't see this coming -- but I wouldn't be surprised.

Sigh, AT&T... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29547949)

...when will they learn that by being d***-**s cheapskates trying to "earn" (save) a few pennies by not spending money on expanding the capacities of their network to allow more services, they will never reap the tremendous money involved in customers' spending in that area (or to put it differently: they won't have a chance to rape the customers with sky-high traffic fees per single MMS).

Just look at the operators in europe, and the money they are making by making sure their customers can actually send MMS' and use network access etc. Gee, who'd figure it'd pay off?! Not the dumb-greedy suits over at AT&T anyway, that's for sure. Sigh.

So... let me get this straight... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29548311)

You buy an iPhone, pay through the nose for it - and it still lacks basic functions available to "dumbphones" for years already.
Then... they discontinue THAT iPhone, and bring out a newer, improved and cheaper version - and you get a coupon for half of the discount.
Then... You buy ANOTHER iPhone and it still lacks basic functions, it still costs an arm and a leg - and its camera sucks and it can't record video.
Then... You buy YET ANOTHER iPhone, and this time camera finally can record video. At 30fps. And upload it directly to youtube.
Which would be nice, had it came out in 2007.

And still... More months pass before you can finally use MMS on it.

Wow! Surely that is the cutting edge of both service and technology.

Re:So... let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548761)

You don't like Apple, we get it, but your rant isn't in any part a response to anything in the post you replied to.

Re:So... let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548837)

I would replace a few of your words with things like 64 bit, reliable, secure, then replace the Word "iPhone" with "Windows" and could have the same argument. Pre-Order Windows 7 yet?

Re:So... let me get this straight... (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29548913)

Don't sound so surprised, these are Apple customers we're talking about here.

Re:So... let me get this straight... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 5 years ago | (#29549003)

I like the apps idea and that's probably why it's so popular. It did make me laugh to see the ads for the 3GS saying how amazing being able to record video was. My first thought was "well done for being 7 years behind the times".

Re:So... let me get this straight... (1)

shmlco (594907) | about 5 years ago | (#29549127)

You have one too many phones in your rant. iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. The "half" discount was on the 3G.

And personally, I'd much rather have been using my iPhone over the last two years, "crippled or no," instead of Apple having waited two more years to develop and ship the "perfect" phone.

Did I miss copy and paste? Occasionally. Will I use MMS? Occasionally. Did I use SMS and email and weather and Google maps? The clock and movie times and Stanza and Kindle and OmniFocus and, OMG, how did I forget, the built-in video iPod?

Constantly.

Re:So... let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29549177)

Yeah, it's really funny how the Motorola bagphone your mom used every night to help pay the rent supported all of those features back in 1987, but they never actually took off and became useful to the majority of customers until the iPhone supported them.

I guess we iPhone users are the real suckers with the overpriced "dumbphones," huh. Oh, well.

If it crashes AT&T's network... (4, Insightful)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | about 5 years ago | (#29547955)

...it's their own damn fault. Considering how long mms has been around, and how long this has been mulled and they have had to prepare for this.

Re:If it crashes AT&T's network... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548851)

If they are nervous their networks have serious undercapacity. Around the globe in other countries NO operator has been nervous about running out of capacity, ever.

Re:If it crashes AT&T's network... (2, Interesting)

Eternauta3k (680157) | about 5 years ago | (#29549331)

Around the globe in other countries NO operator has been nervous about running out of capacity, ever.

Well, I don't think they care (so they don't worry either), but in my country every so often you can't make cellphone calls because there isn't enough capacity (and, once in a while, you call a person and get connected to another one).

Just a thought (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 5 years ago | (#29547959)

Perhaps AT&T should spend the time it spends fucking up my voicemail to fix the network. Or god forbid actually invest in infrastructure. Given the ridiculous overpricing that mobile providers commit, one would think that somebody would have money to actually service the equipment and increase bandwidth. I mean they do it other places just fine with less cost per customer.

Re:Just a thought (4, Interesting)

jltnol (827919) | about 5 years ago | (#29548149)

Agreed. Companies today don't provide a service OR a product. They supply profits. Service and products are just the ugly, messy way of moving money from the bottom to the top of the financial pyramid.

Re:Just a thought (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 5 years ago | (#29548669)

Perhaps AT&T should spend the time it spends fucking up my voicemail to fix the network. Or god forbid actually invest in infrastructure. Given the ridiculous overpricing that mobile providers commit, one would think that somebody would have money to actually service the equipment and increase bandwidth. I mean they do it other places just fine with less cost per customer.

Well said!!

Let it break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29547989)

AT&T (or should I say Cingular) has always been a company more concerned about profits than service. Having been a customer for dam near 10 years now (not entirely by choice) I can honestly say that this is one of the worst big companies for customer service and product offerings.

But I suppose the larger issue is simply the cell phone provider market in the US. A lack of competition, too much exploitation, and weird regulations have all helped to screw up the market.

Don't use MMS (3, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | about 5 years ago | (#29547993)

MMS just helps cell/mobile telcos perpetuate the myth that they're now anything other than mere purveyors of wireless data connectivity. The iPhone has done so much to help break this pattern, it'd be a shame to go backwards.

Re:Don't use MMS (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#29548981)

Indeed. SMS and MMS and any other xxS should be going the way of the dodo. As soon as a significant number of people have data-enabled phones everyone will just use free IM networks and skip the expensive Frankenstein monster that is the xxS system.

Re:Don't use MMS (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | about 5 years ago | (#29549889)

I think the world would be better without MMS, but not SMS. Text messages do not require as strong a signal as is needed to make a voice connection, let alone a data connection.

arrives? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29547995)

MMS Arrives For the iPhone
MMS arrived for the iphone with the release of 3.0, which happened months ago, which means most of us have had MMS for months now. it's just you american peasants who are newly getting it. headline should read, AT&T finally allows MMS on american iphones

Re:arrives? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29548921)

which means most of us have had MMS for months now.

While the rest of us have had it for years.

I won't be doing it. (1)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | about 5 years ago | (#29548001)

I enabled tethering on my iPhone. To enable MMS on AT&T, I'd have to update, which would break tethering. I don't see the trade being worth it by any means, especially since this sucker is my primary internet connection.

Perhaps it is time to jailbreak.

Re:I won't be doing it. (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 5 years ago | (#29548019)

There are modified carrier files out there that are MMS enabled with tethering. I don't have much use for tethering, but I have it if I ever need it.

Limited by cost? (1)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | about 5 years ago | (#29548017)

AT&T has offered MMS support for a while (at least I've been being billed for it....20 MMS messages for $2.99/mo, then $0.25 each additional message). Would the MMS support for iPhones require this additional 'feature' be added to your plan? And if so, who's going to pay $0.25 for each message (I assume the first 20 would go rather quickly)? That seems like it would prevent many people from actually using the feature.

MMS? But surely no one wants that, you said? (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#29548035)

But how could it crash anything? - Surely, for years we've been told that the no one needs MMS anymore, certainly not Iphone users, and no one would possibly want to use it. So why is it news that it now has MMS - let alone the wild claim that it might crash a network?

Seriously, it's not news, unless you count taking so long to add the feature. We don't have news for any other phones adding features that have been around for years. The idea that MMS, which has been around for years, might suddenly result in a spike in usage in 2009, enough to cause a network to crash, is ludicrous - if Iphone users were so desperate for that feature, why did they buy an Iphone? (And remember that the Iphone is still a minority of all phones sold - yes, you can redefine the market to "smartphone" and say it's doing well there all you like, but the market here is that of all mobile phones which can send MMS, which is billions - so even if all Iphone users started using MMS, it wouldn't make any significant difference in the global usage.)

I thought this was news for new technology, not news for old technology... I bet in a few months time, we'll be hearing people say "Well it doesn't matter that other phones had MMS for years, people only started to use it with the Iphone" - despite the fact that, for years, all we heard was from those same Iphone fans "But why would I have the need for something outdated like MMS?" No, this is just another trumped up Slashvertisement for the Iphone, where a wild speculation is made as if Iphones were 90% of the market, and perpetuating the myth that no one uses anything until the Iphone does it.

Re:MMS? But surely no one wants that, you said? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548055)

Looks like you picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

Re:MMS? But surely no one wants that, you said? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548113)

Looks like you picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

Looks like you're an idiot.

Re:MMS? But surely no one wants that, you said? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548393)

Crash the network may be an exaggeration, but smartphone (and thus iPhone) usage has already caused noticeable damage to ATT&T's network. With a quick google search you will find many articles regarding high iPhone density areas and how awful service becomes, not just for internet data traffic, but normal voice and text traffic as well. If you take an iPhone to certain areas of NYC (and not obscure times or areas, but say union square at 5pm), you might not be able to receive messages for an hour (personal experience, led to angry girlfriend). So the addition of MMS to the iPhone could cause further connection issues. You write this story off to quickly when you call it a "Slashvertisement for the Iphone". Yes, MMS is old, yes, no one cares about MMS capabilities on other phones, but when new capability is added to a device that is already slowing down networks, then it's worthwhile to ask if further service disruptions are possible.

Insightful? Really? (1)

ZxCv (6138) | about 5 years ago | (#29549257)

You started off insightful and went full-steam ahead straight into Troll.

Re:MMS? But surely no one wants that, you said? (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 5 years ago | (#29549665)

I thought this was news for new technology, not news for old technology...

It's news for nerds. Now get off my lawn while I bring up the autopatch on my local 2m repeater and call my XYL.

Will It Crash AT&T's Network? (3, Funny)

willyd357 (1293166) | about 5 years ago | (#29548041)

We can only hope.

Re:Will It Crash AT&T's Network? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548075)

Nonsense.

AT&T has one of the most robust cellular networks in the nation. To think that MMS would take down their infrastructure is simply silly.

-- posted from my iPho{#`%${%&`+'${`%&NO CARRIER")

Re:Will It Crash AT&T's Network? (1)

willyd357 (1293166) | about 5 years ago | (#29548169)

All I meant to say was that... ah, I see what you did there.

Moot point, as iTunes is getting crushed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548083)

Presently Apples iTunes servers are overwhelmed simply providing the iPhone 3.1 firmware and carrier update. Any fallout that will happen to AT&Ts network will take a few days to be realized, as most iPhone users appear to be struggling just to get the necessary updates downloaded & installed.

Slow messages in far North Chicago suburbs (1)

djtim21 (1238992) | about 5 years ago | (#29548097)

Several co-workers have iPhones and reported delays (up to 30 minutes) in receiving text and MMS messages yesterday. I think this is just the effect of "ooh - I need to text friends with pictures". Let's see what happens over the next week or so. This will tell the whole story if AT&T's network is crappy (Which I believe it is).

Non-Open Networks (5, Interesting)

Cytlid (95255) | about 5 years ago | (#29548105)

Wow if cell phone networks were open like the internet, there wouldn't be these types of problems.

Re:Non-Open Networks (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#29548855)

Yup. You won't receive junk messages with fake sender IDs, unlike emails.

Oh wait ...

Partying like it's 2002 (1)

Vandil X (636030) | about 5 years ago | (#29548185)

I updated my carrier settings, rebooted my iPhone and sent my first iPhone MMS (a pic) to a friend with a Verizon phone. The friend promptly sent back an MMS (also a pic) who was pretty much rolling her eyes over the fact that I just got MMS and she's had it on various Verizon phones for years.

Then all the excitement of being able to MMS pretty much fizzled out.

Still, it's good to have the option now.

Re: TFA, Is this a Mohawk or American fast food (-1, Troll)

bitemykarma (1515895) | about 5 years ago | (#29548237)

I'm sick and fucking tired of web sites that are a slim stip of content down the middle, with horseshit on the side.

Will It Crash AT&T's Network? (0, Troll)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 5 years ago | (#29548287)

Kudos once again to Slashdot for being so on top of things. MMS was launched nearly 24 hours ago, if it was going to crash AT&T's network it would have (notice the use of past-tense), not will it. This is an interesting topic, but don't post an article speculating about some future event some 24 hours after it happened.

Anyhow, for the matter at hand, did it crash AT&T's network? No, but it got close. Where I am 3G was damn near unusable all Friday afternoon, and even EDGE was slow. I'm told by the silly people that actually pay AT&T's exorbitant fees for their it's-not-quite-data services (SMS/MMS) that SMS and especially MMS have been unreliable today. People are able to send, but not necessarily receive. Some of this I'm sure goes back to network issues, while other parts are probably just AT&T's SMS/MMS servers being overwhelmed.

Although to be fair to AT&T, I doubt anyone could have done significant better. Certainly there's room for improvement, but iPhones are data-hogs. Anyone else (e.g. Verizon) would be facing similar network issues if they suddenly flipped a switch that let nearly 10 million hogs suddenly consume even more bandwidth.

Will it crash? That is the question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548337)

Will it crash? That is the question. *cue catchy theme tune*

Yes, it will crash! :)

Get a PC.

No, it will CASH AT&T's network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29548423)

All this FUD about MMS crashing the network is just a clever enticement for AT&T to get iPhone users to send some MMSs at $0.30 a pop. SMS and MMS are ripoffs.

MMS is not advanced SMS (1)

rcolbert (1631881) | about 5 years ago | (#29548509)

Just like YouTube didn't replace email, MMS will never replace SMS. People can send an SMS message in 10 seconds. Most people don't want to add 2 minutes to check their hair and pick the spinach out of their teeth. MMS seems like a great idea for the occasional postcard from vacation, but doesn't have the efficiency of SMS. Comparing MMS to voicemail rather than SMS probably makes more sense.

Re:MMS is not advanced SMS (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29548971)

When I was buying counterfeit handbags in Thailand earlier this year it was really useful to be able to send photos back home to get some feedback on the designs. MMS will always have it's place, email won't replace it just as it won't replace SMS. Each one of these platforms of communication has it's own unique place.

Re:MMS is not advanced SMS (1)

rcolbert (1631881) | about 5 years ago | (#29549413)

That's a perfect use case for MMS.

crash, lol (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29548585)

A friggin superbowl could crash the network.

Come on AT&T, beef up the pipes!

transparent migration needed (1)

dwater (72834) | about 5 years ago | (#29548641)

MMS should die, but it can't because people with new phones need to be able to interact with people old phones, and the people who use old phones tend not to have the alternatives (eg email) probably because they require data plans.

What keeps MMS going is that it is convenient. On S60 phones, which are very prolific, it's just a menu option on the camera. I've not seen a phone before iPhone that couldn't receive, so you could send to anyone. It's relatively popular in Asia, I understand - still not often used, but enough to influence a purchase decision, I think.

So, any replacement needs to be as convenient as MMS and it needs to convert to/from MMS in a transparent method. Surely there is something that could do this...

Re:transparent migration needed (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#29549001)

Sure, all it needs is for someone to set up an MMS to IM gateway. There are are SMS to IM gateways already. It's just a bandaid though, until everyone has a phone with data access.

Re:transparent migration needed (1)

dwater (72834) | about 5 years ago | (#29549115)

yeah, I've about those. There's even an open source one iirc.

my impression is that it's not exactly transparent...

Re:transparent migration needed (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 5 years ago | (#29549171)

It's not likely to be, without telco cooperation. And how likely is that?

My own 0.02 (0, Offtopic)

DaMattster (977781) | about 5 years ago | (#29548659)

I hope it does crash the AT&T network and its customer base demands massive credits for the outtage. Fine, call me a flame baiter or a troll. Any company that willingly cooperates with the Bush warrantless wiretapping scheme deserves it. AT&T has behaved so egregiously that it would be just about mot just to see this happen. Serves the company right for being a bandwidth hord instead of doing something like actually upgrading the network to take full advantage of modern wireless commnications protocols. I would feel sorry, honest and truely, for those who would be affected by such an outtage but an outtage like that would put the power back in the consumer's hands, where it belongs.

Ripples (2, Interesting)

UttBuggly (871776) | about 5 years ago | (#29548875)

I couldn't care less about MMS. Don't use it, won't use it.

Unfortunately, I'm in the minority, based on AT&T network behavior since late Thursday. Typically, I DON'T get dropped calls or "unable to contact mail server" or text messages that take hours to send/receive. Since early Friday a.m., I've gotten all of that and both of our iPhones have gone "brick" on us; won't make or take a call.

Might be coincidence, but doubtful. We did get iPhone OS 3.1 and iTunes 9.0.x in the last 2-3 weeks, so there may be some issue there. Again, I don't think so. Several of my friends with iPhones and folks WITHOUT iPhones, but on AT&T have had issues. I've also noticed the DNS servers at AT&T are flakey as hell right now. Did some WireShark caps and offered to send them to AT&T Support, but so far, no takers or response of any kind. Straight NSLOOKUPs are timing out, which is annoying to say the least.

So, I think there are some ripples in the network pond and they (AT&T) SHOULD be nervous.

Re:Ripples (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29549243)

My iPhone's data service is slower but still usable here in the Seattle area. So far we've been lucky not to have the same slowdowns, call drops, and network outages that seem to plague other iPhone users in NYC and the Bay Area. If it's noticeably slower here I can imagine that people are hating life in those places. :(

Re:Ripples (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29549245)

Some of this could be the recent availability of refurb 8G iPhones for $50. A wave of bargain hunters (myself included) is probably gumming up the works right now. I can't say I've had any problems updating or surfing - although I have gotten some unusual timeouts that won't pull data without exiting the browser or store and restarting the app.

Re:Ripples (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 years ago | (#29549703)

IMHO, 3.1 is slightly flakier than 3.01 was, but only slightly.

I *have* noticed, though, that they have really cranked up voice compression. I had to ask a colleague if he had a cold or the flu as his voice started sounding funny. He laughed and said no and then I noticed that several other people sounded as if they had a similar "disorder". At that point I put 1+1 together and assumed AT&T was trying to shave a tiny bit of extra data off of every voice call to try to create some spare bandwidth for iPhone MMS, at least during the initial onslaught of "because I can" MMS transmission.

Text as MMS (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | about 5 years ago | (#29549313)

It wouldn't surprise me if half of those MMS messages are just text, with no photo/video/sound attached.

I found out that if someone sends me an MMS message, and I just hit "reply" without thinking about it, my reply is sent as an MMS even if I don't insert any media.

This may just be a "feature" of my phone (HTC + Windows Mobile) but I was doing this for quite a while until I realized it.

Thankfully, I have the unlimited plan for messages no matter how they are sent.

Does anyone care? (1)

rinoid (451982) | about 5 years ago | (#29549357)

It's 2001, your crappy phone called and wants its MMS back.

There are so many other ways to send photos and video why bother with something ATT will bill you for?

Watch as we witness the slow and long fight for unlimited pipes vs. limited, fee based services.

Sheesh... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 5 years ago | (#29549531)

Is it REALLY so hard to actually spell out a few words to explain an acronym in the summary?

Not once in the summary do we actually find out what MMS means.

Or is the article ONLY for those in the know?

Until then, I'll have to just assume that the Malaysian Mussel-fishers Society has problems with AT&T (Asynchronous Titillation & Torment).
 

MMS has potential if done right (1)

Viral Architect (1406233) | about 5 years ago | (#29549653)

I have an LG Vera and sending media messages is as easy as sending a text and I can save them to my phone as well. The problems with it are: A) When sending to an email address, it doesn't just have the media and my message, Verizon or Sprint or whoever sends an HTML email with a link to the gallery on their website which sucks royal ass. B) It's treated as another form of messaging. I say just have an option "Send Message" and if you don't embed any media, send the text via SMS automatically, otherwise, use MMS without asking specifically what kind of media, if any I am embedding. The phone can tell the difference between sound, video, picture, and nothing. Simple IF-THEN statements will do the job. Instead every time I go to text, I am asked to specify the type of message. Unify the messaging system, at least on the surface and you'll probably see more use of it.

Pay more for MMS or Facebook for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29550073)

Why would anyone need MMS on an iPhone? That's what Facebook is for.

It's an "experimental peak" (1)

gilgongo (57446) | about 5 years ago | (#29550087)

The same thing happend in the UK with Vodafone when they launched MMS: people give it a go, send a couple to their friends, then never send any more ever again once the short-lived novelty wears off.

Stand back, I'm going to try MATH! (1)

sootman (158191) | about 5 years ago | (#29550241)

In 2008, MMS made up just 2.5 percent of all messages sent from phones worldwide, meaning about 97.5 percent were SMS text messages...

So that's a ratio of 1 MMS to 39 SMSs. BUT... I'll be willing to bet that the average MMS is more than 39x larger than the typical SMS. Just to be nice, let's say that the average text message is the full 160 characters (160 bytes) allowed. (Ignoring overhead, compression, concatenated messages, etc.) 39x160/1024 = about 6 kilobytes. And let's be REALLY nice and pretend the average MMS is 6kb. (That's probably low by a factor of at least 10.) If that's the case then the amount of data sent via SMS is the same as the amount sent by MMS, even if one outnumbers the other 39 to 1.

So if a bunch of iPhone owners are SO HAPPY to finally have MMS and send one as a celebratory test and the number of messages momentarily doubles, then that would add 50% to the usage of their network. (At least as far as SMS/MMS traffic goes.) Going with more realistic numbers means that AT&T could easily be experiencing 10x or maybe 100x the amount of SMS/MMS data that they're used to.

I'm not saying that there aren't a million other issues at hand, just pointing out that a bunch of people sending an SMS all of a sudden could indeed put a strain on their network.

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