Hey AT&T! Summer is almost over! Where is my MMS?


For the Northern Hemisphere, as in the United States, Canada and most of Europe, Fall begins on September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm EDT.

AT&T promised us that we would have MMS messaging for the iPhone this "Summer".  Although AT&T did recently announce that MMS is coming on September 25th (3 days after summer officially ends), there is still no word on Tethering support (which was given no timeline at all except for "in the Future").

I’m not a fan of AT&T nor do I hate them. I’ve had AT&T service for years before the iPhone. However, I’m starting to see WHY so many people complain about their service. The mere mention of AT&T in a public setting will usually get you a few glares and eye rolls.

We can speculate and take AT&T at their word that in order to allow for iPhones to do MMS, they had to do some network upgrades. However, the odd thing is that MMS is hardly new technology. All other AT&T phones can do this and have been doing this for years. Tethering is also not a new thing. Again, other AT&T smart phones can do this. What this really says is that although AT&T allows both MMS and Tethering on other phones, these features must either be rarely used by non-iPhone users or that they are so hard to do on other phones that most people don’t ever use these features. So it was OK to offer these features with the existing network to non-iPhone users because they couldn’t handle the traffic. Studies have shown that because the iPhone is so easy to use that 80% or more iPhone users do web browsing and email REGULARLY on their iPhones. So it’s a sure bet that iPhone users will also be using MMS too!

Note to AT&T: Advertising that you have the biggest, fastest 3G network doesn’t really mean much if you can’t actually do anything on it!

We all know that the minute Apple announces iPhone availability on another US carrier such as Verizon, that they will see an immediate increase in market share especially from those hold outs that have refused to go on AT&T’s service. Now what will really be interesting is how many people will LEAVE AT&T to go to Verizon for their iPhone service?




UPDATE: Seth, the AT&T Blogger responds!

7 Replies to “Hey AT&T! Summer is almost over! Where is my MMS?”

  1. Wow, interesting poll results. I would think that ATT would be very concerned about this but they seem not to be (at least in public). Now I see why ATT seems to be pushing every phone they have except the iPhone, They let Apple do all the work promoting the iPhone. When is the last time you saw an ATT advertisement promoting the iPhone?

  2. Terry,

    Been in the corporate world. I am 63 and from my experience, here is what to expect from Wireless companies in the next 2 to 3 years. I hope I am wrong. AT&T was (ma bell) was broken up in an antitrust law suit years ago. Its was the monopoly thing. Now the same old game is back in town with a new wrapper.

    Always know this; No public company has the “best interest” of the customer. Only shareholder value. A corporation is a “legal person”.

    Of course corporations must have reliable, quality products if a company is to survive. But as a public company gains dominance in a particular market, monopoly is the logical step, sad to say. From my perceptive this is the path of enlightenment Verizon and AT&T are headed towards. They fast becoming the gate keepers to internet access and will add multiple toll booths along the way. Poor service and higher service fees result.

    This is where I think a proper role of Federal and State Government is to oversee and keep a eye on Monopolies. Years ago Standard Oil was brought to knees after unfettered greed and avarice became its guiding principles.

    Sherman Antitrust Act, 1890

    First measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts; it was named for Senator John Sherman. Prior to its enactment, various states had passed similar laws, but they were limited to intrastate businesses. Finally opposition to the concentration of economic power in large corporations and in combinations of business concerns led Congress to pass the Sherman Act. The act, based on the constitutional power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, declared illegal every contract, combination (in the form of trust or otherwise), or conspiracy in restraint of interstate and foreign trade. A fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for one year were set as the maximum penalties for violating the act.

    The Sherman Act authorized the federal government to institute proceedings against trusts in order to dissolve them, but Supreme Court rulings prevented federal authorities from using the act for some years. As a result of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “trust-busting” campaigns, the Sherman Act began to be invoked with some success, and in 1904 the Supreme Court upheld the government in its suit for dissolution of the Northern Securities Company. The act was further employed by President Taft in 1911 against the Standard Oil trust and the American Tobacco Company.

    In the Wilson administration the Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) was enacted to supplement the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was set up (1914). Antitrust action sharply declined in the 1920s, but under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt new acts supplementary to the Sherman Antitrust Act were passed (e.g., the Robinson-Patman Act), and antitrust action was vigorously resumed. As a result of a suit filed in 1974 under the Sherman Antitrust Act, the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) monopoly was broken up in 1982.

    The Hart-Scoss-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act (1976) made it easier for regulators to investigate mergers for antitrust violations, but few mergers were blocked during the merger boom of the 1980s, when the FTC and Justice Dept. adopted a looser interpretation of antitrust legislation. By the 1990s, still a time of large corporate mergers, the FTC became more litigious in antitrust actions, and the Justice Dept. aggressively pursued the Microsoft Corp. (see Gates, Bill). Antitrust legislation is primarily regulated by the Antitrust Division of the Dept. of Justice and the FTC. U.S. corporations with international operations also face antitrust scrutiny from European Union regulators.

    I know this is a long reply, but I feel blogs like your and other blogs can have such a positive voice in alerting your readers and take action with your Congressperson.

    I am a true capitalist love free market enterprise. My assumptions is based on free market access, and government oversight.

    I predict this will be the internet debate that will buzz this world in 2 to 3 years.

    Ken in KY

  3. Great blog. I saw that AT&T has announced yesterday that MMS would be available to the 3G & 3Gs on September 25th. 3 days after the end of summer. they claim that they wanted to be able to be ready for all the users that are gonna be MMS.

    However as you said what good is the advertising the service if you can’t provide it. For instance in my area on the 3G network we’ve been having problems with One Way Conversations. In other words you can be talking and its like the people on the other end put you on mute, they can hear you but you can’t hear them. It doesn’t matter who you are talking with, landline, other cell, etc.

    When we spoke to AT&T they actually said to try another network. Like they didn’t care. They know they have the iPhone and they know that you can’t go to anyone else without jail breaking the phone. I think that it will be a rude awakening when iPhone is offered on other networks, I expect to see about 1/2 of the users to go to another company.

    Thanks again for all the information you provide.

    Daniel in OK

  4. As I travel across the country, I’ve found that when copmared to Verizon’s 3g coverage with my evdo card vs my iphone, Verizon wins hands down. Rignt now I’m in South Dakota and have gone through Wyoming on Interstate 90. My Verizon 3g coverage has been solid without interrupiton. AT&T on my iphone is reduced to gprs and even has even had plenty of areas without service at all!

    Coupling this with Versizon’s up and coming 4g service, I have a feeling that Apple will need to do the same thing they did with Motorola. Look at&t. You’re just not cutting it with my customers. I’ve got to find someone else. Give at&t a deadline for not only thier mms service to be active, but start working on the next generation of coverage and actually start to get good coverage across the nation.

  5. I am an iPhone user and I love my iPhone sooo much that I am shocked and astonished when people tell me they like their very basic model phone because it has Verizon service. It’s made me wonder! I might take a look at the greener grass when I’m allowed to.

  6. I drop about 10 calls each day with AT&T. For awhile it was better, but now it is horrible again. I have a 3GS, yesterday both callers were on AT&T with 5 bars and not on edge, when the call dropped. I dropped another caller in the metro area. This NEVER happened with Verizon. I switched to AT&T only for the iPhone. I had Verizon for many years before that. Plus, my kids friends are almost all Verizon. Please Apple let us go back to Verizon. I just hope Verizon doesn’t limit the iphone capabilities like it did with the Razor where it would not allow iCal sync.

  7. Terry- I just recently got an iPhone as my old phone needed replacing. Unfortunately this required me to switch to AT&T. After being a Verizon customer for years, all I can say is I can’t wait to switch back. I love the iPhone, but AT&T customer service, pricing and phone coverage is so bad, it’s worth the early termination fee (and purchasing a new iPhone, since an AT&T phone won’t work on Verizon’s network) to get out. I think your poll speak for itself, that less than 10% of users are not considering switching.

    Unfortunately, right now AT&T has a monoply and they are laughing all the way to the bank as they over-charge and under-deliver for a product that they provide virtually no advertising outlay or customer support for. I love my iPhone, but I think Apple erred badly in signing on with AT&T.

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