have actually had MMS support built in since June when the iPhone
OS v3.0 was released. AT&T, however, kept the
functionality disabled for fear it would overload and break its
network. Meanwhile, AT&T upgraded much of its network and
built extra capacity to handle the service.
September 22, early last week, it sent
a free SMS text message to inform its customers that it would be
rolling out the update on Friday. The message read, "AT&T
Free Msg: Picture & video messaging (MMS) will be available for
iPhone on 9/25. While we prepare your account for MMS
capability, the current 'view my message' experience will be turned
off but your ability to send and receive text messages will not be
Users began receiving the update when they
synced their phones with iTunes on Friday. The update wasn't
problems -- most of which appear to be software/firmware
related. Some users found that their attempts to send MMS
failed. Apple and AT&T suggested users first try to reset
their networks settings. A more extreme fix involves selecting
your iPhone's settings in iTunes and choosing "General >
Reset All Settings > enter your pin if prompted". That
fix appears to get MMS working, but you may have to reenter your
Passcode, Wi-Fi passwords. You may also lose your VPN
connections and remembered Wi-Fi networks. A perk, though, is
that your apps are arranged alphabetically, something previously not
While the MMS was the big news for iPhone users
this week, a battle
between AT&T and Google somewhat stole the show away from
it. Following the rejection
of the Google Voice app several weeks ago, which allowed cheap
long distance calling and free SMS messaging, Apple initially took
the blame for the rejection when the Federal Communications
Commission launched an inquiry. Apple said it was still working
with Google, but disliked that the app changed and replaced parts of
its interface, which might confuse its customers.
AT&T has issued a second response to the FCC, attacking Google
and taking a very different bent than Apple's conciliatory tone.
AT&T claims that Google Voice violates common carrier laws, by
blocking customers' access to numbers on carriers that charge higher
interconnect fees (such as some rural carriers). The practice
is prohibited for traditional telephone carriers, but its unclear
whether Google Voice would have to abide by the ban as well -- though
AT&T is adamant that it must.
attacked Google in the letter, saying the company's "noisome"
calls for net
neutrality were a bunch of hot air. It said Google's
blocking represents an "intellectual contradiction" as it
argues that the company is discriminating against access to certain
Google quickly fired back with a blog
defending this practice. It says as the service is free,
web-based, invite only, and not designed as a replacement to
traditional services, it does not believe it is subject to these
It goes on to attack rural carriers, quoting AT&T
and other telecoms as saying they "establish grossly excessive
access charges under false pretenses," and "offer kickbacks
to operators of pornographic chat lines and other calling services,"
while linking to supporting sources.
Google concludes its
argument, stating, "AT&T is trying to make this about
Google's support for an open Internet, but the comparison just
doesn't fly. The FCC's open Internet principles apply only to the
behavior of broadband carriers -- not the creators of Web-based
software applications. Even though the FCC does not have jurisdiction
over how software applications function, AT&T apparently wants to
use the regulatory process to undermine Web-based competition and
quote: which virtually can allow anyone to make Wifi calls out side the carriers service
quote: They Charge 60$ for 300 text messages, which is more than the average person texts.
quote: ...A perk, though, is that your apps are arranged alphabetically, something previously not easily done.
quote: This means that iPhones can at last send pictures, video, and audio recordings like users of other smartphones.