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Breaking News: September 25 for MMS on the iPhone

Mel Martin

Hot off the proverbial presses. Finally, AT&T has a date for MMS! The word came to me a few minutes ago from Brad Mays of AT&T.

The date is September 25th, which does indeed fall a few days past the official end of summer. It was important to give our customers a positive experience from day one. We support more iPhone customers than any other carrier in the world so we took the time necessary to make sure our network is ready to handle what we expect will be a record volume of MMS traffic. We truly appreciate our customers' patience and hope they'll understand our desire to get it right from the start.

The service will be enabled with a software update on the launch date. Customers can obtain the update from iTunes, just like all other iPhone updates.

As for tethering, by its nature, this function could exponentially increase traffic on the network, and we need to ensure that some of our current upgrades are in place before we can deliver the expanded functionality with the excellent performance that customers expect. We expect to offer tethering in the future.

He also added some comments on the network in general:
The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone's multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One. We appreciate your patience as we work toward that end.

We're riding the leading edge of smartphone growth that's resulted in an explosion of traffic over the AT&T network. Wireless use on our network has grown an average of 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and is projected to continue at a rapid pace in 2009 and beyond. The volume of smartphone data traffic the AT&T network is handling is unmatched in the wireless industry. We want you to know that we're working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to stay ahead of the anticipated growth in data demand, new devices and applications for years to come.
So there you have it. As you can see, AT&T isn't saying much about tethering. It may be more than the current network can stand. At least some good news for a change. We'll keep you posted.

Reminder: MMS will only work on iPhone 3G and 3GS models.

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