We’ll call this one better late than never. AT&T (s t) is launching MMS for the Apple’s iPhone (s aapl) on September 25th. While not within an earlier expectation of “by end of summer”, it’s pretty darn close. And after all, iPhone owners have waited this long, so what’s a few more days? Here’s some of the official word:
“We know many of our iPhone customers are eager for an update on our rollout schedule for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). We’ve been working for the past several months to prepare our systems and network to ensure the best possible experience with MMS when it launches – and that launch date is: September 25 for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers. MMS will be enabled through a software update on that day.
We know that iPhone users will embrace MMS. 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.”
Based on these statements, it sounds to me like the recent and ongoing 850MHz network upgrades in major metropolitan areas weren’t the only upgrades to combat heavy iPhone usage. AT&T knows that with MMS, even more backhaul bandwidth will be needed to ensure the flow of those short vids and pics flying to and from iPhones all over the country. Last I heard, AT&T was going to use the text message allotment for MMS messages, but there’s no official word on that or any other potential pricing just yet.
Update: According to an AT&T PR representative, in terms of pricing there will be “no additional charge to customers with a text messaging bundle and no separate monthly charge to use if you don’t have a bundle.”
Also for your enjoyment while waiting for September 25th to arrive is this YouTube video featuring MMS on the iPhone. Thanks for the tip, Ben!