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Thread: How To: AT&T locked iPhone 4 MMS working on Straight Talk, no jailbreak.

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    How To: AT&T locked iPhone 4 MMS working on Straight Talk, no jailbreak.

    So you want MMS to work on Straight Talk with your AT&T locked iPhone 4, but you don't want to jailbreak it? Well here's how we got it working. The short version is that you modify the preferences.plist and com.apple.mms_override.plist files in your iPhone backup and restore to the phone using iBackupBot. This is about the iPhone 4 only at this point as the iPhone 4S can be fixed with a T-Mobile SIM swap technique that is well known.

    This was just done today (31-Mar-2012) on an AT&T locked iPhone 4 running unmodified IOS 5.1. It definitely works. The iPhone 4S might work as well, but I haven't tried it as mine worked fine with the T-Mobile SIM swap technique. It has not been tried on an iPhone 3GS either.

    Requirements:
    iPhone 4 locked to AT&T (if it isn't locked to AT&T you don't need this...)
    AT&T compatible micro-SIM from Straight Talk
    Windows or Mac (tested on Mac so far) with iBackupBot
    Unencrypted iPhone backups. (unencrypted is an absolute necessity)
    iPhone Backup Extractor (optional, but highly recommended)


    1. Backup your device fully before changing anything. Please, back it up, you're solely responsible for anything you do that breaks it and you should be ready to restore from a clean backup at any point. If you're backing up via iCloud, also right click on the phone in iTunes and click backup so it backs up locally on your computer. You probably should zip up this backup and stash it somewhere.

    2. Make sure encryption is off for your backups. (This is step 2 because I think you should make a clean backup prior to attempting any changes and you should zip up or otherwise archive that backup) In iTunes you should have "backup to this computer" checked and encryption should not be checked. If it is checked, you'll need to uncheck it, click apply and probably provide the password, then complete a backup. If the checkbox is checked AND greyed out, you'll need to do some extra work. Again, make sure you have a good backup, and archive it somewhere.

    If you can't disable backup encryption because it is greyed out in iTunes, there are generally two things you'll need to change. First, if you have an Exchange account through work, it is likely they are pushing a policy to your phone requiring backup encryption and a passcode etc. You'll need to delete that Exchange account from your phone. It can be added back later easily enough, so don't panic. Second, you may have some profiles under Settings -> General -> Profiles that have passwords (like WiFi configurations) that you put on via iPhone Configuration Utility or Configurator, or your company did, etc. Removing those should allow you to disable backup encryption. You can always add them back as long as you have the .mobileconfig files somewhere.

    NOTE: You may also need to remove your backups that are encrypted and do a new fresh backup with encryption disabled. I don't think you will, but it is possible. If so, BACKUP your BACKUP prior to doing anything. Zip it up, tar it, rsync it somewhere etc.

    3. Use iPhone Backup Extractor to extract "iOS Files" to a temporary directory somewhere. On your Desktop might be a good place. You could call this directory "before" or something reasonable. This step is optional but the copy of the files from before you edit them will be useful if you run into trouble and need to compare (or "diff") the changes you make later against the files from the original backup.

    4. Install iBackupBot (it is $35 and free to try briefly) and launch it. It will grind around looking for backups. Select the appropriate backup for your iPhone 4 and you'll get a list of files. Scroll down to find Library/Preferences/com.apple.mms_override.plist.

    5. Double click to edit Library/Preferences/com.apple.mms_override.plist and make it look like below with just the Proxy setting with ip address : port information. Click save changes on the left of the toolbar. You should also check the box in front of this file.

    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    	<key>MMS</key>
    	<dict>
    		<key>Proxy</key>
    		<string>66.209.11.33:80</string>
    	</dict>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    6. Find SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist (you should check the box to the left here as well) and double-click to edit. It might be above com.apple.mms_override.plist or below it, but it should definitely be there. Click on the binoculars to search for "wap.cingular" and you'll find a section like below.
    If you look above this section in the file you should see some references to "ip3" and this is the only place wap.cingular exists in the file anyway. Change "wap.cingular" to "att.mvno" (as Straight Talk recommends) and save this file.

    Code:
    <key>apn</key>
    <string>wap.cingular</string>
    <key>password</key>
    <string></string>
    7. With Library/Preferences/com.apple.mms_override.plist and SystemConfiguration/preferences.plist both checked, click on File -> Restore and let the restore proceed. It will take about 30 minutes. I think it is restoring this whole backup, not just the two files, but regardless let the restore proceed until it is finished.

    8. MMS should be working now, test it out. If you have any problems use iTunes to backup again, and then iBackupBot to look at com.apple.mms_override.plist and preferences.plist and make sure they're correct.

    9. You can use iPhone Backup Extractor to extract "iOS Files" from your backup into a temporary directory (perhaps "after") and compare the two files in this temporary directory with the one from step 3. You can use something like diff on a Mac. This step is optional, but if you've run into problems, the before & after directories will allow you to compare files more easily.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for taking the time to post this. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. I have a locked, unjailbroken iPhone 4 5.1 w/ATT StraightTalk micro SIM.

    I followed the instructions and resprung, but MMS still does not work. I loaded iBackupBot after the respring and examined the two modified files to ensure that they were indeed modified. The values match what you posted.

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    [deleted some stuff about PDP Contexts that I realized only applies to 4S not 4]

    I'll be porting another iPhone 4 in about a week and will double check everything then, but it should be working. The basic premise is edit the file appropriately and restore it and there are only a couple of fields that need to be different for the MMS.

    Are you using a .mobileconfig file from unlockit.co.nz to set the data APN up? (e.g. is your data working fine?)

    You might try adding a couple more settings to the override file like below. They are the default off an AT&T setup though, and shouldn't need to be overridden normally.

    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    	<key>MMS</key>
    	<dict>
    		<key>MMSC</key>
    		<string>http://mmsc.cingular.com</string>
    		<key>MaxMessageSize</key>
    		<integer>1048576</integer>
    		<key>Proxy</key>
    		<string>66.209.11.33:80</string>
    	</dict>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    Last edited by gillham; 04-01-2012 at 09:26 PM. Reason: removed some info that was about 4S not 4.

  4. #4
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    Thx. I only have a Context 0. There is no context 1,2, or 3
    Yes, I'm using a .mobileconfig from unlockit... Data works fine.

  5. #5
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    I checked on the steps again and my brother thought he had removed the APN profile before doing the restore and reinstalled it afterwards. There maybe some timing interaction that I don't have right in my steps, but I can't verify them without breaking the MMS and redoing it on the working device and my brother doesn't want to risk it. I'll have another iphone 4 to configure next week and I'll be going through this again and can figure out what is different.

    Here is the 'ip3' section from preferences.list, minus a couple of possibly phone specific bits. You might try diffing it against your file, but really the only difference I show against a stock setting is the 'att.mvno' instead of 'wap.cingular' for the APN.

    Do you have a Mac? If so can you run iPhone Configuration Utility with the phone plugged in and check the 'console' tab while trying to sending an MMS. You should see some debug type messages, it would be interesting to know what your phone says.

    Code:
                    <key>00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000</key>
                    <dict>
                            <key>Interface</key>
                            <dict>
                                    <key>DeviceName</key>
                                    <string>ip3</string>
                                    <key>Hardware</key>
                                    <string>com.apple.CommCenter</string>
                                    <key>Type</key>
                                    <string>com.apple.CommCenter</string>
                                    <key>UserDefinedName</key>
                                    <string>com.apple.CommCenter (ip3)</string>
                            </dict>
                            <key>PrimaryRank</key>
                            <string>Never</string>
                            <key>UserDefinedName</key>
                            <string>com.apple.CommCenter (ip3)</string>
                            <key>com.apple.CommCenter</key>
                            <dict>
                                    <key>AllowNetworkAccess</key>
                                    <integer>0</integer>
                                    <key>Available</key>
                                    <integer>1</integer>
                                    <key>Setup</key>
                                    <dict>
                                            <key>apn</key>
                                            <string>att.mvno</string>
                                            <key>password</key>
                                            <string></string>
                                            <key>signature</key>
                                            <data>
                                            ...removed...
                                            </data>
                                            <key>type-mask</key>
                                            <integer>4</integer>
                                            <key>username</key>
                                            <string></string>
                                    </dict>
                                    <key>Version</key>
                                    <integer>11</integer>
                            </dict>
                    </dict>

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    Quote Originally Posted by sracer View Post
    Thank you for taking the time to post this. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. I have a locked, unjailbroken iPhone 4 5.1 w/ATT StraightTalk micro SIM.

    I followed the instructions and resprung, but MMS still does not work. I loaded iBackupBot after the respring and examined the two modified files to ensure that they were indeed modified. The values match what you posted.
    Ok, I just ported an iPhone 4. Initially MMS didn't work for me either. I loaded the unlockit APN after restoring the two files and data was working. I removed and re-added the APN. I backed up the phone and compared the files. The wap.cingular was back in preferences.plist. I changed it and restored it again and now MMS is working.
    So possibly my steps need to account for installing the APN prior to restoring the files. Or there is some other event in the process (like the first attempt to send MMS?) that resets it.

    Can you test a couple of things? Make sure WiFi is off, and the unlockit.co.nz APN is installed. Backup the phone. Check the preferences and mms_override files with iBackupBot. Also use iPhone Backup Extractor to extract the iOS files and look at preferences in particular. Basically to verify whether wap.cingular is back.

    If that is showing 'att.mvno' for ip3, you could try to remove the APN (leaving WiFi off) and then backup. Then check the files. Restore the APN (turn WiFi off when done), reboot, backup and check again.
    Essentially I'm saying check the different states it would be in (APN installed, APN uninstalled, etc) and see if the ip3 APN ever is back to the default wap.cingular value.

    I found that the change to preferences.plist that I restored to the phone prior to installing the APN didn't seem to stick. Restoring it again later after installing the APN, rebooting, testing MMS etc, and it did stick that time.

    I can do some more testing with the phone this weekend probably, but can't reset it right now as it isn't mine and I can't take it out of service for too long at once.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the update.

    Before attempting the following, MMS didn't work, 3G data worked.

    After reading your latest post, I tried the following:

    - Modified mms override file with:
    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    	<key>MMS</key>
    	<dict>
    		<key>MMSC</key>
    		<string>http://mmsc.cingular.com</string>
    		<key>MaxMessageSize</key>
    		<integer>1048576</integer>
    		<key>Proxy</key>
    		<string>66.209.11.33:80</string>
    	</dict>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    (MMS worked, 3G data did not work)

    - Apply unlockit.co.nz APN
    (MMS did not work, 3G data did not work)

    - Modify Preferences.plist (change wap.cingular to att.mvno)
    (MMS worked, 3G data worked)

    Net result: it all works.... including MMS!

    So you are correct in concluding that some sequence of events is resetting the values.

    THANK YOU!!!!

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    gillham.. you are the MAN!! thank you... I tested and it is working!

    My only question is I'm running 5.0.1, if I upgrade to 5.1 does it restore the default values or should it be good going forward?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgenius View Post
    gillham.. you are the MAN!! thank you... I tested and it is working!

    My only question is I'm running 5.0.1, if I upgrade to 5.1 does it restore the default values or should it be good going forward?
    Good question. My phones (& my brother's) are all 5.1 so I can't say. Obviously you can redo the edit/restore parts if it doesn't work as I know 5.1 is working. There is a decent chance that the settings will get restored, but also if there is a newer AT&T carrier file it might overwrite it.

    If you're planning on upgrading to 5.1 it would be great if you could report back about it.

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    Could someone repeat the steps in layman's terms for me. Also does it work on 3gs or just 4's?

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    an even simpler method...

    if you've jailbroken on a previous FW and edited the mms settings, just back it up on itunes
    (if you havent already) and restore that backup once you update or un-jailbreak. i havent had to edit apn values or plist files since i first got my iphone 4 on 4.2.1. im on 5.0.1 now

    this method is better for future use rather than now, but a simpler one none the less.
    The story of your life:
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    I have a locked unjailbroken iphone 4 and mms worked form the start of my straight talk activation.

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    I'm currently jailbroken with edited APN settings. Can I backup, then restore from this backup (essentially wiping the jb) and it'd work? My only tweak from the jb is TetherMe lol.

    Also, everyone that's saying MMS worked from the get-go, is that ALL MMS or are you referring to iMessage which will send MMS because it uses data/wifi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FAC3L3SS View Post
    I'm currently jailbroken with edited APN settings. Can I backup, then restore from this backup (essentially wiping the jb) and it'd work? My only tweak from the jb is TetherMe lol.

    Also, everyone that's saying MMS worked from the get-go, is that ALL MMS or are you referring to iMessage which will send MMS because it uses data/wifi.
    I don't have iMessage turned on and tested to both iPhones and to a friend's android and I can say it is absolutely working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FAC3L3SS View Post
    I'm currently jailbroken with edited APN settings. Can I backup, then restore from this backup (essentially wiping the jb) and it'd work? My only tweak from the jb is TetherMe lo)
    yep

    but id keep it b/c restoring will only update your fw.
    and if you havent already, give SBsettings a try. does wonders for battery life (if your into that sorta thing lol)

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