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Thread: AT&T MVNO with actual working MMS over WiFi Calling?

  1. #1
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    AT&T MVNO with actual working MMS over WiFi Calling?

    As it says in the title...does such a beast exist?

    In my previous experience last year with multiple SIM cards across various ATT-side TF brands, I could get VoLTE and WiFi Calling working, but only up to a point: everything worked EXCEPT the ability to send/receive MMS while on WiFi. Voice calls over WiFI worked fine, regular SMS over WiFi worked fine. Just MMS was borked.

    And the problem was definitely network-side since I tried the same SIMs across multiple different phone models, both Android and iPhone. And at the same time I could take a postpaid ATT SIM from a friend, stick it into those same phones, and have functioning MMS over WiFi on the exact same devices.

    Eventually I gave up and moved my number over to Boom, who has its ATT SIMs provisioned more like postpaid ones, and...whaddya know: MMS over WiFi started working for me.

    But now Boom! Blue is (seemingly) going away, so I have to go through this song-and-dance ALL OVER AGAIN.

    From what I can tell while investigating the issue at a low level, the problem comes down to what APNs AT&T allows to work over WiFi. The 'ims' APN dedicated to voice calls works over WiFi, and if you have either ATT postpaid or Boom Blue (& I think maybe ATT-branded prepaid), the APN that is used for all data INCLUDING MMS, 'nxtgenphone', also works over WiFi.

    But if you are on virtually any other ATT MVNO -- e.g, TF-branded ATT SIM, or Pure Talk, or Consumer Cellular, or (seemingly) Red Pocket, etc. -- those all use a different data APN: 'RESELLER'. And it doesn't appear that ATT has their ePDG set up to allow that APN to be used over WiFi, which is TOTALLY DUMB because there is then no available data path for MMS to take when you aren't directly connected to a cell tower. So you're screwed.

    I'm wondering if perhaps AT&T has fixed this in the time between when I last tried it nearly a year ago and today. If anybody using any AT&T MVNO out there has *first-hand experience* with this actually working on your phone, I'd love confirmation. (And if you are on iPhone, make sure you are testing to/from a non-iPhone number so that you know for sure you aren't just sending iMessages!)

    I do find it mind-blowing that 1) such an obvious thing is broken (or at least seemed not to work when I tried it previously), and that 2) nobody is really talking much about it. #2 makes me wonder if it was "just me", but I also wonder if either so many people use iPhones (where most of their non-pure-text traffic is going to be via iMessage anyway) and/or if MMS has largely fallen out of use for most people who are using other third-party messaging alternatives most of the time. If so, then perhaps few people have even noticed that it's broken, or care to raise a stink about it.

    Thanks!!

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    It works on AT&T Prepaid although not an MVNO. Tested with an iPhone to non iPhone number.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    I recently tried this on Puretalk and it did not work.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

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    Thank you! That's what I expected/feared.

    I assumed ATT Prepaid would work given its use of the 'nxtgenphone' APN, but it's nice to have confirmation. I'd rather not go that route if I can avoid it, though, just given the reports about how aggressive they have proven to be with on-holding SIMs used in phones that aren't on their VoLTE "whitelist". So even if you have a phone model that isn't whitelisted by them but which is still 100% possible to get VoLTE working on via, erm, shall we say "modifications", I suspect you're going to constantly be fighting them on that. Whereas ATT wholesale accounts like the ones that Boom appeared to use were treated in a fairly hands-off fashion.

    I'm wondering if MVNOs like FreeUP that use the 'PRODATA' APN have this same issue or not. I'm half-tempted to trial them for a month with a throwaway number just to see. My fear is that it'll be just like all of the others, though, esp. since 'PRODATA' is known to have been used by TF and others in the past. So my guess is that they're basically treated like all of the others on ATT's back-end systems.

    ARGH AT&T FIX THIS STUPID PROBLEM ALREADY.

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    I THINK it's working on Tracfone now -- I am able to send and receive picture messages to/from my Tracfone AT&T SIM with Airplane Mode on and Wi-Fi calling enabled (my carrier shows "TFW Wi-Fi").

    The AT&T TF SIM is in an iPhone XS, but the other device is running Android 7 (so it's not using iMessage) with a T-Mobile SIM.

    If you want me to try any special combinations or another type of file, let me know -- I've got a few active SIMs on various carriers.

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    Reeeeeeally! Hmmm. Well, that's very interesting, and gives me hope. Maybe they have finally fixed it? It definitely did not work for me on either TF or ST last summer & autumn.

    I'm not sure about going (back) to TF, for multiple reasons...first, they also seemed to enforce the ATT whitelist pretty heavily (one day my SIM would have VoLTE and WFC provisioned on it, the next it would not, and seemingly the only way to get it back was to transfer my service to another new SIM, which might have those features working for a month or a day before they also got blocked on it...), but second, with VZ acquiring them, it's almost a sure thing that they will be discontinuing ATT service at some point.

    But if it actually works with their service on "approved" phones, that at least gives me hope that it might possibly be working with other MVNOs now, too.

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    I can test on Net10 if you're interested. It would be from Android on Net10 (spouse's phone) to iOS on TracFone (my phone) if it matters.

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    Consumer Cellular - you have to request AT&T SIM - has WiFi calling and supports MMS on iPhones; not sure about Android b/c we don’t have one anymore…
    Trying to come up with some sort of signature line...

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    malet,

    Do both phones (the Android on AT&T Net10 and the iPhone on AT&T Tracfone) have functional WiFi Calling? Or does only one of the phones have WiFi Calling (if so, I'm guessing it's the iPhone)? Either way, that would be great...you would just need to put whichever phone has WiFi Calling (both, if both do, just to keep it interesting) into Airplane Mode to ensure it's not on the cellular network, then enable WiFi separately, and then try to send a picture text from one to the other & vice-versa.

    Mr. D.,

    Whether it "supports MMS on iPhones" is a different & completely separate question/issue than the one I'm asking about. I am aware that when it comes to AT&T MVNOs, there have historically been problems with some of them where, when the SIM is used in an iPhone, MMS just doesn't work, period. And that this has to do with whether Apple is including the particular MVNO's MMS APN within the iOS "carrier settings" for AT&T.

    That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is a situation where MMS will work normally when you are connected to the cell network, but will *not* work when you are *only* connected to a WiFi network with WiFi Calling enabled on your phone. When I tested this on Tracfone and Straight Talk last year, this didn't work on ANY phone: Android, iOS, whatever...they all failed to send or receive MMS with the TF or ST SIM while that phone was only connected to WiFi. The problem wasn't with general MMS support on iOS, which Tracfone has, just the same as Consumer Cellular has. The problem was specifically with the ability to send MMSes *over WiFi*, and regardless of phone OS or manufacturer (so long as that particular phone model was "supported" by AT&T for WiFi Calling).

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    I thought I had it, at least one way, then realized that it must have jumped over to another iPhone on a different number to send. This stuff is hard to test when you have multiple iPhones.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current primary phone. And also have a Galaxy a10e as a backup travel phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevink1 View Post
    I thought I had it, at least one way, then realized that it must have jumped over to another iPhone on a different number to send. This stuff is hard to test when you have multiple iPhones.
    Not entirely clear to me what you're saying here. First, I thought you were on Boom Blue, where this is known to work (at least it works for me...). Second, if you're insinuating that you thought you were testing MMS but it turned out it got sent as an iMessage, and you only have iPhones to test with (there's no number you can send a picture-text to that is not an iPhone), you can force iMessage off on your phone as another means of testing this.

    Do you have a non-Boom ATT account on another MVNO? If so, with whom?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanA View Post
    Not entirely clear to me what you're saying here. First, I thought you were on Boom Blue, where this is known to work (at least it works for me...). Second, if you're insinuating that you thought you were testing MMS but it turned out it got sent as an iMessage, and you only have iPhones to test with (there's no number you can send a picture-text to that is not an iPhone), you can force iMessage off on your phone as another means of testing this.

    Do you have a non-Boom ATT account on another MVNO? If so, with whom?
    I also have a number on H2O Wireless that I use as my home number. PPU, so I have cellular disabled. I thought I've tested MMS with it in the past (sending to an Android phone to try to avoid iMessage). I had 1 way MMS, but realized that it used iMessage to send it via my Boom iPhone. So didn't actually go wi-fi, even though my H2O iPhone does wi-fi calling on the ATT network.

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    Quote Originally Posted by high technology View Post
    I THINK it's working on Tracfone now -- I am able to send and receive picture messages to/from my Tracfone AT&T SIM with Airplane Mode on and Wi-Fi calling enabled (my carrier shows "TFW Wi-Fi").

    The AT&T TF SIM is in an iPhone XS, but the other device is running Android 7 (so it's not using iMessage) with a T-Mobile SIM.

    If you want me to try any special combinations or another type of file, let me know -- I've got a few active SIMs on various carriers.
    Forgot to reply, I tested the same. Airplane mode on, WiFi Calling on for an AT&T TF SIM. Showed "TFW Wi-Fi" and I was able to send an MMS to an Android on another network. This was on an iPhone 12. My SIM was only recently provisioned for 5G; WiFi Calling + VoLTE maybe a year and a half ago?
    Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is my drug of choice.

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    Thanks. Two separate confirmation reports of this working on TF is a good sign. Here's hoping this success extends beyond just TF.

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    Updates:

    I got myself a FreeUP SIM to test. It absolutely does not work. They list 'PRODATA' as the APN to use on their site, though I also tested with 'RESELLER' and that APN also allowed me to connect and get LTE data with the same SIM. But regardless of which APN I used, MMS over WiFi was dead in water.

    So scratch that one.

    Though they don't appear to have updated their site yet, TF and subsidiaries apparently went through an APN change to 'ERESELLER' about half-a-year ago or so (just based on other unrelated discussions I found). I also tore apart the most recent iOS carrier profile for TF ATT and see that they have switched to using 'ERESELLER' there, too, which definitely wasn't the case a year ago when I was beating my head into a wall over this. What with these recent reports here of success with TF ATT, it makes me wonder if the two are related.

    To that end, I tried using 'ERESELLER' on FreeUP. That APN is clearly not even provisioned on my FreeUP SIM's account as I could not get LTE data with it.

    At the same time, I've also been playing with a Mint Mobile (T-Mobile of course) 7-day trial SIM (and, yes, confirmed that T-M coverage in my area is still as crap as ever). Had a similar problem with them, until I discovered that their main data APN ('wholesale') does NOT work over WiFi...you have to use a *different* APN ('service') over WiFi specifically for talking to their MMSC server. If you configure your phone properly ('wholesale' main APN as just data, and a separate 'service' MMS-only APN), then MMS over WiFi *works*! So there clearly are operators that employ a split/dual-APN strategy when it comes to enabling this feature (why? not clear to me...it can't be because they want to make their MMSC only accessible over the one APN for "security" reasons or what-have-you, because I tested them, and *both* APNs work perfectly fine for *both* internet access *and* MMS, sooo...whatever).

    So, theory time: back when TF ATT and other MVNOs were using either PRODATA and/or RESELLER (often either would work), MMS over WiFi was broken because ATT did not have their side configured to allow either APN to be connected to over WiFi (i.e., their ePDG would not allow a bearer to be brought up on the 'RESELLER' PDN). This is a big oversight & they made sure not to make the same mistake with their direct customers using 'nxtgenphone'. But I'm guessing they corrected this mistake with this new 'ERESELLER' APN, and perhaps that is even this new APN's reason for being. (Why they couldn't just fix the network-side config of the existing APNs instead of coming up with yet another one is anyone's guess...)

    FreeUP seems to not be set up to have access to this new APN, and since the old MVNO APNs are still broken in this regard, there's probably no hope of getting this fixed for FreeUP customers until/unless they also get all of their SIMs access to 'ERESELLER'.

    Interestingly, a friend of mine with (IIRC) Galaxy S20 just switched to Red Pocket GSMA, which is documented to use 'ERESELLER' per their own web site (can also confirm this by looking at their iOS carrier profile). And yet when I asked him to perform the MMS over WiFi test, his phone failed to send. That said, jury's out whether this is because Red Pocket still for some reason doesn't have this working *despite* use of the 'ERESELLER' APN, or whether this is the fault of my friend's phone's config: I checked the APNs on his phone and it has 2: one default, and one for MMS. But they were *both* set to 'RESELLER' (so clearly their customers also still have access to this older APN, too...), and to make matters worse the main one isn't editable or delete-able (so probably some garbage one built-in by Samsung?). I tried setting the MMS-only one to 'ERESELLER' but it still didn't work, and I suspect that's because the main one's APN type includes "mms" in it (e.g., "default,mms,supl") so it's getting picked by the phone regardless. He'll probably have to root the phone to fix this...sigh.

    I am very likely going to give RP GSMA a try for at least a month, and will be porting over in the next day or so, so I hope to be able to 100% confirm either working or non-working MMS over WiFi for y'all soon...

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