Multimedia Messaging Service is coming to the iPhone on September 25, AT&T just announced in a press release. The service will be available at no additional cost to iPhone customers with a text messaging plan (which start at about $20). But there’s still no word on tethering (which allows your computer to access the internet via the iPhone’s data connection).
The MMS announcement comes as AT&T draws fire for its slow, unreliable data network. MMS is likely to put more strain on the network, but AT&T claims it is ready.
“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.
The MMS service will allow iPhone users to send and receive messages containing images, audio, video. MMS is widely available in other countries, and can be enabled on many iPhones with a simple hack.
Tethering is not likely to be announced for several months as AT&T builds out its network with 2,100 cell towers and 100,000 new backhaul links.