AT&T “Extremely Nervous” About MMS Launch, Cites Internal Source

Trade web site DSLReports has cited an internal source claiming wireless carrier AT&T to be “extremely nervous” about the impending launch of MMS for the iPhone scheduled for this Friday. Per the story, early testing of the service has apparently already placed a strain on the company’s MMS servers, resulting in a test outage yesterday and a last-minute rush to beef up capacity beyond the measures already taken.

AT&T and its MMS partners are already seeing “record traffic during peak hours of the night” with just the users selected for testing.

Following the rocky initial test results and test outage, engineers are apparently rushing to beef up the MMSC servers. Current estimates among those working on the project are that traffic on AT&T’s wireless network will be about 40% higher all day on Friday as iPhone users fire pictures and video at one another.

The source also revealed AT&T’s plans for rolling out the service on Friday, with deployments scheduled in groups to begin at 10:00 AM Eastern time and new groups being activated on an hourly basis after that in order to slowly ramp demand and gauge service performance.

“Starting at 10AM Eastern (on the 25), AT&T will send out a mass text to a group of iPhone users telling them that MMS now works on their phone,” says one source familiar with AT&T’s MMS plans. “They will keep doing groups of phones on the hour throughout the day” assuming all goes well, says the source.

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