Straight Talk: slight trouble in MMS paradise

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Straight TalkSo, after months of good service, Straight Talk / TracFone suddenly sent me “Please restart your phone to apply settings” type of message. Looks like they have modified their APN settings (used to be AT&T MVNO and now it’s more “TracFone”-like “tfdata”). I rebooted my phone, and everything seemed to be fine. Except my MMS is now somewhat wonky.

Specifically, looks like there are problems with larger image sizes — service refuses to download picture MMS for whatever reason and everything was consistently failing. I saw some people claim that “resetting their billing cycle” helped, but I don’t think this is relevant.

So far the shamanic way to make MMS work again is:
1. Make sure your APN is set to “new” stuff (APN: tfdata, MMSC: http://mms-tf.net, MMS PROXY: mms3.tracfone.com,
MMS PORT: 80, MMS_APN: tfdata)
2. Turn off WiFi
3. Send yourself a small MMS message. Tiny picture. A short audio file. Something that would still make an MMS but also would be small
4. Wait for it to be received by your phone

At this time phone should be able to successfully retrieve the picture. After that you can re-connect to WiFi and it will still work, plus you can download all previously failed messages too.

Hopefully this will help you too 🙂

Frankly, I’d rather then fix their finicky MMS service center 😛 Come on, it’s almost 2014. Having weird issues like that is inexcusable. We used to have to send MMS to ourself to indicate to service center that phone is MMS capable, but these days it shouldn’t be necessary.

Now, on a good side, data is still quite fast, albeit in the middle of the night. Almost 20Mbps down and 2Mbps up on AT&T’s LTE network for same price…
speed_dec_6

Still worth it 🙂

p.s. the other thing I’ve noticed was that from time to time browser gets redirected to some IP address but then goes back to original page. I am not yet sure if this is related, but just opening a web page could be one of those “magically helps to resolve non-downloading of MMS” thing. I wonder if they are trying to clamp down on people trying to tether “unofficially” via their sim cards, and in the process broke MMS delivery (which is incapable of downloading content unless APN is happy with the device)

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