Will Your iPhone Work Properly On An MVNO?
Will Your iPhone Work Properly On An MVNO?


Do something awesome, share this post with a friend on:

Apple's iconic iPhone is loved by many, but there is a problem with it.  If you want to use it with an MVNO, you may find out the hard way, meaning after you spent your hard earned money on a new plan and provider, that you can't send or receive MMS picture messages with it.  This issue mostly impacts AT&T MVNO's.

iPhone Cellular Data Configuration Setting
Apple iPhone's Cellular Data Configuration Setting

The potential reason for this problem has previously been described through articles on BestMVNO.com that can be found both here and here .  It seems that Apple likely wants compensation in some form or another from the MVNO in order to make the iPhone's cellular data configuration setting visible to the end user.  Without access to this setting, subscribers can't configure their network's APN setting properly which is needed to allow MMS picture messages to be sent and received.

More technologically inclined iPhone owners have found workarounds to this problem.  Some have been able to jailbreak their phone to get it to work, while others simply port their number to a service like Google Voice and use that to send and receive picture messages.  Of course, neither of these solutions is a good fit for everyone.  Unfortunately, this means that a particular MVNO plan may not be a good fit for all iPhone owners.

To help eliminate the potential surprise that may come to an iPhone owner after switching providers, I have added a warning to select phone plans that states if switching to that plan will cause a loss of MMS function.   You can see an example of what such a warning looks like in the picture below.

Cell phone plan iPhone MMS warning
Cell phone plan description's now list whether or not an iPhone user will be able to send and receive MMS messages.

This is a new feature that was just added to BestMVNO, and consequently, a few plans may not have this label when they should.   If you think a plan should have this warning, or you are an MVNO that just got this problem resolved, send me an email so I can make the necessary changes to the website.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this makes finding your next cell phone plan a little bit easier.


Category  Featured Stories

Leave A Comment

Do something awesome for BestMVNO, and share with a friend on:

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
esc0Joe Paonessa Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Any idea if this is still a problem?


“You can only edit or view your APN if your carrier allows it.” This is from Apple’s support page. Very funny if you ask me. Apple is making me think twice about being an avid iPhone user.



Is it safe to assume all T-Mobile MVNOs pay Apple this blackmail fee? Or maybe T-Mobile collects the fee for Apple from all MVNOs when signing up with T-Mobile?