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


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.

See also:  BestMVNO Awards: Best Of 2016, Year In Review

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.


Joe is the founder of BestMVNO.com. He started BestMVNO in 2013, because like many of you, he was unhappy with the high price he was paying his wireless provider for cell phone service. After researching how to cut costs on his phone bill, he came across the terms 'MVNO' and 'prepaid wireless', and learned there was a way he could keep using his favorite network without having to pay a premium price for it. Since then, through BestMVNO.com, Joe has been sharing his research about MVNOs and prepaid wireless so that others can learn how to save money on their own phone bills. Joe's current provider is T-Mobile Prepaid. For inquiries Contact JP

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3 Comments on "Will Your iPhone Work Properly With An MVNO? New Feature From BestMVNO.com"

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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?