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What is happening with 3G?
scottmbritton's profile

Contributor

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2 Messages

Monday, April 11th, 2016 7:32 PM

Microcell MMS file size limitation. Images sent on wireless network will fail on microcell

The AT&T wireless in my area of town is really saturated and while I get a good signal 3to4 bars it's not usable for sms, mms, or data during most of the day. Late at night and randomly during certain days it seems to work great, but isn't reliable. I setup my Microcell (153) this week and it seems to work well. I get good coverage. Shows full bars. Calls work great. Plain sms is working fine with no problems. For data I get about 2.5mb/s download and .18mb/s upload on average using speedtest. The upload pretty much sucks, but I have wifi in my house and don't need to use the Microcell data for the most part. The one frustrating thing I am noticing is that I can not send MMS messages larger than 420KB

 

I tested for more than I wanted to today. Resizing images and trying to send. My results are below.

 

  • Size 447K and up fail to send. This number is random as I was skipping large ranges trying to find where it would work. I was thinking maybe under 500K would work, but nope.
  • Size 431K - 423K At this size MMS go through but the return receipt doesn't come in and the messaging app keeps trying to send. I ended up getting 3 of the same images on the receiving device and a failed to send message on the sending device. At the smaller sizes 423K, 426K, they would actually go through occasionally with return receipt and I thought maybe I found the sweet spot, but after testing consecutive times it wasn't consistent enough and I got to many duplicate messages on the receiving device.
  • Under 420K, 419.1K At this size I was able to send an MMS 10 times in a row with a return receipt and had no failures or duplicate mms on the receiving device.

 

Why is this so low? On the AT&T network I can take pictures and send them out with no need to resize. They just go through. In my house if I take a picture and try to send, it will fail. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do?

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

8 years ago

Your data speeds are about what is to be expected from the MicroCell. Around 3-5Mbs down (3.0Mbps is what AT&T claims but there is some variability) and around 512kbps up.

 

The MicroCell is primarily a voice device that can handle data, but is not meant to be a fully capable replacement for a tower connection. It is also limited to 3G connectivity.

 

Do you leave WiFi enabled on your phone? Some phones handle MMS/SMS differently and use WiFi to send the "data", which would go over your WiFi connection and not use the MicroCell's 3G protocols. Android-based phones typically have MMS/SMS issues with the MicroCell. I can send/receive 1.0MB pics via my iPhone with no issues at all other than the bigger the pic, the slower the send/receive. And it doesn't make a difference if I send to or receive from an iPhone or an Android-based phone. My guess is that there is a time-out issue with Android OS related to the size of the pic. There really isn't a fix, only workarounds.

Employee

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3.5K Messages

8 years ago

0.18 megabits upload is well below the needed uplink which is 768 kilobits per second, or 0.768 megabits per second.

Contributor

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2 Messages

8 years ago

I should have included those details.  I have an Android Galaxy Note 3.  It doesn't use wifi to send MMS unfortunetly so I am stuck on the MicroCell.  My other option is an iPhone and iMessage like you said but I would still have problems sending MMS to users that don't have iMessage.

 

The .18 is the upload speed when my phone is connected to the MicroCell with wifi off.  My home internet upload speed is 12Mbps.

 

 

Employee

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3.5K Messages

8 years ago

Oh, ok. Well that should be fine. Hmm, whenever my LG V10 or ZMAX2 does MMS on my MicroCell I am able to send up to the 1MB limit basically. Takes a bit, but it works.

 

Port forwarding setup on the router?

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

8 years ago


@scottmbritton wrote:

I should have included those details.  I have an Android Galaxy Note 3.  It doesn't use wifi to send MMS unfortunetly so I am stuck on the MicroCell.  My other option is an iPhone and iMessage like you said but I would still have problems sending MMS to users that don't have iMessage.

 

The .18 is the upload speed when my phone is connected to the MicroCell with wifi off.  My home internet upload speed is 12Mbps.

 

 


I can send/receive a pic via iMessage to a non-iPhone and it works just fine, albeit slower. As I suspected, this is an Android issue. If memory serves me correctly it was first reported on a Galaxy Note 3. Speed is sort of irrelevant as long as you can maintain a consistent 3.0Mbps down and 512kbps up. AT&T claims 1.5Mbps down and 128kbps up for the MicroCell but that is not realistic. If your line is a DSL line then it could be related to the quality of your line. In which case running a VoIP test at different times of the day to get an average picture of your line quality may be of use (voiptest.8x8.com). This is covered in my Tech Guide (link in my sig). If it is a line quality issue, only your ISP can correct it because AT&T has no control over your line.

 

The issue that some face with the Android OS is called device fragmentation. There are over 12,000 Android-based devices in the wild so the OS is tweaked to make each device unique and different from another and to expand the feature set. Added on top of that is what the carriers add to make that Android device "better" on their network. That can, and does, create huge compatiblity issues across devices. The Apple iOS, on the other hand, is locked down so tightly so issues like that are rare. That doesn't mean that iOS is better than Android, only different. Both have their pros and cons. A pure Android OS is very stable and robust. It's all the open-source baggage that is laid on top that can cause issues. We've even seen Android devices play extremely well with the MicroCell, but as soon as the OS is updated, MMS/SMS issues may arise. Samsung has been aware of this for a very long time but we have not seen any indication of them working with AT&T, and vice versa, to resolve this.

 

If your home internet upload speed is 12Mbps, and you're only getting 180kbps up from your phone then probably something other than the MicroCell is slowing it down.

 

Who is your ISP? Does your router and/or gateway meet the minimum configuration specs given for the MicroCell? Do you have another VoIP service as well?

Professor

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2.2K Messages

8 years ago

This looks like a time-out issue due to the low upload speed via the Mcell.  Definitely need to run the VOIP test a few times and report the results here.  See the Tech Guide for instructions on how to do this.

 

Quite honestly, if you have the money and the desire to eliminate Mcell problems in your home, get an iPhone 6 or newer and go with WiFi Calling instead (if it is available in your area).  It is a much more reliable solution for poor cell tower coverage than the Mcell can ever hope to be.

 

I've been running WiFi-C on my iPhone 6 since AT&T first activated it last year and ditched my Mcell.  I have had zero problems since then.

 

I know this isn't the solution you want to hear but it is ultimately the best one in the long run, IMHO.

ACE - Expert

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24.8K Messages

8 years ago

I agree with Avedis53. WiFi-C (WiFi Calling) is the way to go. However, it is not available for Android devices probably because of device fragmentation so Apple 6 and above is the only option. The newly released Apple 5SE is capable of WiFi calling that's a slightly cheaper option than the iPhone 6.

Scholar

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184 Messages

8 years ago

If the size of the file you are trying to use is to large for the transfer, I would consider downloading something like 'Send Anywhere' which is an app that allows you to send any size file. Make sure the recipient of the phone is compatible to what you are sending and has the app aswell.

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