I am giving my daughter her first phone, a Pantech Link, for her birthday in a couple of weeks. I added her as a $10 line to our family plan and giving her 200 messages for $5. I put a data block as well as smart limits on the line as I don't want ANY surprises.
I have been testing the phone out. Voice calls and text messages work as expected. Data applications do not, as expected. However MMS messages do NOT work. I realize MMS is in fact a service that consumes data. But isn't there a way to set up the APN or something so MMS messages would at least work with data block turned on?
According to this, you can't edit the default browser profile. I don't see anything stating that you can't create a new profile, though.
If you can set up a new browser profile and set it as the default, that should accomplish what you're looking for. The profile is where you would put the APN, and you would want to have a completely invalid (perhaps blank) APN. When using a browser profile with invalid settings, the phone won't be able to use data for internet. Because the MMS settings are elsewhere, this typically doesn't affect MMS.
You also will need to remove the data block from the line. If data is blocked from the carrier, nothing you do on the phone will enable internet or MMS. The phone may try, but there's no data connection for it to use. The APN trick gets the phone, not the carrier, to disable internet. The data connection is available, but without a valid browser profile, the phone can only use it for MMS.
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I do it the other way, using the $15 Data unlimited plan but with SMS/MMS both cut off and blocked because I consider the pricing for "messaging" to be unacceptable. Oh I message all right but via the data plan using S/E mail tool and sometimes gmail applet but not any cingular/AT&T supplied software.
In your situation I would worry about whether the "smart" limits actually work. Some kids can go thru 200 "messages" an hour.