iPhone: Enable MMS on an Unsupported Carrier

If you are using an unofficial carrier, you might find yourself running into problems when trying to set up mobile internet settings of MMS settings.

This problem seems to be kicking around the Net, and nobody else seems to have posted a concise answer.

No matter whether your iPhone is factory unlocked, officially unlocked, or even jailbroken and unlocked with BootNeuter or ultrasn0w, unless you use an official carrier, you can run in to problems.

An official carrier is one that sells the iPhone. Unfortunately for me, I use Virgin Mobile in the UK, and I have a contract SIM in my iPhone that I used to used with my Android phone.

My Virgin Mobile SIM automatically picked up the mobile internet APN settings, and I was surfing over 3G within seconds of popping it in my iPhone. But when I tried to send a picture to my wife via MMS, it kept failing.

When you’re with a supported carrier, you simply go in to Settings > General > Network, and there is an option for “Mobile Data Network” so you can manually input your settings.

However, that option was missing, and this appears to be a common problem with some carriers.

Here is the answer, and it is quite a simple, but like most things, it can infuriate you.

With your iPhone on and activated, simply pop in a SIM from a supported carrier. I put in an O2 UK SIM, and, lo and behold, the option appeared under Network, enabling me to put in custom settings.

I then input the details for Virgin Mobile UK.

Once done, take out the supported SIM, pop in your old one, and you should be good to go.

Test it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, try a reboot of your iPhone. If that doesn’t work, double check that you have typed in the correct details.

Finally, if it does work, when you connect it to iTunes, it might ask you to update your Carrier settings – decline, or it could undo your tweaking.

After hours of tweaking and trying various methods, including the custom APN suggested on www.unlockit.co.nz, this method worked within minutes.

This works on the iPhone 3G and 3GS. It may also work with an original iPhone, jailbroken with the MMS add-on installed.


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