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SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

Contributor

SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

The iPhone sends MMS (multimedia messages with photos, etc) or SMS (simple text messages) depending on whether you are sending to an Android or iPhone user. And for some cases, I think, you need Cellular turned on. If the goal is to minimize data usage what setting should be used on an iPhone to:

- send SMS to an iPhone

- send SMS to an Android

- send MMS to an iPhone

- send MMS to an Android

And in what cases is Cellular data required vs WiFi?

Regular Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

MMS requires data to be turned on to send and recieve. SMS works on Wi-Fi with data turned off.
Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

Thanks you. One reason I am confused is this in the Xfinity Mobile FAQs:

 

"Your text messages—including SMS and MMS—are covered in the unlimited nationwide texting that's included with all Xfinity Mobile lines. They do not count toward your data usage. If you're an iPhone user, your iMessages do count as data. ..."

 

But my understanding based on articles is this (for iPhone users):

- to send MMS to an Android user, Cellular data must be turned on

- I can send iMessages via WiFi (between iPhone users), so iMessages wouldn't count as data.

Regular Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

I have an I phone and do not use I message so what you say may be true. When I turn on data to send or receive SMS it appears to use little or no data but when I am done the data goes off. If you send and receive a lot of SMS you can try turning data on and all the background stuff off with the exception of messaging and watch your data usage . I am on by the gig with two lines and have not passed the 100 mb in 6 months of service . My wife and I are in our seventies so we use our phones for (gasp!) talking and some texting so we use mostly Wifi on the home network. Her LG X Charge from XM sends and receives SMS on wifi with the data off just fine so it is an iPhone thing.
Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

Ha! My wife and I are in the same boat, and have a challenge to see if we can go for <100MB/month. So far, so good, since we use "data" on wi-fi, and mainly use our phones as phones, not remote computers. The iMessages I mention runs underneath the iPhone Messages app. You can tell when you are using it when sending to another iPhone user and the bubble surrounding the text is blue. Otherwise, it is green. Congratulations on your six months record!
Valued Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

My understanding (and test finding) is that you can send SMS with both wifi and cellular data off. You must turn on celluar data to send MMS but Xfinity Mobile does not count those against cellular usage. MMS cannot be sent using wifi. You can send iMessages on either wifi or celluar data. If your goal is to minimize data usage, I think you only need to make sure iMessages are sent via wifi and not celluar data.

@johnsbaker wrote:

Thanks you. One reason I am confused is this in the Xfinity Mobile FAQs:

 

"Your text messages—including SMS and MMS—are covered in the unlimited nationwide texting that's included with all Xfinity Mobile lines. They do not count toward your data usage. If you're an iPhone user, your iMessages do count as data. ..."

 

But my understanding based on articles is this (for iPhone users):

- to send MMS to an Android user, Cellular data must be turned on

- I can send iMessages via WiFi (between iPhone users), so iMessages wouldn't count as data.


Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

That all seems to fit with what I am seeing during my testing. Thanks very much for sharing your findings and understanding. Its a bit perplexing because there are numerous dependencies/variables (Apple vs non-Apple device, sender vs receiver, cellular vs wi-fi, etc). Aeeeiiii!!
Frequent Visitor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

I have X-Charge, I turn off cell data and wifi, I still can send and receive pix messages,
Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

Wow ... that's cool!
Highlighted
Problem Solver

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

I agree with SunnyRadGal. With an iPhone (but not Android) you need to have Cellular Data enabled to use MMS, but that MMS is free.

If you are trying to minimize data usage on iPhone, you should also go to Settings-Cellular and turn off the switches for every app that you don't want using cellular data. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't have a switch for iMessage here. You need to disable iMessage completely to prevent it from using cellular data on incoming iMessages.

Note that enabling Cellular Data is also required if you want to use Visual Voicemail.

With these settings, you can probably stay under 100MB each month. However, personally, I don't recommend obsessing over the 100MB threshold. For $12 a month, you can share 1.1GB between your two phones. I just find it so much easier to stay under that number without even thinking about data usage, and without disabling useful phone features. But I realize everyone has a different solution that works for them.
Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

All good points — I appreciate it. If I turn Cellular on (with apps turned off), I'm assuming that under Settings>Messages, I should turn iMessage OFF, but turn MMS Messaging ON. Correct? We'll play around with these settings and see where we end up after a month. Like you see, no sense obsessing over it. If for some reason we rack up $12 for data, not a big deal. We just were curious to see if we could configure everything to meet our needs and still stay under the 100MB.
Problem Solver

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

Yes, that's correct. Just be aware that you'll lose a few features when using SMS/MMS instead of iMessage. Also, if you are ever in an area with WiFi but no cell service, then you'd need to enable iMessage to get messaging to work.

You can also track the data usage per app on the Settings-Cellular page. You don't need to wait til the end of the month to see how you are doing. It won't exactly track Xfinity's numbers for billing, but it's really useful in understanding your usage. Note that iMessage usage appears under the System Services category.
New Poster

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

I switched over to Xfinity Wi-Fi in order to be able to use my phone where AT&T does not have service. I opted for the Xfinity package instead of just going with Verizon due to cost. Well, you get what you pay for.  I can’t wait until my 90 day period is over and will just bite the bullet and go with Verizon. This whole mess of when and how you can/can’t send an MMS reminds me of when the phone company was broken up and nothing worked right. Comcast should have worked all this out before rolling out the service.  Another example of terrible service with Comcast.

Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

The whole "MMS vs SMS thing" is not a function of the carrier, its related more to Apple vs non-Apple phones. So Verizon vs Xfinity doesn't come into play here as far as I've been able to tell. Xfinity MMS and SMS messages are free.That said, we have the settings on our iPhones setup now so MMS, SMS, and Apple Messages all work pefectly with Xfinity, regardless of our contacts are using iPhones or not. We couldn't be happier with Xfinity service!

New Poster

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

As it has been mentioned on this forum before, you must turn on your celleular data on iphone in order to be able to send an MMS(picture) to another phone.

I just talked to a support person at Xfinity Mobile and he told me the data that is used for sending MMS between an iphone and another phone WILL NOT be counted towards your overall phone data usage.  Of course you need to disable data usage for all other apps to make sure that no other apps uses data when you are not connected to wifi.

 

Contributor

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

"I just talked to a support person at Xfinity Mobile and he told me the data that is used for sending MMS between an iphone and another phone WILL NOT be counted towards your overall phone data usage."

 

I would love to get an official statement on this thread from Xfinity stating that this is, indeed, the policy. It makes perfect sense, but I'd like to be sure. Also, would Xfinity be able to even distinguish MMS data from "other" data?

New Poster

Re: SMS vs MMS on WiFi vs Cellular?

I also just figured this out I was hoping there was a work around but apparently not. I mostly use WiFi but I will occasionally turn data on to give messages a opportunity to upload and then back to WiFi to limit my data usage. I’d prefer my bill didn’t go beyond $12/mo and better yet if it was $1.50 :-)