Koodo Community



MMS data charge evolved

I began a line of investigation because I received a data charge when I don't use data. I understand now why receiving an MMS got the data charge, but I don't understand what the data charge is for because I couldn't view any MMS content.

In the form of a two-part question:
1 What's the charge for if there is no data?
2 Why can't I view MMS data?

I think I understand the entire MMS game plan now, wifi not involved in this case; receiving an MMS where I didn't realize the icon was different from SMS and MMS opens default WAP player. At that point, a blank screen and nothing to do but return to the message list screen. Is it possible I'm human-erroring some critical point at the blank screen? 

I checked the manual for my SCH-U410X, Samsung semi-dumb flipfone, which says I can send/receive MMS, to paraphrase. I also checked my phone settings which claim MMS auto-download is off. I leave data on in the rare case I may want to use it. It would seem that selecting a message is all it takes to manually download MMS content, overriding the auto-download, but if the screen is blank, how would I ever know if any content existed? Are there extensions of the MMS standard that have outpaced older or dumber phones, if the MMS is from a new smartphone? 

Bonus related question: do MMS messages without content other than text still send a handset running to the server to check on non-existant content, generating a data charge for that alone? This was just a text address forwarded to me, from a person with an iPhone, and I have no idea what the MMS content could have been. Do MMS defaults send out something ubuiquitous but pointless, invisible to recent cell phone users even if all they do is text "sup". 


6 replies

Userlevel 5
Thank you for your questions Dale.

It seems that we've lost all our members with those technical questions 😉. Here are some information about MMS and the data charges even if you clearly know the topic 😉. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is an extension of SMS, which uses an SMS to notify the mobile device of a new MMS and uses the 3G or the LTE to download the actual message and the included multimedia content.

If you've got the Unlimited Messaging included in your plan, you won't get charge for sending and receiving MMS.

If you don't have Unlimited Messaging, you will be billed for the usage. That usage includes the amount of cellular data that's transmitted on smartphones. The amount of cellular data used depends on the MMS (the size of the multimedia content) and the charge depends on the characteristics of your plan (Pay-Per-Use data rates).

If you need more details, please send us an email http://koo.do/11eMLdy so we can reply to your questions according to your plan.

If you want to know more about MMS, we simply recommend to try to find more information on Internet. Here is the Wiki's page explaining the MMS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia_Messaging_Service.

Hope this helps!

The wiki is where I started. 

Does a listed SMS or MMS item, unopened on my phone, incur an incident or a message fee?

Can I just delete any MMS message icon and never be charged for it, or am I charged for the SMS list item, but after deletion not the MMS content? It seems obvious that I shouldn't have to pay for a download I don't want. 

Thanks for identifying that the amount of cell data related to the price. My point being that if I can't open it or see it, then how in the world would I know what I just paid for? I can't even judge if it has finished downloading. You remember taping a never-ending fax loop back to the spammer's number? The wiki page mentions a 300kB maximum content as limited by networks and gateways, but not as part of the standard. Is this true in practice? 
Badge +4
From the tidbits of information I was able to gather from a French manual, (the only one I could find online), your Samsung SCH-U410x is a CDMA device, back when Koodo had a CDMA network. From the pictographs in the manual, I noticed a 1x icon. 1x was an older data standard typically found on CDMA networks. There are other icons such as (A) for analog and (D) for digital - non 3G. Both TELUS and Koodo have, for the most part, phased out CDMA networks in favour of faster HSPA and LTE networks.

I say for the most part, because there may be some rural or northerly areas in Canada that still have CDMA network coverage. If you don't reside in those areas, then you're in an HSPA/LTE coverage area which would explain why you're not able to open/view MMS messages.

If in fact you are getting charged for MMS messages, call Koodo at *611 when they reopen in the morning and explain that you have a phone that is now incompatible with Koodo's network. As Nabil mentions, you shouldn't be getting charged for MMS messages, if you have an unlimited messaging plan.

If you have a pay-per-use plan, I would still call in and have the charge(s) reversed, since you're unable to view MMS messages and that there's the possibility you were unaware of the phasing out of CDMA networks.

If you like the flip-style phone, Koodo offers a similar device, the Alcatel One Touch A392A. It's compatible with Koodo's HSPA network and you'll be able to send and receive SMS and MMS messages without issue.

Alcatel One Touch A392A
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
rikkster wrote:

From the tidbits of information I was able to gather from a French manual, (the only one I could ...

More info on the U410x phone here, rikkster!
Badge +4
rikkster wrote:

From the tidbits of information I was able to gather from a French manual, (the only one I could ...

Without the 'x' the U410 catered to U.S. markets, specifically Verizon. Same phone though with some very minor aesthetic differences, appreciate the info. Thank you dfbutt.

rikkster wrote:

From the tidbits of information I was able to gather from a French manual, (the only one I could ...

Hmmm. I was not aware that the network protocol defined the content, and data was data. I thought my phone jumped from CDMA when I ditched the "Mike" Motorola Clearnet. I also thought that's why they couldn't transfer my phone number, jumping networks and all. 

I didn't move up from flippy because I couldn't justify the cost. End of excuses though; I will look into this. The real problem is that I have no use for more features at this time, at least until I decide I can afford to go all in. iPhone SE is tempting.