7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 31, 2013 11:20 AM by Zathrak
Zathrak Level 1 (0 points)

So here's the deal. We have to use AT&T's 3G Microcell in our house because our AT&T service kind of ***** inside. Granted, we can usually get 2 intermittent bars of LTE on our iPhone 5's, it's never consistent, often reverts to 4G, and more often drops calls. Sometimes texts fail, the list goes on. When home, we obviously connect to our home wifi for data because 3G also *****, but at least calls are usually ok (for the week we've been testing). I find that when we're connected to the Microcell, text messages or in our case iMessage's don't seem to go through the same way. It seems that even if we're connected to wifi, and even if we're sending an iMessage (or text), it's going over the 3G connection. I don't recall this ever being the case. Why/how would an iMessage go through via 3G even when you're connected to a wifi?

iMac (27-inch, Late 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM
  • ChrisJ4203 Level 8 (44,800 points)

    What makes you think that it is using 3G versus wifi? If you have a wifi connection and it is showing the wifi fan in the status bar, you would be using  wifi.

  • Zathrak Level 1 (0 points)

    Great question. 2 reasons.


    1) The message sending time takes significantly longer to go through.


    2) The message will say "sent via text" below it if it fails to send via wifi.

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 8 (44,800 points)

    That does not necessarily mean that it is using 3G, except when it fails to send. Remember, to send an iMessage, both the sender and receiver have to be on iDevices, and have to have iOS 5 or above. The most important part is they both have to have an active data connection. If that does not happen, then if the Send as SMS is checked, the message can go through as a regular SMS, and that would count against your monthly carrier SMS allotment. Any interruption in the data connection can cause the iMessage to fail, and if the recepient does not have a good data connection, it can cause it to seem like the message is taking longer to go through, or it seems to "hang" right before the end. When it reads as Sent via text, it just means the iMessage failed, not that your wifi failed.


    When you are connected to wifi, can you access the Internet with Safari? There are several troubleshooting steps you can try. Start by rebooting your router. Then on the phone, go into Settings, Messages and make sure that iMessage is activated. Then you can do a reset on the phone. This will not affect data. Hold the sleep/wake and home buttons together until you see the Apple logo and then release. After the phone reboots, check to see if it is working. You can also review this support document for troubleshooting Messages. http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2755

  • Zathrak Level 1 (0 points)

    No offense but we're wayyyy ahead of those steps. Been an iPhone owner since it was introduced on day 1. The issue can be reproduced when we're both connected to the microcell (3G), wifi (which works just fine), in the same house at the same time, looking at each other in the same room. When connected to both wifi and the microcell, messages *usually* fail and will send via text, though they should be sent via wifi iMessage. Never seen this default behavior happen in any other scenario. :-/

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 8 (44,800 points)

    It was not evident in your original post that you had performed any troubleshooting. Also, the message is not going through as an iMessage if it is sending as a text.


    I use an AT&T Microcell, a home wifi network, and have also used iMessage since it was introduced. I have never experienced difficulties in sending iMessages from my home unless there were connection problems with the recipient of the iMessage.


    Since you are seeing this situation all of the time, and at home, I agree it is something there. Have you tried to disconnect the Microcell temporarily and see if the iMessage will send via wifi? What settings do you have in iMessage as far as send and receive is concerned for the two of your devices? Have you tried turning iMessage off, waiting a short period of time and then turning it back on again to see if it activates and then performs as it should?

  • Zathrak Level 1 (0 points)

    Point taken. You're right about that. I will be checking on this over the next few days to see if I can find more reproducable results. Thanks for everything so far...stay tuned!

  • Zathrak Level 1 (0 points)

    A friend came over who was set up to use the microcell as well and he too had these issues (failing, not sending fully, etc).


    What I've found is that if you're sending to/from your cell phone number, this is when things fail. If you set up your phone to send/receive via your Apple ID instead of your cell number for iMessage, we haven't had any notable negative experiences since...very curious.