AT&T is at Red Alert as management and technical staff scurry in an attempt to make Friday’s iPhone MMS messaging roll-out as flawless as possible, as the company seeks to answer network critics.

The carrier knows that having had months in which US customers haven’t enjoyed the same facility as iPhone owners outside of the country, users won’t take kindly to any network flakiness – the company has had plenty of time to get it right, after all.

DSL Reports cites sources who say AT&T expect a flood of iPhone users sending pictures and video clips will generate a 40% rise in network traffic load in the first few days, and the carrier is rushing to beef-up its infrastructure in preparation. Some users started seeing MMS functionality working last week.

From the report: “Starting at 10AM Eastern (on the 25), AT&T will send out a mass text to a group of iPhone users telling them that MMS now works on their phone," says one source familiar with AT&T’s MMS plans. "They will keep doing groups of phones on the hour throughout the day" assuming all goes well, says the source.

“AT&T is "very" nervous about the launch and is requesting their MMS aggregator partners provide hourly updates on any message delays or problems. AT&T and its MMS partners are already seeing "record traffic during peak hours of the night" with just the users selected for testing.”

The iPhone in Korea story grew yesterday on news the device has been approved for use in the country, this morning we learn that mobile carrier KT will launch the device there in November, once it has finalised pricing discussions with Apple.

Critics warn that price may be the decision-maker as to whether the iPhone is a success there, as it may also be in China, where iPhone is expected to ship next month.

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