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Changes to MMS Barring

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is how photos and videos are sent as messages from your mobile. Your text messaging operates using Simple Messaging Service (SMS). These are the two basic messenger services that come with your smartphone.


What is Barring?

Barring enables specified services to be blocked at no cost to customers. You can block access to the Internet, or you can block access to MMS.

For example:

  • As an employer, you may want employees to only use their company phones for voice calls, so you might block Internet and MMS access.

  • As a parent, you might want to block Internet access but not MMS for your child’s phone. Parents might want to check that the personal hotspot is disabled on their children’s phones.

  • Some older customers don’t want Internet access and have it barred so they don’t incur any unwanted data charges.

Telstra mobile plans include a data allowance. This is unused when barring is applied. Most plans do not charge for MMS.

What’s changing?

Currently, customers who bar mobile data can also bar MMS independently.

When the iOS 14.0 update is applied, there’s a change that means if your Internet is barred but your MMS isn’t, your tethering or personal hotspot will be unbarred. You will continue to receive MMS as you have done previously, but you may incur data charges for personal hotspot use. 

Most people have their personal hotspot turned off by default (you can check this in your device settings).

If you do not have your personal hotspot disabled, you may incur unwanted data charges.

Who is impacted?

  • Only customers using an iPhone with iOS version 14.0 or later installed are impacted.

  • Android smartphones (i.e. a smartphone that is not an Apple iPhone) are not affected.

  • iPhone customers with an older device that cannot accept iOS version 14.0 updates are also not impacted.


What do I need to do?

If your personal hotspot is disabled, you don’t need to do anything.

If your device is impacted, and you have your personal hotspot enabled, you may choose to disable this to avoid incurring any unwanted data charges.


If you need more help, you can contact us.

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