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Experiencing delayed group texts and MMS with AT&T? You're not alone [Update: AT&T comment]

RCS chat
RCS chat (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • AT&T users are reporting delayed Group MMS.
  • Messages sent are received as late as the next morning.
  • As more users work from home, all networks may be experiencing increased stress, leading to delays and congestion.

Multiple US users have reported issues with receiving texts from other AT&T users in group chats.

"I and my wife are in a few group texts with other non-ATT users. We've had a big issue lately where say 1 out of every 10 messages we send to the group won't arrive until hours later for the others in the group. I'll get hers and she'll get mine pretty much right away, but the other members won't see it until hours later at times. And not all messages, just a few here and there," complained one Reddit user on the carrier-specific subreddit r/ATT. Similar complaints could be found on other subreddits belonging to other carriers, with the common denominator being AT&T users for the most part.

"Connectivity is always essential to our customers – doctors and nurses, first responders, governments, banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and others delivering vital services," AT&T's CEO said this month (opens in new tab), "It's even more critical during a public health crisis that's challenging everyone. In fact, as a critical infrastructure provider, AT&T believes we have a civic duty to step up and keep our customers and communities connected."

With more users engaging in increased group conversations, WiFi calling, tethering and straining the network to the limit, these delays can be expected. It's especially going to be hard on things like SMS and MMS which rely on a third-party for things like inter-carrier messaging. AT&T is not the only connectivity producer suffering, Spectrum also experienced some connectivity issues over the past day.

Update: AT&T says it's all good.

In response to this story, an AT&T spokesperson gave Android Central the following statement:

We have looked into your question from earlier today about systemic issues with text messaging and haven't found any. Our wireless network continues to perform well and we're sharing regular updates on this site. Data usage has been essentially flat, as people head home and connect their devices to their personal Wi-Fi.

In other words, if you're experiencing delayed messages, it's probably not on their side.

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10 Comments
  • Happened to me on Sunday
  • I've been having the same problem on FirstNet, along with some connectivity issues. So much for getting priority with FirstNet.
  • I wonder if this issue occurs in certain locations and not others. I text and group text all day every day and have not experienced this problem on ATT in the Chicago area.
  • I have had this issue forever in Detroit on At&T. The blamed it on my Note 10+. Samsung sent me a new one and same issue. Though I am noticing that it only occurs when someone in the thread is using iMessage.
  • Same thing here with a Note 10+. MMS messages have been terrible going out to non At&t friends.
  • My issue with group text with the Note 10+ is the following... 1.it often breaks my outgoing group text into individual texts. Shows up as group on mine, but everyone else sees them as a one on one text. 2. I'll send a text and the others will get the same text like 5 times from me. 3. I'll send a few texts. And some of them will go out immediately and a few of them randomly will get stuck and never make it out or will take 5-10 minutes to be sent.
  • I saw this in a big way on Friday (03/20).
  • I'm in NY and have been experiencing the same issue w/ AT&T. My texts are not received in many of my group texts until 2:30 am, and this has been going on now for the last 6 days. I've contacted AT&T, and they have been no help. This is most definitely on their end, and they need to do something to correct it. During times of crisis our phones become our major means of communication; I have been a loyal customer for nearly 2 decades, and their response to this issue certainly makes me rethink that choice.
  • This has been going on for me for about three months.
  • Been an issue with consumer cellular customers (which is AT&T network) for a couple weeks now. I have Verizon, but my extended family all use CC, and I get late responses, or lost responses constantly right now. Not an issue with others on Verizon, that I'm aware of.