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Intermittent Access to AOL email Server w/AT&T Cellular

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#1 BigbirdPhila


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  • Local time:08:44 PM

Posted 26 June 2017 - 10:08 PM

I have my AT&T cellular access through TracFone (an MVNO who buys time from AT&T).  Randomly (about 50% of the time, but in no discernible pattern)  the email app on my phones (Android & Apple) cannot connect to AOL servers to fetch my email.  They retry on the next polling cycle (I have mine set to 10 minutes) and they eventually do connect.  But sometimes they can fail for 12 consecutive times (2 hours) before succeeding, delaying me receiving my email for that long.


I have tried the native email apps on the Android & Apple phones as well as several 3rd party apps.  All exhibit the same symptom.


Over WiFi (my ISP is Verizon) email works 100% of the time.  No failures.  And, over service directly with AT&T (TracFone not involved), it works 100% of the time.  It's only when I use my TracFone wireless account to acces my email.  


Through other forums, I have heard from other people who have the same problem.  They have their AT&T accounts through Cricket and Consumer Cellular, both AT&T MVNO's.  It seems like it's related to how AT&T is provisioning MVNO accounts on their network.


Wireless internet access to Amazon, Ebay, Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc., etc. works fine.  So does wireless access to other email servers like Gmail, Yahoo, and Comcast.  It's only with the AOL email servers that I have seen the problem.


TracFone "technical support" basically tries to transcribe a description of the problem and contacts AT&T.  AT&T checks the account, says it's provisioned properly, and says it "should work".  If I try to contact AT&T directly (to eliminate transcription errors), AT&T sees the account is with an MVNO and says "contact your provider".  In the meantime, I can't count on reliable email delivery while I'm away from WiFi.  


Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this problem?  Something I could present to AT&T via TracFone to get the ball moving?

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