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You shouldn't get a socket timeout when there is lots of data, the data transfer represents activity. Are you sure it isn't the result of an unstable connection or some odd server setting which closes connections after being open for X minutes? If that is the case I would try to solve that, an unstable runtime environment is nearly impossible to support through clever coding. Imagine switching to a chunking strategy, you'd run into the problem where for example of 3 chunks only one of them fails so you are left with partially complete data only. The problem becomes more difficult to manage, not easier.
What about using SAAJ API and send the heavy payload as an attachment by zipping it and then use the build in DOM parser to parse it? Whether that works?
I am not going to respond to you completely ignoring what I'm saying. If you want to find a work around in stead of looking for the source of your problem then fine - you're on your own. So try it!