iMobile.com.au - What's New
MMS (Multimedia Messaging
Service) – Our limits being Tested
04 December 2001
Written By Kinny Cheng
we thought SMS was good!
a new messaging standard will be made available to us.
Abbreviated MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), it allows for the sending
of audio, video, and images along with possible text within the same message.
Where we are currently restricted to the 160-character limit for SMS
messages which are barely enough for us to express ourselves, MMS will provide
users the opportunity to add full colour to what they want to convey and not
being restricted to just typing words on a keypad (not the simplest of things to
do for some!)
– Creative SMS
Although there are
phones around that can send more than just words on a screen (including
Nokia’s picture messages and Ericsson’s enhanced messages through
EMS), these maintain the use of existing network infrastructure and
technology to relay such messages through and are still very restrictive
in comparison to MMS. A picture message is just an SMS message that
allocates a particular segment of the overall message to display a picture
made up of pixels, and the remaining capacity allowing for a short text
message. EMS (enhanced
message service) allows for a user to add objects (including pictures,
sounds, and melodies) into an overall text message. EMS
(enhanced message service) allows for a user to add objects (including
pictures, sounds, and melodies) into an overall text message. Although both of
these help to diversify the messaging possibilities, the biggest downfall
is the inability to read these on phones not supporting such
functionality. With support
for picture messages and EMS restricted to various Nokia and Ericsson
phones respectively, the lack of compatibility drives possible usage down
– Enhancement of personal connectivity
immediate exchange of rich content
One very important difference of MMS is that it is somewhat a standard in
itself – similar to that of SMS. Therefore,
messaging using MMS will allow for it to be received and experienced
without the worries of compatibility and readability.
MMS enables messaging with full content versatility, including
images, audio, video, data and text, from terminal to terminal (for
example, one mobile phone to another) or from a terminal to an email
address. MMS content can include one or several of the
previously-mentioned content types that contain minimal restrictions to
message size or format.
the possibilities are quite endless when we’re able to just put more than text
in our messages! But at the end of
the day, the more information that we try to put into a message and send it off
will require greater space and time to send off because of the final message
size. On the mobile network’s
current infrastructure and available technology, sending such information over
it will take a long time and is unfeasible (maybe that’s why we never had
By next year, a greater number of pre-3G phones will start hitting the streets
giving users greater capabilities in accessing data services, such as WAP.
At the moment, we already see some phones that come with a feature called
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) offering faster and the possibility of
always-on data connections on a mobile phone. This will give MMS the first chance to grow because it is
able to rely on GPRS to relay its message of a possible immense size (compared
to SMS) from a user’s mobile to another.
“Multimedia” menu on the new Nokia 7650
So don’t be too excited about being able to take a picture of yourself, spice
it up with some audio and send it off to your mate’s phone quite yet.
Although GPRS is becoming available to our GSM networks in Australia, the
phones have yet to be released into the market. The first of many that will begin supporting MMS should
appear by the middle of 2002, with one of them being the Nokia
7650 – boasting a colour screen, an on-phone digital camera and new user
interface to support possible applications for MMS and other high-speed data
services over GPRS.
more details on MMS and how it can benefit all of us better than SMS come along,
be sure to hear from us at iMobile!