Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) was formerly developed within the Third-Generation Partnership Program (3GPP), a standards organization focused on standards for the UMTS/GSM networks. MMS extensively is touted by many in the industry as being one the biggest potential moneymakers for 2.5G and 3G networks.MMS is a standard for a telephony messaging systems that allow sending messages that includes multimedia objects (images, audio, and video) and not just text messages as in Short message service (SMS). It is mainly deployed in cellular networks along with other messaging systems like SMS, Mobile Instant Messaging and so on.
MMS is regarded as the best-of-the breed of proven messaging technologies, surpassing SMS and electronic mail to offer a truly multimedia experience to mobile users. The first commercial solutions appeared on the market in 2002 and the penetration rate of MMS is now quickly approaching the required level for mass-market adoption. By leveraging accessible technologies, MMS has gained wide acceptance from major market players and provides great business opportunities for the whole telecommunications industry.
MMS is the fruition of Short Message Service (SMS). With MMS, a mobile device is no longer confined to text-only messages. It has been designed to work with mobile packet data services such as GPRS and 1x/EVDO. MMS enables a huge number of applications covering business and private communication, information and entertainment.
There are two modes of delivery in MMS:
Services on MMS:
Taking a snapshot via a camera phone and sending to a friend
composing your own animated picture messages and sending to friends
Sending audio files
Sending pictures & audio files with simultaneous playback
Music download & play
Storing pictures to an on line album
Challenges faced by MMS:
1. Content adaptation
2. Distribution lists
3. Bulk messaging
4. Handset Configuration
5. WAP Push
MMS should not be bewildered with Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS), which is simply SMS with additional payload capabilities, allowing a mobile phone to send and receive messages that have special text formatting such as bold or color, animations, pictures, icons, sound effects, and special ring tones. MMS builds on the huge success of SMS usage and enhances the communication possibilities for mobile users further by adding multimedia. Multimedia messaging is still seen primarily as a person-to-person service but is starting to become more of a community-based communication phenomenon.