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SERVICE: o2 Germany is ready to launch MMS and on your xda it will look like this
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 08.11.02 - 13:23:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8724x
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o2 Germany is ready to introduce the next messaging service MMS and one of the questions I had was how it could look on a Pocket PC Phone Edition. I’m using MMS for some weeks now with a Sony Ericsson T68i with my Vodafone D2 SIM but while Vodafone doesn’t have any Pocket PCs in stock, the o2 lead product is the xda.

First of all some explanations about MMS and why it will increase your messaging experience:

Mobile Messaging is evolving beyond SMS text messaging with the introduction of MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

MMS delivers a total communication experience, allowing personalized multimedia content such as images, audio, text, video and combinations of these.

  • Capture and share your experiences when and wherever they happen...
  • Imagine relaxing on a sun drenched beach and being able to send a picture to your work colleagues.
  • Not sure about that dress? Get a second opinion by sending a picture of it to a friend.
The opportunities are endless!

MMS is a store and forward messaging service that allows mobile users to exchange multimedia messages with other mobile users. As such it can be seen as an evolution of SMS, with MMS supporting the transmission of additional media types:

  • Text
  • Pictures
  • Audio
  • Video
Combinations of the above Multimedia Messaging Service are an important emerging service, which allows you sending of multiple media in a single message, and the ability to send a message to multiple recipients. It’s a little bit like a PowerPoint presentation where you can also add Text, Images, Sounds and Videos.

The originator can easily create a Multimedia Message, either using a built-in or accessory camera, or can use images and sounds stored previously in the device.

Even if the recipient phone is not switched on, the Multimedia Message will be stored and sent to the recipient as soon as they switch on their phone (like today with SMS).

Each Multimedia Message contains a number of pages (think of a PowerPoint slide show again). On each page, there can be one image and one set of text. An audio file can also be attached. The time that each "page" is displayed can be specified, so the user experience is somewhat like a slide show.

So how does MMS work?
Depending upon the operator, a typical example of how an MMS message can be sent and received between two compatible MMS devices as below:

  • Using an MMS compatible device and take a photo
  • Use your phone to personalize the message by adding text, sound clip or your own voice.
  • Send the MMS message
On a compatible device, the MMS message will appear with a new message alert. The picture message will open on the screen, the text will appear below the image and the sound will begin to play automatically in the background

If the message is sent to a non-compatible MMS phone the user will receive a SMS message along the lines of:

"You have been sent a picture message!"

They may then be given a website address, and possibly and username and password on which they can view the message.

So far the theory of the GSM Association but how it will looks like in reality!? It’s the same! You can send and receive MMS messages with your xda and a MMS client like EZOS EzWAP 2.5 client.

Composing a MMS
First you have to compose your MMS message using a MMS client like EzWAP 2.5. In general this works like you know from the Inbox. Select or enter the recipient and add a subject.

Now it becomes a little bit different as you can add several files to the message but not as an attachment only but within the message like you can do it with HTML mails. Here you can select images as well as sounds.

Add a text to your message and you are ready. However, in addition you can also add a second page like within FrontPage.

Receiving a MMS
Like you become notified with a received SMS message, EzWAP 2.5 also notifies you with an information bubble. However, unlike with SMS you get a notification, not the complete message pushed and that’s why you have to confirm receiving the MMS message.

Your xda connects now - through GPRS - with the MMSC to download the MMS message. This can take some time, depending on the available connection speed and message size. However, it’s faster than sending a MMS message because today’s GPRS devices receives data faster than it can send data (see my column "How fast is GPRS today" here).

If your device got the message it opens automatically and will be played.

That’s it. You can store, forward or reply to the message. Now I’m waiting that anyone is developing a camera attachment for the xda, in that case it becomes even funnier.

Final Conclusion

In general, MMS is as easy as SMS is. You have to configure your MMS client once a time only and than you can start sharing the momentums and emotions! While you have to give the SMS client a SMSC number, MMS needs the MMSC address and a GPRS connection.

Creating MMS messages is also easy doing. It’s like composing a SMS message or an E-Mail. A little bit strange - the first time only - is adding files to a message. While I’m not a real big fan of HTML mails (with including pictures right into the message than attaching it to the E-Mail) it’s the idea of MMS to add this files right into the message. Here the PowerPoint comparison is the best one to use.

Even if the o2 Germany MMS server was in a pre-launch status the past days and weeks, it worked pretty good and comfortable, as expected and finally I found a Christmas gift for my girlfriend - a MMS enabled mobile phone! ;-)

That’s the lame side of MMS today - there are not enough handsets penetrated that you can find someone where to send the message to and getting MMS messages as a SMS notification for web access only is pretty boring, specially with devices like the Microsoft Phone Edition where I can also send E-Mails pretty well. But since the average live time of a GSM handset is around 18 months, we can expect a extreme high MMS enabled mobile device penetration within the next 24 months!

I will enjoy MMS for sure!

Cheers ~ Arne

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