Preface

Is SMS already history? Definitely not if you consider the high SMS traffic volumes of today's mobile networks! SMS will certainly represent one of the major milestones in the history of mobile telephony. With SMS, users have forged their own dialect to cope with service limitations, composed their own communication groups or communities, and are enjoying new channels of interactions. Any GSM handset has SMS capabilities and if each GSM subscriber sends a message at the same time then more than 1 billion messages would fly over the radio waves of mobile networks worldwide. From an engineering perspective, technologies for SMS have reached a mature stage and no more extensions of SMS are being considered in standardization forums. Much focus is now given to the emerging Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). The deployment of MMS only started a few years ago and MMS is already gaining wide support from the mobile industry with a fast growing handset penetration rate and worldwide operator support. MMS underlying technologies are still in an ongoing maturation process, and user experience with today's phones has already greatly improved compared with the one of early implementations. MMS has benefited from the introduction of a new generation of handsets with integrated multimedia capabilities such as color screens and built-in still and video cameras but also from the introduction of packet-based transmission in mobile networks. MMS opens the door to new business opportunities ...

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