MMS Highlights

In this last section, I present a quick summary of the features and characteristics of MMS and how it compares to SMS, particularly binary SMS, which can be used to deliver multimedia information very much like MMS.

It is important to be aware of the existence and features of MMS so that you know when using SMS is inappropriate and you should use MMS instead.

What is MMS?

MMS means “Multimedia Messaging Service.” It is a mobile phone messaging service that extends and replaces SMS by allowing users to send and receive multimedia messages.

This is an article dedicated to SMS, so we mention MMS mostly to compare it with SMS and binary SMS; for example, to explain why certain types of binary SMS (such as Nokia Smart Messaging ringtones or EMS picture messaging) are obsolete.

MMS is described in a series of freely available documents by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). It was built by reusing a number of existing technologies: email (for basic message structure and protocols), SMIL (a W3C standard for multimedia presentations), and WAP Push (for pushing multimedia content to mobile phones using SMS).

Structure of an MMS message

An MMS is fundamentally a multi-part email message with a few additional MMS-specific conventions.

Multi-part emails and MMS are composed of parts, each bearing a MIME type describing the type of data it contains. If you’re familiar with email, you know that in an email there is a main body of text, usually of MIME type text/plain (which might not be labeled ...

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