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Multimedia messaging on your mobile

Orange touts successor to SMS

Mobile phone operator Orange and software and systems developer Logica have teamed up for a live trial of MMS (mobile multimedia services).

The trial will take place over Orange's GPRS (general packet radio service) network using Logica's MMS Center.

MMS-capable handsets allow users to send and receive multimedia content such as Jpeg and MP3 files, as well as images taken on a digital camera.

Logica has been working with handset makers and messaging system vendors such as Nokia, Motorola, Siemens and Ericsson, along with software and systems developers to support MMS as the successor to the highly popular SMS (short message service) text messages.

The underlying technology for the two services is completely different, with SMS only supporting plain text messages up to 160 characters in length, while the size of MMS messages is arbitrary.

However, according to Logica, keeping the user interface of MMS closer to that of SMS will increase the take up of the new technology.

The argument goes that people who already feel comfortable sending and receiving SMS text messages are more likely to use the MMS technology if they do not have to learn how to use a new interface.

Back in October, Nokia and joint venture Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, announced that they will begin testing the compatibility of MMS services between different manufacturers next year.

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