The mobile population is increasing like anything and to meet the ever-increasing demand of the mobile users is not a simple task. A grueling research in various fields of science has already begun in various parts of the globe to find a new and innovative means of mobile communication, which must completely satisfy the mobile users. Keeping this important point under consideration this paper has been framed on a unique; or rather an interesting topic called MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services), which is gaining a tremendous momentum in the recent past and which is expected to dominate the future of mobile technology.
The main aim of this paper is to uncover the hidden secrets of the multimedia messaging services, which has already created a mobile revolution in some parts of the world. This paper starts with a very brief information about the generations of mobile technology and then the multimedia messaging services (MMS) is unleashed in a very interesting and informative manner. This comparisons between MMS, SMS, EMS is well discussed in depth. This paper also deals with SMIL-Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, which is the language that is used to develop MMS contents.
Next how MMS gets implemented is explained well with illustrative diagrams. This part of the paper really takes you into the MMS- Center which controls and monitors the transfer of the multimedia data in the mobile world.
Finally the futuristic visions and predictions of MMS is dealt with. Full care has been taken to explore the magic of MMS with illustrations and table and graphs '.v'-'erever possible.
Communication is one of the very important aspect in this world. As ~'-~es have changed our communication has also changed along with it. The snail â€žÂ¢a;'s, which we sent earlier, are hardly in existence today. We people always demand for a faster and better method of communication. Fortunately today we have reached a very important landmark in communication with the birth of a new way of communication -MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services). The next few pages will take you into it. But before going into that, knowledge of the generations of mobile technology is very important to fully appreciate the technology of MMS.
A very short description of the generations in mobile technology is given below for that purpose.
3. GENERATIONS IN MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
Everyone knows that computers were mere monstrous vacuum tubes in its early days of invention and usage. Things changed gradually and finally we are now left with computers that can very comfortably sit on our laps without occupying much of space and scientists believe that computers will become a part of the body with the help of some hot technologies like nanotechnology and artificial intelligence in the near future. This change or revolution in the computers did not happen in a day, it took more than 50 years for the computer to take a form that is compact as well as convenient for the user to operate. The same sort of revolution is happening with the mobile technology, but in a very faster manner than that of the computers.
Moore's Law (named after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore) states that "the number of circuits packed into a given area of a silicon chip doubles approximately every eighteen months, leading to similar improvement in processing power". To our wonder the mobile computing is accelerating at a rate much faster than Moore's Law.
Now lets see what are the various generations in the mobile technology:
The first generation of systems for mobile telephony was analog, circuit switched, and it only carried voice traffic. The analog phones used in 1G were less secure and prone to interference where the signal is weak. Analog systems include -VPS, NMT and ETACS.
The second-generation phones cover all speech into digital code, resulting in a clear signal that can be encrypted for security. Most also include some kind of messaging, as well as support for voice mail and caller ID. The most popular is GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), but several others are used around the world. They can send data, but usually at less than 10 kilobits per second (Kbps). 2G networks include GSM, D-AMPS (TDMA) and CDMA. 2G networks can support SMS applications.
The successor of the 2G technology is the 2.5G. 2.5 G supports higher data speeds. The term 2.5G also applies to technology such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), which uses a version of the web to fit into a mobile phone's slow data rate and small screen. 2.5G networks include EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). These networks support WAP, MMS, SMS mobile games, and search and directory.
Though MMS was introduced in the 2.5G, it really gained its momentum and fame only with the introduction of 3G.
The present hype is around the Third Generation (3G) phones, which is expected to play a very important role until atleast 2010. 3G systems will provide a variety of advanced services, including data transfer at upto 2 megabits per second 'Mbps). 3G will support multimedia applications such as full-motion video, video conferencing and Internet access. 3G will cover bot only the connection between a ^obile terminal and its base station, called the WAN (Wide Area Network), but also
'.he LAN (Local Area Network). 3G is a generic term covering a range of future wireless network technologies, including WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), CDMA2000 (Code Division Multiple Access), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) and EDGE.
Fourth Generation networks are already in the labs, targeted for deployment beginning in 2010. They will provide data rates up to 100 Mbps, enough for telepresence. This is a type of virtual reality, defined as full stimulation of all senses required to provide the illusion of actually being somewhere else - an illusion that cannot be distinguished from the real thing. However, still there are many years for this to get implemented.
Now lets discuss about the key topic on this paper - MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services).
4. MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING SERVICES (MMS)
"A picture says more than a thousand words and is more fun to look at!!!". Everyone in this world believes in this quote. And this is also one of the main quotes that inspired mobile developers who gave this hot technology -MMS.
MMS, Multimedia Messaging Service, is a standardized messaging service. It traced its roots from SMS (Short Messaging Services) and EMS (Enhanced Messaging Services) .MMS will allow users to send and receive messages exploiting the whole array of media types available today, e.g. text, images, audio, video, Graphics, data, animations, while also making it possible to support new content types as they become popular. With MMS, for example, users could send each other personal pictures together with a voice message, such as a greeting card with a picture, handwritten message, and a personal song or sound clip that has been recorded by the user itself. Video conferencing, which is expected to make a great impact in the future, is also possible with this technology. Using the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) as bearer technology and powered by the high-speed transmission technologies EDGE, GPRS and UMTS (WCDMA), Multimedia Messaging allows users to send and receive messages that look like PowerPoint-style Presentations.
MMS supports standard image formats such as GIF and JPEG, video formats such as MPEG 4, and audio formats such as MP3, MIDI and WAV, also the new AMR.
The greatest advantage of MMS is its ability to interact with mobile to mobile terminals as well as with mobile to PDA \Laptop \lnternet and other data devices. VMS can also act as a virtual email client. Greatly anticipated by young users in navicular, MMS is projected to fuel the growth of related market segments by as '"uch as forty percent.
V'r.v lets see how MMS is different from SMS and EMS.
5. HOW IS MMS DIFFERENT FROM SMS AND EMS?
I Plain text
ength of messs I 160 characters
a combination of text Test (freeform), and simple pixel- pictures graphics,
audio and video.
Mobile Phone no, IP & e-mail address
6. SMIL: Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
MMS uses its own standardized presentation protocol, the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language - SMIL, pronounced 'smile'. This descriptive language (also a markup language) has the same function as HTML on the Web and provides great freedom of design. SMIL is a presentation format, i.e. a SMIL page contains information about the appearance of different multimedia elements on a display. When SMIL is used to represent content on a PC screen, normally a window is opened whose size is defined by the layout element of the SMIL page to be displayed. In this way, the appearance of the SMIL page on the screen will reflect exactly the organization of the content as the author had created it. When SMIL is used for the presentation of multimedia messages on mobile terminals, the size of the window is severely limited by the resolution and appearance of the terminal display. The layout of a multimedia message represents the content as created by the originator, but it is well possible that the original layout simply does not fit into the display of the receiving terminal. Therefore, SMIL exchange must be simple enough to ensure that -if the displays of the originator and receiver terminal are different- the content can still be displayed, possibly by changing the relative position of the different elements.
Due to the limited processing power of the first generation of MMS-enabled devices, this adaptation process must be achieved without the need of complex
content analysis and interpretation. In order to achieve this goal, the layout of the outgoing message should reflect (in terms of size and orientation) the display characteristics of the originating terminal, and must always contain at most two regions one labeled as "Text", the other as "Image".
If the receiving terminal can fit the SMIL layout in its screen as is, no change w'H be necessary. Otherwise, the SMIL page can be modified by ideally replacing 'he layout section in the incoming message with another one specific to the receiving terminal, in which the size and the position of the "Text" and "Image" regions are aopropriately redefined. The following example shows a simple multimedia message composed by two slides, described in the <body> part of the message.
<smil> <head> <'ayout>
<root-layout width = "170" height ="1307>
<region id ="lmage" width ="170" height ="110" left ="0" top = "0" /> <region id ="Text" width ="170" height ="20" left = "0" top ="1107> <"ayout> <rhead>
<par dur = "5s">
<img src ="smile.jpg" region - 'image" /> <text src ="helloworld.txt" region - 'text" /> <audio src = " helloworld.amr"/>
<pardur="10s"> <img src =theend.jpg" region - 'image" /> <text src ="theend.txt" region ="text" /> <audio src = " theend.amr"/>
<'par> < 'body>
The above slide would appear first for 5sec, while we hear "hello world" music in the background
The above slide stays for 10 sec and we can hear "the end" music in the background.
7. MULTIMEDIA MESSAGE SERVICE ENVIRONMENT
The biggest merit of MMS is its "Store and Forward technique." ( also similar to that in SMS ).Using this technique , messages are not sent directly between users but via an MMS center. This aspect allows for a number of key MMS attributes, such asinstant delivery, nominal tariffing and message delivery unhindered by network
traffic and allows the user to view the multimedia files he received during his recent past.
SM3C Mobile network B
FIG: The MMS Environment
The MMSC acts in similar way to the SMSC in that it sends, receives and stores multimedia messages. It is the central router in the MMS architecture. The MMSC interacts with external network such as PSTN, Internet and Intranet. It also transfers Multimedia Messages between different mobile networks. However, unlike SMS and EMS that are sent over the signaling channel, MMS messages are delivered over traffic channels. These are designed to carry a range of data services in GPRS and UMTS networks, with higher capacity and a lower likelihood of congestion. The technical specifications laid down by 3GPP for the MMS Standard
define a certain set of requirements on both terminal and network side, which needs to be supported for the provision of the multimedia message service.
The aim is not to standardize the services but instead use a standardized set of service capabilities features on which new services can be built. The MMSE may comprise 2G and 3G networks, 3G networks with islands of coverage within a 2G network and roamed networks. The MMSE provides all the necessary service elements, e.g. delivery, storage and notification functionality. These service elements may be located within one network or distributed across several networks or network types.
Unlike SMS, which uses proprietary standards like SMPP, EMI and CIMD, MMS will use existing Internet standards, which will facilitate development of services and interworking with the fixed Internet. These protocols include WAP, MIME, and POP3 and SMTP.
When a user 'A' sends an MMS message to an user 'B' whose mobile does not support MMS, then the user 'B' gets a SMS message that "You have received a MMS Message from User A", followed by the URL where the message has been stored in the internet. Now user 'B' could access the net and view the message. This is how communication happens between MMS enabled mobiles and mobiles deprived of MMS facility. Isn't this aspect of MMS interesting?
8. THE FUTURE IS MMS !'.!!!!
Â¢ MMS is becoming the preferred messaging method of mobile terminal users, since there are virtually no limits to the content of an MMS transmission.SMS has been an unqualified success for both end users and service providers. With practically no high-profile marketing undertaken by mobile terminal vendors or network operators, this value-added service is currently used to send some 21 billion messages per month worldwide charged for it. It is expected that MMS will cross the landmark of the SMS very soon. Recent research showed that people are willing to pay five times more for MMS when compared to SMS.
A market penetration of 25 percent for MMS-ready devices happened in the year 2004. MMS will much more than SMS be driven by attractive applications. In the year 2005 it is expected that over 30 percent of useable communications volume (traffic) and more than 50 percent of sales will be achieved with MMS services that are supported by application or content servers
Â¢ animated chat .video streaming , multimedia shopping , high graphical multimedia games will splash into the mobile market.
Â¢ Live news update and video conferencing will become common.
Â¢ The mobile devices may slowly replace computers.
Â¢ Web logs â€ or "blogs" - are also gaining interest from operators as a way of increasing MMS and SMS traffic.
Â¢ MMS will be one of the most important weapons in a 3G operator's armoury of mass-market services, catalysing a market for services and content that is estimated to be of worth around $70 billion globally by2007.
MMS is expected to become the preferred messaging method of mobile terminal users, since there are virtually no limits to the content of an MMS transmission. It has a great future ahead. It will be one of the most dominant way of communication as discussed earlier. Its popularity is increasing day by day. MMS will be one of the most important weapons in a 3G operator's armoury of mass market services, catalyzing the market for services and content that is estimated to be worth around $70 billion globally by 2007. Greatly anticipated by young users in particular, MMS is projected to fuel the growth of related market segment by as much as forty percent.
Â¢ The Essential Guide to Wireless Communications Applications - Andy Dornan.
Â¢ GPRS and 3G Wireless Applications by Christopher Anderson.
Â¢ MMS for Wireless Networks - Scott Guthery , Mary Cronin
Â¢ MMS Wireless Application Development -McGraw Hill Text
3. Generations in mobile technology 4
4. Multimedia messaging services
5. How MMS different from SMS & EMS 8
6. Synchronized multimedia integration language
7. Multimedia message service environment 12
8. Future is MMS 14
9. Conclusion 16
10. References 17