GSM mobile customers with Vodafone and Optus can now exchange picture messages across networks.
Available from next week, the new inter-carrier service will allow Optus and Vodafone customers to send multimedia message service (MMS or PXT) including full colour images, text and sound direct from their mobile phones to other users on either network.
Optus and Vodafone customers who have an MMS-capable handset will be able to send pictures direct to a compatible handset on either of the two networks.
If a Vodafone or Optus customer sends an MMS to a customer who doesn't have an MMS handset or to a customer with another carrier, a text message (SMS) will be sent alerting the recipient that they have a picture message waiting for them at a specified Web site.
Allen Lew, managing director, Optus Mobile, said SMS across carriers was introduced in April 2000 and saw a 1000 per cent increase in SMS traffic.
Lew said the agreement between Optus and Vodafone will help kick-start the MMS revolution in Australia.
Grahame Maher, managing director, Vodafone Australia, said the agreement will enable customers the freedom to send MMS to a wider audience.
A statement issued by the telcos said negotiations have also begun with other carriers and it is hoped that the service will be available to all mobile consumers in the near future.