Nokia, the world's largest supplier of mobile phones, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB will next year begin testing the interoperability of MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) services and applications between different manufacturers, the companies announced Tuesday.
MMS is being billed as the successor to SMS (Short Message Service) and will allow users to send multimedia messages from one mobile phone to another.
Nokia and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications have co-authored a "conformance" white paper from which AU-System AB will develop tools to test MMS features and applications interoperability, the companies said in a statement. Sony Ericsson is the new mobile-phone brand of Swedish telecommunication equipment-maker L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. and Japanese consumer electronics company Sony Corp.
In June, Nokia and Ericsson announced they had joined with Motorola Inc., Siemens AG and software and systems developers CMG PLC, Comverse Technology Inc. and Logica PLC to support and develop MMS as the next version of SMS.
While an SMS messages is limited to no more than 160 characters, MMS would be able to contain graphics, photographic images, audio and video clips that could be sent between devices using such mobile technologies as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), GPRS (General Packet Radio System) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) or 3G (third generation) technologies, the companies said.
MMS is an open standard technology that has been approved by the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) as well as the WAP Forum.
Mobile communication companies are hoping MMS messages will prove as popular with mobile users as SMS. It has been estimated by the GSM Association that more than 200 billion SMS text messages will be sent over GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) networks worldwide this year. In May, the GSM Association reported that more than 50 billion SMS text messages had been sent worldwide in the first quarter of this year alone, at a rate five times greater than the first quarter of 2000.