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Mobile Messaging Technologies and Services: SMS, EMS and MMS

Mobile Messaging Technologies and Services: SMS, EMS and MMS

Gwenaël Le Bodic

ISBN: 978-0-470-85808-0

Jul 2003

392 pages


Mobile messaging is practically the first data communication service in the wireless domain. It is a major advance on the conventional practice of providing only voice communication service over the wireless interface. Thus, mobile messaging is the initial step to bring the Internet to wireless terminals and has considerable importance both for mobile communication and the Internet.

Mobile Messaging provides an in-depth description of messaging technologies supported by mobile networks. It covers the Short Message Service (SMS), Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) through to the more complex and emerging Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).
The Short Message System (SMS) has proved to be incredibly popular and is supported by most GSM, TDMA and CDMA mobile networks. This volume focuses on the Short Message Service introduced by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) for GSM and GPRS networks. On the basis of ETSI standard, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is currently the organisation responsible for maintaining the SMS technical specifications. In its most basic form, the Short Messaging Service allows users to exchange short messages composed of a limited amount of text and it is expected that up to 100 Billion short messages could be exchanged monthly by the end of 2002.
The Enhanced Message Service (EMS), an application-level extension of SMS, supersedes basic SMS features by allowing elements such as images, animations, formatted text and monophonic melodies to be inserted in short or concatenated messages.
Recently, the 3GPP has been focusing on the development of the Multimedia Message Service (MMS). MMS features include the exchange of messages containing polyphonic melodies, large images, video elements sometimes organised with a multimedia presentation language such as SMIL or xHTML. MMS will be supported by 2.5 G and 3G networks. MMS specifications have reached a fairly mature stage and MMS commercial solutions are appearing on the market.
Unlike EMS, MMS has been specified by the 3GPP as a service independent from the underlying network technologies. In parallel to the 3GPP standardisation process, other organisations have specified network-specific implementations of MMS such as the WAP implementation defined by the WAP Forum.
In order to develop applications using Short, Enhanced and Multimedia messaging technologies, engineers have to become familiar with the use of technical specifications produced by various standard development organisations such as the 3GPP, the WAP Forum and the IETF and this is the first book to pull this vast array of material together.
* Provides an in depth description of the different messaging services and messaging technologies
* Presents an introduction to mobile networks
* Features numerous practical implementation examples
* Provides a unique easy-to-follow presentation of messaging services and mobile networks within a single publication
Essential reading for content providers, service providers, network operators and telecommunications manufacturers, researchers, postgraduate students, marketing and standardisation personnel.


Notational Conventions.

1. Basic Concepts.

Generations of Mobile Communications Networks.

Telecommunications Context: Standard and Regulation.

Global System for Mobile.

General Packet Radio Service.

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.

Wireless Application Protocol.

2. Standardization.

Messaging Road Map.

Third Generation Partnership Project.

WAP Forum Specifications.

Internet Engineering Task Force.

World Wide Web Consortium.

3. Short Message Service.

Service Description.

SMS Use Cases.

Architecture of the GSM Short Message Service.

Short Message Basic Features.

Technical Specification Synopsis.

Short Message Layers and Protocols.

Structure of a Message Segment.

Storage of Messages and SMS Settings in the SIM.

Message Submission.

Message Submission Report.

Message Delivery.

Message Delivery Report.

Status Report.


User Data Header an d User Data.

Network Features for Message Delivery.

SMSC Access Protocols.

SIM Application Toolkit.

SMS Control via a Connected Terminal Equipment.  <P>SMS and Email Interworking.

Index of TPDU Parameters.

Pros and Cons of SMS.

4. Basic EMS.

Service Description.

Basic EMS Compatibility with SMS.

Formatted Text.




User Prompt Indicator.

Independent Object Distribution Indicator.

EMS Features Supported by Existing Handsets.

Content Authoring Tools.

Pros and Cons of Basic EMS.

5. Extended EMS.

Service Description.

Extended EMS Compatibility with SMS and Basic EMS.

Extended Object Framework.

Extended Object Reuse.

Compression of Extended Objects.

Extended Objects.

Pre-defined Sound.

iMelody Melody.

Black-and-white Bitmap Picture.

4-Level Greyscale Bitmap Picture.

64-Colour Bitmap Picture.

Predefined Animation.

Black-and-white Animation.

4-Level Greyscale Animation.

64-Colour Animation.

vCard Data Stream.

vCalendar Data Stream.

MIDI Melody.

Vector Graphics.

Support of Colour for Text Formatting.


Exchange of Capability Information.

Guidelines for the Creation of Extended Objects.

Pros and Cons of Extended EMS.

6. Multimedia Messaging Service.

Service Description.

MMS Use Cases.

The MMS Architecture.

MMS Centre - MMS Relay/Server.

The MMS User Agent.

User Databases.

MMS Interfaces.

WAP Forum Technical Realizations of MM1.

Technical Specification Synopsis.

Structure of a Multimedia Message.

Elements of a Multimedia Message.

Scene Description with SMIL or XHTML.

Summary of Supported Formats.

Addressing Modes.

Message Submission and Reports.

Message Notification, Immediate and Deferred Retrieval.

Message Forward.

MMS Value Added Services - Submission, Replacement and Reports.

MMS Value Added Services - Message Delivery and Errors.

Capability Negotiation and Content Adaptation.

Persistent Network-based Storage.

Settings for MMS-capable Devices.

USIM Storage of MMS Settings.

Streaming in MMS.

Charging and Billing.

Message Size Measurement.

Security Considerations.

Digital Right Management in MMS.

Technical Realization of Interfaces.

MM1 Interface MMSC - MMS User Agent.

MM2 Interface MMS Relay-MMS Server.

MM3 Interface MMSC-External Servers.

MM4 Interface MMSC-MMSC.

MM5 Interface MMSC-HLR.

MM6 Interface MMSC-User Databases.

MM7 Interface MMSC-VAS Applications.

Content Authoring and Testing Tools.

MMS Features Supported by Commercial Devices.

Pros and Cons of MMS.

The Future of MMS.

7. Other Mobile Messaging Services.

Immediate Messaging and Presence Services.

Mobile Email.

IMS Messaging.


A. TP-PID Values for Telematic Interworking.

B. Numeric and Alphanumeric Representations/SMS.

C. Character Sets and Transformation Formats.

D. iMelody Grammar.

E. MMS Binary Encoding for MMS PDUs.


Acronyms and Abbreviations.


" excellent introduction to the basic technologies of SMS and beyond...a valuable reference for those working in the field..." (IEE Review, February 2003)

"An in-depth description of existing and forthcoming messaging services and underlying technologies, as well as a look at 3G-based messaging." (Computing, 29th September 2005