Multimedia Message Service

What Does Multimedia Message Service Mean?

Multimedia message service (MMS) is a mobile content exchange mechanism that allows users to transmit and receive videos, images, ringtones and text files.


MMS uses Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) for transmission over mobile wireless networks. MMS also supports email functionality such as sending email directly to email addresses.

MMS is under development by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

Techopedia Explains Multimedia Message Service

When launched, MMS was touted as a successor to short message service (SMS). While SMS only supports text, MMS supports multimedia images, music and videos. Currently, MMS is designed for non-real-time delivery support to recipients lacking a real-time streaming feature.

Several factors impeded MMS adoption. The few MMS-capable device owners encountered device configuration bugs and errors on a continuous basis. In addition, MMS-capable devices were built with varying image sizes, audio codec support and capability levels, which created cross-platform compatibility problems.

To solve these issues, a store and forward server, or multimedia messaging server (MMSC), was developed for content adaptation, a process that involves resizing images and transcoding audio codecs to enable the display of reasonable MMS message likenesses. MMS uses the Internet for message forwarding to recipients that use different service providers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…