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What's the difference between MMS and SMS?

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  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    I've just read where Windows Phone doesn't use MMS by default, which I guess is more cool than SMS.  I looked it up and see that its about multimedia messaging, but I guess I don't get it.  I've read where group messaging with Windows Phone isn't enabled.  I don't get that at all.  I've got a group on my WP, and easily send SMS messages to everyone on it.  I've just tested taking a photo and sending that to everyone in that group.  Works fine.  What am I missing?

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    SMS - 160 bytes of text each. Sends messages for "free" using the control channel. Some phones will allow you to type past the limit and send out two or more messages instead.   

    MMS - More like e-mail. Instead of using existing cellular infrastructure (like SMS) it will send the MMS data to your cell phone provider's MMS server which will then either forward it to another handset's MMS client or to another operator's MMS server. When the MMS is available for pickup your cellular company sends a special SMS message which your phone reads and opens with the MMS client which connects to the MMS server and pulls down the "actual" message content.

    MMS can include most types of data your phone is able to open - text, images, sound, etc. It is often more cost effective to send an MMS than an SMS but that is largely due to the insane pricing structure of SMS messages.    

  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    , ManipUni wrote

    SMS - 160 bytes of text each. Sends messages for "free" using the control channel. Some phones will allow you to type past the limit and send out two or more messages instead.   

    MMS - More like e-mail. Instead of using existing cellular infrastructure (like SMS) it will send the MMS data to your cell phone provider's MMS server which will then either forward it to another handset's MMS client or to another operator's MMS server. When the MMS is available for pickup your cellular company sends a special SMS message which your phone reads and opens with the MMS client which connects to the MMS server and pulls down the "actual" message content.

    MMS can include most types of data your phone is able to open - text, images, sound, etc. It is often more cost effective to send an MMS than an SMS but that is largely due to the insane pricing structure of SMS messages.    

    Thank you very much, for this excellent description!!

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @Doctor Who: Also, if you don't have a data connection (like me with pre-paid T-Mobile), you won't be able to send/receive MMS. I know this because I don't have a data plan and while I still get the SMS notification, I can't view the MMS content. Kind of lame, if you ask me.

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