Latest MMS interconnect deals - in Australia

Why are we waiting?
Written by James Pearce, Contributor

Why are we waiting?

Optus and Vodafone have signed an agreement allowing their customers to send multimedia messages between their two networks in Australia from next week. Inter-carrier operability is seen as vital to the success of multimedia messaging (MMS), which carriers hope will become as popular as SMS. According to Allen Lew, the managing director of Optus Mobile, the introduction of inter-carrier SMS in April 2000 saw a 1,000 per cent increase in messages being sent. Currently, if an MMS is sent to a phone that is on a different network, or is not MMS-compatible, a text message is sent alerting the recipient they have a picture message waiting for them at a particular website. Consumers are confused by the branding of MMS, as mobiles are advertised as being able to send pictures via SMS but the phone menus use the term MMS. For its part, in Australia Vodafone refers to MMS as PXT, and has re-branded SMS as TXT. Further, there is Enhanced Messaging System (EMS), which allows pictures and ringtones to be sent between mobiles. Optus is trying to further boost the uptake of MMS by offering new content services. Customers can order news stories with a photograph from AAP, or receive a SurfCam picture from one of 20 beaches around Australia for 75 cents (£0.27). It is also providing MMS Mobile Cards from Hallmark for AU$2.95 (£1.05). James Pearce writes for ZDNet Australia.
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