There are a great number of people even in developing countries who have, in one way or another, experienced using SMS or Short Message System using mobile phones. In fact, when people hear the word SMS or Text message, most would readily associate the term with mobile phones. An extended standard in messaging called MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service is similar to SMS except for the added capability of sending not only text messages but audio, video and pictures as well.
SMS and MMS has been a profitable element in the mobile business, with major networks registering more than 150 billion text messages and 4 billion MMS for each quarter of the year. Research show that teens in the United States send an average of more than 100 text messages on a daily basis – more than the daily emails sent by office workers on the average. This is the primary why operators continue to support SMS and MMS features in their networks.
With the ever growing popularity of VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol systems and networks, it would only be logical to expect the same SMS and MMS features to be available in this telecommunication infrastructure. With the reduced cost of sending voice and data communication packets via the internet in these systems, the use of SMS and MMS over the VoIP network will be more appealing than ever.
Why Use SMS/MMS in the First Place?
The use of mobile phones has grown rampant over the years and even people from developing nations don the latest mobile phones and gadgets. One of the main reasons why this phenomenon has grown to such magnitude is the SMS feature built-in into their mobile networks — a cheap and very convenient way to communicate while on the go from practically anywhere. This is a great alternative means of communication to spending considerable airtime costs through direct phone-to-phone calls.
Service providers on the other hand are using these SMS/MMS facilities as an added service for their subscribers as a way of maintaining loyalty. As mentioned earlier, the volume of SMS/MMS messages sent on a daily basis proved that it is definitely a very viable cash cow for these operators. On top of that, the SMS/MMS facilities can be a great marketing tool for new products, services and offers without falling into the spamming category.
Sending SMS/MMS through VoIP Networks
With VoIP networks and Internet Telephony Service Providers slowly moving into mainstream telecommunications, the added feature of SMS/MMS messaging capabilities will surely be a required service by most subscribers. With multi-protocol facilities for VoIP networks which include the H.323, SIP and most recently the 3G standards, sending SMS/MMS messages will likely become more efficient than ever.
Several VoIP providers have already jumped into place and added SMS/MMS capabilities within their networks, with very affordable pricing models inclusive of call time. Affordable mobile VoIP solutions will also be marketed and integrated into these services, adding a more mobile experience for VoIP users as well as including compatibility with existing cellular networks. These mobile VoIP phones will likely be packed with features similar to standard mobile phones, which include colored displays, cameras, e-mail, phonebooks and SMS/MMS facilities.