Pangolin's Interactive Messaging Unlimited system supports
the reception and processing of these types of messages:
Each type of message is described below.
SMS: Short Message Service
SMS (Short Message Service) is the simplest and most
common type of text message and is supported by a large number of mobile
phones. SMS typically allows for text messages with a maximum of 160
characters per message.
Technical note: The 160 character
maximum applies to messages written in English and some Western European
languages, which can be represented by 7-bits per character. For other
languages including some Eastern European languages, Middle Eastern
languages and Asian languages which require 8- or 16-bits per character,
this maximum is reduced to 140 characters and 80 characters respectively.
Also note that some mobile phones allow you to create "concatenated
messages" which actually can extend the maximum number of characters.
IMU fully supports all SMS text message types
including 7-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit (Unicode) and concatenated messages.
Smart Messaging was developed by Nokia and is found only
on Nokia phones. Smart Messaging allows Nokia phone users to create
messages that have pictures, ring tones, virtual business cards and other
types of non-text data, all within a message that is roughly compatible
with the SMS text standard. In other words, although these messages may
contain non-text content, they still use SMS text data stream to
communicate the data.
The great thing about Smart Messaging is that it allows
people to do simple picture messaging, but with the low cost, quick
message transmission and high simplicity of regular text messages. By "low
cost", we mean that Smart Messages do not cost the mobile phone user any
more money to send than a regular SMS text message, and they can be sent
in roughly the same amount of time as SMS text messages. By "high
simplicity", we mean that the user interface in the telephone makes
creating Smart Messages very easy.
IMU fully supports the Smart Messaging standard
for text and picture messages. IMU discards any other content, such as
ring tones and virtual business cards.
EMS: Extended Message Service
The EMS (Extended Message Service) standard was a
collaborative effort of Alcatel, Motorola, Siemens and Sony/Ericsson, and
this standard emerged as a response to Nokia's proprietary Smart Messaging
standard. Since EMS was developed after Smart Messaging, and since it
involved the collaboration of several manufacturers, it is Pangolin's
opinion that this standard is better thought out, more flexible and easier
The EMS standard allows for pictures, animations, ring
tones, and other non-text content similar to Smart Messaging, but in
addition, EMS adds the ability to format the text messages including the
font size, font color, font style (bold, italics, etc.) and text and
picture placement within a message.
Like Smart Messaging, the great thing about EMS messages
is that they use the SMS text data stream for transmission, thus providing
the low cost, quick message transmission, and high simplicity of SMS text
IMU fully supports the EMS version 2.0 standard,
including the ability to preserve text formatting and text and picture
placement. IMU discards any content that is not related to text or
picture messaging (such as ring tones).
MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service
The MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) standard includes
the ability to create messages with text, picture, music and other
content. MMS messages may consist of multiple pages, each page with its
own text, picture, music, etc.
MMS is the newest and most complicated standard
currently employed by mobile phones. Because it is so new, this opens the
door to incompatibility between phone manufacturers and even between
mobile carriers (i.e. the implementation and use by AT&T may not be
equivalent to the implementation and use by Verizon, Alltel, etc.).
Because of this, there may be "interoperability" issues between mobile
carriers and between mobile phone models.
One clear and easy-to-understand difference is the
picture resolution supported by camera-phones. Some camera-phones allow
for relatively low-resolution pictures such as 352 by 288 pixels while
others support 640 by 480 or higher. When a picture is sent from one phone
model to another, it must be converted for proper display. This conversion
is done by "trans-coders" at the mobile carrier. This trans-coder process
currently works pretty well within a given mobile carrier but may not work
at all across mobile carriers.
There is another downside of MMS and that is the size of the data and
speed of data transmission. Obviously with high resolution color pictures,
the size of the message is much larger than simple text messages (tens or
hundreds of kilobytes as opposed to only 256 bytes). As a result, MMS
picture messages take longer to send and receive. While a typical mobile
phone might be able to receive 20 SMS text messages per minute, that same
mobile phone may only be able to receive a single MMS picture message per
minute. And since the amount of data is greater, mobile operators charge a
much higher fee per message sent and received. While an SMS text message
may cost only a few cents to send or receive, MMS picture messages may
cost 20 cents or more. In any event, clearly this is the next generation
of mobile data and thus one which will continue to grow in popularity.
The PRO version of IMU fully supports MMS. When
receiving MMS messages, IMU retains the text and picture portions of the
message, but discards other content such as ring tones.
Email originated on personal computers, as a method of sending text
communications over the internet. As mobile phones have evolved, many
newer models now include the capability to send and receive email. In
fact, when composing a picture message with a mobile phone, most will
offer the ability to send this picture message to an email address as well
as to a phone number (using MMS).
Email can often be a good alternative to sending an MMS message since
it offers a user the same ability to send messages with text and pictures.
For those with a mobile phone, the advantage is that sending a picture
message to an email address may require less data communications and thus,
it can be faster to send an email than to send an MMS message. Also, many
mobile plans include sending email for free, but have a charge associated
with sending an MMS message.
The disadvantage is that it can be more tedious to spell out an email
address using the keypad on standard mobile phones, because you must
triple-tap the letters to spell the email address. In some parts of the
world, such as Japan, email is the defacto method of sending text
communication between phones.
IMU fully supports the ability to send and
receive email messages including the decoding of ANSI text and Unicode
messages, with or without picture attachments.