12-19-2010 2:58 PM
Pardon the exceedingly rookie question, but what is MMS for?? I understand that pics and videos can be sent via MMS to a phone number, but can't they be sent through SMS messaging also? Additionally, does MMS and SMS use 3G or cellular data plan broadband or do they go out using the "voice phone" path? Thanks.
12-19-2010 10:42 PM - edited 12-19-2010 11:23 PM
SMS is a Short Messaging System. The important word there is short. The system was designed to allow short text messages to be sent over a system that is primarily meant for voice. It uses the signaling channels that are used to route and direct traffic, sending a 140-byte or smaller message over those channels. It doesn't open a data connection, but it doesn't interfere with voice.
140 bytes is small. If you tried sending a 256-color picture of that size, it would need to be less than 12x12 pixels. If you reduce that to 16 colors, it needs to be less than 17x17 pixels.
MMS is very different. It stands for Multimedia Messaging System. As you say, images, audio clips, and (very short) videos can be sent - that's the system's purpose. MMS actually does use a data connection, so if you have data blocked, you cannot send or receive MMS messages. If you're in a 2G-only coverage area or don't have a 3G-capable phone, you can't receive MMS messages while you're on a call (since 2G doesn't support simultaneous voice and data). However, the data used does not count toward your data plan allowance or pay-per-use data.
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