I’ve always been fascinated by the power of mobile communication, and even more power that lies behind it.
It’s a bit hard, though, to unleash such a power, or at least it is for “common” people who don’t have huge amounts of money to spend on experiments with new media.
The bad thing about it, is that it’s just lately being discovered by most, and it’s slowly coming out of the closet.
Think about it…
How many developers do actually know how it works?
For instance: I wanted to create my own MMSC (Multimedia Messaging Service Center) as I was able, in the past, to create my own SMS gateway.
You can find many closed and open source projects that allow you to send SMS’s from your computer attaching a phone to it.
But try to search for MMS gateway on google…
One of the first entries found will be Now SMS/MMS gateway, and sadly that’s windows only, besides being highly priced for what it is.
Following you’ll find a bunch of (almost) useless links to other sites (whics are sometimes not even related to the subject), without really finding much about open source stuff.
If you look carefully, though, or change the search string to something containing ‘open source’, ‘php’, ‘linux’ or other similar stuff, you’re going to bump into this little project called “MMS Diary”, hosted by Hellkvist.
Stefan, author of site and project(s) looks like a smart guy who found a way to light my path.
Other fundamental resource is Kannel, which is an Open Source WAP and SMS gateway for unix like systems.
Following Kannel’s Mailing list, I found out the most interesting resource of the day: Mbuni.
This is, finally, an Open Source MMS Gateway!!!
I started reading about it’s capabilities and found out that it’s just what I needed and was looking for.
Mbuni uses Kannel as SMS/WAP gateway, because to send MMS’s you need to send a notification to the final recipient(s) which is nothing but an SMS sent through WAP push.
It’s such a complicated process, compared to SMS and carriers aren’t doing much to spread knowledge about the process (correct me if I’m wrong).
Besides, pushing users to use MMS instead of email on their phones, providers can generate more revenue.
If every user could be able to easily setup email on his mobile, nobody would use MMS anymore.
Think about it: every mobile that supports MMS has support for WAP and email, and often your carrier provides you with an email address that you can configure on your phone, but few people use it.
Think about how much you pay to send a 30 KB picture through MMS (usually a fixed cost with a size limitation), and how much you’d pay sending the same picture through email (thus paying for just the data transfer which is nothing compared to MMS costs).
On the other side, you can be almost sure that the final recipient has MMS configured, rather than email.
There’s still so many factors preventing us from replacing MMS with email, and this is why the former’s use is growing among young and less young users.
By the way… I’ll probably find more time in the future to explain what I found out and to give my opinion about the way we use our mobile media.
Meanwhile read through the stuff you can find on the resources I mentioned to learn more.
also worth checking is
GNokii: Open Source tools for your mobile phone
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