The introduction of multi-media messaging (MMS) on mobile has opened a new platform for breaking news or running brand promos now. Don't be surprised if you get even a new movie promo splashing on your mobile screens soon.
CellNext, a wireless IT company promoted by the Escorts Group, has launched the multi-media messaging (MMS) hosting infrastructure to enable cellular operators and content service providers offer enterprise messaging. For the purpose, the company has set up an independent Multi Media Messaging Service Centre (MMS-C) where it has deployed a mobile messaging gateway.
Throwing more light on the new centre's benefits, Atanu Mandal, CEO of CellNext informed exchange4media, "Now we can provide the MMS facility across multiple mobile networks to deliver the content. Abroad even movies promos are run in MMS format to reach out to the cinema goers through mobiles." Besides film producers, the company is targeting content providers like TV content companies, Internet portals and mobile operators who could prove to be the key customers of this service.
"The entry of operator-independent mobile messaging gateways like CellNext will transform the outlook for MMS and boost its chances of success as content providers independently on their own can drive mobile multimedia usage," said Mandal. "The astronomical growth in SMS traffic only came about when users could be sure that their message would be delivered, anywhere, anytime, and to any network".
As far as content companies and mobile operators are concerned, the company intends to take the revenue-sharing route. CellNext already has a tie-up with Star Network for providing short messaging service (SMS) facility on the Star Plus (KBC), Star World, V Channel and Radio City. Mandal expects the Star Network to extend the contract by including MMS too now.
CellNext has also gone a step forward by acting as a multi-media content aggregator by launching India's first MMS portal www.go667.com. This service enables not only the users with MMS compatible handsets but also the SMS, WAP & Web users to experience the excitement and thrills of sending multimedia content to MMS phones or an e-mail account. End users from any part of the world can directly register for the GO667 service and download MMS content, which is available for free till the end of the year to create demand during Christmas and new year. Thereafter, it is expected to take the paid route.
The GO667 promises immediate delivery of user-created content from phone to phone. In addition to text, MMS messages can contain still images, audio/video clips and information that contains a "recipe" for presentation of the message content, e.g. in which order the images are to appear on the screen of the user's mobile phone, how long they will be displayed, when should the sound clip be started, etc. The subscribers can send each other greeting cards, wallpapers, screensavers, emoticons, music and audio downloads, comic strips and the like.
Inspite of opening a new innovative route for dissemination of news and brand promos, MMS is still in its infancy. There are very few MMS-enabled mobile handsets like Nokia 7650 and Sony Ericsson T68 which can deliver the MMS content in India. Even the high cost of the handsets is a major deterrent in the expansion of the market for such mobiles. Currently, among the service providers offering the MMS facility on their networks, Idea and BPL are the only ones. But Mandal is excited as he says, "Watch out for the market in the next 3-6 months time. It is bound to grow at a faster pace."