Sprint, T-Mobile Picture MMS Interoperability

    July 8, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The two wireless service providers will now allow their subscribers to share picture and video messages.

Cross-carrier multimedia messaging services have had a barrier in place, allowing the sharing of video and image content only with other subscribers using the same wireless carrier.

T-Mobile and Sprint have overcome the barrier, and will now let users send each other visual content across the two carriers.

Also, Cingular has announced a similar agreement with Sprint, T-Mobile, and two other carriers. That comes on the heels of a March announcement where Cingular and Verizon had agreed to let their users interoperate with MMS content.

Existing “walled garden” approaches have had a negative impact on the sale of video-related wireless services. Users have complained of the limitations as well.

Companies had planned to break down the walls between them by last fall, but technological problems hindered the effort. The primary problem was the failure of major wireless providers to agree on a single standard for MMS services. Sprint and T-Mobile will have to rely on a hosted service from Verisign to handle MMS messages sent between the carriers.

These agreements have been ones to enhance the value of MMS products, raise sales of handsets capable of delivering MMS, and increase the entertainment value of picture and video. But on July 7, the value of picture phones played out much differently in London.

In the wake of four terrorist attacks on London’s mass transit system, the first images of the horrible crimes came from picture phone users. They brought a global audience closer and faster to seeing the effects of the attacks, as pictures quickly made their way online.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.