Application software

The most common forms of messaging are email and paging, and work toward some of the newer and more advanced formats including WAP Push, instant messaging and application-to-application messaging.

Email

How does Email work?

When it comes to messaging, email is the killer application. This is definitely true for PC users and more and more so for mobile and wireless users. Every day, billions of email messages are sent; some users send and receive more than a hundred each day. An email has become the preferred means of communication for many companies, providing a quick and easy way to move information between users. These messages are often in form of standard text or business documents such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

For mobile users, email is also a top priority. Many organizations implement email as their first mobile application. This allows users to get a feel for the mobile device and wireless connectivity before they implement other, more focused business applications.

Paging

How does Paging work?

One of the earliest forms of messaging to mobile devices was paging. Paging typically involves a caller dialling a telephone number associated with the intended recipient of the page. Once connected to the paging terminal, the person sending the page can enter a message that will be sent to the pager. The message can be either numeric, alphanumeric, or voice, depending on the system being used. When the message is complete, the paging terminal converts the message into a pager code and sends it to a series of transmitters to which it is connected. These transmitters then send out the message as a radio signal throughout the entire coverage area. Every pager within this area on the particular frequency will receive the message, but only the pager with the proper code will be alerted. In essence, the pager works much like an FM receiver.

Short message service (SMS)

How Short Message Service (SMS) does work?

The Short Message Service (SMS) was first introduced in Europe in 1991 as part of the GSM Phase 1 standard. Since that time it has had tremendous success, with more than 1 billion messages sent around the world daily. SMS is supported on digital wireless networks such as GSM, CDMA, and TDMA.

SMS makes it possible to send and receive short text messages to and from mobile telephones. The message can contain alphanumeric characters to a maximum length of 160 characters for Latin alphabets, including English, and 70 characters for non-Latin alphabets, such as Chinese. It provides an easy way for individuals to communicate with one another and with external systems. In this way, SMS can be used to turn a cellular phone into a pager. By adding the capability to receive short messages, users can receive the same kind of information that is typically received on pagers. This eliminates the need to carry both a pager and a cell phone, as SMS messages can even be received during a voice call.

Even though the standard maximum length of an SMS message is 160 characters, many carriers have set their own limitations, which range from 100 to 280 characters.

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Enhanced Message Service (EMS)

How Enhanced Message Service (EMS) does work?

The Enhanced Message Service EMS adds powerful new functionality to SMS. In addition to being able to send text, EMS allows users to send richer content, including pictures, animations, sounds and formatted texts. EMS can be added to existing SMS infrastructures, saving operators from having to make large investments to add these new features. This should help drive the adoption of EMS until more advanced messaging services, such as Multimedia Message Service (MMS) are rolled out in 2003 and 2004.

Multimedia Message Service (MMS)

How Multimedia Message Service (MMS) does work?

The Multimedia Message Service (MMS) takes the capabilities of EMS one step further, adding true richness to the message content. In addition to the capability for pictures, formatted text, and sound introduced in EMS, MMS also provides support for voice, audio and video clips, and presentation information. This is accomplished in a manner very similar to SMS: providing automatic immediate delivery for custom content, as well as store-and-forward capabilities when the recipient is unable to receive the message. MMS also adds support for email addresses, so messages can be sent to an email address from the MMS client.

Instant Messaging (IM)

How Instant Massaging does work?

Instant Messaging (IM) is well-positioned to be the next killer application for the wireless industry. With the monumental growth rate of SMS, and more than 100 million desktop instant messaging users, the potential for wireless instant messaging is incredible. It provides similar capabilities to other two-way messaging technologies, such as paging, SMS, and email. This is also in addition to one significant feature presence! Presence is so elemental to IM that this form of messaging is often referred to as Instant Messaging and Presence Services (IMPS).

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Presence lets users know the current status of the people with whom they are conversing. This introduces a new way of communication. Presence information can include device availability, device capabilities, user status, location information, as well as personal information such as the user’s mood.

When a user wants to send a message to another party, he or she can first check the status of the intended recipient to make sure that person is available. Based on the present information, the user may decide to send a message, try another means of communication, or simply wait until later. This is an important concept because instant messaging does not have store-and-forward capabilities. When a message is sent, it goes directly to the intended recipient. If that person is not able to receive the message, it is lost; it is not sent at a later time. Thus, this is different from email, SMS, EMS, and MMS.

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