Nokia launches multimedia application developer kit

Forum Nokia this week is shipping Mobile Internet Toolkit Version 3.1, enabling development of MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) applications for sending messages between handsets that contain voice, video, graphics, and photos.

The toolkit from the Irving, Texas-based company, which is the application development arm of Nokia Mobile Phones, provides functionality similar to SMS messages. MMS is the telecommunications industry's follow-on to its wildly successful SMS service that generates more than 1 billion messages a month, at 10 cents per message, in Europe. SMS in the United States is not as prevalent but measures in the tens of millions of monthly messages and is growing rapidly, according to many industry analysts.

Carriers will more than likely charge 30 cents per photo for transmitting these messages, according to David Ferris, president of Ferris Research Inc. in San Francisco.

While SMS messages are limited to 160 characters per message, MMS will open up the messaging capabilities in the extreme, allowing users to attach cameras to cell phones, for example, and send photos as well audio clips.

In addition to person-to-person MMS messages, carriers hope to offer machine-to-person services that would include video clips and full audio of breaking headlines from a news service, or graphics from a brokerage house.

Air2Web Inc., a San Francisco-based company that supplies enterprise-level companies such as Delta Air lines Inc., United Parcel Service of America Inc., Holiday Inn, and others with its Mobile Internet Platform also announced this week its completion of MMS trials between Nokia test centers in Dallas and Hong Kong and Air2Web labs in Atlanta.

Air2Web also announced MMS will be integrated into services offered by the Weather Channel which will display graphics of weather forecasts as well as photos of severe weather conditions on cell phones as soon as the 3G roll out from the carriers is complete.

MMS requires high-bandwidth phones using either GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 2000. Full video and audio are probably a few years away, say the experts.

Nevertheless, Nokia is currently offering an MMS-enabled cell phone, model 7650, which includes a camera, as does Sony Ericcson in its T68i.

While the carriers may be looking for ways to amortize the rollout of 3G technology by offering such services as sending photos with MMS, the jury is still out or whether consumers will opt in, said Ferris. E-mail messages, for example, already allow users to send photos as attachments. However, the real-time quality of a photo sent via MMS message may attract users that are not price sensitive, added Ferris.

Despite support from many industry groups such as the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), the 3G Partnership Program (3GPP), and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), there may be problems down the road, according to Mike Wehrs, director in the mobile device division at Microsoft Corp.

"We've made proposals to OMA to try and insure we don't end up going down an incompatible path with e-mail systems," said Wehrs.

Wehrs sees the risk that, as it currently stands, MMS proponents are advocating to isolate MMS as a mobile-only application, and that will be confusing to users in how and when to use it.

"A user will wonder if they have to send the same message via e-mail, SMS, and MMS. The overall path should be one of messaging, not a separate and distinct [mobile wireless] path," said Wehrs.

The Nokia MMS toolkit is available as a free download at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ephraim Schwartz

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?