MMS: Messy Mistake Service
By Mike Masnick, Thu Mar 17 03:15:00 GMT 2005

The fact that US operators are just now starting to offer interop for picture messaging is an embarrassment -- but they're only following in the footsteps of other operators.

Someone should be writing a case study analyzing just how dreadfully operators around the world have rolled out MMS services. The fact that MMS services still are slow to catch on despite finally getting some form of interop in Europe is now being chalked up to the fact that MMS was barely half-baked when operators decided to launch it. Beyond interop, the pricing was bad, the service was confusing and much of the time, it just didn't work.

In the US, at least you would think that being the (not so) fast followers would allow operators here to avoid the mistakes of operators in Europe -- but it appears they're just making the same exact mistakes all over again. Despite the obvious need for interop for picture messaging, it was only last May that US operators really seemed to care. Five months later they again pointed out the importance of interop, but it's only now, nearly a year after the first guidelines were published that operators are starting to offer interop. Even so, it's just Verizon Wireless and Cingular, rather than everyone.

This isn't a milestone. It's an embarrassment. Meanwhile, the market is becoming increasingly messy with various instant messaging offerings going mobile. With more mobile messaging options showing up every few days, the operators have only themselves to blame for not fixing the problems with MMS back when it first came along.