The concept, as this MDA blog explains, is…
…to drive a high profile project which will educate and reinforce MMS messaging to a mass market in an entertaining and interactive way. In the same way the MDA helped to propel the growth of SMS text messaging, we now believe the emergence of increasingly sophisticated and affordable devices with intuitive MMS functionality should bring a surge in the use of richer media mobile messaging.
All the UK mobile networks are joining in — so it will be free to send an MMS, to Radio 1, on Friday 11th December. (WIN Plc are the aggregator behind the project).
Ostensibly the project will enable Radio 1 to compile a wickedly cool massive picture featuring your face — that, by the way, is what you’ve to MMS to the Radio Station on the day.
Just to be clear: You’ll be billed for sending MMS messages to anyone else. It’s only free to Radio 1 on that day.
Which, frankly, is a fat lot of good for the wider consumer.
The mobile industry — the mobile operators — (and to a lesser extent, the Mobile Data Association) — have handled the introduction and implementation of MMS with neolithic incompetence.
This is far, far too late.
Far too late.
THIS! From an industry that thought it would be a good idea to FUCK the consumer to the tune of FIFTY PENCE — read it and weep — FIFTY FLIPPIN’ PENCE — per shite small bollocks photo… the mobile operators deserve the absolute flop they got.
Oh MMS is reasonably popular, nowadays.
Now that generations of handsets have been sent out into the market with the correct settings, more or less. Now that mobile operators have actually got off their arses and interconnected.
But a public education project? Goodness me this is ridiculous, ridiculously late.
It is, of course, completely irrelevant to anyone with an iPhone or Android handset. MMS? What MMS? You can just email the photo. 😉
Unfortunately the medium has a normob reputation of being absolutely useless — this isn’t quite the fault of the mobile operator per se — but when I take a 5 megapixel image and transmit it to your bollocks shitty small-screened Nokia 3600, yeah… the experience isn’t going to be very good at all.
Of course, now and again, there are moments where sending a photo to your friend with the shite mobile handset is necessary. So that’s when you need to use MMS.
My reading of the consumer marketplace is that they needed this effort from the MDA and the mobile operators about 3 years ago. Not now.
Still. Any assistance is useful, right?
And speaking of assistance, have you checked out getsettings.com? It’s the site run by the MDA that helps UK consumers get the right access settings for their network.
This is important, because the BOLLOCKS mobile industry couldn’t get its act together. Most reasonably modern handsets automatically acquire and select the relevant MMS/data gateways. But I meet too many normobs who ‘haven’t got MMS setup’ or who tell me that ‘it’s never worked for me’.
Only today I had a text from a reader who got his N900 today — but can’t connect to Vodafone’s data gateway for some reason.
This is simply ridiculous.
Again, I suppose it’s laudable that the MDA is doing something about it.
Pricing has always been a problem. Talk to most normobs and they’ll either tell you that MMS is ‘expensive’ or they’ll assume it’s not included in their price plan. Thankfully many monthly price plans nowadays lump SMS and MMS into one inclusive or flat rate fee. T-Mobile, though (as an example) still charges PAYG users 20p per MMS and 5p per text.
Which automatically tells the consumer that sending a photo is four times more expensive and should thus be used on ‘special occasions’.
Here’s Scott Mills introducing the project:
And here’s the ‘MMS day’ site.