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IM+ as a substitution of MMS on smartphones
Success of SMS was a real surprise for all telecommunication companies. Nobody could think that phone users would agree to pay for short messages, which are even uncomfortable to type on the phone keypad. Operators almost didn’t promote this service, but number of users were increasing. As a result, this service, which was built more to enhance the prestige than gain a real profit, became one of the main sources of income for operators.
Today, operators began to integrate MMS technology – a successor of SMS, which could give much more possibilities than SMS. But today now this service is widely promoted; operators pay fantastic sums for the advertisements of MMS. But it seems that the didn’t take into account an increasing functionality of mobile phones, which allowed a rival of SMS/MMS – system of internet pagers, to enter the market.
Not long ago SHAPE Services GmbH (www.im.shapeservices.de/) produced the second version of its IM+ for Nokia Series 60. This program is comparable to ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger. The company positioned its product not only as an instant messenger, but a full substitution of SMS/MMS. The main reason is price of course. It would be always cheaper to send an instant message than SMS/MMS message, because using this software you pay only for data volume transferred by GPRS. Also don’t forget about a spacious client database of instant messengers.
The program supports the main functions of internet pagers. You can add and delete users, change your status, send files and messages. A list of users is stored on the server, if you change it, it would be automatically changed in the phone and usual client program on PC. There is a possibility to be connected to 3 networks simultaneously. It’s important that IM+ makes direct connection to the supported services, without any «gate» in the middle. It means that owners of network can’t deny access to them. One of the shortcomings is absence of messages history.
When you receive a message or any user from the contact list is connected, you can here a sound, which can be switched off if you want.
IMMS is a nice feature. It can help to create and send messages, which include text, graphic and audio files. Preview is available before sending. Actually it is a substitution of MMS. But the only problem is that you can send IMMS only to online users, not offline ones. The other problem is that it is impossible to send IMMS and files to those, who use other original programs of internet pagers. IM+ refuses to send them. But if IM+ for Windows is pre-installed on PC, then, no problems occur.
A counter of transmitted data is available in this program. It enables to view volume of last session and the whole volume of all sessions.
Many thanks to SHAPE Services GmbH, which gave an opportunity to test the program.
Published 11 February 2003
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