Correction: The MMS Picture Is Not As Clear As Reported Last Week

Last week we discussed how the GSM oriented 3G Americas and the CDMA Development Group had agreed on interoperability for Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS). Unfortunately, it seems that an agreement among trade organizations on interop specs does not mean that carriers will adopt those specs. Verizon Wireless’ comments on the specs was a barely lukewarm: “We’ll review them, but we haven’t made any commitment to them.” Wha?? Why would there be anything less than stifled enthusiasm? We’re not sure why any telco these days would prefer to “go it alone” with an isolated island of messaging instead of connecting to the mainland with all the other carriers, but they’ve done it before. SMS is just one example. Verizon, as the biggest show in town, is the most likely to think that they’re giving up more to the group. True, but the thing is, even VZW will gain more than they give with interoperability. Here’s something to consider: what if telephone companies didn’t interconnect? Yeah, that’s right, what if you could only call SBC customers from SBC landlines, British Telecom phones could only call BT customers, and Sprint PCS only connected to Sprint PCS? In that ridiculous case, phones would have a minuscule fraction of the value they actually have today. A telephone’s value is exponentially greater because it does interconnect among all the phone companies in the world. Now, after that experience, wouldn’t you think that phone companies would be the first to understand the value of interoperability? I would…now I’m going back to my opium pipe for some more utopian dreams.

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