What Is an SMS & an MMS Text?

By Zyon Silket

According to an article published on Trend Updates.com, Feb. 19, 2010, the International Telecommunication Union believes there will be 5 billion wireless subscribers at the end of 2010. Many of these subscribers will use SMS and MMS as their preferred method of communication.

What is SMS?

SMS stands for “short message service.” It is considered industry jargon because the most common name for an SMS is a text message. Invented in December 1992 by an engineer working for Sema Group, the first SMS sent said “Merry Christmas.” Today, SMS is most commonly used to communicate written words between two mobile phones.

What is MMS?

MMS stands for “multimedia message” and is also considered to be internal jargon for the wireless industry. The most common name for MMS is picture messaging. Picture messaging works in the same manner as SMS except the sender attaches a picture to the message before sending. A picture message can include text with the picture. MMS is primarily used for communication between two mobile phones. However, MMS is also used to upload pictures taken from a mobile phone to online social networks.

Impact of SMS and MMS

According to the Nielsen media group, in an article published Sept. 22, 2008, text messaging surpassed traditional phone calls as the primary source for communication among wireless phone users. Where the average user made 204 phone calls per month, the same user sent 357 SMS per month. ZDNet.com estimates there will be 2.3 trillion SMS sent by 2010 with estimated revenue of $72.5 billion for wireless providers.