RE: Unicode, SMS, PDA/cellphones

From: Dean Harding (
Date: Fri Jun 02 2006 - 03:01:29 CDT

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    > I know someone who was working on MMS sending software for a mobile
    > phone network. According to him, the software was so badly designed
    > and patched together that it was a miracle that the whole system works :-)
    > And they indeed keep a database of phones and convert some pictures
    > according to information in the database (if the recepient phone is
    > known not to work with a particular image format or size etc...)
    > Maybe it was just a prototype, not the system in actual use, I do not
    > know.

    Having worked with MMS myself, I would guess it IS a production system. It's
    a wonder MMS works at all, and the only reason it DOES work is because when
    you sign up for MMS service with your telco, they ask you "what phone do you
    have?" because they basically have an enormous database of the workarounds
    required to get MMS to work on each individual model (because each phone
    works slightly differently to every other phone - even from the same

    So there is somewhat of a precedent for this sort of thing, but they won't
    have the same database for SMS (which goes through totally different routes,
    and uses one of the most horrendous protocols I've ever seen - SMPP)

    There is room in the SMPP protocol for adding new text encodings (using a
    similar mechanism as they did to introduce UCS-2 in the first place, or the
    Nokia extensions for multiple messages, etc) but the problem with SMS now is
    there's so many manufacturers making phones. Back in the day, if Nokia
    implemented some new protocol, then everyone pretty much just had to follow
    suit, but these days there are too many players and not enough in the way of


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