Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens commit to supporting EMS and bringing exciting images and sound to text messaging

Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens have announced today that they will implement EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service). They will work together to ensure interoperability between their products and also in the evolution of the EMS standard.

EMS adds powerful new functionality to the popular text-based SMS (Short Messaging Service). Using EMS, mobile phone users can add life to their Text Messages in the form of images, melodies, and animations. Users will now be able to enjoy collecting and swapping images, ring signals and other melodies between the handsets of some of the world's leading suppliers.

Because the EMS standard is open, operators and content suppliers alike will be able to introduce appealing new value-added services such as screen savers, images and ring melodies that can be easily downloaded from the Internet. By the end of January 2001, SMS was used to send more than 20 billion text messages per month worldwide. EMS messages are sent over the same infrastructure as regular SMS messages, thus keeping investments to a minimum and allowing for quick and easy deployment of the service. EMS provides an important evolutionary step between SMS and full Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).

The EMS standard was defined by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), the same standardization body from which the worldwide success of GSM and the standardization of SMS (Short Messaging Services) originated. It is a completely open standard that may be supported by any manufacturer in the interests of interoperability between consumers.

EMS enabled telephones will begin shipping from the end of Q2 this year, however, because EMS is obviously tied to new product launches, this timescale will vary across manufacturers.

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