Mobile instant messaging
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Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) is a presence enabled messaging service that aims to transpose the Internet desktop messaging such as ICQ or MSN experience to the usage scenario of being connected via a mobile/cellular device. While several of the core ideas of the desktop IM experience and functionality on one hand apply to a connected mobile device, others do not: Users usually only look at their phone's screen—presence status changes might occur under different circumstances as happens at the desktop, and several functional limits exist based on the fact that the vast majority of mobile communication devices are chosen by their users to fit into the palm of their hand.
Some of the form factor and mobility related differences need to be taken into account in order to create a really adequate, powerful and yet convenient mobile experience: radio bandwidth, memory size, availability of media formats, keypad based input, screen output, CPU performance and battery power are core issues that desktop device users and even nomadic users with connected notebooks are usually not exposed to. There are two distinct methods to enable mobile instant messaging;
- Embedded Clients – tailored IM client for every specific device with a special backend server installed within the cellular operator's service.
- Clientless Platform – a browser based application without downloading any software to the handset or need for any technical support by the cellular operator which enables all users, all devices and from any network to connect to their Internet IM service.
By all communication market analysts the Clientless Platform is by far the more preferred method between the two. The Embedded Clients cost for installment, technical and consumer support. Embedded Clients are simply too expensive to develop and deploy for the cellular operator. On the other hand, the Clientless Platform enables full interoperability between networks and communication platforms – at no technical and consumer support. In the past Microsoft & AOL have tried to develop such a solution with minor success. But since the popularity of 2.5 generation cellular handsets and even more so since the appearance of the 3G technology – enabling fast data trafficking – will finally enable widespread MIM usage.
Several formerly untackled issues have been identified and addressed within IMPS. This standard (IMPS) was developed as part of an early mobile telephone industry initiative to kick off a broader usage of mobile instant messaging . The Open Mobile Alliance has taken over this standard, formerly called Wireless Village, as IMPS V1.0 in November 2002. Since then this standards has been further developed to IMPS V1.3, the latest candidate for release, and is expected to be released before the end of 2006.
Among the advantages of using such MIM service over Short Message Service (SMS) are: by far more affordable to the consumers for the MIM services use data instead of SMS text messages; IM-like chat mode, faster and quicker messaging. Some the Clientless Platform and some of the MIM embedded clients software enable group communication.