Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS)

Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) is an adaptation of the Short Message Service (SMS) that allows users to send and receive ring tones and operator logos, as well as combinations of simple media to and from EMS-compliant handsets. Because EMS is based on SMS, it can use SMS Centers (SMSCs) the same way that SMS does. EMS works on all Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) networks (widely used in Europe and increasingly available elsewhere). If a message is sent to a phone that is not EMS-capable, the recipient will still receive the text portion of the message.

EMS users can integrate text, melodies, pictures, sounds, and animations to enhance the expressive power of messages that are limited by the display constraints of mobile devices. Message senders can use images, sounds, and animation they download from an online library or create images and sounds directly on the phone.

EMS is an open standard developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a mobile telecommunications standards collaborative. The standard is considered an intermediate technology between SMS and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), with more capabilities than the former, but fewer than the latter technology. EMS is being actively promoted by Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola, and Siemens. Nokia is promoting a similar proprietary standard called "Smart Messaging."

This was last updated in September 2005

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