Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is in danger of becoming another over-hyped technology, according to a report from industry research group, Wireless World Forum (W2F).
The report declares that, as with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), telecoms companies must reassess their predictions of how much extra revenue MMS will actually generate. MMS offers the ability to send messages comprising a combination of text, sounds, images and video.
From talking with key executives among its 3,000 members, London-based W2F predicts that MMS will be worth $5.8 billion across 16 key markets globally, including those in Australia, the US and the UK.
That figure is about 80 per cent lower than the predictions being quoted by many industry analysts, W2F said in a statement. Current industry analysis is predicting that 20 billion MMS messages will be sent per month within the next two years. The real figure will be closer to 200 million, it said.
Josh Dhaliwal, executive partner of W2F, said: "We went into this looking for the foundations of the hype, and managed to trace most of it back to statements from the people furthest from the consumer – the infrastructure providers.
"In a saturated market they can't sell any more SMS (Short Message Service) products, and so they have to push new services. But they're marketing the features, not the benefits to the consumer."
Handset manufacturers, too, see lengthening renewal times and are keen to tempt operators with new features, Dhaliwal said.
"We're not saying that MMS won't be a success, but it won't replace SMS. It won't be used for communication it's more about entertainment," Dhaliwal said.