The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Messages that can say much more

To load more fun into messaging, Airtel has introduced multimedia messaging service (MMS) through their GPRS network.

MMS will offer much more than the simple text messages, as it will give the user an opportunity to express feelings by bundling pictures, images and sound clips with ordinary text messages. “This is the next-generation concept in messaging. We expect it to be a hit with our subscribers,” says Deepak Gulati, chief executive officer, Bharti Mobitel.

And the “fun-loaded” service will not be restricted to GPRS phone-users only. “The GPRS handsets have a low penetration due to their high costs. But in our network, one can send and receive MMS from other non-MMS phones and from Internet-based applications, too,” says Anupam Verma, chief marketing officer of Bharti Mobitel.

According to Verma, handsets that can support the GPRS include Nokia 7210, 6610, 8310, 6100, 7650 and 3530; Sony Ericsson P800, P300 and T68i.

To help the customers in selecting and downloading content to send personalised messages, Airtel MMS is supported by an MMS masala portal. The service will be offered free till April 30 and after that, the subscribers will have to shell out a monthly rental to access the services. “No other charges will be levied,” mentions Verma.

Besides MMS, Airtel has also introduced ‘Mobile Office’, a business application for corporate users. “The user can connect a GPRS handset to a personal computer, laptop or pocket PC and log on to the Internet. GPRS will also enable users to shuttle between regular calls and access data simultaneously,” adds Verma.

“The application will make Internet use cheaper than normal dial-up connections,” sums up Verma.

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