Rating: Orange gets into deep waters over MMS
by Tony Dennis
Somebody from IBM once said, "I
love industry standards. Let’s have lots of them." He wouldn’t
have said the same thing about industry standards bodies though, I’m
So my heart went out to Philippe Lucas, director of standards with France
Telecom Orange who revealed to OMA World delegates in his speech that he has to
deal with no fewer than 83 different technical bodies at present.
Worse still. Every now and then people
come to him and suggest that Orange should join yet another technical
initiative. His answer is why? Surely new issues could be dealt with
by at least one of the existing mobile industry bodies?
Nonetheless, Lucas would have been better advised to
have picked a different topic for discussion –than MMS. His premise is
that the relevant standards have solidified. The OMA gave us MMS v1.1 in 2004,
followed by v1.2 in 2005.
Better still there are now loads of
handsets – at least 1.3 billion – which are fully MMS compatible. Lucas argues that this will lead to a revival of MMS’s fortunes which won’t be driven
by services but by the fact that so many people now possess a handset
which sports a decent camera that they will wish to send pictures from
Another speaker, KPN‘s Franklin Selget, pointed out a couple
of good uses for MMS: – MMS to email conversions; plus uploading
pictures to a blog via MMS. So it was a hot topic.
Lucas then went onto praise MMS as a
‘mandatory feature’. Unfortunately, he hadn’t reckoned with
Microsoft’s Dave Turner who asked during questiontime, therefore why Orange
France was selling the Apple iPhone?
As Turner pointed out, the
iPhone doesn’t actually boast an MMS client. Lucas responded by
saying the iPhone doesn’t actually have a decent camera – something
which the majority of iPhone users would almost certainly dispute.
When in a hole, trying to dig yourself out doesn’t always work.