Sending MMS Notifications and Content

To send an MMS message via a menu driven interface, please see the help section titled Web Menu Interface. This section describes how to send an MMS message programmatically via URL parameters. Specifically this section details the process of sending an MMS notification.

An MMS Notification is used when you have pre-packaged MMS message content residing on an existing web server, and you want to simply use NowSMS to send an MMS notification to tell an MMS compatible client to retrieve the content.

Please note that this technique will not work in many mobile operator environments because of firewalls deployed in the mobile operator network. However, it is described here for developers who want to better understand the MMS delivery process.

As an alternative, most users will submit the complete MMS message content to the NowSMS server, which is the technique described in Submitting MMS Messages to NowSMS.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages are sent using a combination of SMS and WAP technologies. When an MMS message is sent, a mobile device receives an MMS notification message via SMS. When this MMS notification message is received by the mobile device, the mobile device automatically initiates a WAP gateway connection to download the content of the MMS message.

To send an MMS message, you must first create an MMS message file. The format of an MMS message file is documented in the MMS Encapsulation Protocol specification published by the Open Mobile Alliance ( and/or the WAP Forum ( The MMS message file format consists of an MMS message binary header, followed by a multipart MIME message where the multipart message is encoded in a binary multipart format as defined by the WAP Wireless Session Protocol (WSP) specification. This binary MMS message file is stored on a web server using a MIME type of application/vnd.wap.mms-message and an MMS message type of m-retrieve-conf. A subset of the binary MMS header is sent as an MMS notification message (MMS message type m-notification-ind) via SMS to the mobile device together with a URL pointer to the location of the complete message.

The gateway includes an MMS message compiler to assist in the creation of the MMS message files, which will be described shortly. It is also possible to create MMS message files by uploading the individual MMS message components via the gateway web menu interface or by submitting the complete MMS message content to the NowSMS server via a variety of different protocols as described in Submitting MMS Messages to NowSMS. This section of the document focuses more on the programmatic creation of MMS message files.

Once an MMS message file has been built and published via a web server, the MMS notification message can be sent by the gateway using the following URL format:

For, please substitute the IP address or host name assigned to your gateway PC. (Note: is a local loop back address that can be utilized when you are connecting to the gateway from the same computer.)

For 8800, please substitute the port number that the gateway is configured to use.

Substitute the phone number that you wish to send the SMS message to for the “xxxxxxxx” in the “PhoneNumber” parameter. Use either the local phone number format, or the international phone number format (your network provider may or may not allow you to send to international phone numbers). If the international phone number format is used, note that you must substitute “%2B” for the “+” character, because of URL escaping restrictions. For example, to send an SMS to +447778001210, use %2B447778001210 instead.

The URL that contains the MMS message file is specified in the “MMSURL” parameter. Note that the “http://” portion of the URL is not necessary and is assumed. Also note that it may be necessary to escape some URL characters, please refer to the table in the Sending Text Messages for common characters that must be escaped. Before sending the MMS notification message, the gateway will validate that the MMS message file is of the MIME type application/vnd.wap.mms-message, and is of the MMS message type m-retrieve-conf.

Additional parameters supported for the MMS notification message include “MMSFROM” and “MMSSUBJECT”, which can be used to override the message sender and subject in the MMS message file.

For a complete list of URL parameters, please refer to the section Submitting SMS Messages – URL Parameters.

Further discussion of the type of MMS message content that can be sent via an MMS Notification can be found in the section Creating MMS Message Files with the MMSCOMP.