Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and the NowSMS MMSC

Posted by on Apr 16, 2010 in Support Blog

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When the NowSMS MMSC is used in environments with mobile number portability (MNP), the MMSC may need to query a database to determine whether a recipient is local to this MMSC or if it belongs to another operator.

The interface to support this is defined in the following article:

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and the NowSMS MMSC

However, there is an additional issue that is not discussed in that article.

By default, the routing callback is only called for recipients that are not defined to the MMSC on the “MMSC Users” page.

In a typical operator MMSC configuration, new MMSC user accounts are automatically provisioned the first time a user sends an MMS message. This configuration is detailed in the article titled NowSMS MMSC Operator Considerations.

A problem scenario develops if a subscriber moves their number from this operator to another operator, after they have already been provisioned on the MMSC. The MMSC will see the user account and attempt to deliver the MMS message directly, without performing a routing lookup.

To address this scenario, an additional MMSC configuration parameter exists. Under the [MMSC] header or MMSC.INI, add the parameter ForceRoutingCallback=Yes. This setting will cause the routing lookup to always occur.

Prior to the 2009-06-30 release, to address this issue, we recommended instead using the setting DisableMMSDirectDelivery=Yes, a setting name which sounds contrary to the intended purpose. This other setting was originally added to NowSMS for a different purpose, but it does have the side effect of always forcing the routing callback.

We no longer recommend the use of DisableMMSDirectDelivery=Yes for this purpose, and instead recommend the ForceRoutingCallback=Yes setting. This is because DisableMMSDirectDelivery=Yes has an extra side effect of disabling the automatic version tracking of MMS clients. Because the MMS read receipt format was not introduced until OMA MMS v1.2, this can cause some clients to generate read receipts as regular MMS messages instead of using the read receipt format.

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3 Responses to “Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and the NowSMS MMSC”

  1. Felix Sanchez says:


    The post look very clear, however i’ve question if we have Now SMS/MMS (2008.06.03), we are forced to do an upgrade to the application?.

    We are implementing number portability, and one of the concern is that if we are going to have problems with the current version.

    • From an MNP perspective, I would only be concerned with the issue described in this article.

      In the 2008 release, in order address the issue of a subscriber that leaves you for another provider, you must either use the DisableMMSDirectDelivery=Yes setting, or delete the user account from the “MMSC Users” list.

      The DisableMMSDirectDelivery=Yes setting has a side effect that can affect read receipts, as described in this article, resulting in users being charged to send a read receipt. As an alternative to upgrading, you can set EnableReadReceipt=No to disable all read receipts (delivery receipts will still be supported).

      Both of these settings go under the [MMSC] header of MMSC.INI.

      All this said, if you have any MM4 interconnects, I would strongly recommend upgrading. This is not do to any MNP specific issues, but to issues related to MM4 interconnects.

      The updates mostly address a variety of real world problems with MM4 interconnects, mostly involving delivery receipt and read receipt handling.

      I also see references to a particular MM4 interconnect using longer transaction IDs that 2008.06.03 supported which blocked message delivery over the connection.

      Most alarmingly, there is one issue where an invalid format in an MMS message received over an MM4 connection could lead to an MMSC crash and restart.

      More change information can be found at

    • Felix Sanchez says:

      Thank you for your reply.