Now SMS/MMS Newsletter
NowSMS 2006 Edition Available for Download March 2006

in this issue

OMA Digital Rights Management v1.0

More Robust SMPP Implementation

Priority Message Queue Handling

EMS Support

MMS 1.2 & MMSC Enhancements

OTA Enhancements

System Alerts

E-Mail to SMS and MMS Enhancements

GSM & GPRS Modem Handling


OMA Digital Rights Management v1.0

NowSMS provides full support for OMA Digital Rights Management (DRM) v1.0, with support for forward lock, combined delivery and separate delivery.

"Forward Lock" is the most basic level of DRM. When "Forward Lock" is enabled, this indicates that the receiving device should not allow any non- text objects in the message to be forwarded off of the device. The device may allow the user to extract pictures, videos or sounds from the message and save them on the phone. However, any such objects remain forward locked, such that they cannot be forwarded to another user or transferred to another device.

More advanced DRM restrictions can be applied to limit the number of times that the user can access an object, or start and end dates can be specified to limit how long the user can access an object. The restrictions can only be applied when using either "Combined Delivery" or "Separate Delivery".

When using either "Combined Delivery" or "Separate Delivery", a rights object is associated with the DRM protected object. This rights object defines permissions and constraints for how the DRM protected object may be used by the receiver.

"Combined Delivery" means that both the protected object and the rights object are delivered simultaneously. The protected object and its rights object are packaged as a multipart/related MIME object, which is usually retrieved by the receiving client via HTTP download or as part of the content of an MMS message.

"Separate Delivery" means that the protected object and the rights object are delivered separately. The protected object is retrieved by the receiving client via HTTP download or as part of the content of an MMS message. However, the protected object is locked and cannot be used until a rights object is separately delivered. In this case, the rights object is usually sent via WAP Push over SMS (sometimes premium rate SMS).

The web interface of NowSMS offers built-in support using "Forward Lock" or "Combined Delivery" when sending MMS or Multimedia WAP Push content. When sending an either of these message types, it is possible to specify Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions over the content of the message.

The DRMCOMP command line utility can be used to add a wrapper of DRM protection to a content object. DRM wrappers are added to individual pieces of content, such as an image or video, and not to an entire MMS message. The DRMCOMP command line utility can be used to add DRM wrappers for forward lock, combined delivery or separate delivery.

Find out more....

Dear Bryce,

The first release of the 2006 edition of the Now SMS/MMS Gateway is now available for download at the NowSMS Web Site.

This newsletter will highlight some of the new functionality available in this release. For more information on these features, please refer to the updated software manual for NowSMS 2006, available for download at

  • More Robust SMPP Implementation
  • Asynchronous SMPP - The SMPP client has been enhanced to support asynchronous SMPP, allowing for significantly faster message throughput when connecting to SMSCs using the SMPP protocol. The typical SMPP message flow involves the sender submitting a message to the server, and the receiver sending back a response to acknowledge receipt of the message. When async mode is not enabled, the sender does not send the next message until the previous acknowledgment has been received. Depending on the speed (and latency) of the connection between the sender and the receiver, and the amount of processing that the receiver performs before sending back an acknowledgment, this can have a serious impact on the overall connection performance. Enabling SMPP Async Mode tells NowSMS that it does not need to wait for an acknowledgment for the previous message before submitting the next message. Instead, NowSMS will send up to the defined Window Size number of messages without receiving an acknowledgment. As long as this is properly supported by the SMS service provider, this can provide a great increase in potential throughput, and is generally required for any single SMPP connection to exceed 3 messages per second.

    SMPP Delivery Receipt Tracking - SMPP delivery receipt message ids are now tracked, which is particularly useful for installations who support multiple customers connecting to their NowSMS server via SMPP. NowSMS can now ensure that delivery receipts get routed back to the proper customer account without requiring the use of static sender address routing.

    SMPP Server Times Out Idle Connections - The SMPP Server module now enforces an "enquire_link" policy. If the SMPP server does not receive an enquire link (or other command) within a predefined timeout period, the connection will be automatically terminated. The default setting is 120 seconds. ( A value of 0 can be used to disable this timeout requirement.)

    Read on...
  • Priority Message Queue Handling
  • By default, NowSMS maintains a single queue for all outbound messages. This means that if "User A" submits 5,000 messages, and "User B" submits a single urgent message, all 5,001 messages are grouped into a single outbound message queue which is processed roughly in the order in which the messages were submitted to the gateway. This may present an unacceptable performance limitation for some multi-user configurations.

    To overcome this limitation, it is possible to configure NowSMS to maintain separate outbound message queues for each user account defined to NowSMS. (When NowSMS is used as a direct-delivery MMSC, this separate outbound message queue setting applies to both "SMS Users" accounts, and "MMSC VASP" accounts.)

    On the "SMS Users" configuration dialog, check "Separate outbound message queues for each user" to enable this functionality. When this functionality is enabled, you must define a "User Queue Size Threshold" which specifies how many messages will be processed from any one user's outbound message queue before NowSMS switches to another user's queue. It is recommended that this setting not be set too low, as there is system overhead involved in switching between user queues which can slow down overall messaging throughput on systems with faster SMSC connections. 10 is an acceptable minimum value for systems that are using GSM modem connections, while a value of 30 or higher is recommended for systems with faster NowSMS licenses, and correspondingly faster SMSC connections.

    Read on...
  • EMS Support
  • The Send EMS Message web form contains some options to send some common types of EMS and Nokia Smart Messaging messages.

    The "EMS Text" option allows you to send text messages that include EMS attributes for text formatting, such as bold, italics and large or small text. EMS text messages can also included predefined animations and sounds which are pre- loaded on EMS compatible phones. NowSMS also supports generating the EMS text formatting codes to specify colors to be used in text messages, however this functionality does not appear to be very widely supported in current handsets. EMS Text messages are an interesting messaging option, because the EMS standard is designed in such a way that an EMS text message is gracefully downgraded when delivered to a recipient handset that does not support EMS. If the recipient handset does not understand EMS, it will display only the text of the message.

    The "EMS ring tone" option allows you to submit ring tone data in either RTTTL, iMelody or MIDI format, and send the ring tone out in either EMS, Nokia Smart Messaging, or WAP Push/MIDI format. These formats are largely supported for the sake of interfacing with older or less capable handsets, as newer handsets often support true tone formats based upon MP3.

    The "EMS Picture Message" option allows you to send simple picture messages using either the EMS or Nokia Smart Messaging format. These formats refer to the old monochrome/black & white images that are sent via SMS, as opposed to the more advanced functionality offered by MMS. While there is little use for monochrome images in a Technicolor world, these message types can be useful for applications that need to send bar code types of images via SMS, where they cannot assume that recipient devices will have MMS or WAP capabilities.

    Read on...
  • MMS 1.2 & MMSC Enhancements
  • The NowSMS MMSC has been updated to support MMS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2.

    Additionally, performance enhancements have been implemented to reduce bottlenecks on systems with a large number of defined users. In particular, the statistics information maintained in the MMSCUSERS directory is now stored in a hashed directory structure to prevent performance problems that can occur with Windows and directories with large numbers of files. It is also possible to disable the maintenance of this statistical information.

    MMS Virus Blocking/Prevention logic has also been updated. For more information, please see tb-nowsms-014.htm.

    Read on...
  • OTA Enhancements
  • WAP and OMA Web forms have been updated to support additional settings types, including Wireless Village/Instant Messaging, SyncML, and E-Mail. OMA settings now also support the USERNETWPIN pin type.

    NowSMS 2006 now includes a "View XML" button on all of the WAP and OMA OTA Settings forms. This button will display the XML document that NowSMS has generated for the current web form. This allows for easier customisation of settings to meet different requirements.

    Read on...
  • System Alerts
  • E-mail alerts can be enabled to notify system administrators of any SMSC connectivity issues or message delivery problems. Alerts can also be triggered if the outbound message queue exceeds a predefined threshold.

    Read on...
  • E-Mail to SMS and MMS Enhancements
  • NowSMS 2006 implements numerous improvements intended to simplify the process of deploying NowSMS as a bidirectional e-mail to SMS or MMS solution. A new integrated POP3 server simplifies the process of connecting e-mail clients to NowSMS for sending and receiving SMS and/or MMS messages.

    NowSMS 2006 supports an "authorised sender list" to specify what e-mail addresses should be allowed to send e-mail messages out via SMS and/or MMS.

    NowSMS 2006 can be configured to allow multiple e- mail addresses to share a GPRS modem as an e-mail to MMS gateway, allowing MMS replies from mobile phones to be directed back to the correct e-mail address.

    Read on...
  • GSM & GPRS Modem Handling
  • NowSMS 2006 simplifies the process of using a GPRS modem to send and receive MMS messages by including a built-in list of MMSC settings for mobile operators.

    GSM and GPRS modem handling is improved with additional modem handling logic designed to wake up sleeping or otherwise unresponsive modems.

    Where supported by the modem and mobile network, NowSMS translates GSM modem delivery receipts into a format that is compatible with SMPP environments.

    Read on...
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