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Difference between SMS and MMS

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  • Last Updated : 22 Jan, 2021
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We always send messages to others. In older days people have only one means of communication i.e, letters but nowadays there are many ways to send messages like email, SMS, MMS, and messages on the OTT (over-the-top) application like WhatsApp, telegram, and signal. The two main ways to send messages on the mobile phone using a cellular network are MMS and SMS. All the mobile operating systems support the MMS and SMS through their default messaging application. We need not download some additional applications for sending them. All devices do not support MMS it completely depends on the operator that is providing us the cellular network. Both the SMS and MMS fall into the same category of Text Messaging but there are a lot of differences between them. In this article, we will learn what is the difference between SMS and MMS. 


SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. It was invented in 1980. It is the oldest and most widely used form of text messaging on mobile devices. There are some problems with the SMS like it allows message length up to 160 characters. If the length was above it then the message will be split into multiple messages. This form of messaging is fully operational and it is supported by all the mobile devices, and we need not download some other application to use it. We do not need to have a smartphone to use it. Another problem with SMS is that it does not support multimedia.


MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. It is just an extension of the features of the SMS. It is also sent over cellular networks. The maximum length supported by it depends on the cellular operator not generally speaking it is 10 times more than SMS. The typical length is 1600. It allows users to send Multimedia like images, GIF, videos with text which was not supported in the SMS. The MMS is more appealing in comparison to SMS because of the images and videos we can use in them. It is not supported by every mobile device. It is more suitable for smartphones and not for analog cellphones. Sending MMS is more costly in comparison to sending SMS.

Now let’s see the difference between SMS and MMS :




Full-FormShort Messaging ServiceMultimedia Messaging Service
DefinitionIt is a method to send text messages over a cellular network.It is a method to send text messages along with multimedia over a cellular network.
Multimedia SupportIt does not support multimedia. It supports multimedia.
CostSMS is cheaper in comparison to MMS.MMS is three times costlier in comparison to SMS.
User-baseThe user-base of SMS is large in comparison to MMS.The user-base of MMS is small in comparison to SMS.
Length160 characters1600 characters
LinksWe can send all the multimedia with the help of a link.We can send links as well as multimedia directly with the in the MMS.
CompatibilityCompatible with all the devices.Not compatible with analog mobile phones.
InventionAccording to Wikipedia, the first SMS was sent in 1992.MMS was just an extension of SMS technology. The first MMS capable phone introduced around 2002
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