Migrating from another vendor’s MMSC

Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in Support Blog

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Customers frequently inquire about the complexity of migrating from an existing MMSC installation to NowSMS.  Is it possible to do this with minimal impact to their subscribers?

In most cases, this is possible.  The NowSMS MMSC is designed with minimal administration requirements and automatic subscriber provisioning.  For a typical mobile operator configuration, subscribers are automatically provisioned to the NowSMS MMSC the first time a user sends an MMS message.   The following article explains how to configure this:  http://www.nowsms.com/nowsms-operator-mmsc-considerations

Automatic subscriber provisioning works great for a new MMSC installation, but what if you are replacing an existing MMSC that already has provisioned subscribers?

In some cases, it is not required that subscribers be provisioned on the NowSMS MMSC at all.  If the “Default Route” for MMS message delivery, or an explicit route defined just for your subscribers, is configured as “Direct Delivery“, then the MMSC will deliver MMS messages to subscribers whether or not they have been provisioned.

The above approach is used by some smaller mobile operators, but most operators prefer to only deliver MMS messages to subscribers that have been provisioned.  In this case, non-provisioned subscribers receive MMS messages that have been converted into an SMS format with a web link for accessing the multimedia content.  Configuring this option is described in the following article:  http://www.nowsms.com/mms-conversion-to-sms-with-web-link

In this case, you will want pre-provision your MMS subscribers in the NowSMS MMSC, so that they will receive MMS messages in normal MMS format, without the SMS conversion … and without requiring the subscribers to first send an MMS message to provision their account on the NowSMS MMSC.  There is an HTTP interface available for provisioning MMS subscribers which is described in the following article: http://www.nowsms.com/provisioning-sms-and-mmsc-user-accounts-via-http.

There is an additional alternative that is useful for bulk MMS subscriber provisioning, which is the MMSUSER.EXE command line utility.  MMSUSER accepts a text file that has a list of subscriber phone numbers.  The format of this file should contain one subscriber phone number per line, prefixed by “A,” which indicates that the subscriber should be added (conversely “D,” means the subscriber should be deleted).  For example:





Assuming that the file containing the list of subscribers in this format is called subimport.txt, run the following command from a command line prompt in the Program Files\NowSMS directory:

mmsuser -import subimport.txt

Additional information of interest to customers planning or considering an MMSC migration/replacement:

And for operators using CDMA based technologies, also see:

Another frequently asked question regards the role of the WAP Push Proxy Gateway (PPG).  The NowSMSC MMSC includes an integrated PPG that sends WAP Push messages using an SMS bearer, and there is not a requirement for a separate PPG.  However, for specialised configurations, it is possible to configure the NowSMS MMSC to use an external PPG, which is described in the following article:  http://www.nowsms.com/routing-mms-notifications-via-a-wap-push-proxy-gateway

It is also possible to use NowSMS as a PPG for other applications, as described in the following article:  http://www.nowsms.com/using-nowsms-as-a-wap-push-proxy-gateway-ppg

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One Response to “Migrating from another vendor’s MMSC”

  1. Another practical consideration is the URL format. Your existing MMSC might use a URL format that includes a path such as “/servlets/mms” or “/mms/wapenc”, and your subscribers’ phones will already be provisioned with a URL format that includes this path information.

    While it is possible to use a URL rewrite in your WAP Proxy to change the MMSC Server URL, you should also note that NowSMS will simply ignore this path information.