Delivering MMS Notifications with WAP Push over IP

Posted by on Feb 24, 2006 in Support Blog

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The delivery of an MMS message to a mobile device is initially triggered by an MMS Notification message sent from the MMSC to the mobile device. This MMS Notification message contains header information about the MMS message, as well as an HTTP URL link (usually a dynamic link generated by the MMSC itself) that the device can use to retrieve the content of the MMS message.

The MMS Notification message is sent via the WAP Push protocol. The WAP Push protocol operates over the Wireless Session Protocol (WSP), which in turn is implemented over the Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP).

WDP packets can be sent over any protocol for which WDP has been implemented, including IP and SMS.

In real world environments, for practical reasons, the WDP packets corresponding to an MMS Notification/WAP Push are delivered via SMS. The reason for this is quite simple, the MMSC does not know how to translate the phone number that should receive the notification into an IP address.

As described in another technical bulletin, the NowSMS MMSC can be configured to send its MMS Notifications via a separate WAP Push Proxy Gateway, and the WAP Push Proxy Gateway might be integrated into the network in such a way that it could decide whether to send the push via IP or SMS. That would be a decision for a separate WAP Push Proxy Gateway (PPG) component, rather than for the MMSC.

Still, we are frequently asked about the capability to deliver these WAP Push messages over IP instead of SMS. While we do not believe it is practical in a mobile environment at this time, it can offer a practical solution in test lab environments.

In NowSMS v5.50 and later, you can configure NowSMS to route MMS notifications for specific phone numbers to specific IP addresses. In the MMSC.INI file, it is possible to create an [IPNotify] section which contains a static phone number to IP address mapping table. Under this section header, specify PhoneNumber=IP.Address (e.g., +9999999= to have MMS notifications for the specified phone number get routed to the specified IP address.

Using this configuration,when an MMS message is to be delivered to a phone number that is defined in the [IPNotify] section of MMSC.INI, the MMS Notification message will be sent using connection-less WAP Push to UDP port 2948. As UDP does not offer guaranteed delivery, push messages will be periodically retried until an attempt is made to retrieve the message from the MMSC.

Beginning with the initial NowSMS 2006 release, MMS delivery notifications and read receipts will also be routed over this IPNotify interface, when appropriate. Both of these message types have a single delivery attempt, as there is no way to confirm delivery.

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