Difference Between SMS and MMS


Though the basic purpose of mobile phones is to make voice calls, there are many other ways of communicating with others through mobile phones. Two of these ways are SMS and MMS. SMS is the older of the two and is available on all mobile phones irrespective of their price. On the other hand, MMS is considered a premium service provided by select service providers and even then not all mobile headsets allow users to avail this feature. There are many differences between SMS and MMS that will be highlighted in this article.


SMS stands for Short Message Service and allows one to send messages to others using text only. These are alphanumeric text messages that have a limitation of 160 words only. There are times when you are not in a situation to make voice calls such as during a conference or when you are in a classroom. This is where sending text messages is very useful. However, this service should not be confused with chatting where you get instant replies. The recipient may or may not open the message at the same instant as you send it. The maximum size of SMS in a standard GSM phone is 140 bytes. Today it is possible to send SMS through internet also.

SMS has provided a good platform to companies that are using it to send messages to promote their products and services.


It stands for Multimedia Message Service and allows one to send images and short videos along with text messages, hence the name. Whereas one can send short messages up to 160 characters only in case of SMS, MMS can contain up to 1000 characters. This is apart from multimedia content such as a color picture, ring tone or a short video. So the recipient can listen to music or watch picture at the same time as he is reading the text message.

However, the down point of MMS is that you do not only require a higher end mobile set, you also require to take up a plan from the service provider to avail this feature. This means that unlike SMS which is a free service from most of the service providers, you need to shell out extra money every month to be able to send MMS to your friends from your mobile.

Despite all the extras that one enjoys with MMS, SMS still continue to be preferred mode of communication as it is simple and easy. MMS on the other hand is more for sharing fun and media.


• Both MMS and SMS are ways to communicate with others through mobile phones.

• While SMS allows one to send short text messages only, MMS allows sending pictures, ring tones, and even short videos apart from long text messages.

• While sending SMS is a free service, MMS is a premium service and also requires high end mobiles.