Pushing Multimedia to Cell Phones: Interoperability Challenges and Trends in the Wireless Industry

Cesar Bandera
Cell Podium


At first glance, the multimedia functionality embedded in cell phones (both smart and feature phones) and the adoption of this functionality by subscribers (in particular underserved demographics impacted by the digitaldivide) might appear to support the deployment of mobile multimedia services such as m-leaning and just-in-time training with more effective pedagogy over what can be achieved with simple text messaging. However, compliance with ratified standards for multimedia formats and delivery protocols by device manufacturers and wireless service providers has not been as thorough as with standards for text messaging, resulting in a lack of multimedia interoperability between subscribers. This lecture discusses obstacles to mobile multimedia interoperability, trends in multimedia usage among mobile subscribers, and functionality deployed trends among device manufacturers and service providers. M-learning pilots conducted for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are then discussed to illustrate interoperability solutions and new markets for content providers.