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TS 26.140
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) –
Media Formats and Codecs

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Dr. Bouazizi, Imed

Content for  TS 26.140  Word version:  16.1.0

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1  ScopeWord‑p. 5
The present document specifies the media types, formats and codecs for the MMS within the 3GPP system. The scope of the present document extends to codecs for speech, audio, video, still images, bitmap graphics, and other media in general, as well as scene description, multimedia integration and synchronization schemes.

2  References

The following documents contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of the present document.
  • References are either specific (identified by date of publication, edition number, version number, etc.) or non specific.
  • For a specific reference, subsequent revisions do not apply.
  • For a non-specific reference, the latest version applies. In the case of a reference to a 3GPP document (including a GSM document), a non-specific reference implicitly refers to the latest version of that document in the same Release as the present document.
TR 21.905: "Vocabulary for 3GPP Specifications".
The Unicode Consortium: "The Unicode Standard", Version 2.0, Addison-Wesley Developers Press, 1996.URL:
ANSI X3.4, 1986: "Information Systems; Coded Character Set 7 Bit; American National Standard Code for Information Interchange".
ISO/IEC 8859-1:1998: "Information technology; 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character sets; Part 1: Latin alphabet No. 1".
RFC 2279:  "UTF-8, A Transformation format of ISO 10646", URL:
TS 24.011: "Point to Point (PP) Short Message Service (SMS) support on mobile radio interface".
TS 26.090: "AMR speech Codec Transcoding functions".
ITU-T Recommendation T.81: "Information technology; Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Requirements and guidelines".
"JPEG File Interchange Format": Version 1.02, September 1, 1992.
ITU-T Recommendation H.263 (02/98): "Video coding for low bit rate communication".
ITU-T Recommendation H.263 - Annex X (03/04): "Annex X: Profiles and levels definition".
[12]  Void
[13]  Void
TS 26.234: "End-to-end transparent streaming Service; Protocols and codecs".
CompuServe Incorporated: "GIF Graphics Interchange Format: A Standard defining a mechanism for the storage and transmission of raster-based graphics information", Columbus, OH, USA, 1987.
Compuserve Incorporated, Columbus, Ohio (1990): "Graphics Interchange Format (Version 89a)".
RFC 2083:  "PNG (Portable Networks Graphics) Specification version 1.0 ", T. Boutell, et. al., March 1997.
[18]  Void
ISO/IEC 14496-3:2001: "Information technology -- Coding of audio-visual objects -- Part 3: Audio".
W3C Last Call Working Draft: "Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2",, October 2004.
W3C Last Call Working Draft: "Mobile SVG Profile: SVG Tiny, Version 1.2",, August 2004.
TS 22.140: "Service Aspects; Stage 1; Multimedia Messaging Service".
TS 23.140: "Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS); Functional Description; Stage 2".
W3C Recommendation: "Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL 2.0)",, August 2001.
RFC 2046:  "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types".
TS 26.071: "Mandatory Speech Codec speech processing functions; AMR Speech Codec; General description".
TS 26.171: "Speech codec speech processing functions; Adaptive Multi-Rate - Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec; General description".
Scalable Polyphony MIDI Specification Version 1.0: RP-34, MIDI Manufacturers Association, Los Angeles, CA, February 2002.
Scalable Polyphony MIDI Device 5-to-24: Note Profile for 3GPP, RP-35, MIDI Manufacturers Association, Los Angeles, CA, February 2002.
WAP Forum Specification: "XHTML Mobile Profile",, October 2001.
"Standard MIDI Files 1.0": RP-001, in "The Complete MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification, Document Version 96.1" The MIDI Manufacturers Association, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 1996.
RFC 3267:  "RTP payload format and file storage format for the Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) audio codecs ", March 2002.
TS 26.244: "Transparent end-to-end packet switched streaming service (PSS); 3GPP file format (3GP)"
TS 26.246: "Transparent end-to-end packet switched streaming service (PSS); 3GPP SMIL Language Profile".
TS 26.245: "Transparent end-to-end packet switched streaming service (PSS); Timed text format"
RFC 1952  "GZIP file format specification version 4.3", Deutsch P, May 1996.
[37]  Void
Mobile DLS, MMA specification v1.0: RP-41 Los Angeles, CA, USA. 2004.
Mobile XMF Content Format Specification: MMA specification v1.0., RP-42, Los Angeles, CA, USA. 2004.
TS 26.090: "Mandatory Speech Codec speech processing functions; Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) speech codec; Transcoding functions".
TS 26.073: "ANSI-C code for the Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) speech codec".
TS 26.104: "ANSI-C code for the floating-point Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) speech codec".
TS 26.190: "Speech Codec speech processing functions; AMR Wideband speech codec; Transcoding functions".
TS 26.173: "ANCI-C code for the Adaptive Multi Rate - Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec".
TS 26.204: "ANSI-C code for the Floating-point Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec".
TS 26.290: "Extended AMR Wideband codec; Transcoding functions".
TS 26.304: "ANSI-C code for the Floating-point; Extended AMR Wideband codec".
TS 26.273: "ANSI-C code for the Fixed-point; Extended AMR Wideband codec".
TS 26.401: "General audio codec audio processing functions; Enhanced aacPlus general audio codec; General description".
TS 26.410: "General audio codec audio processing functions; Enhanced aacPlus general audio codec; Floating-point ANSI-C code".
TS 26.411: "General audio codec audio processing functions; Enhanced aacPlus general audio codec; Fixed-point ANSI-C code".
ITU-T Recommendation H.264 (04/2013): "Advanced video coding for generic audiovisual services".
[53]  Void
"Exchangeable image file format for digital still cameras: EXIF 2.2", Specification by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), April 2002, URL:
Standard ECMA-327: "ECMAScript 3rd Edition Compact Profile", June 2001.
"Digital Rights Management": Open Mobile AllianceTM, OMA-Download-DRM-v1_0,
"DRM Rights Expression Language": Open Mobile AllianceTM, OMA-Download-DRMREL-v1_0,
"DRM Content Format": Open Mobile AllianceTM, OMA-Download-DRMCF-v1_0,
"vObject Minimum Interoperability Profile": Open Mobile AllianceTM, OMA-TS-vObjectOMAProfile-V1_0,
TR 26.936: "Performance characterization of 3GPP audio codecs".
[61]  Void
ITU-T Recommendation H.265 (04/2013): "High efficiency video coding".
TS 26.307: "Presentation Layer for 3GPP Services".

3  Definitions and abbreviationsWord‑p. 8

3.1  Definitions

For the purposes of the present document, the following terms and definitions apply:
continuous media:
media with an inherent notion of time, in the present document speech, audio and video
discrete media:
media that itself does not contain an element of time, in the present document all media not defined as continuous media
scene description:
description of the spatial layout and temporal behaviour of a presentation, it can also contain hyperlinks

3.2  Abbreviations

For the purposes of the present document, the abbreviations given in TR 21.905 and the following apply:
3GPP file format
Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Video Coding
Composite Capability/Preference Profiles
Coding Picture Buffer
Dynamic and Interactive Multimedia Scene
Downloadable Sounds
Digital Rights Management
Enhanced aacPlus
MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC plus MPEG-4 Parametric Stereo
Exchangeable image file format
Graphics Interchange Format
High-definition television
High Efficiency Video Coding
International Telecommunications Union - Telecommunications
JPEG File Interchange Format
Joint Picture Expert Group
Musical Instrument Digital Interface
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
Multimedia Message
Multimedia Messaging Service
Motion Picture Expert Group
MPEG-4 file format
Personal Information Manager
Packet-switched Streaming Service
Spectral Band Replication
Scalable Polyphony MIDI
Scalable Vector Graphics
Unicode Transformation Format (the 8-bit form)
Video Coding Layer
Extensible Music Format

4  Media formats

Multiple media elements shall be combined into a composite single MM using MIME multipart format as defined in RFC 2046. The media type of a single MM element shall be identified by its appropriate MIME type whereas the media format shall be indicated by its appropriate MIME subtype.
In order to guarantee a minimum support and compatibility between multimedia messaging capable terminals, MMS User Agent supporting specific media types shall comply with the following selection of media formats:

4.1  TextWord‑p. 9
Plain text. Any character encoding (charset) that contains a subset of the logical characters in Unicode [2] shall be used (e.g. US-ASCII [3], ISO-8859-1 [4], UTF-8 [5], Shift_JIS, etc.).
Unrecognized subtypes of "text" shall be treated as subtype "plain" as long as the MIME implementation knows how to handle the charset. Any other unrecognized subtype and unrecognized charset shall be treated as "application/octet stream".
Interoperability with SMS text type is according to [23].

4.2  Speech

If speech is supported, the AMR codec shall be supported for narrow-band speech [26] [40] [41] [42].
The AMR wideband speech codec [27] [43] [44] [45] shall be supported when wideband speech working at 16 kHz sampling frequency is supported.
When using speech media type alone, AMR or AMR-WB data is stored according to the file format specified in [32].
Multi-channel sessions shall not be used.

4.3  Audio

If audio is supported, then one or both of the following two audio codecs should be supported:
There is no requirement that a terminal supporting decoding by one of the codecs shall also support encoding by that codec.
Specifically, based on the audio codec selection test results Extended AMR-WB is strong for the scenarios marked with blue, Enhanced aacPlus is strong for the scenarios marked with orange, and both are strong for the scenarios marked with green colour in the table below:
Content type Music Speech
Bit rate
14 kbps mono
18 kbps stereo
24 kbps stereo
24 kbps mono
32 kbps stereo
48 kbps stereo
More recent information on the performance of the codecs based on more recent versions of the codecs can be found in TR 26.936.
Enhanced aacPlus decoder is also able to decode MPEG-4 AAC LC content.
Extended AMR-WB decoder is also able to decode AMR-WB content.
In addition, MPEG-4 AAC Low Complexity and MPEG-4 AAC Long Term Prediction object types [19] may be supported. The maximum sampling rate to be supported by the decoder is 48 kHz. The channel configurations to be supported are mono (1/0) and stereo (2/0).

4.4  Synthetic audioWord‑p. 10
If synthetic audio is supported, the Scalable Polyphony MIDI (SP-MIDI) content format defined in Scalable Polyphony MIDI Specification [28] and the device requirements defined in Scalable Polyphony MIDI Device 5-to-24 Note Profile for 3GPP [29] should be supported.
SP-MIDI content is delivered in the structure specified in Standard MIDI Files 1.0 [31], either in format 0 or format 1.
In addition the Mobile DLS instrument format defined in [38] and the Mobile XMF content format defined in [39] should be supported.
A MMS client supporting Mobile DLS shall meet the minimum device requirements defined in [38] in section 1.3 and the requirements for the common part of the synthesizer voice as defined in [29] in sections If Mobile DLS is supported, wavetables encoded with the G.711 A-law codec (wFormatTag value 0x0006, as defined in [38]) shall also be supported. The optional group of processing blocks as defined in [39] may be supported. Mobile DLS resources are delivered either in the file format defined in [38], or within Mobile XMF as defined in [39]. For Mobile DLS files delivered outside of Mobile XMF, the loading application should unload Mobile DLS instruments so that the sound bank required by the SP-MIDI profile [29] is not persistently altered by temporary loadings of Mobile DLS files.
Content that pairs Mobile DLS and SP-MIDI resources is delivered in the structure specified in Mobile XMF [39]. As defined in [39], a Mobile XMF file shall contain one SP-MIDI SMF file and no more than one Mobile DLS file. MMS clients supporting Mobile XMF must not support any other resource types in the Mobile XMF file. Media handling behaviours for the SP-MIDI SMF and Mobile DLS resources contained within Mobile XMF are defined in [39].

4.5  Still Image

If still images are supported, ISO/IEC JPEG [8] together with JFIF [9] shall be supported. The support for ISO/IEC JPEG only apply to the following two modes:
  • mandatory: baseline DCT, non-differential, Huffman coding, as defined in table B.1, symbol 'SOF0' in [8];
  • optional: progressive DCT, non-differential, Huffman coding, as defined in table B.1, symbol 'SOF2' [8].
For JPEG baseline DCT, EXIF compressed image file format should also be supported, as defined in [54]. In that case there is no requirement for the MMS client to interpret or present the EXIF parameters recorded in the file.

4.6  Bitmap graphics

If bitmap graphics is supported, the following bitmap graphics formats should be supported:

4.7  Video

If video is supported, the following applies:
  • H.264 (AVC) [52] Constrained Baseline Profile (CBP) Level 1.3 shall be supported.
  • H.264 (AVC) [52] High Profile Level 3.1 with frame_mbs_only_flag=1 should be supported by MMS clients supporting HDTV video content at a resolution of 1280x720 (720p) with progressive scan at 30 frames per second. Maximum VCL Bit Rate shall be constrained to 14Mbps by cpbBrVclFactor & cpbBrNalFactor being fixed to 1000 and 1200 respectively, irrespective of the profile. Note that peak Bit Rate is determined by the CPB size.
  • H.265 (HEVC) [62] Main Profile, Main Tier, Level 3.1 decoder should be supported. H.265 (HEVC) Main Profile shall be used with general_progressive_source_flag equal to 1, general_interlaced_source_flag equal to 0, general_non_packed_constraint_flag equal to 1, and general_frame_only_constraint_flag equal to 1.
If stereoscopic 3D video is supported, ITU-T Recommendation H.264 / MPEG-4 (Part 10) AVC [52] Stereo High Profile (SHP) Level 3.1 with frame_mbs_only_flag=1 should be supported. When an H.264 (AVC) SHP sub-bitstream containing the base view only complies with Level 1.3 or below, it should be constrained as follows: the value of the profile_idc should be equal to 66 and the value of the constraint_set1_flag should be equal to 1 in all active sequence parameter sets, i.e. the H.264 (AVC) Constrained Baseline Profile should be indicated to be used for the base view.
There are no requirements on output timing conformance of H.264 (AVC) decoding (Annex C of [52]) or H.265 (HEVC) decoding (Annex C of [62]).

4.8  Vector graphicsWord‑p. 11
If 2D vector graphics is supported, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Tiny 1.2 [20][21] and ECMAScript [55] shall be supported.

4.9  File Format for video and associated speech/audio media types

To ensure interoperability for the transport of video and associated speech/audio and timed text in an MM, the 3GPP file format with Basic profile shall be supported.
The usage of the 3GPP file format shall follow the technical specifications and the implementation guidelines specified in TS 26.233

4.10  Media synchronization and presentation format

MMS clients and servers that support HTML shall support the 3GPP HTML5 profile as defined in [63]. MMS servers should support translation from other scene description formats, such as SMIL [24] and XHTML Mobile Profile [30] to HTML5. The MMS client that supports HTML shall include the HTML5 MIME type "text/html" as part of the User Agent header field in the request sent to the server.
The MMS Relay/Server shall not accept an MMS message using HTML5 presentation unless it supports HTML5 presentation format and supports transcoding to SMIL 2.0 or XHTML Mobile Profile. For this purpose, the MMS Relay/Server uses the capability negotiation as defined in section of [22] to detect the user agent's capabilities.
All referenced resources should be delivered as part of the same multi-part MIME document, where the HTML5 document shall be the root part.
The 3GPP MMS uses a subset of SMIL 2.0 [24] for media synchronization and scene description. MMS clients and servers with support for media synchronization and scene descriptions shall support the 3GPP SMIL Language Profile defined in [34].
This profile is a subset of the SMIL 2.0 Language Profile but a superset of the SMIL 2.0 Basic Language Profile. Document [34] also includes an informative annex A that provides guidelines for SMIL content authors.
Additionally, XHTML Mobile Profile [30] for scene description should be supported. MMS clients and servers with support for scene descriptions based on XHTML shall support XHTML Mobile Profile [30], defined by the WAP Forum.
XHTML Mobile Profile is a subset of XHTML 1.1 but a superset of XHTML Basic.

4.11  Timed textWord‑p. 12
If timed text is supported, MMS clients shall support [35] with 3GP files using Basic profile [33].

4.12  Digital Rights Management

If Rights Management is supported, OMA Digital Rights Management (DRM) 1.0 [56] [57] [58] shall be supported.

4.13  PIM

If Personal Data Interchange is supported this shall be done according to the OMA vObject Minimum Interoperability Profile [59].

4.14  Dynamic and Interactive Multimedia Scene

If dynamic and interactive multimedia scene is supported, MMS clients and servers shall support TS 26.142.

$  Change historyWord‑p. 13

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