the telcos have essentially given up on MMS
Not all of them have given up on MMS. Some carriers seem to be finding a new use for these MMS stacks that are sitting there doing nothing. For example, on Voda, if you send an SMS to a group of recipients, there is a good chance this will turn up at the other end as an MMS. I sent one the other day and the recipient on Spark could not view the message, as it arrived as MMS. Same goes for multipart messages to single recipients, I have seen these use the MMS stack for delivery.