A messaging system and method suitable for use with wireless mobile terminals. The system includes a message server for receiving and sending messages and converting messages to a baseline such as an XML representation; a message processor for controlling the system's operation; a database for storing information about messaging capabilities of mobile terminals; and a transcoder for filtering the baseline representation according to the capability of a mobile terminal. A subscriber enters a profile that includes the messaging capability of the mobile terminal, which is stored in the database. When the server receives a message for the subscriber's terminal, it converts the message to the baseline. The transcoder filters the baseline according to the capability of the terminal, and returns the result to the server for format and protocol conversion and sending to the terminal.