FrontlineSMS

FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.

In the Philippines, we have two major mobile phone companies, which means that people use the services of one of the other.

We would like to provide SMS health services to mothers, but sending text and receiving text messages using the SIM card of Company A to mobile phone users of Company is going to be expensive, if we consider hundreds or thousands of users joining our services.

So, is it possible to plug in two mobile phones or GSM modems, each having a different SIM and phone number coming from each company, into one computer running Frontline SMS, and can FLSMS both detect the modems, know which one is from Company A or B, and be able to send and recieve messages from the users of both companies separately?

Thanks!

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Hi Angelo

Well, the answer is both good and bad.

On the positive side, you can connect multiple phones and/or modems to FrontlineSMS, so you can easily have two - one for each operator in the Philippines.

On the negative side, FrontlineSMS doesn't have any functionality to automatically route replies through the device on the same network as the message sender (we'd need to think quite carefully about how this might work in practice), but you could create different Groups in FrontlineSMS and add users into each group, depending on the network they use.

When you want to send a message to, say, Group A on network A, in the Phones tab you'd need to temporaly disable the device connected to network B (right-click, etc). You can then send messages through the one device to group A. When that's done, disable Phone A and then re-activate Phone B, and send messages to Group B. It's a bit fiddly but it would work.

Have you looked into the costs of sending via Clickatell or IntelliSMS (assuming you have a web connection there)? That might work out cheaper, and would certainly be easier to execute. Check the Help files -> "Setttings" menu for details.

Let me know what you decide, and how it goes.

Ken
I have no experience with FrontlineSMS, but I understand the issues Angelo's facing.

If FrontlineSMS allows multiple modems to be connected (one per telco), could users whose messages come in on the Smart Telco modem be assigned to a "Smart Users Group", while those that come in on the Globe Telco modem would be assigned to the "Globe Users Group"?

(In case the other guys are wondering why this matters, telcos here offer unlimited SMS plans but they're restricted to users within the same network. I.E. Smart to Smart SMS is free, but sending from Smart to Globe would cost 1 peso.)

If this isn't possible, I have a list of the current MSISDN number ranges used by the different Philippine telcos. This would be useful for filtering users automatically.

Angelo, drop me a line if you need help for your project. I'm a software developer in the Philippines, focusing on mobile VAS/content applications. While I have no actual experience with the FrontlineSMS code, I've been working with the telco's SMS platforms and, occasionally, open-source SMS gateways like Kannel for the past couple of years.
Hi Brian

Thanks for dipping in here. FrontlineSMS doesn't currently allow messages to be routed through a specific modem based on the network in use. You can do this manually, by disabling the modems using other networks then sending your messages, and then re-enabling the modems. It's messy but would work.

We have been asked about this before, and may be able to do something in the future.

Ken

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