FrontlineSMS

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

I know, this sounds like a contradiction in terms - a data gateway for frontlineSMS, but bear with me.

One of the issues that came up during our workshop in Lagos is that data is cheaper than SMS. This was confirmed recently when chatting to a friend from SA. The most popular phones on the market, at least in these countries, seem to by feature phones which support data & java. SMS is paid by the message, data by the kb, so it's much more economical. However - accessing standard web-based systems can be expensive, and ineffective due to thin networks. 
Also, setting up a server is much more complicated than installing and launching FL-SMS.

So here's my idea:
1. give me an option of "mirroring" my instance of FL-SMS on the web. Once activated, this will give me an address based on my mobile number, e.g. if I'm using +44-777-999-000 then my web address will me 44777999000.frontlinesms.com or similar
2. create a mobile web entry point at 44777999000m.frontlinesms.com
3. Now I can text my users directing them to 44777999000m.frontlinesms.com, where they will be presented with a form for submitting reports
4. my instance of FL-SMS will download / send messages through the portal when ever I connect, and allow me to process them off-line.

All this is on top and in line with the existing functionality, so I can still use SMS, which in many cases would be more reliable.

And some enhancements:
2.1. create a UDP entry point, to minimise data usage
2.2 create a customised java client app which will be configured to upload addressed to me through that entry point.

3. create robots for popular chat services (google, msn, MXit, etc) which relay messages to / from me.

Tags: data, development, enhancements, feature-request

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Hi Yishay

Thanks for this - very interesting! The fact we'll be adding GPRS-based support to FrontlineSMS when we add multimedia messaging (MMS) this year may also be worth throwing into the pot. Right now we don't have plans (or resources) to try something like FrontlineSMS:Data but if you'd like to talk more about how we might be able to help make it happen, let me know.

Thanks.

Ken
that's very interesting news. are the GPRS & MMS features documented somewhere? They would be useful for a few of my projects / collaborators.
As for the rest, happy to talk, but I wish I had the time / money to act. Maybe we can think of potential funders together, perhaps fold this into the FrontlineSMS:Learn initiative?

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