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

Hi everyone,

I've been reading through the forums and I'm having a difficult time finding a hardware solution for testing FLSMS in the USA.

The deployment is going to be in Nairobi and I know they have the necessary hardware/software configuration there. However, I want to set up, customize and test the system before sending it over.

I have a Macbook Pro.

My questions are this:

-- Do I need two SIM cards or one? Which carrier?

-- Where do I find a GSM modem that works?

-- How much is all this going to cost?

I think the RapidSMS system is probably easier to deploy in many respects, but it requires a lot more technical knowledge. FrontlineSMS seems much easier from a front-end perspective, but the backend is not nearly as easy as described in the initial download instructions.

Any help is appreciated.

Tags: Kenya, gsm, hardware, howto, modems, testing, usa

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Hi Ed ... guess what ...The AT&T customer representative just call me last night.. and she told me that she remove the SIM lock.. I tried and it's working perfectly ..... Wow that was greatttt..

Thank once again for all your help.. If you ever stop by NY call me... I'll get you a beer... thanks!!!

By the way how you did it.. I may need to activated another one for my college ...
I don't have any answers, but I ditto all of your questions. How does someone in the US successfully use this product?
Hi Raina

If you read through this Forum post from the first page you'll find a few recommendations from users on how to get FrontlineSMS running in the US (including where to get the modems from). If you have any further questions feel free to send them a message - I'm sure they won't mind.

Mine works great. Gophone Sim card, refurbished modem for $30 Ebay unlimited text ofr $20/mo.

Details of getting it going are on this site. Be sure to read all of it to avoid the pitfalls I went through to make it work properly.

Do NOT buy a SUBSIDIZED gophone. Instead go to At&T and get a sim. IT will save you MUCH headache.

God Luck.
Hi Raina -

I'm in the US (South Bend, IN) and I've been testing a number of GSM modems with FLSMS, some of which send but don't receive, some receive but don't send. The two dependable modems I use now when I want to test FLSMS are:
AT&T Mercury Sierra Wireless Compass 885
AT&T Velocity Option 461

I'm fortunate to work in a telecommunications department in higher ed and a lot of these pass through our office, so mine were free :-D However, as others have suggested, you can find them on EBay for a small price. The SIMS I use are also AT&T, I've never tried another carrier SIM in the AT&T modems, but my guess is there might be SIM-lock issues.

Anyhow, follow this forum, tons of great advice. Let me know if you need nay help.

I'd be interested to know what you tested that did not work. I was testing an Option GIO322, which would only send, but not receive. I also use ATT, but the cheaper $10 a month 1000 text messages.
Hi Jamie -

I've looked back through my notes and I cannot find anything on the model of the modem that didn't work. However, I have seen modems that could send but not receive, or vice versa and some that were just finicky to set up/install...more of a driver issue than anything.

I believe one of the FLSMS interns was working on setting up a database to make modem hardware selection easier by country, carrier, etc...I'll ping him (Adam), to see what the status is.

Another I found that worked was a Franklin CGU-628A, manufactured by C-motech --- I'm pretty sure this is the one that had issues installing drivers. But it did work, both send and receive.

best of luck,

Hi, I know this is an old thread, but I have been trying to get this thing running in the U.S. and have wasted money on one modem that will receive but not send, so I am looking for advice before going forward w/ a new modem.

Do you know if the Sierra Wireless 308 Shockwave 4G works (hopefully with the go phone text bundle)?

Also, does it matter if the AT&T Velocity modem is specifically an "Option" modem?


I am looking on Ebay and I see many reasonably priced 308 Shockwaves and Velocity modems that do not specify "Option #", and I wanted to seek some sage advice before wasting another $40.


Thanks a lot for any suggestions,



Hi Max


I'll leave others comment on your modem question.


Regarding your existing modem, it's strange that it's receiving but not sending. If it's being recognised by FrontlineSMS then it should work. A couple of quick questions (and sorry if we've already been over this):


1. Is there credit on the SIM?

2. If you put the SIM into a regular phone, does it send and receive?

3. Have you tried just sending a message to a single contact with different international dialing code options (+, 00, etc)?


If you're out of ideas here you could send us your error logs and we'll take a look. You can do that through the "Help" menu. Just let us know on your original thread if you decide to do that, then we'll know to look out for them.



Hi Ken,


It wasn't a FrontlineSMS problem. Apparently the SIM and the modem we bought were both locked. We spoke with T-mobile and they said they do not unlock SIMs anymore and the Prepaid modem and SIM that we bought weren't enabled for SMS. 


I have a new modem on the way based on recommendations in this forum and I got a GoPhone AT&T SIM to go with it, so I think (hope) everything will be working soon.


Thanks again for your response,



Good to hear re: not a FrontlineSMS problem! But still a problem for you, none-the-less. Glad it looks to be resolved - best of luck going forward, and do keep us posted. Cheers, Ken

Hi Ken,


Just wanted to send an update. My new modem and SIM card arrived and seem to be working fine.


Also, for future reference, I got the Sierra Wireless 308 Mercury 4G modem which seems to connect, send and receive with no problems.







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