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

Sierra Compass 885 versus Huawei E-series

Hello FrontlineSMS community.

This is a short post to share my experiences with two GSM modems, the Sierra Compass 885 and the Huawei E-series.

These are the only two dongles that I have used with FrontlineSMS and had a very different experience with each of them. 

Sierra Compass 885

Once the drivers and 3G watcher were installed, this modem works without a hiccup. It was not necessary to have the 3G watcher open in order to connect to the mobile network in FrontlineSMS. The team that I am working with in Colombia is less comfortable tinkering with the technology to make it work, so this modem is a great. It just works. One thing I found discovered though, when initially plugging in the modem, Frontline should not be open (this may just be my system though). Once plugged in for a few seconds, it was fine to open Frontline. 

Here is a link to a seller that carries a lot of these on eBay:

Huawei E-series (E1803)

Unfortunately, I have endless headaches with this GSM modem. The biggest issue I have with the modem is that the 3G watcher (or equivalent) must be open in order for FrontlineSMS to connect to the network. The problem with this was that occasionally (usually after a couple hours of inactivity) incoming SMS messages are intercepted by the 3G watcher and do not reach Frontline. There are no preferences in the software that allow me to accomodate for this issue. I am sure that there are alternative software options for mobile connectivity, but I'd prefer it to work out of the box.

I hope that is helpful for anyone looking for advice on GSM modem selection. 

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Comment by Tim Barlott on September 15, 2012 at 12:58pm

Hi Laura,

Thanks for the response!

I thought it should work that way with the E-series as well. I have the Sierra network connection software always running as a background process at startup, so we never need to manually fire it up. 

Thank you for jogging my memory about the Huawei software! It was Mobile Partner that was used. I found that Mobile Partner had to be open at all times. I would close it and shortly after the modem would lose network connection. This may also be due to specific factors on my individual computer if it is killing the background process. When I have some free time, I'll see if I can get the Huawai working and report back.

I'm sorry I cannot be much help with any other specifics. The computer that has all the drivers etc is in Colombia...and I am in Canada. 

Comment by Laura Walker Hudson on September 15, 2012 at 9:04am

Hi Tim

Thanks for this feedback! Very helpful.

Surprised to hear you struggled with the e-series modem. Which driver software were you running, out of interest? You could try it with Mobile Partner - we'd expect  you to need to start the modem software, let it connect to the device and get on the mobile network, then shut the software down and start FrontlineSMS.

You can read more about this on our Troubleshooting advice page.



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