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.