Send and receive large amounts of SMS messages from your computer.

Who's it for: FrontlineSMS has been specifically designed for use by NGOs and doesn't require an internet connection.

Investment required: FrontlineSMS requires a computer and a mobile phone or GSM modem. The software is free for all charities and non-profit organisations. Costs incurred from the telecommunications provider will be shouldered by the FrontlineSMS user. Please refer to the mobile data communications cost in your country/area. Installing FrontlineSMS is very quick - on Windows machines the process is fully automated and should complete in around two minutes. If there are no compatibility problems with the GSM modem or phone you are using or any other technical issues you can be up and running in about ten minutes.

Description: FrontlineSMS is a laptop or PC-based software application used for sending and receiving group SMS messages. It also allows you to conduct surveys and competitions, and run automated information services (such as market prices to farmers, for example). It does not require an internet connection and works with any GSM network. The software communicates using a mobile phone or modem, which you attach to your computer with a USB cable.

FrontlineSMS allows NGOs to run awareness raising campaigns, competitions or carry out text-based surveys, or to simply keep in touch with fieldworkers and supporters. FrontlineSMS has been used for many activist and advocacy activities around the world - check out the interactive map for more information.

How it works:

  • Create and manage all of your SMS-related contact groups
  • Send and receive messages via special on-screen consoles
  • Handles multipart messages (up to 480 characters in length)
  • Provides incoming and outgoing message history for each contact
  • Engage with your contact groups - run surveys, competitions etc. via the SurveyManager
  • Run your own text-based information service via the automated ReplyManager
  • Export data to Excel or other programs
  • No need to be on-line - works on any GSM network via your own PC or laptop
  • Integrates with the bulk SMS service Clickatell if you wish to use a commercial service to send messages rather than your own mobile phone (requires an Internet connection).
  • Allows you to to send messages via Clickatell and receive messages back to FrontlineSMS. This means that when a user hits "reply" on their phone to the message sent from Clickatell, it can be directed back to the FrontlineSMS system.


Version: 1.4.7

License: The latest version of FrontlineSMS is undergoing continuous improvements, and the current version (1.4.7) was fully tested before launch in June 2008. However, FrontlineSMS and its developer cannot be held responsible for any loss of income, time or disruption to your organisation should the software fail. Technical support is available via an online community. By using the software the user accepts the terms and conditions. If the user does not agree then the user should not install the software, or should uninstall the software from her/his system.

Language support is currently available in Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

System Requirements:

  • Operating System/s:
    • Microsoft Windows (98, 2000, XP, XP Pro, Vista)
    • Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat, Mandrake, etc)
    • Mac O/S (OSX, Tiger, Leopard)
  • Hardware:
    • GSM phone (most devices supported, except Windows Mobile, Symbian, Blackberry and iPhone)
    • GSM Modem (most modems, including Wavecom Fastrack, SAMBA Falcom 75, etc)
    • Genuine USB data cable for your phone or modem (if required)

Installation Level: Windows version (Easy), Mac and Linux version (Intermediate)

Usage Level: Easy

Troubleshooting Level: Easy

Operating System: Window, Mac and LinuxInstallation and Configuration: Click on this link for further details on supported devices and system requirements. Installation instructions are provided by email once a copy of the software has been requested and approved.

Additional Resources: