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FrontlineSMS @BarCamp PP2 20091004


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A short introduction to FrontlineSMS, a free and open source application that turns a desktop/laptop and mobile phone into a central communications hub.

It was presented in Day 2 at BarCamp Phnom Penh 2 on Oct 4, 2009.

Most of the info here are abstracted from FrontlineSMS website,

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FrontlineSMS @BarCamp PP2 20091004

  1. 1. FrontlineSMS<br />BarCamp Phnom Penh 2,<br />PUC Campus, 04 October 2009<br />by OUM, Vantharith<br />
  2. 2. What is FrontlineSMS?<br />FrontlineSMS is award-winning free, open source software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a central communications hub. <br />Once installed, the program enables users to send and receive text messages with groups of people through mobile phones.<br />What you communicate is up to you, making FrontlineSMS useful in many different ways.<br />
  3. 3. Why FrontlineSMS exists?<br />A lack of communication can be a major barrier for grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in developing countries. <br />FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind.<br />
  4. 4. Why FrontlineSMS exists? (Cont’d)<br />By leveraging basic tools already available to most NGOs — computers and mobile phones — FrontlineSMS enables instantaneous two-way communication on a large scale. It’s easy to implement, simple to operate, and best of all, the software is free.<br />
  5. 5. How FrontlineSMS is different?<br />It does not require an Internet connection.<br />It works with your existing plan on all GSM phones, modems and networks.<br />Attach a phone and SIM card, and pay your local operator per SMS as usual.<br />It is laptop-based so it can be used on the road or during power outages.<br />It stores all phone numbers and records all incoming and outgoing messages.<br />All data lives on a local computer, not on servers controlled by someone else.<br />
  6. 6. How FrontlineSMS is different? (Cont’d)<br />It is scalable. Messages can be sent to individuals or large groups.<br />It enables two-way communication, useful for fieldwork or during surveys.<br />It is easy to install and requires little or no training to use.<br />Developers can freely take the source code and add their own features.<br />It can be used anywhere in the world simply by switching the SIM card.<br />
  7. 7. ICT in Cambodia<br /># of users (2007):<br /> - Internet: 70,000<br /> - Landline: 37,500<br /> - Mobile: 2.583 M<br />(source: CIA Factbook & Wikipedia)<br />
  8. 8. How can FrontlineSMS be used?<br />Human rights monitoring<br />Disaster relief coordination<br />Natural resource management<br />Election monitoring<br />Emergency alerts<br />Mobilising task forces<br />Field data collection<br />Conducting public surveys<br />
  9. 9. How can FrontlineSMS be used? (Cont’d)<br />Health care info requests<br />Agricultural price updates<br />Organizing protests<br />Mobile education programs<br />Coordinating fundraising efforts<br />Providing weather updates<br />And more…<br />
  10. 10. Usage in Cambodia<br />Cambodia Agriculture Market Information Service (CAMIS) -<br />Equal Access Cambodia – Integrating FrontlineSMS into its Khmer language radio programs -<br />
  11. 11. Obstacles in Cambodian context<br />Though mobile phone penetration is high, including those among the low-income households, the language barrier (English language in SMS) is one of the main obstacles.<br />Low SMS usage and low literacy among poor-income households.<br />A very limited number of handsets support Khmer Unicode font.<br />
  12. 12. FrontlineSMS - Homepage<br />Source:<br />
  13. 13. Around the World: Who use it?<br />
  14. 14. FrontlineSMS in Cambodia<br />
  15. 15. Interested? More info…<br />FrontlineSMS website –<br />Frontline Community –<br />Frontline Blog –<br />
  16. 16. Demo<br />Our friend, Justin, will take us through this demo<br />Type in “W”<br />Send to 092XXXXXX<br />
  17. 17. Thank You<br />Blog: vantharith.wordpress.comTwitter: @vantharithEmail:<br />