FrontlineSMS is open-source SMS-messaging software enables users to send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network. The desktop app runs on a laptop connected to a GSM modem and has been downloaded 45,000 times and is in use in over 135 countries.  The cloud app is hosted online and allows users to choose a web-based SMS service from a list which helps them find the best option for them based on their country of operation.

Frontline is a product of two organizations, a Foundation and a social enterprise.  The Social Impact Lab (SIMLab) Foundation houses our developers and free support, and the SIMLab Community Interest Company (CIC) that meets the needs of clients who need additional support through a commercial consulting model.

Our software is used by organizations all over the world to help drive transformative social change  in areas as disparate as health, legal services, and  disaster response. We have four existing sector-specific sub-projects connecting existing advocates and specialized implementations of FrontlineSMS. FrontlineSMS is currently being used to reach millions, connecting people to the information, services, and opportunities they need to live safer, healthier, and happier lives with the tools already in their pockets


FrontlineSMS & FrontlineCloud

FrontlineSMS currently has two projects running, FrontlineSMS which is a desktop application, and FrontlineCloud. The desktop version runs on a laptop connected to a GSM modem, a mobile phone, or an online SMS (or text message) service. It can work without the need for Internet access. The cloud version of the application integrates with several web-based SMS services (e.g., Nexmo, Clickatell,, intelliSMS, and SMSSync) and will have local numbers available in 65 countries at launch. Although we plan to offer FrontlineCloud for a nominal subscription fee, improvements and feature-additions in the cloud application will allow us to enhance the functionality of our free desktop client.

More Information
Code Repository
Issue Tracker
Cross-platform desktop application and cloud-based application
Main Languages, Frameworks, Environments
Java / Grails / Groovy / Hibernate / JQuery / MySQL / Jenkins


Our development team is based in Nairobi, Kenya, with developers from many of Kenya's universities as well as from around the world.  We utilize an Agile software development approach, which focuses on incremental changes and enables rapid response to the evolving mobile for development (M4D) landscape.

Our product and community teams are based in London and Washington, DC, and provide user training, software customization and premium technical support. Our online community support portal is available at:


FrontlineSMS volunteers, our FrontlineSMS Heroes, make an invaluable contribution to all areas of the organisation. We have volunteer graphic designers, translators, UX designers, evaluators, and developers. Volunteers with open availability can contribute directly to coding projects, while those with less availability can work on answering feature requests and improving documentation.

A volunteer developer will typically provide their Github username in exchange for our documentation before they can get started, whilst almost all volunteers will set up some sort of profile on our Ning community.