Having previously supported FrontlineSMS, the Indigo team have been following their progress with interest. At present, the FrontlineSMS:Radio team are developing a new platform that ‘will assist community radio stations to interact dynamically with audiences by harnessing the power of SMS text messaging’. As part of this, the team are conducting a pilot with ten radio stations or shows in Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Sierra Leone. Indigo are pleased to announce that we have made a grant of £10,000 to FrontlineSMS to help with some of the costs incurred during the pilot phase.
A problem that the team encountered on a number of occasions was that some of their community radio stations did not have either the equipment or technical know-how to fully use the new beta FrontlineSMS platform. Outdated equipment and shortages meant that some of the stations involved in testing the new platform were being hampered by slow or unreliable equipment. Because of this, Indigo have agreed to underwrite costs for some new modems and technical assistance for the pilot stations. Only with this new equipment and personalised assistance will all stations be able to fully exploit the benefits of the new platform. Part of the funds will also be used in the development of resources and case studies, which will enable more stations to make use of the new platform when it is unveiled in the course of 2012. More information about the radio project can be found here.