This app’s slogan is; “never pay for SMS services again!”

Free-sms-vumilia

You are now able to send free text messages from your android phone to any phone –exclusive to Uganda.

Free SMS Vumilia is free messaging app that allows Android users to send text messages to any mobile phone user, basic phones inclusive. It uses mobile internet data or wi-fi to send out unlimited number of short texts to all local telecom subscribers.

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Start screen

The start screen of the app prompts one to register their details such as name, specify whether they have  single or dual SIM-cards, gender and age.

After the  registration, you can immediately start texting. There is an input field that  allows you manually input the receiver’s number or even input directly via your phone contact list. However,the message area and send button feel congested and typing may feel uneasy.

There is also an option for chatting with those who have the app installed on their phones and also in your contact list –just like WhatsApp! The difference being that Free SMS Vumilia can send text messages to all phones regardless of whether they have it installed or not. To benefit from the app; it’s basically every user for himself and Android for us all.

The navigation is quite simple although it doesn’t feel smooth enough.

vumilia free sms

Privacy concerns

The app asks too many personal details upon registration such as birthday, name, gender which I find obtrusive.

Does this pose a threat to Ugandan telecom services.

Download the app for free from the Play store.

  • Kedyr

    Tried to send a text to a utl number and got this error:
    “Not a valid Ugandan cell No. smsFree can only send to Ugandan cell No.’s e.g. 079….

  • Ha, what are these guys using to send the SMS in the back-end? SMS and “free” can’t be in the same sentence without some scrupulous catch somewhere. Am not convinced, still very skeptical until i know the details!!

    • Kedyr

      yeah, probably will be free for a given time. and then become a premium later on.

      on the other hand, SMS’s are very cheap so they could buy and give them out for free but then get their money back from another revenue stream

    • rogekk

      ok, i agree with you there is nothing for free, esp with carriers, SMS is a circuit switched service (i wont go into details) unlike
      whats app or kik services that use PS (data services). So when there is
      something to do with SMS every carrier has what they call an SMS-C (c
      stands for center) which basically stores, forwards, converts and delivers
      SMS messages.
      So basically several content providers connect via the
      SMPP to the SMS-C in order to provide any web SMS services. So the
      carrier basically must know SMSes sent to and fro within the nextwork and
      charge the service providers for the SMS traffic.

      • Mwesigwa Daniel

        Great analysis….I have contacted the developers of the app to shed more light.

  • fodongkara

    “The app asks too many personal details upon registration such as birthday, name, gender which I find obtrusive.”

    That is the catch. They sell your personal details to SMS service providers and you continue using their “free” service. I don’t mean to ridicule the business model since that is how most free IT services work. What I am genuinely concerned about is the security; is my text message encrypted?

  • Yeah I have read this article and am really happy to know about this great innovation though I have not yet used the app yet.

    I have also read the various reactions {comments} on to the articles. Here are my views

    # THE APP ASKS FOR TOO MUCH PERSONAL DATA
    Yeah a lot of people are looking at this as a bad move but its good for security reasons more so if people are willing to give the correct data.

    People who develop apps that ask for personal data before you use them do not necessarily sell that data, they simply use that data to target ads for the most part and the advertisers will never even know about your personal information…

    # SMSs CAN’T BE FREE
    Buying SMSs is very CHEAP. I have seen companies that sell SMSs at UGX 12 { ~ $0.00475200 }

    So I would think anyone can buy millions of SMSs if at all he/she is sure of how the FREE SMS service will be monetized and it doesn’t always has to be selling personal data as many are perceiving it.

    Otherwise I wish the developer of that app all the best….

  • picked_a_name

    Have you recieved an SMS from one of these guys???
    What happens is, if the sender is on 0772123456, the message comes in from +0772123456.
    Problem is, I can’t reply to this number >> +0772123456
    I’d have to go into my contacts and get the guy’s contact, and then send a reply from there!

    A simple +256 would suffice. I don’t have the app installed for this reason.