Google launches free SMS on Gmail in India
Google has started rolling out 'free SMS' for its free email service Gmail and paid email service Google Apps customers in India. The service allows users to send SMSes to mobile phones from chat windows. Users have to add mobile numbers of their contacts in the email address book and they are set. According to Google, the service is supported by all operators in India, but not by all operators in a few other countries. The service starts with 50 SMS credits for each user, every sent SMS costing one credit. Every reply received adds on 5 credits subject to the maximum level being 50 SMS at any given time. There is no official statement from Google on the launch of this service, however the service has gone live this evening in the chat windows of many users.
The company's website offers step by step instructions on how users can send SMS messages to their contacts' mobile phones using Gmail Chat:
1. Enter your contact's name in the 'Search or invite friends' box in Chat, and select Send SMS from the box of options that appears to the right of your contact's name. Or, if you already have a Chat window open for this contact, just click Options, and select Send SMS.
2. In the dialog box, enter a phone number in the 'Send SMS messages to this number' field. This feature is only launched in selected countries. Click here for the list of supported countries and operators. If you are not located in one of these countries you can still use it, but you won't see the SMS option in Chat until you enable it manually in the Chat settings page.
3. Click Save.
4. A Chat window appears. Just type your message as you would normally. When you hit Enter, the message will be sent to the phone number you entered.While Google won't charge users for this service, if users want to send any SMS from their mobile to Google Chat, the mobile operators' standards charges will apply.