Vodacom and Cell C still do not support Google’s free Gmail SMS service in South Africa, with Vodacom explaining that there is ‘still no final decision on the matter’. Cell C said that they are still in the process of evaluating the service.
Google launched their free Gmail SMS service in South Africa in March, allowing users to send text messages from their desktop Gmail Chat interface directly to mobile phone numbers via SMS. In return, the mobile phone users can reply by SMS and their responses will appear in the original sender’s Gmail Chat interface.
At launch the service was only available to numbers on the MTN and 8.ta mobile networks, and not much has changed since then.
Vodacom and Cell C still do not support the service, and the reasons behind these decisions remain unknown.
Vodacom’s decision not to support the free Gmail SMS service in SA is particularly curious as the service is supported by Vodacom Mozambique, Vodacom Tanzania and Vodacom DRC.
Vodacom was asked why it supports the service in other African countries but not South Africa, but the company could not provide an answer to this question.
Cell C could also not provide insight into why the service is not supported yet, merely saying that they are “still in the process of evaluating the service”.
Cell C could not provide details on why the process is taking so long or even whether they would like to support the service.