Free Gmail SMS in SA: why so late?

Google enabled their free Gmail SMS service in South Africa this week, years after it went live in other territories

March 16, 2012
Free Gmail SMS

Google’s free Gmail SMS chat service went live in South Africa this week (12 March 2012). It allows Gmail users to chat with mobile phone users via SMS for free.

“The service has been specifically designed with consumers on the African continent in mind and will bring a new level of flexibility and mobility to Gmail Chat,” said Luke McKend, Country Manager for Google South Africa.

The free Gmail SMS service was first launched in October 2008 in the United States, and since then Google expanded the number of territories where this service is offered.

The Gmail SMS Chat service was launched in Kenya in 2010, raising the question of why South Africa lagged behind numerous African countries and other developing nations to get the service.

Google South Africa explained that Gmail SMS Chat was initially launched and tested in countries with very low Internet penetration to help the few online users communicate more easily with their many offline contacts.

“After the successful uptake of Gmail SMS Chat in the initial launch countries, we’ve brought the service to many more countries and operators, with a focus on emerging market countries,” said Google.

Only MTN and 8ta are currently supporting the service, but Vodacom and Cell C said that they are assessing the viability of also supporting Google’s free Gmail SMS Chat service.

Related articles

Free SMSes from Gmail

SMS marketing and the CPA

Free SMSs from Gmail: What about Vodacom and Cell C

Tags: 8ta, Cell C, Gmail, Google, Headline, Luke Mckend, MTN, Vodacom

Anonymous News Tip
Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe
X

Anonymous News Tip






Captcha image
Not readable? Change text.

sending

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Do you think Cell C's out of bundle data price increase will hurt the company?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

How the DoC plans to give broadband to everyone

Broadband

The Department of Communications has provided an update on the implementation of its “SA Connect” broadband policy and strategy

New Internet TV player seals sports content deal

Digital TV

Discover Digital says it has concluded its first sports content deal in anticipation of the launch of internet TV in South Africa later this year.

iBurst network safe from Icasa: WBS

Icasa wolf

Although the High Court has ruled that Icasa’s seizure of iBurst equipment last year was lawful, WBS says no further disruptions are expected

Samsung Galaxy S4 Android KitKat update in SA

Samsung Galaxy S4 in hand

The update to Android 4.4 KitKat has become available to Samsung Galaxy S4 users in South Africa

bool(true)