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

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

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

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

What is your preferred mobile platform?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

New MTN internet bundles launched

MTN business

MTN has introduced new internet bundles, which offer lower out-of-bundle rates and a 60 day validity period

Sentech is misleading us: CWU

Sentech

Sentech’s claims about the unaffordability of workers’ wage demands are misleading, the Communication Workers’ Union has said

Telkom retrenchments going ahead

Telkom fixed line

Telkom says it will go ahead with its planned restructuring process, following consultation with labour unions.

Big savings on tech products

Sale

You can save thousands of rands on technology products from South Africa’s largest retailers this weekend

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)