Replies sent from these networks to Google Chat also appeared in Gmail’s chat interface.
MTN and Vodacom have networks in countries such as Uganda, Ghana, and Congo that Google lists as supported. Google has offered this service from as early as 2008, but these are the first reports of it working on South African networks.
Google gives users 50 free SMS credits, with each message you send costing one credit.
If your SMS credit reaches zero at any point, Google says you will get one credit 24 hours later to ensure that you won’t be locked out of the system.
To “buy” more credits you just need to receive messages via SMS. For every message you receive your credit increases by 5, to a maximum of 50.
If you need more message credit, Google suggests that you send an SMS to your phone from Gmail, and then reply to that message multiple times. “Effectively, you’re buying more messages by paying your phone company for these outgoing messages,” the Google support page states.