Google Launches Free SMS Service for Gmail Users in Parts of Sub-Saharan Africa
BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, July 20 2012
Mobile phone users in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria can now send emails via SMS on basic mobile phones that do not have Internet access. Google has launched a free service called Gmail SMS, which allows users to send emails as text messages free of charge, and to receive them for standard local SMS charges. As The Next Web puts it:
The implications of this are pretty big, as it means mobile Internet access isn’t required, and users don’t need a new-fangled smartphone with 3G or WiFi capabilities either. For emerging markets, where iPhone and Android uptake may not be what it is in the Western world, not to mention limited Web access, Gmail SMS (available locally) is an interesting launch.
While basic mobile phones are the most common communication device in developing countries, smart phones are still relatively rare. The Gmail SMS application gives email access to people who do not have regular access to a computer.