Send free SMS directly from Gmail

Telecom Lead India: Google has tied up with Indian mobile operators to launch its free SMS services in the country.

Google says its SMS services are available with all Indian operators.

In Pakistan, Google has tie ups with Mobilink and Ufone.

Times of India reported that the service is available with Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata Docomo, Reliance Communications, etc. Airtel and BSNL has not signed up with Google.

Free SMS for Google’s free email service Gmail and paid email service Google Apps will be available in India.

On Wednesday, reported that over-the-top (OTT) is set to disturb SMS revenue of operators. Telecom operators will lose $54 billion in SMS revenue by 2016 due to social messaging services on smartphones. According to Ovum, the $54 billion SMS revenue loss is more than double the $23 billion operators are expected to have lost by the end of 2012. To curb the loss, collaboration with handset manufacturers is important.

Gmail users in India have got messages from the search engine giant. The free service allows users to send SMS to mobile phones from chat windows. Users have to add mobile numbers of their contacts in the email address book.

The service starts with 50 SMS credits for each user, every sent SMS costing one credit.

“You can always send an SMS to your own phone, and then reply to that message multiple times. Every time you send a reply message, your SMS credit is increased by five. Effectively, you’re buying more messages by paying your phone company for these outgoing messages,” it writes on its chat help portal.

The SMSes sent from Gmail chat are delivered to mobile phones while replies from the mobile phone come into the chat window. For the mobile phone user, the reply is charged at local SMS rate as per her/his normal billing plan.

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