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Google offers Gmail free texting

MANILA Philippines (July 23 2011) - Google, through Gmail, now offers free texting using the Philippine's cellular phone service providers - Globe, Smart and Sun.

Google calls this Gmail-to-SMS service that is accessible by clicking the Send SMS link at the sidebar of a Gmail user interface. This is considered an enhancement to Gmail Chat that has been a sub-feature of Google Mail for years.

“We are very excited to be launching SMS capabilities in Gmail Chat today,” said Myriam Boublil, Head of Communications and Public Affairs of Google Southeast Asia.

She said that in order to avail of the free service, all you need is a Gmail account that is also being offered for free.

Google said the procedure is very easy especially for Pinoys not familiar with Gmail or those enrolled at Yahoo! Mail because the process is as easy as any of Yahoo’s services.

“SMS in Gmail Chat will bring a new level of flexibility and mobility to Gmail users in the Philippines. With more than 70 million mobile subscribers in the Philippines and the country being the SMS capital of the world, we think this service will allow for seamless integration between mobile and PC communication and make it more convenient for Pinoys to send each other messages,” she said.

To avail of this FREE Gmail-to-SMS service to Globe, Smart and Sun:


First, you need a Gmail account. If you already have one, then go to the new SMS BOX at the lower left hand corner of your Gmail page, right above the Chat box. For those without an Gmail accound, get one HERE. It’s as easy as pie.

Input the recipient’s mobile phone number in the box provided: +639*********

A dialog box will appear in the middle of the screen asking for the input of the recipient’s name. After which, a message window will appear on the lower part of your screen.

Input your SMS / text message in the space provided, hit enter and you’re done!

Test in on you own phone. The message will be received after about two seconds, as fast as regular SMS messaging.

Fifty free SMS messages are allocated to each account at first and every time you send a message, your allocation decreases by one, a related article posted on the web said.

Every time you receive an SMS message in Chat (for example when a phone user replies to one of your messages) your quota increases by five, up to a maximum of 50, it added.

"This means that when you receive a reply to your free message, or when you yourself reply to a received message on your phone, standard text message charges apply. In other words, reply SMS / text is NOT free. That’s how local carriers make money out of this scheme and that’s why they have accepted it," it said.

"If you don’t receive replies to your messages, your allocation will be reduced until it reaches O. But worry not, you will be given 1 free allocation after 24 hours, which means you can still send at least one FREE text daily through the Gmail-to-SMS system. Hopefully, someone will reply to replenish your free allocation," the article added. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)