Aug 262010
 

This morning, along with a lot of people in Australia, my gmail account came with a new feature, offering to let me make free phone calls to the US and Canada.

“Huh”, I thought, “dumb google marketers presume we are all in the US and Canada and have just added the notice to *everyone’s* account – bet it doesn’t work”…

BUT….

I opened the window, started entering a friend’s phone number – only to have it finished from my contacts lists – and bingo! – connected for free to a phone number in the US. The line (channel ?) quality was fine and the connection was fast with no dropouts. And it didn’t cost me a cent.

How quickly my thinking has changed. I didn’t think “gee, this is just like calling from my phone”, but “hey, just like Skype”…

Wonder how long before – if ever – I will be able to call within Australia for free. Right now it costs 2c per minute if I use this service … actually not too bad … And definitely what I would use when travelling overseas,  if for some reason Skype does not let me call home.

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  One Response to “Yes, Google phone calls to the US for free works in Australia”

  1. […] Gmail Offers Phone Service via Web [NYTimes.com] – “Google entered a new business beyond Internet search on Wednesday with a service within Gmail to make phone calls over the Web to landlines or cellphones. The service will thrust Google into direct competition with Skype, the Internet telephone company, and with telecommunications providers. It could also make Google a more ubiquitous part of people’s social interactions by uniting the service for phone calls with e-mail, text messages and video chats. “It’s one place where you can get in touch with the people that you care about, and how that happens from a network perspective is less important,” said Charles S. Golvin, a telecommunications analyst at Forrester Research. Gmail has offered voice and video chat for two years, but both parties must be at their computers.” (It works from Australia, too.) […]

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