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Google takes on Skype with phone calls built into Gmail

US and Canadian users will be able to call landlines and mobiles for free with Google Voice, built into Gmail from today.

Google will put these phone boxes in airports and at college campuses to promote its Google Voice free calls to US and Canadian phones.
Image: Mashable

GOOGLE IS SETTING its sights on overtaking Skype as the main internet telephony provider by rolling out its new Google Voice service directly into Gmail.

Users will be able to call landlines in the US and Canada free of charge through the service, on top of their current ability to have free voice chats with their contacts – undercutting Skype which charges for such calls.

Sadly for Irish users, however, the service is currently only available in those two countries.

The company announced that it would be roll out the service to all Gmail users in the countries at a media event today, explaining that a new option would appear in users’ GChat windows showing a small ‘Call Phone’ listing.

Clicking on this option opens up a small ‘Call’ window with a keypad, from which users will be able to dial to landlines.

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To promote the rollout, Google will roll out traditional red phone boxes – just like the famous ones in London – to airports and university campuses, which will contain VoIP handsets allowing users to make free phone calls.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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