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stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Aug 27 15:09:51 AEST 2010

Aussies make cheap phone calls through Google 

by Asher Moses August 27, 2010 www.smh.com.au

Australians have been able to make cheap phone calls to landlines and 
mobiles using a new Google Gmail feature that launched this week for US 
and Canadian users.

Australians who have their Gmail language set to "English US" are able to 
use the Google Voice plug-in for Gmail to make calls using the microphone 
on their computer. The service throws down a significant challenge to 
Skype and traditional phone service operators.

Users start with $US0.10 credit, which can be topped up using Australian 
credit cards.

Calls and texts to US and Canadian numbers are free with very low rates 
for calls to phones in other countries. 

Calls to Australian numbers are charged at the per-minute rate of $US0.02 
and $US0.14 for landline and mobile calls, respectively.

Google announced today that over one million calls were placed using 
Gmail's free calling service in its first 24 hours.

The service officially launched in US and Canada but a Google spokeswoman 
confirmed that "Aussies who have their Gmail language set to English US 
will see that the feature is available to them too".

However, the spokeswoman said only outgoing calls would work for 
Australians as incoming calls required the Google Voice application, 
which has not yet been made available to Australians. In the US, people 
who obtain a free phone number from Google can receive calls on their PC.

Outgoing calls can only be made via Gmail on users' computers as a 
version for mobile phones has not yet been released ... 



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