Messaging System: Gmail SMS Extension

Google has launched an extension to its Gmail service whereby users have the option to receive email on their mobile phone as SMS and also be able to reply same through SMS. The service is especially useful to feature phone users who may not have the internet capabilities available on smartphones. The actual receiving of messages via SMS is free, while local SMS rate applies to replying messages.

Gmail SMS is targeted at African users who invariably are denied the now much needed internet access, and coupled with the high cost of bandwidth.

The service, nonetheless, works on any phone type, and for now, available only in three African countries, namely: Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. However, there is still the possibility of the extension of the service to other African countries, however, the availability worldwide seems highly untenable.

The next-generation  messaging system is one that will offer seamless messaging across different forms of communication media supporting all formats. Facebook had earlier announced what appears closer to that definition late 2010, but the actual application remains illusive.

Google has demonstrated that messaging is the pivot of the social web, and with the latest offering, will be tapping into the vast population of under-served African market in terms of internet access.
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