U.S. Service Members Can Call Home Free from Gmail
Article by George Norman
On 02 Sep 2011
As you may already know, thanks to Google Voice integration in Gmail, Gmail users can make calls to mobile and landline phones from within Gmail. You can for example call a mobile phone in the US or Canada for the low price of $0.01 per minute (or €0.01, £0.01, C$0.01 per minute). If you’re in the US, you can call France, Germany or the UK for $0.10 (or €0.08) per minute and China and India for $0.02/min. Detailed info on how much calling from Gmail costs is available here.

The news isn’t that you can make calls from Gmail. The news is that Google announced that it is letting U.S. service members make calls from Gmail free of charge. Or to put it in other words, military personnel can call home using Gmail and they don’t have to pay anything for it.

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“We understand that it’s not always easy or affordable for our troops serving overseas to call friends and family at home, so starting today we’re making it completely free for or all uniformed military personnel with valid United States Military (.mil) email addresses to call the United States, right from Gmail,” announced Senior Software Engineer Ilya Frank.

To be able to make free calls from Gmail, a service member has to perform two simple steps. The first one is to add a valid .mil email address to his or her Google account (detailed instructions on this task, should they be needed, are available here). The second step is to click the “Call phone” link the chat rooster. If the Voice and Video chat plugin is already installed, the call will go through. If not, the user will be prompted to install the plugin.

Free calling from within Gmail for military personal will remain free at least until the end of the year.



Tags: Google, Gmail, Google Voice, Military
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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