Google has finally enabled calls through Gmail in 38 languages. Google is also giving over 150 destinations a fee reduction.
Google Voice first allowed users in the U.S. and Canada to make free phone calls to land lines or cell phones via Gmail. Now that coverage has expanded with new call rates. International call rates are now inexpensive to most other telecommunication service providers.
“Last year, we made it possible for those of you in the U.S. to call any mobile phone or landline directly from Gmail and starting today, we are making this available to many more of you who use Gmail outside the U.S. by offering calling in 38 new languages,” writes Google Product Manager Pierre Lebeau. “We’re rolling out this feature over the next few days, so if it’s available in your country you’ll see a little green phone icon show up at the top of your chat list and you’ll be ready to make calls (you’ll need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already).”
It now costs only $0.10 per minute to call mobile phones in the United Kingdom, France or Germany, while landlines cost $0.02 per minute. To call mobile phones in Mexico it costs $0.15 per minute, and in China and India it is $0.02 per minute to call any number. Calls to the United States or Canada places within those countries will continue to be free for the rest of 2011.
According to CBS News: “If you’re not familiar with Google Voice, it’s a telecommunications service provided for free for Google account holders. Users get a unique phone number that can be forwarded to several different lines. Other features include voice transcription, call screening and free text messages. It was [originally] launched in March 2009.”