Ghana, Kenya and Other African Nations Get SMS Via Google
In many African countries, Internet access is either too expensive for or unavailable to the general population. But Google has launched a new service that allows those in a few African nations to text globally through its free email service provided by Google, Gmail. They have created an SMS-based version of Gmail.
Gmail SMS is currently available in Ghana, on Airtel, MTN, Tigo, and Vodafone; Kenya, on Airtel, Orange, Safaricom, and Yu; and Nigeria, on Airtel, Etisalat, Glo, MTN, Starcomms, and Visafone. And a smart phone isn’t necessary. Gmail SMS can be used on a basic cell phone. It works with any basic feature phone that can send and receive SMS messages.
Through Gmail, SMS can email via the short messaging service instead of a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. To use the service, one merely changes a setting in their Gmail account to have updates sent via SMS. Being able to access Gmail over SMS makes it much easier for people who might not have reliable connectivity or data service to access information and communicate with people.
According to Google, their mission “is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
There are 425 million active users of Gmail worldwide.
Click here for a related article on technological advancements in African nations.