Google to allow phone calls from Gmail

Google to allow phone calls from Gmail

Google Inc said users of Gmail will now be able to call telephones directly from their email, putting it in direct competition with Web calling service Skype and more traditional operators such as AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications.

While Google had already offered computer-to-computer voice and video chat services, it said that starting on Wednesday it will now allow calls to home phones and mobile phones directly from Gmail for the first time.

Google promised free calls to US and Canadian phones from Gmail for the rest of this year and said it would charge low rates for calls made to other countries.

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