Google Voice is going global, in a round-about way. Google confirms that if you’re outside the USA and you set your language to US English in Gmail, this feature may become available to you. Google voice, the popular calling service that allows users to redirect calls to their cell phones, landlines and Gmail, is finally available outside of the U.S.
A Google post on its blog stated that the service is now available in 38 new languages in over 150 destinations around the world. Google Voice features no connection fees, and consumers only pay for the time they actually use.
“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).”
Google upgraded its Gmail voice calling service to enable Gmail end-users outside the US and Canada to call mobile phone or landlines directly from Gmail by offering support for 38 new languages. Google also lowered its calling rates to over 150 destinations around the world. The service was initially launched in the US and Canada last year. In-country calls in the US or Canada will continue to be free at least for the rest of 2011, but calls within the newly covered countries will be charged. There are no connection fees and customers only pay for the time they talk.
An alternative to Skype, Google’s calling feature lets you make free domestic and inexpensive international calls to any mobile phone or landline via Gmail Chat. Launched almost a year ago, the feature racked up more than 1 million calls its first day and has continued to expand, most recently offering the ability to make multiple calls at the same time.
US and Canadian users will continue to benefit from free calls within those countries “at least for the rest of 2011,” said Google, while international users will be charged $0.01 per minute to make calls to the US and Canada.
Customers in countries where the service will shortly become available will see a green phone sign appear at the top of their chat list over the next few days. In order for Google Apps users to be able to use this feature, their domain administrator must have Google Voice and Google Checkout enabled in the administrator control panel. Besides the USD, Google’s service now supports three other currencies, namely EUR, GBP and CAD.
The next major for Google Voice is the mobile realm, where it’s building an integrated capacity around its native Android apps and beyond. Google had quite a time getting its Google Voice app onto iOS devices, and an international reach for integrated mobile devices would only further its points of access, an important challenge for all companies dabbling in VoIP lately. With Google+ also becoming a pertinent aspect of Google Apps, we’re likely to see more social integration stretching worldwide as well.