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Following up with what we wrote yesterday, Google has today announced that free phone calls to US and Canadian customers are now a reality with the new “Call from Gmail” service that will enable Gmail users to place calls to their friends and family in USA and Canada right from inside their Gmail window.
Calls to international callers are possible too and according to the Google blog are priced extremely competitve. We are talking of rates as low as $0.02 a minute. Of course, the rates differ according to the destination country. Nevertheless, Google has indicated that they shall strive to keep them as low as possible.
The feature is tightly integrated with Google Voice though Gmail has indicated that the feature will also be made available to users without a Google Voice number.
Will this feature be made available to users outside the US? This is Google’s wording. Now make your inference
“We’re rolling out this feature to U.S. based Gmail users over the next few days, so you’ll be ready to get started once “Call Phones” shows up in your chat list (you will need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re using Google Apps for your school or business, then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly – so stay tuned!”