By Nicholas Pescod – AfricanBrains
For those living in Africa with a Gmail account will no longer need to have a smartphone to receive e-mails. Thanks to the recent announcement by Google, the company will begin offering a text messaged based version of Gmail.
According to the BBC Africa, Google will launch Gmail SMS which can run on what the industry calls “dumb phones”, basically phones without internet access and extremely basic features. The service is available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
Google’s product manager for emerging markets, Geva Rechav wrote on a blog about how SMS will work.
“Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS,” he wrote on his blog. “Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. “
Throughout Africa the use of mobile services has been widespread and continues to increase. Mobile commerce offerings such as M-Pesa have over 15 million users.