Google’s Gmail SMS coming to Africa

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.


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Nicholas Pescod attended Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario and graduated in 2007. After deciding to return for an extra semester of high school he attended the University of Guelph in 2008. In 2009 he transferred from University into Centennial College’s journalism program and graduated in 2012. Pescod has been a contributor to the East-Toronto Observer, and he currently contributes to the North Shore News’ entertainment section. While at Centennial College he created Radio Nation, a weekly Internet radio show with a focus on indie music. Since Radio Nation began in November of 2010 there have been over 70 different live guests. In 2011 Pescod received a Global Citizenship award from Centennial for his work on Radio Nation. The show has regular listeners from around the world. Email: