GMail via SMS – So much for data limits

Smartphone usage has been growing globally (up by 42.5% as of Q1 2012 as compared to the same quarter in 2011) and pretty much everyone with a smartphone uses it to access their email. Mobile phone usage in various parts of the world has been growing too, but that doesn’t necessarily consist of smartphones. It’s the feature phones (the so called “Dumbphones”) that still rule. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get your mail fill on the move though. It is a problem however, as mobile data isn’t really upto scratch just yet, everywhere. It might be spotty or expensive. Well, if you’re in Africa, Google’s got your back.

Before we move on, here’re some stats from InsightsAfrica about mobile phone usage:

Here’s how many people own a Mobile Phone:

Data as of 2010-2011. Chart Available here.

And here’s the SMS usage (Received SMS):

Data as of 2010-2011. Chart Available here.


Makes sense then that Google launched SMS based GMail services in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

From the Official Google Africa Blog:


Send and receive Gmail on your phone as SMS

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | 2:23 PM

Email has become a part of everyday life. There’s so much you do with it: apply for a job, make an inquiry, get notifications from your social network, receive photos or an invitation that makes you smile, and just communicate back and forth with your friends.

The Gmail team at Google puts in a lot of effort to make sure messages are delivered as soon as you hit “send”. However, sometimes barriers arise between you and your email.  What if you’re not by a computer? Or your phone is not connected to the internet? Or the internet is down or too slow, so that emails just won’t load?
To help solve these issues, we’ve created Gmail SMS.  We’re excited to be making this new service available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS.
Gmail SMS automatically forwards your emails as SMS text messages to your phone and you can respond by replying directly to the SMS. You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient – who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!


Read on for more details, here.


Source: Google Africa Blog.

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Raghu Kannan

Drummer, Car enthusiast and wanna be rally driver, between jobs and loving it! @raghukannan

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