, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – Mobile operator yuMobile has joined the Gmail SMS service providing its subscribers with a platform to chat with Google mail users via SMS.
The service which is real-time is free to receive messages on any yuMobile number but will cost Sh3 to send a SMS in response to Google mail chat messages.
Through the service a Gmail user can send a text message from their desktop interface directly to a mobile phone via SMS and in turn contacts respond to these text messages that appear in the original sender’s Gmail interface.
Speaking during the launch of the new product, yuMobile Country Manager Madhur Taneja said it offers subscribers the benefit of real-time communication.
“With the introduction of this service, our subscribers can turn their mobile phones into full-function personal communications device. The service is more convenient, secure and easy to use,” he said.
yuMobile that operates under Essar Telecom Kenya is best known for its low-cost strategy by offering free calls, receiving a backlash from other local mobile operators and industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).
The PC chat to cell text service was launched in Kenya late last year is also being offered by Airtel, Safaricom and Orange.
The feature is also available in Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Uganda and Niger and to be launched as a trial program in Egypt.
Kenya has been very successful in phone-delivered internet with over half the population being mobile subscribers.
The high level of uptake is largely attributed to strong competition, cheap hardware and low telecommunications tariffs.