The Gmail users in the country will now be able to send free direct SMSs to any mobiles from their Google Talk window, as Google has launched its free SMS service to India along with 51other countries.
The search giant grants Gmail users an initial credit of 50 SMS, with each outgoing SMS costing one credit. The replies to these messages will appear on the GTalk window, and will be saved in the chat history. Each reply adds 5 credits to the user’s account. However, the maximum credit is limited to 50. For the mobile phone user, the reply is charged at local SMS rate as per his/ her normal billing plan.
Once a user runs out of credit, Google will add one credit after 24 hours. However, "Users can always send an SMS to their own phone, and then reply to that message multiple times. Every time you send a reply message, your SMS credit is increased by five. Effectively, you're buying more messages by paying your phone company for these outgoing messages," stated the Google help portal.
Google is rolling out this free service in partnership with 8 cellular operators throughout the country. There are also options for users to opt out from the service. According to Google, if a person sends too many messages to a phone number without any response from receiver, he will be blocked from sending more- A good way to avoid spamming.
To block SMSs from a particular Gmail contact, Just reply to the message with ‘BLOCK’ and you will no more be disturbed. However, Google provides an option to ‘UNBLOCK’ later. And if you are a person who do not want anyone to send you messages from GTalk, you can completely opt out from the service by texting ‘STOP’ to a specific number.
The service is currently available only on Gmail and not for people who use GTalk app on their Smartphones and PCs.