Google's Gmail offering Free SMS to Ghana, but…

Gmail users in Ghana who logged into the free email service would have noticed a pop-up message today:

The message read:

New! Free SMS in Gmail
Send free SMS directly from Gmail – just enter a phone number and click Enter. SMS replies come right to your Gmail inbox.
This service is now available for mobile phones in Ghana.

The free SMS can be sent directly from within Gmail once the user logs in, as seen from the screenshot below:

Free SMS in Gmail. Snapshot from
Free SMS in Gmail. Snapshot from

According to Google:

Sending a message is free from Gmail to any phone. When replying with an SMS from phone to Gmail, you will be charged a regular SMS rate by your mobile provider. Gmail SMS is currently available in Ghana with MTN, Zain, Tigo and Kasapa.

However, efforts to try out the new service on MTN, Zain and Vodafone have so far failed as can be seen from the screenshot below. The numbers were whitened due to privacy concerns but the network codes can be clearly identified:

Gmail free SMS to Ghana failing so far.
Gmail free SMS to Ghana failing so far.

Gmail is a free, advertising-supported webmail, POP3, and IMAP service provided by Google.

UPDATE: Google has since fixed the bug.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. It's good innovation on Google side. At the last G-Nigeria day, attendees questioned Google on why the service is not available to Nigerians, Google say they are working on it and should extend it soon.

    The better part of this is that you can text someone immediately after the mail so that the person can get his/her box for your mail.

  2. Sorry about that folks. Small bug, it will be fixed shortly. In the mean time, it works if you use the full number including the country code +23324….

    -divon, Google Africa

  3. I’m hearing something that really sounds good. but thats not how it looks.
    The G-mail free SMS can only be sent to some networks but not all networks and these are ZAIN and TIGO. until now these are the only networks you can send free SMS to using G-mail SMS .

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