Google and Orange partner for SMS service
Orange and Google will team up to provide Orange customers in Niger, Cameroon, Cote d’lvoire and Guinea Conakry with their Gmail SMS Chat service.
As a result of this collaboration, Gmail users are given a quota of free text messages; the quota increases by five every time the user receives a reply from an Orange customer.
It is expected that Orange will generate significant extra traffic and revenue thanks to the partnership. Google, meanwhile, will increase its market reach. The service will become available within the next few months.
A spokesman for Orange said: "Through the development of SMS-based services that operate on all mobile networks (including GSM), Orange and Google will extend the reach of a wide range of Internet services that were previously limited to smartphone and broadband users (through 3G, CDMA, or WiMax networks) to all Orange mobile customers. Through Google SMS, African mobile customers stand to benefit from a wide range of Google services via SMS."
Orange customers in other African countries such as Kenya and Senegal can already access the service. In Senegal, almost 700,000 people used Gmail SMS Chat within six months of its launch there.