SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Internet giant Google said its U.S. Gmail customers can dial phones from their computers for free starting Wednesday.
International calls would be billed at "really cheap" rates, Google said. For example, calls to Britain, France, Germany, Japan and China would be billed at 2 cents a minute, the company said.
Previously, Gmail only allowed customers to use a voice system if they were both close to their computers.
The service, which competes with online phone service Skype, will be made available to Gmail account customers automatically but is not yet available for accounts linked to Google Apps for schools or businesses, Google said in a statement.
"We're working on making this available more broadly -- so stay tuned," Google said.