This feature is not new, I don’t know when Gmail begin to support Indonesian mobile phone provider but it’s quite old. GMail gave you 50 SMS credits to any mobile phone number worldwide (not only Indonesia) but not all mobile phone provider is supported.
Quite straight forward:
- Ask your Indonesian colleague (like me 😀 ) their mobile phone number and ask them what’s their mobile phone provider name. The mobile phone number should be like this (for example): 08985557x7x. Replace the first zero with Indonesia country code, so it become like this: +628985557x7x
- Make sure the provider name is supported: Axis, Indosat, Telkomsel, Tri and XL. I, myself, had confirmed that the SMS arrived almost instantly to Telkomsel and Tri number. I’ve failed to send to XL number but maybe it’s just me or telecommunication network error.
- Login to GMail and enter the mobile phone number to your “Chat and SMS“/”Ngobrol dan SMS” box. Give the number a contact name and save it.
- Now you can begin to send SMS to that number. Your SMS with recipient will shown just like your usual chat with Google contact (gtalk).
- GMail will append your SMS messages with your email address and your recipient can reply to the SMS directly (to Gmail number), you’ll received it as chat message, if you are not online when reply arrived, GMail will convert it to email message.
As I said before, Gmail only give you 50 credits, it will decreased each time you send SMS (140 chars = 1 credit, if your message is 160 chars long it will be count as 2 credits). To refill this credit, your SMS recipient number have to reply to your SMS.
A good news for Tri users in Indonesia (like myself 🙂 ), there’s no charge whatsoever when you replied to SMS that sent by Gmail. Telkomsel will charge you some credits if you reply the SMS from Gmail. I don’t know with other supported providers whether they will charge you or not.