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Google extends free calling through Gmail

People who use Gmail to make free phone calls in North America will be able to keep doing so for another year, using a Google Voice plugin.

Google said in a blog post Monday that it was extending free domestic calling through 2013. It also touted its cheap rates for international calls, which start as low as two cents.

Google Voice officially launched in March 2009. The service lets users make calls and send text messages via its online service, assigning a unique phone number to each member.

A Google Voice calling plugin was added to Gmail in August 2010 as an alternative to Skype. The plugin lets people make calls to any mobile phone or landline via the Chat section in Gmail. The service is available for a slew of countries.

For a how-to on the service, check out this piece by CNET Reviews' Jessica Dolcourt.

A version of this article originally appeared on CNET.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.


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