Gmail users in the United States and Canada can continue to make use of free voice calls throughout the whole of next year.

Google has been offering free domestic VoIP calls to users of its email client since April 2010 and has now extended the offer for another 12 months.

In a brief post on the official Google blog, group project manager Vincent Paquet said the company hoped the offer would continue to keep family and friends in touch during the festive season.

Festive treat

He said: "As the holiday season approaches, we're happy to announce that we've extended free domestic calls within the US and Canada for 2012."

"This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country. And you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at our insanely low rates.

While Google's offer is a generous one, it is surely aimed at keeping at bay the likes of Skype, which has been offering free VoIP and video calls through Facebook.

The VoIP client is now also a Microsoft property, which means its likely to be integrated into Windows LIVE services, another Gmail rival.

Via: The Verge