Official Gmail Blog has just announced that they are extending their free domestic calling within the US and Canada throughout 2012.
What this means, is that if you are a Gmail user, all you need to do is install Google's Voice and Video Chat plug-in from Google's web site. Once installed in your web browser, you are set to make free voice calls to any US and Canadian telephone number, be it land-line or mobile numbers.
Google has been providing free calling through Gmail since mid 2010. Then, last year announced they would extend free calling through 2011. To be frank, I didn't expect they would extend free phone calling through 2012, as well. I figured Google would fall they way of Skype.
Skype used to provide free calls to land-lines too in US and Canada. But, once they built up their subscriber base, they inevitably started changing for all calls to PSTN phones and mobiles. I expect eventually Google will follow suit... just not in 2012.
But, for now, enjoy the free phone calls... I am!