Google offers Canadians free calls from G-mail

International calls as low as 2 cents per minute

Unstoppable Google will go head to head with online telephone service provider Skype by offering free calls from any Gmail account to others in Canada and the U.S., it announced Wednesday. The service will make its money by charging for calls to international destinations including Europe, China and Japan, with rates starting as low as 2 cents per minute. People will be able to receive calls on their PC for free as well, if they sign up for a free telephone number provided by Google. Skype, owned by eBay, has thus far been the leader in internet voice services with 8.1 million paid subscribers and a profit of $13 million in the first half of this year.