Google Inc. said it was adding voice calling into its Gmail email service, enabling users to place low-priced calls to phones around the world.

The move puts the search giant in competition with Internet telephony leader Skype Ltd., which is partially owned by eBay Inc., as well as traditional telephone providers.

Google said calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year, while calls to other countries will be billed at rates as low as 2 cents a minute. The rates are similar to those offered by Skype.

Gmail users have for several years been able to talk to each other via their computer's microphone and speakers, but the service didn't enable them to call landlines or mobile phones.

Full story: WSJ