Indian IT entrepreneur Sabeer Bhatia on Tuesday launched a free text messaging service, promising that it would be as revolutionary as his previous venture, Hotmail.
Bhatia, who co-founded the free email service 15 years ago, said in a statement that his latest venture, JaxtrSMS, would do "to SMS what Hotmail did for e-mail".
The application, formally launched at a news conference in Mumbai, is designed to allow users to send a text message from their mobile phone to any other mobile in the world, even if the recipient does not have the JaxtrSMS application.
Other free mobile messaging services on the market are restricted to users in a closed group who have the same application.
The free, downloadable application, which works on smartphones, has been developed entirely in India, which is one of the fastest-growing mobile phone markets in the world with more than 850 million subscribers.
Internet-enabled smartphones, however, are prohibitively expensive for most Indians, although they are gaining popularity among the more affluent in urban centres, where wireless connectivity is more widespread.