Google's Gmail Available without Invitation

You might recall that Gmail, Google’s email application, made big news when it launched more than a year ago because of its large storage capability – 2.5GB. However, the only way to get an account was to be invited by another Gmail user.
But now Google has opened it up and anyone can request a free account. But, you’ll need a mobile phone capable of text messaging to receive an invitation code. According to Google, this is to help protect users and combat abuse.
Source: Google Friends Newsletter