A much loved British institution is to get a modern makeover by Google to promote its voice-calling service.

The K6, or the red telephone box as it is better known, is being used by the Mountain View based web giant as it looks to promote its Google Voice service, following the news that the platform is being integrated into Gmail.

Google unveiled its plans to install a number of the branded phone booths into airports and in universities at an event to announce the Gmail Google Voice features.

The plan is to let people use the boxes for free, to call domestically and abroad, in order to show off the Google Voice service.

Originally invented by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, by 1935 the red colour was a tribute to King George V who was celebrating his silver jubilee.

Although the number of telephone boxes has decreased in recent years due to the rise in mobile telephony, Google will hope that the nostalgia of the K6 is enough to spread the Google Voice word.

The phone boxes should start appearing across the US in the next few weeks.