Non of these two methods worked: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-google-accounts-require-gmail-and.html
closed as off topic by Rory Alsop♦ Mar 19 at 23:17
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Strange, on Googles support site it states a phone number is optional:
"Mobile phone. Having a mobile phone number on your account is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to help keep your account safe. Since you have physical possession of your phone, we can provide easier ways for you to get back into your account if you ever forget your password. And we can use it to challenge unusual accesses to your account. This field is optional, but strongly recommended if you have a mobile phone."