Vodafone has launched a new SMS text service that will allow PC users to send and receive text messages away from their phone.

The plan is that Vodafone Text Centre will be used by companies or individuals and integrates with Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes to allow customers to talk to colleagues out in the field.

Once installed, the Vodafone Text Centre option is added to the e-mail in-box menu, allowing text messaging as easy as sending an e-mail. Text messages can be sent to a single recipient or to a broader distribution list, and the sender is able to choose whether replies are sent back to their e-mail inbox or to a mobile phone.

Customers will pay for messages they send on their monthly phone bills.

Messages sent from a PC are to be charged at 14p including VAT however similar to current mobile phones you will not be charged for receiving emails through the application.

The software is free of charge and can be downloaded from the companies website. However you benefit you will need to be a Vodafone customer due to the need to bill you for send the SMS in the first place.