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Vodafone is to double the its charges for texting from UK to international phones next month.

From 1 September, Vodafone contract subscribers will pay 24p instead of 12p to use the service.

A Vodafone spokeswoman described the change as a price increase the company is making for "commercial reasons". She said the increase brings costs charged to Vodafone's contract customers for texting overseas in line with the prices already paid by the company's pre-pay users.

A number of Reg readers have written to us about the change expressing disappointment that SMS prices had gone up instead of down following recent price control rulings by Oftel. Subscribers learnt of the changes in recent letters containing information about Vodafone's latest tariffs and pricing plans.

In separate Vodafone news, the company restored its GPRS service to normal today after a system upgrade last night went awry, rendering ancillary service temporarily unavailable.

Vodafone is playing down the issue by saying the problem only affected access to extra Vodafone Live! services - like ring tones and games - not the ability of subscribers to make and receive calls or send text messages. Few people were affected and services have now been restored to normal, the spokeswoman added. ®

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