Micro-blogging site Twitter has signed a contract with Vodafone in the UK, to allow customers to send and receive tweets across the mobile phone network – the first commercial deal of its type in the UK between Twitter and a mobile phone network.

Receiving tweets on mobile phones had previously been restricted to North America, but now the service will mean that Vodafone UK customers will be able to receive SMS updates from Twitter free of charge, according to a report from UKs Media Week.

A Twitter spokesman has indicated sending tweets from mobiles will be part of customers’ normal text messaging bundle with the telco, with no extra fees attached.

The news comes as Twitter looks to cash in on its recent popularity and other companies look to exploits its popularity.

Microsoft and online marketing company Federated Media have recently launched ExecTweets, an online offering that allows users to monitor Twitter messages from business executives.