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Vodafone announces own-brand 3G handset

'If you want something done right, do it yourself' seems to be the operator's attitude, as it responds to overpriced 3G handsets with a device of its own

Vodafone has announced this year will see the launch of its own-brand handsets.

The operator has inked a five-year deal with manufacturer Huawei to produce a 3G Vodafone-branded handset for launch this September in Europe.

Vodafone is the only one of the big four UK operators yet to sell handsets under its own banner. O2, Orange and T-Mobile all currently offer own-branded business handsets made by OEM HTC running on the Windows Mobile operating system.

Vodafone's chief executive, Arun Sarin, hit out earlier this week at handset prices, saying the €50 (£30) difference between 2G and 3G handsets is preventing consumers from making the switch to third-generation technology. According to the operator, this agreement with will help it cut such costs.

Vodafone has also announced a deal with Google, which will see the search giant integrated in the Vodafone Live portal.