Vodafone joins own-brand phone gang

Huawei does the cheapo 3G honours

Huawei does the cheapo 3G honours

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 CEO Arun Sarin hit out earlier this week at handset prices, saying the €50 difference between 2G and 3G handsets is preventing consumers from making the switch to third generation technology. According to the operator, the agreement with the OEM will now 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.