The not-for-profit organisation behind the Firefox web browser has announced handsets based on its operating system for mobile phones.

Brazil, Spain and Poland will be among the first wave of launches

In a press conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, Mozilla said that18 operators including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, were signed up.

The mobiles will go head to head with established software from Apple and Google's Android division.

Mozilla described the Firefox OS as an "open alternative".

Firefox phones are likely to be sold first in the developing world and Eastern Europe and will be at the cheaper end of the smartphone market, according to Jay Sullivan, vice president of products at Mozilla.

He said manufacturers LG, ZTE, Huawei and TCL had all committed to building devices, with more firms "to follow".

The platform is based on the HTML5 web programming language which Mr Sullivan says gave it an advantage over Apple and Android.

"The Firefox marketplace is web-based and will allow a device to do things differently," he told the BBC.

"If someone searches for content it will show any apps that have that content. The web can be searched, indexed and crawled in ways native apps cannot,"

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