UK supermarket giant Tesco has announced the creation of a 50/50 joint venture with mobile phone company mmO2 to sell Tesco branded mobile phones using mmO2's technology and network.

Tesco said the joint venture, called Tesco Mobile, will launch in time for Christmas and aims to win around two million customer within its first five years.

Tesco's chief executive Terry Leahy said the venture was part of the group's strategy of branching out into new retail services such as Tesco Personal Finance and Tesco.com.

Tesco and mmO2 will each invest £8m (US$13.1m) in the venture over two years.