Vodafone has announced that it will launch advanced customer services directly on the handset to give Vodafone customers customer care and billing information in real-time.

The company says the service will not only provide customers with a "self care" facility but also gives Vodafone an added opportunity to provide interactive promotions and tutorials, such as step-by-step guides on how to use the mobile internet to download music or how to send an MMS.

With software provided by SNAPin Software, Vodafone will begin a phased roll out of the on-device self care service from this year.

The service will be available on open OS handsets, including S60, UIQ and Microsoft Windows Mobile, to begin with, with the aim to extend to the majority of handsets on offer from Vodafone over time.

The SNAPin service lets customers navigate an on-screen visual menu of options which customers can use to answer questions or solve their problems right on the handset.

Customers also have the option to connect through to the call centre, or to get an automatic response directly on their phone.