Handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson and mobile operator Orange have joined forces with Channel 4, the free-to-air commercial U.K. TV network, to find Britain's next great musical hope in a new talent contest.

Winners of the mobileAct competition will be rewarded with concert bookings, a tour, TV appearances and a recording contract and cash advance with an unidentified label.

Entrants must be unsigned bands of two or more members, who write and perform their own music.

To participate, hopefuls are invited to take part by applying online. They can submit their details, including tracks and videos, and create their own community page on the mobileact.co.uk Web site from July 10 to Aug. 5.

The public can vote online for a shortlist of 50 participants. The 50 will then take part in a mini mobileAct unsigned festival around the end of August. Details are still to be disclosed.

The festival and future elimination processes will be filmed for a 12-week TV series, during which a panel of artists and industry experts will make their decisions.

The selection of the winner will air live on Channel 4 on Dec. 23.

"This means you can follow everything, both online and on (mobile) WAP sites to find the best unsigned band in Britain," explains Sebastian Scott, the TV show's executive producer, to Billboard.biz.

Sponsors Sony Ericsson and Orange, both of whom operate international mobile music services, will offer platforms that enable members of the public to vote from their handsets and online.