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Battery maker Duracell and IXI Mobile today announced a strategic alliance.

Duracell is to provide IXI zinc air batteries and consultancy services especially for the IXI personal mobile gateway products. The batteries are intended for bluetooth devices. Although the batteries cannot be recharged, they can provide power for several years.

IXI President and CEO Amir Haller said that the alliance will enable making new very low-cost wireless devices, which operate on batteries available at local stores.

IXI was founded in August 2000, built on the assumption that most cellular services subscribers will in the future prefer using a wide-range of computerized cellular devices rather than advanced phones. Its personal mobile gateway includes a micro-router and micro-server using bluetooth technology, which connect broadband data networks such as 2.5G or 3G cellular networks and designated end equipment.

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The PMG chip, which can be kept in a wallet, replaces the "brain" of devices. This enables low-cost manufacturing of simple end equipment.

IXI says that service providers will be able to offer customers a package that includes PMG and two accessory devices, a mini message terminal and bluetooth phone, all for less than $200.