Nokia to merge units to create Net operation

Finnish mobile communications giant Nokia announced yesterday that, effective October 1, the company will combine three of its business units to create a new internet-specific operation.

The new Nokia internet Communications unit, to be headed by T Kent Elliot, will be formed by the merger of Nokia Wireless Business Communications, Nokia Wireless Software Solutions and Nokia IP Application and Connectivity Platforms, company officials said yesterday.

The move will not result in any layoffs, according to Nokia spokesman Jyrki Rosenberg. The move also shouldn't have any adverse effects on customers, he said. "I think that this will actually increase the quality of service," Rosenberg added.

The unit combines Nokia's wireless LAN (local area network) products and IP (internet protocol) telephony solutions, formerly under the Wireless Business Communications unit; routing security and mobility applications, which were part of the IP Application and Connectivity Platforms unit; and WAP (wireless application protocol) technology and mobile internet applications, which were part of the company's Wireless Software Solutions unit.

In other company news, Nokia announced yesterday that it is now using WAP version 1.1 in current trials with partner mobile phone operators.

WAP technology allows mobile phone users to access areas of the internet or corporate intranets on special WAP handsets. Version 1.1 was announced by the WAP Forum in June. The forum's members include Microsoft, LM Ericsson Telephone, Nokia, Motorola and Phone.com.

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