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    HMD Global is launching a new Centre of Excellence to add software services to its Nokia smartphones business

    HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, is acquiring the assets of Valona Labs and launching a brand-new Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland. Combining HMD Global’s commitment to delivering secure, reliable and dependable mobile experiences with Valona Labs’ expertise in mobile, enterprise and cybersecurity software, the acquisition will further build upon the company’s reputation as a global leader in smartphone software updates and security. 

    The new Centre of Excellence in Tampere will specialise in software, security, and services, propelling HMD Global’s transition from a purely hardware business, to a combined hardware and services company, diversifying its intellectual property and differentiating its unique go-to-market offering. 

    In March 2020, HMD Global entered a new service category with the launch of its global data roaming service, HMD Connect, which enables people around the world to benefit from a hassle-free data SIM. Over the coming months, the centre in Tampere will concentrate on developing this service further and begin work on other services such as remote device locking, enterprise mobility management, mobile device software security, secure network communication, and black box testing. 

    There are also ambitions to expand the scope of the centre to include imaging and audio technologies in the future. The centre will create an immediate need to hire new technical talent in the region and will be led by Ari Heikkinen, the former award-winning head of unit for Valona Labs. 

    “incidents have been on the rise during this global pandemic, meaning there’s no better time to increase our efforts on mobile security. Tampere is renowned as a destination for technological development, particularly in relation to mobile innovation. We look forward to leveraging the region’s expertise and will be exploring various collaboration opportunities with different companies in the area, as well as with Tampere University’s technology department. As we continue to expand, there will be an immediate need for fresh talent to join our ranks and I’m personally excited for the many opportunities this will bring for Finland in the future,” notes Heikkinen, newly-appointed senior director of security and enterprise solutions at HMD Global.

    Meanwhile, Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global, has this to say: “Nokia phones are known around the world for purposeful innovation and our pure, secure and up-to-date Android promise ensures people receive a smartphone experience that continues to get better over time. This is one of the reasons we maintain our position as leaders in fast OS updates. According to research from Counterpoint, we are, in fact, the fastest brand, covering 94% of our portfolio. By bringing in assets from Valona Labs, we will be in a stronger position than ever to deliver on this promise and further build the trust of our fans, which is one of our core values as a business.”

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