In an effort to boost its operations in Japan, Nokia today announced that it has agreed to acquire part of the Panasonic's wireless networks business. The deal, whose financial details were not disclosed, covers Panasonic's mobile phone (LTE/3G) wireless base station system business for mobile operators and related wireless equipment system business.

"Japan is a key market for us, and this agreement is a major milestone in forging closer ties in Japan", said Ashish Chowdhary, Executive Vice President, AMEA, Nokia Networks. "The acquisition of part of Panasonic's wireless network business would further strengthen our mobile broadband portfolio and add significant value for Japanese operators".

Last year, Japan was the second-largest market for the Helsinki, Finland-based company's continuing operations, mainly consisting of a networks business, with sales of 1.39 billion euros.

Besides improving efficiency and quality control for product development and R&D, Nokia hopes that the deal will help strengthen its market share for base station systems and related wireless equipment in Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Panasonic's fixed assets, business contracts, as well as employees involved in the business are being transferred to Nokia Networks in Japan.

Both the companies plan to conclude the agreement by the end of September, and expect to close the deal by January 1st next year. The projected schedule is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

The deal is the latest in a string of small acquisitions that Nokia has made following the sale of the company's handset business to Microsoft in April. Last month, it acquired Australian radio filter maker Mesaplexx, followed by the acquisition of US network deployment company SAC Wireless this month.