HMD Global starts new centre of excellence in Finland for R&D

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, announced it is acquiring assets of Valona Labs and launching a brand-new Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland. 

According to HMD Global, the acquisition of Varona Labs assets will further build upon the company’s reputation as a global leader in smartphone software updates and security.

Valona Labs’ expertise is in mobile, enterprise and cybersecurity software.

The new Centre of Excellence in Tampere will specialise in software, security and services. It will help push 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 this year, 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 the former award-winning Head of Unit for Valona Labs, Ari Heikkinen. 

“As a company that believes every phone should be built upon the foundations of security, reliability and dependability, we are proud to announce the acquisition of assets of Valona Labs – a renowned and trusted mobile software business,” said Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global. 

“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.”

He said the acquisition of Varona Labs assets will allow the company to lay the foundations of a R&D hub “that will transform our business and the products we offer to our fans.”

“We have been working closely with HMD Global for quite some time and I’m excited to announce our collaboration today as we continue to strengthen our partnership. With this new Centre of Excellence, we are striking whilst the iron is hot. Cybersecurity incidents have been on the rise during this global pandemic, meaning there’s no better time to increase our efforts on mobile security,” said Ari Heikkinen, newly appointed senior director of Security Enterprise Solutions at HMD Global.