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Nokia Is Going Plazes

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) further blurred the boundary between vendor and service provider today by announcing the acquisition of Plazes AG, a "social presence" services startup. (See Nokia to Buy Plazes.)

It's not known how much the Finnish giant is paying for the 13-person company that's based in Zurich, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany. Plazes will become part of Nokia's Services and Software unit once the deal closes, something that should happen in the third quarter of this year.

So what does Plazes do, apart from add to a growing list of companies with slightly irritating names? It "provides a context-aware social-activity service that people can use to plan, record, and share their social activities: why they are at a given location at a given time, whether in the past, present or future," according to Nokia.

George Orwell would have been impressed.

The move marks the latest addition to Nokia's services portfolio as it looks to develop services that are normally the domain of the carriers. In fact, carriers are increasingly partnering with Nokia for new services. (See T-Mobile, Nokia Collaborate and Orange, Nokia Get Closer.)

Nokia isn't the only company buying into the whole social networking services space, though: Mobile giant Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) recently announced the acquisition of another mobile social services firm, ZYB Technologies ApS . (See Vodafone Splashes Out on Acquisitions.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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