Nokia announced its intention to acquire Finnish company Comptel for $370 million, in a move that boosts the vendor’s wider aims around building a standalone software business.

In a statement, Nokia said the planned acquisition strengthens its software portfolio and go to market capabilities, with Comptel providing solutions helping operators to manage and control services and networks.

Nokia, along with rivals Ericsson and Huawei, is stepping up its efforts around software as demand for traditional telecoms network equipment begins to slow. Indeed, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri recently said a shift in focus towards a mix of fixed, mobile and software sectors offer the company “solid opportunities” for future growth.

Nokia said combining Comptel’s offering with its own Cloudband and Nuage portfolios will enable it to provide customers with “complete end-to-end orchestration of complex Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) deployments”.

“Nokia is committed to building its software business and is backing its commitment with strategic investments,” said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia’s applications and analytics business group.

Gorti added the timing of the deal is particularly important because Nokia’s customers are changing the way they build and operate their networks.

“They are turning to software to provide more intelligence, automate more of their operations and realise the efficiency gains that virtualisation promises.”

Comptel chairman Pertti Ervi, said the company’s board recommended shareholders accept Nokia’s offer.

Juhani Hintikka, Comptel president and CEO, added the combination would “create an agile and innovative player which can challenge current market leaders head to head.”