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Mobile phone giant Nokia is to acquire the assets of Sega's online and wireless gaming operation to boost its own N-Gage online games device.

The Sega Network Application Package (SNAP), which enables networked multi-player games, will form the core of Nokia Mobile Phones' Entertainment and Media Business Unit's online games service.

Financial details concerning the acquisition were not disclosed.

In a statement, Nokia's chief executive, Ilkka Raiskinen, said: "Online multi-player games and mobility are seen as the hottest developments in the games industry today. This acquisition is a logical step in bringing online elements to mobile games."

If all goes to plan then SNAP will be integrated into the Nokia N-Gage game deck - a new mobile video game device which is also a phone - when it becomes available from 7 October.

Yesterday it was reported that Nokia is set to gain more than 40 per cent market share in the mobile phone sector next year, while the overall mobile phone sector would swell by 11 per cent.

The research, by Strategy Analytics, predicted that the mobile market would experience double-digit growth in 2004. ®

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