Nokia has officially confirmed that it is to buy Alcatel-Lucent for a total of around 15.6 billion euros (£11.2 billion). It calls the move a merger but also states that the business will operate under the Nokia brand in future.

As part of the deal, Nokia has also acquired Bell Labs, the R&D off-shoot founded by Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the first practical telephone. The Bell Labs brand will be retained.

A round of rumours yesterday pointed at a Nokia acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which prompted Nokia to release a statement confirming its interest. Today's news shows that discussions were successful and swift.

Those thinking that the acquisition will see Nokia re-enter the smartphone market will be disappointed. Alcatel-Lucent is a world leader in manufacturing and designing equipment for network use.

And although there are handsets branded Alcatel One Touch, smart devices too, they are licensed by Alcatel-Lucent to TCL Communication in Hong Kong. It looks like that licensing deal will continue and not impact any outstanding agreement Nokia has with Microsoft.

Nokia admits that it could look to partly fund the Alcatel-Lucent deal by selling its Here Maps department, although that is yet to be decided fully.

The Alcatel acquisition is expected to complete in the first half of 2016.