Accenture is looking to acquire the unit of Nokia responsible for Symbian customer engineering and support.

Under the acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, Accenture would acquire Nokia's Symbian Professional Services unit. The Symbian OS, which is being moved to open source, is used in smartphones. The Nokia unit provides engineering, consulting, and product development services to mobile phone builders, offering technical support, device-tuning techniques to boost performance and memory. Also offered are advanced error diagnosis and repair and turnkey software development services.

About 165 Nokia professional services engineers and consultants in the UK, Finland, Japan, Korea, and Australia are expected to transfer to Accenture.

Nokia is part of the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor venture formed in 2008 to provide the Symbian OS under a royalty-free licence. The services unit being sold off by Nokia provides implementations of Symbian for different device builders, somewhat of a conflict of interest because Nokia itself builds devices, said Ted Shelton, head of marketing for foundation. "Accenture's a perfect home," for the unit, Shelton said.

"The acquisition of the Symbian professional services unit will enhance Accenture's existing embedded software, product-development and testing skills to help players in the mobile solutions ecosystem address ever-more-demanding time-to-market and quality requirements," said Jean Laurent Poitou, managing director of Accenture's Electronics & High Tech industry group.

"This agreement allows the Symbian professional services team to realise its full potential in the supply of independent services to the open-source ecosystem," said Peter Ropke, senior vice president of devices at Nokia, also in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in 60 to 90 days.