By Daniel Hunter

Nokia says it has agreed a deal to buy French rival Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6bn (£11.2bn).

The confirmation comes just a day after the two firms said there could be "no certainty at this stage" that the deal would go ahead.

Alcatel-Lucent shareholders will own 33.5% of the new company, with Nokia shareholders owning the remaining 66.5%.

Both companies said their boards had agreed to the deal and expect it to be completed in the first half of 2016.

Nokia's chief executive, Rajeev Suri, said the deal would give them "the scale to lead in every area in which we choose to compete".

"I firmly believe that this is the right deal, with the right logic, at the right time."

Nokia, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would not impose any more job cuts than those already announced by Alcatel-Lucent.