While Google is still getting its mobile strategy underway, Nokia is steaming ahead with its web services offensive, signing a deal with Vodafone on Wednesday.

The “world’s largest mobile operator by revenue” and the world’s largest handset manufacturer have agreed to launch an integrated suite of Vodafone services combined with Nokia Ovi services on a range of Nokia handsets.

A number of these handsets will be exclusive to Vodafone.

At the core of the initiative is easier access to the internet, as well as integration with the Nokia Music Store. This follows Vodafone’s launch of the Omnifone MusicStation platform last week and suggests that Voda isn’t willing to put all its eggs in one basket.

Despite speculation to the contrary, Jens Schulte-Bockum, global director of terminals at Vodafone Group, told telecoms.com in September that Vodafone was not necessarily hostile to vendor-led portals such as Nokia’s Ovi project.

At the heart of this is an evolution that has seen operators’ desire for all out control of the content value chain lessening as they move away from an operator controlled walled garden.

“This is a logical step for Vodafone to make, further improving our customer experience with many of the services already launched with leading Internet partners,” said Frank Rovekamp, global chief marketing officer of Vodafone Group. 

“Web2.0 is all about social networking and enabling people to connect with each other in new ways. Bringing location and context awareness to Web 2.0 services is the next stage in the web development and Nokia multimedia computers enable people to participate to their favourite internet services on-the-go”, said executive vice president and general manager of Nokia Multimedia, Anssi Vanjoki.