Nokia and Alcatel have pulled phone-exchange features into a new range of mobile phones.

The advent of VoIP phones and IP PBXes (private branch exchanges) have opened the door not only to business handsets working on a local network, but also to ones that could be carried around and use WiFi. That can mean one handset for all business calls, anywhere in the enterprise, but that still leaves the employee's cell phone for use outside.

By the end of the year, Nokia and Alcatel will offer software that makes Nokia's E-series of business phones talk to Alcatel's IP Communication server. That means they can be used like a PBX-connected desk phone, with features such as call conferencing and dialing by name. It also lets employees keep their desk phones, use just one number, and program which device they want to receive calls on at a given time.

The system also lets cell phone users tap into Alcatel's Least Cost Routing capabilities, which can cut enterprise long-distance charges, and make billing records easier to find, they said.

In its first iteration, the Intellisync Call Connect for Alcatel software will make the phones talk to enterprise PBXes over the ordinary cell phone network but in the "near future," it will support dual-mode phones. Pricing is not available at the moment.