Siemens and Nokia's new partnership will improve the transfer of phone calls between corporate wireless LANs and public mobile networks.

Speaking at the Cebit IT trade show in Hanover, Germany, Marcus Birkl, vice-president of sales for HiPath Wireless LAN at Siemens Enterprise Communications, said the partnership was aimed at improving voice systems for enterprise users.

Mobile phones that support both Wi-Fi and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) allow users to make Voice over IP (VoIP) calls via the corporate wireless LAN when they are in the office, and to use the same phone for mobile calls outside. Fixed-mobile convergence has been promoted for some years, with little penetration as yet, due to lack of handsets and the need for better software.

Siemens and Nokia are to work together to certify the compatibility of this software in their mobility products for enterprise users, Birkl said. Nokia will join Siemens' HiPath technical partner programme and bring its phones into Siemens laboratories for interoperability and quality of service tests.

The two firms will focus on Nokia's E series mobile phones for business users and Siemens' MobileConnect, a fixed-mobile convergence server compatible with its HiPath 8000 soft switch for enterprises.

Siemens and Nokia will also investigate how Nokia's Intellisync mobile device management tools can be used to download the necessary software and remotely configure phones. "If you are doing a large installation, you want to do this over the air," Birkl said.