While ultimately these tech marvels might appeal to consumers, (witness the fascination with cell phones that can capture and transmit photos) to pluck dollars out of business pockets, mobile operators might be better off looking at technology available today from a company called Action Engine.Mobile telephone operators from around the world gathered last week at the 3GSM World Congress meeting in Cannes, France, to talk about cell phone advances, including devices capable of supporting videoconferencing.While ultimately these tech marvels might appeal to consumers (witness the baffling fascination with cell phones that can capture and transmit photos), to pluck dollars out of business pockets mobile operators might be better off looking at technology available today from a company called\u00a0Action Engine.Action Engine's\u00a0Mobile Web Services Platform\u00a0is a client\/server package designed to simplify the process of using a cell phone to interact with the Web. Instead of trying to shoehorn a regular browser into a phone, Action Engine's software is optimized for the limitations of the client (Pocket PC devices today, and Smartphone 2002, Palm and Symbian in the future).The fat client is written in C++ and applications that ride above it are written in XML, meaning carriers can customize applications and ultimately deliver them for a range of client devices.Applications shown to me were for demonstration purposes, but they give a good sense of what carriers could create for business users: a phone with an oversized screen that lets you do everything from make airline reservations to look up directions and find restaurants.The beauty of the system is it is menu-based, meaning you select items instead of having to key in data, a huge time-saver. The client even memorizes former requests so when you go to make your next flight reservation you simply can rebook rather than start from scratch.What's more, the client treats data as objects that can be shared with other applications. If you book a flight, for example, then pull up an application to find a restaurant, the device\u00a0divines that you might want to dine at your destination and offers that as an option.Caching data means that 95% of the processing is done on the client, minimizing need for high-speed network connections. This also means that if you lose a connection you don't have to start all over.The phone has become a PC, says Amar Patel, director of product marketing. Unlike older cell phones, the operating systems in these new devices have file systems. Couple that with the fact that networks support higher speed, and the "technology has caught up to the imagination," he says.Now if only carriers would focus on delivering capabilities like this instead of cell phone cameras.