Wi-Fi Hotspots Are As Dead As Disco
... there's a lot of truth in what Ericsson CEO Johan Bergendahl has to say: Wi-Fi has really never been much more than a stopgap technology, especially as far as cell phones are concerned. The range is tiny, the reliability and susceptibility to interference are poor, and the amount of equipment required to blanket a metropolitan area without leaving substantial gaps is cost-prohibitive. Using Wi-Fi is fine for your house, but it makes little sense when traveling, as any hotel dweller who's had to jaunt down to the lobby in the middle of the night in order to use the Wi-Fi connection (because the signal won't reach to his hotel room) can tell you. Now when I go on a trip, I've taken to using a 3G USB card to get online with my laptop instead of shell out the $12 a night for Wi-Fi, even if Wi-Fi is available in the room.
I'm inclined to agree with him. I've read numerous stories about many municipal governments trying to install a free Wi-Fi network for their citizens, with almost uniformly disappointing results. Unless you really like Starbucks coffee, you'd better pray for affordable 3G wireless service.