Eventually the battle for Wi-Fi users will likely be fought between cellular carriers and wired network access providers (dial-up, DSL, and cable). From a marketing perspective, cellular is synonymous with wireless access, and upcoming dual-mode (GPRS/Wi-Fi) hardware might give subscribers automatic access to the best available data network wherever they are at any moment — something only a cellular data operator can currently offer. But as a group, the cellcos are inexperienced at billing for data.
When it comes to the all-important question of charging users, the landline access companies are better positioned: They have the billing relationships with data customers and are already supporting hardwired connections to the Internet. Adding Wi-Fi access points is not terribly expensive, and the acquisition of a few WISPs would make it easier.