For companies like Truphone, Fring and the rest of the Mobile VoIP crowd, Maggie Reardon's CNET story from yesterday about Mobile phone WiFi usage on the rise has to be like sweet charity. Coming just a few days ahead of the GSMA's Mobile World Congress this kind of news bodes well for the handset manufacturers like Nokia who have been leading the way with WiFi enabled devices.
Beyond simply VoIP, now we're seeing location aware applications like those from client Palringo take advantage of geo-location capabilities tied to WiFi as well. Those types of approaches are very valuable when it comes to events and event maps. For example, with geo-location via WiFi you can get a grid of trade show booths, or inside shopping mall store locations and find your way faster, the same way a GPS device works, but with one less radio. While mobile phones have GPS-A now enabled, that helps, but with WiFi so inexpensive to install and maintain vs. cell towers or other cellular service equipment there's a whole new ball game for companies with imagination in the LBS/GPS world that can take advantage of the rising market of WiFi enabled mobile phones.