Is this a joke? In the fast moving world of portable communications, these people are predicting that in FOUR years time a mere 20% of portable entertainment devices will have wifi? I would suggest that in less than 2 years the majority of new devices (including phones) will have wifi. In 2012 who knows how they’ll be communicating! Perhaps 3.5G’s successor’s successor will be the main portable device communication protocol. Certainly I rely now on my phone’s 3G connection in order to get email rather than looking for a wireless point. Unless you are sat in a place where you know there is free wifi, 3G is cheaper and more reliable. When data prices come down, especially for roaming, then 3G will be the best way for all mobile connections (i.e. not fixed in one place). Of course if your idea of an internet connection is one way fat pipe for Torrents, then no. But if your idea of an internet connection is email, IM, rss, browsing, with a reasonable (not hires) amount of gratuitous (purely entertainment) video then 3G is sufficient now.
On the train from Cambridge to Kingscross recently I noticed that, at least on my network, it’s 3.5G (HSDPA) most of the way. Since the train line goes mostly through fields, I can only assume that the intended market is the commuter. That is pretty nice. Last time I did that journey with my laptop (4 months past), the connection was pretty shoddy. Even maintaining a IM conversation was hard (admittedly using iChat the most tempremental IM client there is).