There's finally a new meme linking mobile, VoIP and Wi-Fi. These posts are are just the beginning. See Jim Courtney who wraps up a collection of posts. This meme is something I've believed was coming and known instantly from the first day I put the Nokia N91 and N80 in my hand. Both these handsets have Wi-Fi. They change immediately how you think about using your mobile.
Example 1. I've been testing Shozu Preview 2.0. Shozu was already a great program for one-click photo uploads to sites like Flickr. In 2.0 mode Shozu is demonstrating an RSS like subscription model for Vlogs and Photo content. I get Rocketboom updates daily to my N80. I don't pay a dime or even a cent for data while travelling in India. It's set to synch everytime I enter my friendly Indian office Wi-Fi zone. At home I switch to my home network. Now I'd like YouTube direct... I'll watch it in the back of the car on the way home.
Example 2. My son synchs his email on an N91 while on campus. He doesn't have a data plan. Similarly he can upload picture to flickr or blog via LifeBlog or use other services this way. You should have heard his positive response to a link sharing Fring last week. While the programs are currently lacking the Mylo-ed handset represents a real bonus for college students on "hot" campuses.
Example 3. See this instruction for putting your SIP connection on an E62. Now VoIP on Symbian mobile. I still have to work this out for the N80 with my Sipphone account. Anyone know how?
Most of us don't need expensive data plans to add significant utility to the phone.. At work and home provide lots of opportunity for mobile devices enhanced with Wi-Fi. My guess is the data plan becomes more valuable when you've been training yourself to run all your data and event notifications via your mobile. Wi-Fi experimentation is a next step in mobile progress without expensive new commitments to mobile operators. It's just a more expensive phone.
Other than Agile Messenger I still have yet to see a really good mobile chat client. None of the majors AIM, Yahoo, Google etc appear to have anything. Skype doesn't appear to have a step by step mobile strategy. They could have executed on a chat client years ago on Symbian. I'd think they could also execute on a Wi-Fi functioning Voice client.