Can I beat the drum any louder about the speed of the wireless LAN in a hotspot? It's hardly been leveraged, despite the long existence of all 802.11g hotspot networks and built-in laptop adapters. With most home broadband running under a couple Mbps, and WLANs in a hotspot able to achieve 20 to 25 Mbps, you'd think that differential could be leveraged for media. Sure, there are issues of fulfillment and security to be dealt with, but there's money in them there WLANs. Stick a media server and a couple terabyte array on the network, and Bob's your uncle.
Starbucks may be considering an in-store media delivery partnership with Apple, based on some tea leaf--excuse me, coffee grounds reading, given that Starbucks now has an area in the iTunes Store, and Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz said they'd offer a digital music fill-up service in their stores within 12 months. Maybe you'd walk up to a kiosk and plug in a USB cable. But it would be more sensible to offer Wi-Fi connections, especially with 802.11n about to flood the marketplace with speeds that could average 100 Mbps, especially a controlled indoor space. (USB nets to about 300 Mbps of throughput.) Wireless USB is also an option if ultrawideband takes off.
In every transportation segment I've spoken to--planes, ferries, trains, buses, and subways--there's great interest in coupling Internet access (which could run 200 Kbps to 2 Mbps, sometimes faster) with on-board media servers feeding streaming media and, potentially, downloadable purchasable media. No one is really taking advantage of the wireless LAN in hotspots or across campuses and cities yet.