Qualcomm now required to smile when it says Wi-Fi stinks: That's a comic distortion intended for effect. Qualcomm uses Wi-Fi for its corporate Internet access, and merely thinks it's inappropriate given its unlicensed nature and design intent to operate on a metropolitan basis. Rather, to pick an example out of thin air, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO might be a better.
Regardless of MAN/LAN debates over Wi-Fi's use, Qualcomm joining the alliance is recognition that handset makers and cellular operators worldwide want unlicensed mobile access (UMA) in their phones, among other uses of Wi-Fi. Qualcomm's participation may make it easier for compatibility and interoperability of standards.