Why is wireless networking so dodgy right now? I am not talking about typing 400 character messages into your phone with your thumbs, but about accessing something really useful with a device not physically connected to a computer network.
Not to sound like Margaret Thatcher, but a big part of the answer is government regulation. Back in the day when analog cellular phones were a dream, there was a belief that radio frequencies had to be allocated, for eternity, to a particular group for a specific use. The advent of cool networking technologies like CDMA has demonstrated that this is not only wrong, but incredibly inefficient.
If we abandoned a broadcast television station or two, or national militaries gave up some of the radio frequency spectrum allocated to them, some really good wireless internet access could emerge. Until then, we must all wait until technological advancement removes the shackles imposed by governments concerned about the technological issues of decades past.