IEEE pitches the protocol as a way to reach remote or rural areas that have little access to broadband or the Internet at all except through dial-up.
It won't be long before cell carriers, cable companies and others start putting up WRAN routers on their poles and towers, however.
Once that starts to happen, we'll be past the point that anyone needs either a more-expensive cell-phone network access point or a highly localized WiFi hotspot signal that keeps us prisoner inside coffee shops and airport lounges.
I don't want to get too excited by the whole thing, but WRAN smells...a lot like...freedom (and a lot less like burned Starbucks).
Source: IEEE, 802.x wireless protocols, by distance