K Daniel Wong reported to IEEE COMSOC site on main points raised during the expert panel. Some quotes follow. See "Summary of Connectivity Week panel session on Mobile Data Offload" - here.
We are running out of spectrum, with estimates putting 2013 or 2014 as the time when we really run out. Thus, we need wifi offload
Wifi offload is different from the femto model, which is more for voice
Steven Shaw (picture), VP Marketing, Kineto Wireless: "Offload is behind the scenes, will not be advertised to users. Improve coverage, drive more capacity"
Vikta McClelland, VP Technologies Services for Internet Solutions, Ericsson: "Have to decide what is free, and what is value added service? Otherwise, carriers will not be able to stay ahead on the billing for all the new models. Consumers have expectations of paying for voice and not data. ISPs need to manage expectations .. Operators bringing QoS, knowledge of user info"
See also "KDDI to Deploy 120,000 Wi-Fi Offload Hotspots" - here and "Wi-Fi Offloading - Booming in India but Failing For AT&T?" - here.